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NW Fishletter
NWF.272/March 17, 2010
Water Supply Keeps Dropping, Fish Ops May Change

With the Columbia River's water supply shrinking at each updated forecast, Basin stakeholders are jockeying for position in a battle over fish barging that is still largely going on outside of the public's purview. ...more

Science Panel To Examine Barging Question

NOAA Fisheries has decided to take a gamble with its proposal to stop spill and boost fish barging in this low-flow year by letting the region's independent science panel weigh in on the topic. The feds say fish would gain a significant survival benefit from the change in operations. ...more

Better Days Coming, Say Harvest Managers

West Coast salmon managers are looking forward to counting a lot more salmon this year, even in beleaguered California, where the fall chinook run may jump from last year's worst ever (40,000) to 245,000 fish. Both commercial and recreational fishers may get some fishing time in southern waters this year. ...more

Some Salmon Fishing Possible Off California This Year

The Pacific Fishery Management Council announced last Thursday three draft options for managing salmon fisheries off the West Coast. They will pick one by mid-April. ...more

Six Sea Lions Euthanized At Bonneville Dam

The Corps of Engineers has reported that five California sea lions have been euthanized so far this year at Bonneville Dam. They were trapped on Mar. 9, along with two Steller sea lions, who were released. Four traps have been placed near the corner collector at Bonneville Dam. ...more

Puget Sound Orcas Part Of Slow Food Movement

It hasn't been the most glamorous field work for NOAA researchers but someone had to do it--follow ESA-listed killer whales around the San Juans in a small boat scooping up bits of poop and vomit from southern resident orcas to get better clues about their diet. And as they had suspected, local salmon, especially chinook, make up a good part of their diet. ...more

Pacific Smelt Listed For ESA Protection

NOAA Fisheries announced Mar. 16 that it was listing Pacific smelt as threatened under the ESA. The oil-rich smelt, also known as eulachon, or candlefish, spawn in rivers in late winter or early spring and can spend five years at sea before they return. ...more

Analysis: Dam Breaching Would Leave A Big Carbon Footprint

While federal policymakers ponder just how much "more" BiOp Judge James Redden wants in the region's new salmon plan before he gives it a passing grade, Northwest environmental groups such as the Northwest Energy Coalition are pushing the idea that the region could take out the lower Snake dams without any real consequences, economic or otherwise--a position they say is backed up by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council's latest power plan. ...more

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