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NW Fishletter
NWF.284/February 4, 2011
No Cost-Benefit Analysis In Latest Hatchery Scrutiny

Some of the oldest hatcheries in the Columbia Basin are still churning out around 70 million smolts a year, half of the hatchery fish in the Columbia Basin--the so-called Mitchell Act facilities, mandated by a federal statute to mitigate fish impacts of the mainstem dams on the Columbia River. ...more

BiOp Plaintiffs Fire Off Final Arguments

BiOp plaintiffs took their last shots at the region's 2008 salmon plan Jan. 21, hoping to convince US District Court Judge James Redden that the additions tacked on by the Obama administration haven't improved it. They say the plan should still be thrown out because the supplemented BiOp doesn't deal with most of the faults in the 2008 BiOp outlined by the judge in a 2009 letter to all parties. ...more

NOAA Fisheries Will 'Fix' Sea Lion Program

NOAA Fisheries ahs said it won't appeal a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling last November that stopped the lethal removal of sea lions at Bonneville Dam. ...more

Mystery Virus Possible Suspect In Fraser Fish Decline

Canadian scientists have uncovered DNA evidence that recent-year declines in Fraser River sockeye stocks may be linked to an as-yet-unknown virus. ...more

La Niña On Vacation Until Late February, Says Accuweather's Bastardi

Private-sector weather prognosticator Joe Bastardi of Accuweather.com says the West Coast will stay relatively warm until late February, when he expects conditions to shift back to more a typical La Niña situation. Colder temperatures and above-average precipitation are then expected to prevail, bringing more snow across the interior Northwest, and mostly rain west of the Cascades. ...more

Whales May Put Big Wrinkle In Puget Sound Harvest Plan

NMFS says new information about salmon-loving ESA-listed orcas may impact future Puget Sound chinook harvests and other activities that might impact chinook numbers within the orcas' range. Unfortunately, Puget Sound wild chinook are also listed for protection under the ESA. ...more

ODFW Starts Sea Lion Hazing Program On Willamette

ODFW began hazing sea lions below the fish ladders at Willamette Falls on Feb. 1 to keep them from munching ESA-listed wild chinook and steelhead on their way upriver to spawning grounds. This is the second year of a pilot program to gauge its effectiveness. A small crew will use fireworks to keep the sea lions at bay. ...more

Pacificorp Raises Specter Of Klamath Removal Delay

A Pacificorp spokesman said last month if reduced flows imposed January 4 by the Bureau of Reclamation at the Klamath Project's Iron Gate dam are made permanent, the removal of the Klamath project could be delayed beyond the 2020 target called for under the February, 2010 Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement. ...more

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