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NW Fishletter
NWF.303/May 11, 2012
18,000 Fish Counted At Bonneville Dam In One Day

Receding flows and spill at Bonneville Dam likely helped this year's extremely late upriver spring chinook run finally pick up momentum--dam counts have improved steadily over the past week, after dam operators had tried to cut spill for a few hours to aid the run. ...more

Spill Cut At Bonneville To Aid Adult Fish Passage

Hydro and fish managers agreed last week to tweak operations at Bonneville Dam, where high flows and spill levels were hindering the upstream passage of spring chinook though fish ladders. ...more

High Flows Create Some Headaches For River Managers

A warm weekend in the middle of April helped boost flows to near the 400-kcfs level at Bonneville Dam, and raised spill far above voluntary levels. That is an uncommon occurrence in April, according to hydro managers reporting at the April 25 meeting of the Technical Management Team. Spill operations for fish passage began April 3 at Snake River projects and April 10 in the Columbia. ...more

High Water Season Arrives Early: BPA Cuts Wind Generation

For the first time this spring, BPA invoked its controversial "Oversupply Management Protocol" and cut a total of 20,604 MWh of wind generation within its balancing authority over a four-day period beginning April 29. ...more

Expert Panel Questions Link Between Chinook Harvest And Orca Survival

A panel of fisheries experts is skeptical that cutting chinook harvest would provide enough added protein for ESA-listed Puget Sound orcas to improve their survival. In fact, they weren't convinced that declines in chinook numbers had much of anything to do with declines in the southern resident killer whales. ...more

Analysis: Judge Breaches Silence Over Lower Snake Dams

When Judge James Redden recently said he thought the lower Snake dams should come out, he conveniently forgot to mention one major point. While he was presiding over a decade of salmon litigation where parties argued over how to best to recover the fish, one of the ESA-listed runs in the most trouble--Snake River fall chinook--has essentially recovered. Not a bad feat after 80 percent of their spawning grounds had been blocked by Idaho Power's Hell Canyon complex of dams. ...more

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