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NW Fishletter
NWF.306/August 9, 2012
Redfish Lake Sockeye Count Down From Recent Years
Despite increased spill at federal dams since 2006, Snake River sockeye are returning in lower numbers than the previous four years. By July 25, only 441 had been counted at Lower Granite Dam, the ESA-listed products of an expensive captive broodstock program. That's less than one-third of last year's count at this time (1,478) and with only about two sockeye now passing the project each day, the run is pretty much over. ...more
Harvest Managers Expect Another Good Year For Fall Chinook
Columbia Basin harvest managers expect an almost mirror image of last year's fall chinook runs, with an estimated total of 655,000 fish coming back over the next two months to the river mouth. ...more
Good Ocean Conditions For Spring Smolts
The spring transition came late to the Northwest coast this year. That's the day that marks the beginning of upwelling--when wintertime southerly winds switch to northerly. starting the process that leads to nutrients rising with cold upwelled ocean water on to the continental shelf and kickstarting plankton productivity that provides food for young salmonids. According to NOAA Fisheries mid-year update (through the end of June), the transition began May 2, the third latest date in the past 15 years. ...more
This Year's Water Supply Now Fifth Highest Since 1960
This year's April-September water supply in the Columbia River Basin has grown another 16 percent since April, and now stands at 131 percent of average, ranking it the fifth-highest water year since 1960. The lingering La Niña conditions helped the water supply jump from 11th place at the end of April. Last year's whopping water supply was even higher, ending up the fourth highest since 1960. ...more
Council Continues To Fret Over F&W Program's Forgone Revenue
Several Northwest Power and Conservation Council members said they were unaware that three fellow members were ready to go public with their concerns about how BPA added up its fish and wildlife costs, which they did shortly after the Council voted unanimously at its July meeting to approve the annual report on F&W expenditures. ...more
Tribes Offer Spirited Defense Of Hatchery Supplementation
Lower Columbia tribal representatives spoke out earlier this week in defense of their hatchery programs that supplement wild salmonid populations. They said these programs, along with habitat restoration and protection, can help to recover weak wild fish stocks and eventually lead to ESA delistings. But they argued "competing science" that claims wild fish populations lose fitness when they spawn with hatchery-raised fish gives the supplementation strategy a bad rap. ...more

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