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NW Fishletter
NWF.311/December 13, 2012
Barging Fish In May Still Beats Swimming
The latest fish survival results from NOAA Fisheries still supports the feds' view that barging fish from lower Snake dams in May would be a good thing compared to leaving them in the river, despite the opinion of former U.S. District Judge James Redden, who oversaw the BiOp proceedings. ...more
NOAA Fisheries Goes Fishing For Salmon Recovery Advice
NOAA Fisheries deputy Northwest regional administrator Barry Thom has invited more than a hundred different parties and individuals associated with the Columbia Basin salmon recovery effort to weigh in on future planning. In a Dec. 11 letter to invitees, Thom said the results will be available to all by late summer 2013. Until then, the recommendations will be confidential. ...more
Oregon Approves Changes To Lower Columbia Fisheries
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission last week approved recommendations from a bi-state task force that calls for phasing out lower Columbia commercial gillnetters' harvest in the mainstem over the next few years. It would also restrict the 200 or so fishermen to off-channel fishing areas by 2017. The mainstem for recreational fishermen, but commercial fishermen would be able to use selective gear, such as purse seines, in certain situations, to harvest more hatchery fish than they do now, because of reduced impact to ESA-listed wild stocks. ...more
Gillnetters Gripe Over Effort To Reform Harvest
After spending around $850,000 to defeat an Oregon ballot initiative last month that would have outlawed their fishery, lower Columbia gilnetters say the latest analysis by a two-state working group tackling a proposal to reform harvest initiated by Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber is deeply flawed. ...more
Council: Power Plan Complaint Misreads Power Act Mandates
Attorneys for the Northwest Power and Conservation Council said the thinking behind a petition in federal court filed by the Eagle, Idaho-based Northwest Resource Information Center (NRIC) is misguided, and contradicts provisions of the Northwest Power Act. ...more
Washington Appeals Court Says State's TDG Limits Reasonable
Washington appellate judges have upheld a decision by the state's Department of Ecology denying a petition by sport and commercial fishing groups to open rulemaking that would relax the current 115-percent total dissolved gas (TDG) limit in forebays at federal dams on the Columbia River. ...more
Water Supply Forecast Climbs: El Niño Prospect Dissipates
NOAA's Northwest Rivers Forecast Center revved up its crystal ball for this water year, and its early forecast called for a 97 percent of average water supply (April-September) for the Columbia Basin at The Dalles. By Dec. 12, after plenty of moisture had filled the intervening weeks, that had been boosted to 105 percent. ...more
Managers Predict Spring Chinook Run Lower, Summers Higher Next Year
On Dec. 12, Columbia Basin harvest managers released preseason predictions for many of next year's runs. With far lower jack counts this year, they expect about 141,000 upriver spring chinook. Last year, with a huge jack count, they had predicted more than 300,000, but little more than 200,000 actually showed up. ...more
NOAA Head Lubchenco Announces Resignation
NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco announced yesterday in a e-mail letter to staff that she is leaving the federal agency at the end of February to return to academia and her family in Oregon. She has served at NOAA for nearly four years and presided over additions by the Obama administration to the 2008 hydro BiOp that governs federal dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers. ...more

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