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NW Fishletter
NWF.316/April 18, 2013
More Dam Passage Not Necessarily A Bad Thing
After tracking salmon smolts up the coast and detecting the survivors off the northwest tip of Vancouver Island, Canadian researchers have found no evidence that Snake River spring Chinook died off at a higher rate than fish that passed fewer dams on their seaward migration. ...more
Panel Says Stick With Expensive Habitat Monitoring Programs
The science panel that weighs the scientific merit of proposals in the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife program has recommended a few tweaks to several BiOp-mandated projects that hope to eventually relate habitat improvements to improved fish numbers. The group gave the projects a fresh vote of confidence and said they should continue. ...more
Spring Run Early Compared To Past Two Years
Spring anglers on the lower Columbia caught more than about 6,000 spring Chinook by April 13, after their early recreational season had been extended a week by Columbia Basin harvest managers. Their catch is about three times the number of springers counted so far at Bonneville Dam, but managers estimated that the sport catch was made up of about 2/3 upriver fish. When the harvest from lower river gillnetters was added, the total catch of upriver fish was about 4,300 Chinook. ...more
Water Supply Shoots Back Up, Hits 96 Percent
Two weeks ago, on March 27, the Columbia Basin's 2013 water year was ranked 40th in the last 52 years, but plenty of precipitation over the past week has bumped that up to 32nd, with 97 percent of average levels (April-September) at The Dalles, according to NOAA's Northwest River Forecast Center. ...more
Managers Make Another Steelhead Prediction
Columbia Basin harvest managers are planning on another year in which more than 300,000 upriver steelhead are expected to pass Bonneville Dam, even after last year's run came in about 40 per-cent shy of their 381,000-fish prediction. ...more
EPA Must Take Another Look At Oregon River Temps
A federal magistrate has approved a deal between the EPA and the state of Oregon that calls for the federal agency to review its earlier approval of "natural" water temperature standards for some rivers in the state where the water is usually hotter than normal standards allowed by the Clean Water Act. ...more
Environmental Groups To Sue BNSF, Six Coal Companies
Sierra Club and four Northwest environmental groups have notified Burlington Northern Santa Fe and six coal companies that they intend to sue over discharges of coal and coal dust into Northwest waters. ...more
Final Klamath EIS Favors Dam Removal
The Interior Department released a final environmental impact statement April 4 saying removal of four PacifiCorp dams is the preferred alternative for restoring fisheries and managing water supplies for the Klamath River Basin. ...more
Washington On Hook For More Than $2.4 Billion In Culvert Fixes For Fish
In testimony at a House budget capital budget hearing last week, lawmakers got a heads-up from state agencies on the future costs to repair culverts to improve fish habitat, a must-do item for the state after a federal judge ruled Mar. 29 in favor of Indian tribes, mostly from Western Washington, who argued that the fish-blocking culverts are a violation of their fishing rights guaranteed by treaties signed in the 1850s. ...more

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