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NW Fishletter
NWF.375/November 6, 2017
Mitigation for Wildlife Losses From Hydro Ops Stalled by Uncertainty
A recently completed model for assessing wildlife losses caused by hydropower operations could be useful in assessing unmitigated wildlife impacts from many dams in the Federal Columbia River Power System, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council was told at its October meeting. ...more
NWF v. NMFS Parties Near Consensus on Spill Plan for 2018
Attorneys for the parties in the 2008-2014 BiOp case say a plan for 2018 spill at Columbia and Snake river dams is nearly complete. Federal defendants also reported that a court-ordered Environmental Impact Statement is on schedule to complete in 2021. ...more
2017 Columbia Salmon Returns Off, Prospects Poor for Near Term
This year's Columbia and Snake river salmon and steelhead returns are down, and fish have not returned in the numbers forecast. Even fall Chinook stocks, the Columbia's most abundant salmonids, have been low. Salmon runs are notoriously cyclical, but could something else be happening? A survey earlier this year showed the fewest juveniles in coastal waters in 20 years of research. ...more
Jill Smail is State Dept.'s New Columbia River Treaty Negotiator
The U.S. Department of State announced Oct. 16 that Jill Smail will replace Brian Doherty as the department's negotiator for the Columbia River Treaty. Smail is expected to be in the Pacific Northwest in November. ...more
Council Approves BPA-Funded Wildlife Projects With Strings
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council has endorsed the ongoing implementation of 29 BPA-funded wildlife projects. Based on assessments by the Independent Scientific Review Panel, the Council's Oct. 10 decision also qualified its approval of 23 of these projects. ...more
Snake River Steelhead Get Boost From Tribal Kelt Program
Only about 500 female B-run steelhead will return to Snake River spawning grounds this year, but the release of 100 steelhead kelts from a Nez Perce Tribe and Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission program increases the number of spawners by 20 percent. ...more
Dam Passage Survival Estimates for 2017 Juvenile Salmon a Mixed Bag
This year's survival of juvenile spring salmonids migrating through the Columbia-Snake river system was below average for some stocks and above average for others. For Snake River steelhead and sockeye, the survival numbers were below average for the third consecutive year, according to a Northwest Fisheries Science Center memo. ...more
Work on a Juvenile Fish Tunnel Begins at Cle Elum Dam
Construction started in October on a 1,250-foot tunnel for fish passage at Cle Elum Dam in the Yakima River Basin. The Yakama Nation sees the new fish bypass system at Cle Elum Dam as vital to its efforts to reintroduce sockeye to Lake Cle Elum. ...more
Irrigators Push to Reopen Spill Issue in Columbia River BiOp Case
Defendants and plaintiffs alike oppose the Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association motion to rehear U.S. District Judge Michael Simon's March 2017 decision requiring more spill at the dams to help the downstream migration of juvenile fish. ...more
A Decade After Dam Removal, Salmonids Rebounding in Sandy River
A decade after the Marmot Dam was torn apart and hauled away, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reports that returning wild spring Chinook numbers have increased in the Sandy River. ...more
Rehab Won't Be Finished on Dworshak Dam's Unit 3 Until June 2018
Dworshak Dam's Unit 3 won't be on line until June 2018, complicating water management for fish. ...more
La Niña Watch Still in Effect for Winter 2017-2018
The chance of a La Niña event for winter 2017-2018 remains unchanged from September's forecast, at 55-65 percent, NOAA Climate Prediction Center said Oct. 12. The next forecast is set for Nov. 9. ...more

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