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NW Fishletter
NWF.380/April 2, 2018
9th Circuit Upholds Spill Order
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court's order to spill more water over eight federal dams, beginning April 3. A panel of judges determined that U.S. District Judge Michael Simon did not abuse his discretion in agreeing to order spill at levels up to the spill cap from April through mid-June this year. ...more
Judges Question Both Sides In 9th Circuit Spill Hearing
Judges for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asked lawyers some pointed questions during a hearing March 20, before upholding a court-ordered spring spill on April 2 at eight FCRPS dams from set for early April to mid-June. ...more
Spring Spill: What's At Stake In The 9th Circuit Court Appeal?
On March 20, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments, mostly about legal issues, for overturning or upholding the lower court's order to spill as much water as is allowed, night and day, under state water-quality laws at eight federal dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers. ...more
NOAA Scientist: The 'Blob' Will Continue To Impact Salmon For Years
When a high-pressure ridge appeared off the coast of Washington and Oregon in the winter of 2013-2014, it was just that--a weather event that warmed the ocean and prevented the winter storms that mix the ocean's cold, nutrient-rich deep water with its warmer surface water. ...more
In Surprise Move, U.S. District Judge Dismisses U.S. V. Oregon Fishing Rights Case
A U.S. District Court judge on March 19 suddenly dismissed U.S. v. Oregon [68-513], effectively ending the court's oversight of a case that's continued in Oregon's U.S. District Court for 50 years. The case ensures the fishing rights of American Indian treaty tribes and non-treaty fisheries in the Columbia River Basin while protecting ESA-listed and non-listed fish runs. ...more
Another Rough Year Predicted For Salmon, Steelhead
Washington, Idaho and NOAA Fisheries fish managers expect another year of poor salmon and steelhead returns in the Columbia and Snake rivers, although most species should fare somewhat better in 2018 compared with last year's low returns. ...more
Groups Sue Feds, Alleging Harm To Fish From Failure To Follow Willamette Project BiOp
Three environmental groups are asking a federal judge to order the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Marine Fisheries Service to immediately reinitiate ESA consultations for the Willamette Project, which includes 13 dams on upper Willamette River tributaries. ...more
Loss Of Snowpack Will Mean Rising Tensions For Columbia Basin Water
Thirty-two kilometers cubed. Or, 26 million acre-feet. That's enough water to fill Lake Mead--the West's largest reservoir, held back by Hoover Dam, and used to irrigate farmland and provide wa-ter to some 20 million people in Arizona, California and Nevada. ...more
Deschutes Water-Quality Lawsuit Against PGE Goes Forward; Tribe Joins Request For Dismissal
After failing to convince U.S. District Judge Michael Simon last year to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the Deschutes River Alliance, Portland General Electric is again seeking dismissal of the case alleging Clean Water Act violations, this time with tribal support. ...more
Power Council To Begin Process To Amend Fish And Wildlife
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council is gearing up to amend its 2014 Fish and Wildlife Program--a process required under the Northwest Power Act that will take more than a year to complete. ...more
Council Makes Annual Report To Congress, Calls FY 2017 'Another Challenging Year'
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council called fiscal year 2017 "another challenging year," in its annual report to Congress on the state of the Columbia River Basin. ...more
Agencies Update Columbia River EIS Process; Will Evaluate Snake Dams Breaching
An environmental impact statement being developed by federal agencies on Columbia River System Operations will evaluate breaching the lower Snake River dams, according to a recent newsletter from agencies working to develop a draft EIS on the 14 hydroelectric projects on the Columbia and Snake rivers. ...more
Tribal Plan To Release Salmon Above Grand Coulee Dam Discussed
After a 70-year absence, salmon may soon be swimming in the Columbia River Basin above Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph dams. ...more
Gov. Inslee Orders New Protections For Orca, Chinook Salmon
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed an executive order March 14 that attempts to protect killer whales off the coast of Washington and their main source of food--Chinook salmon. ...more
Chelan PUD Reaches Best-Ever Lamprey Passage
The Chelan County PUD achieved a 98-percent successful adult passage rate for Pacific lamprey at Rocky Reach Dam--the best ever measured at any dam, PUD officials say. ...more
Steelhead Anglers Seek Temporary Fishing Ban
An Edmonds, Wash.-based fishing group has asked authorities in Washington, Oregon and Idaho to take emergency action to close steelhead fishing in the lower Columbia and Snake rivers for the rest of the 2018 spawning season due to low returns. ...more

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