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For the past six years, Wild Fish Conservancy has been testing a fish trap on the lower Columbia River with the goal of finding a fishing tool that would allow commercial fishing outfits to catch targeted stocks of salmon and steelhead—like excess hatchery fish—without harming wild fish and …

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The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will spend the next five years measuring the abundance, trends and consumptive impacts of nonnative fish in the Columbia River from McNary Dam to Priest Rapids Dam, in order to better inform efforts to control them.

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A new poll found a majority of Washington, Oregon and Idaho residents—including a majority of both Democrats and Republicans in each state—support use of hydroelectric dams on the lower Snake River to produce electricity.

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Are Columbia River Chinook populations returning at lower rates due to freshwater conditions compared to other Chinook runs in the North Pacific Ocean? Do birds in the Columbia River basin have a major impact on steelhead smolt survival? Do the Columbia's hydroelectric turbines and bypass sy…

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The future of the lower Snake River dams took top billing among public comments on the draft 2021 Power Plan. Many said the Northwest Power and Conservation Council's regional plan should take a stand on removing or keeping the controversial federally owned dams. Others want the plan to incl…

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Columbia Riverkeeper resurrected a lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that was settled more than seven years ago, noting that the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits that the Corps agreed to apply for still have not been issued for the four lower Columbia Ri…

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High spill at lower Snake River dams has dramatically cut the percentages of juvenile fish transported from the dams to the estuary as an alternative to migrating through the hydro system. However, the larger issue of lower fish returns, and models showing the added spill will increase their…

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The region's goal of maintaining summertime water temperatures at or below 68 F at Lower Granite Dam is not sufficient for adult sockeye migration in years with extreme heat waves such as 2015 and 2021, a NOAA Fisheries presenter told the Columbia Basin Technical Management Team at its year-…

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Some members of the Columbia Basin Collaborative bristled at an outline that would keep the topic of breaching the four lower Snake River dams off the table—at least until other parties exploring dam breaching have completed their work—during the group's kickoff meeting Dec. 1.

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After providing more than two decades of analyses on salmon and steelhead survival data in the Columbia Basin, an annual Fish Passage Center report could be a more useful tool for the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, BPA and other fish managers if hydro system impacts were spelled o…

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Leaders, policymakers and technical staff representing the five Native American tribes of the Upper Columbia United Tribes that lost access to local salmon runs when Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams were built say it's time to implement the second phase of a long-standing agreement to test…

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Leaders and department heads from the five tribes that make up the Upper Columbia United Tribes made impassioned pleas to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council on Nov. 17 for both funding and policy support for the next phase of salmon reintroduction into the upper Columbia River basin.

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Nuclear energy experts speaking at a Boise State University Power Talk Nov. 10 offered a long list of reasons why small modular reactors should be part of an energy transformation that fulfills clean energy goals in the Pacific Northwest.

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Preliminary estimates of survival of wild juvenile salmon and steelhead from the Snake River were so low this year that despite a high degree of uncertainty in the estimates, fish managers should be talking about potential causes of the mortality, NOAA Fisheries representative Claire McGrath…

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An agreement pausing litigation over the Columbia River System Operations for nine months could also—under average water conditions—reduce electric generation from the Columbia Basin's federal hydroelectric dams next year by 45 aMW, but BPA doesn't plan to charge customers for the cost of ad…

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Federal defendants are appealing several U.S. District Court rulings from a lawsuit that resulted in new spill, deep drawdowns and the potential to use water from power pools at hydroelectric dams during critical winter months in order to protect fish in the Willamette Valley Project.

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American shad have become so populous in the Columbia Basin that scientists worry they may be competing with salmon and steelhead for food and nursery habitat, eating their young or spreading disease. This nonnative fish that returns to the Columbia River by the millions each year has been i…

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A proposed new policy on management of nonnative game fish in Washington state will be out for public review in early November, and is scheduled for possible adoption in December by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission.

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Parties in a legal battle over the operation of federal dams in the Columbia Basin are proposing to put the litigation on hold for nine months, agreeing to a short-term operational plan for 2022 while they try to work out a long-term solution to the problem of diminishing salmon returns.

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Scientists at the University of British Columbia say in a new study they were surprised to find Chinook salmon are four to six times more abundant in the summertime foraging area of endangered southern resident killer whales compared to the area frequented by the more numerous northern resid…

A conservation group that attempted to halt commercial Chinook troll fishing off Alaska's southeast coast has convinced a federal magistrate judge in Seattle that the National Marine Fisheries Service violated federal laws when it allowed increased hatchery production in Washington state to …

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A poll of 800 Washington state voters found that a majority support a plan to remove the four lower Snake River dams when combined with federal money for clean energy, transportation improvements and preserving irrigation—similar to the plan proposed by Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), as descri…

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EPA has issued pollution permits for the four lower Snake River dams that for the first time include a requirement to adhere to temperature standards, as mandated by the Washington Department of Ecology's water quality certification.

BPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rejected a request from fish managers to scale back the use of zero nighttime flow operations at lower Snake River dams to three months, instead of the four-and-a-half months now allowed under the 2020 Columbia River System Operations EIS and BiOp.

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Pointing to this year's record-low steelhead run, some Columbia Basin fish managers are asking BPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to wait until December before using an operation that stops the flow at lower Snake River projects during the night—holding back the river for up to six hou…

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Average returns of adult Pacific lamprey to the Yakima Basin are 36 times higher than they were prior to 2012, when the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation began trapping the ancient fish in the lower Columbia River and hauling them upstream to spawn. Between 45 and 90 times a…

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As more than 1,000 steelhead continue to cross Bonneville Dam daily, the U.S. v. Oregon Technical Advisory Committee—which predicts Columbia Basin salmon runs—made another upward adjustment in its forecast for this year's A-index returns on Sept. 7.

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A deep drawdown at the Willamette Valley Project's Cougar Reservoir and new spill operations at Foster Dam are scheduled to commence this fall after U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez on Sept. 1 issued a final order in Northwest Environmental Defense Center et al. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engi…

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EPA is proposing to add Bradford Island, located within the Bonneville Dam complex, to its National Priorities List for clean up of toxic chemicals. Also known as Superfund sites, the list includes the nation's most serious contamination problems, making them eligible to receive federal fund…

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As Columbia and Snake river steelhead face yet another record-low run, fish managers in Washington, Oregon and Idaho say additional fishing restrictions won't do much to improve their odds of survival. But all three states have added restrictions on steelhead fishing since Aug. 27, including…

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Plans to install fish passage facilities at three hydroelectric projects on the Lewis River in southwestern Washington could be back on track after initially being tabled by federal agencies that had favored a proposal by PacifiCorp to consider habitat improvements in the upper watershed.

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California is not the only part of the West Coast suffering from high heat and dry conditions. While a multiyear drought prompted the state to ask for decreasing water consumption by at least 15 percent as farmers abandoned their crops and wildfires gobbled up hundreds of thousands of acres,…

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Climate change and hydroelectric dams by far bear the most responsibility for increased water temperature in portions of the Snake and Columbia rivers, according to an EPA analysis released Aug. 16.

After trapping 201 sockeye at the Snake River's Lower Granite Dam and hauling them to the Eagle Fish Hatchery in July, Idaho Department of Fish and Game scientists have now genotyped the 28 fish with an intact adipose fin and discovered that 16 of them—more than half—were Columbia River strays.

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A $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that passed the U.S. Senate Aug. 10 includes an amendment from Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) that supporters say will help the U.S. negotiate a new Columbia River Treaty that will provide more equitable entitlement payments to British Columbia.

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Electric utilities and organizations that represent them sent a letter to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown Aug. 11 asking her to withdraw or stay Oregon's July 16 request in federal court for a preliminary injunction to significantly increase spill over eight Snake and Columbia river dams beginning ne…

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A federal district judge ruled July 14 that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has the authority to conduct deep drawdowns for fish at the expense of hydropower generation in the Willamette Valley Project.

For your convenience, NewsData has compiled a list of the acronyms we utilize throughout the Clearing Up publication. Read more