A longstanding debate over the benefits of spill ordered by two federal judges at eight dams on the Snake and Columbia rivers is likely to resurface with a new NOAA Fisheries study.
There are enough pockets of cold water on the Columbia River to provide migrating adult salmon and steelhead a temporary reprieve when the lower Columbia River gets uncomfortably warm, an Environmental Protection Agency study found. But these areas of cooler water likely will not be enough t…
Concerned parties have weighed in on a request by two environmental groups for the U.S. Supreme Court to review an appeals court decision that struck down the routine practice of withdrawing and resubmitting state water quality certifications for projects seeking a federal license.
A cooler and wetter fall season throughout much of the Pacific Northwest has erased all drought from the region and provided the Cascade and Rocky mountains with a "good start" to a healthy winter snowpack.
A group of scientists is pushing to breach the four lower Snake River dams, based on increasing water temperatures and concerns climate change will compound the problem.
Two Pacific Northwest tribes on Oct. 14 called for removal of three hydroelectric dams on the lower Columbia River to boost salmon populations and help feed struggling orcas.
Some groups are taking a close look at new details the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released Oct. 4 about the four alternatives being developed for the Columbia River System Operations EIS, while others are questioning the process itself.
Federal funds apportioned since 2015 to the four Northwest states to help keep quagga and zebra mussels out of the Columbia Basin are now at risk of being diluted, after Congress added four more basins spanning another 11 states, without increasing the total appropriation.
After tracking contaminants flowing into the U.S. from coal mining operations in southeast British Columbia for years, the Environmental Protection Agency has released results of its most recent study showing that selenium levels in some mountain whitefish and their eggs are exceeding its re…
Three environmental groups whose lawsuit prompted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and National Marine Fisheries Service to reinitiate Endangered Species Act consultations for the Willamette Valley Project are now asking a federal judge to grant their original claims for relief in a summary …
The Washington State Department of Ecology says it plans to adopt a final rule in December after reviewing comments on its proposal to permanently increase total dissolved gas limits in the Snake and Columbia rivers to 125 percent during spring spill season, from April 3 to June 20. The comm…
Although NOAA Fisheries’ annual memo on the survival rates of juvenile salmon and steelhead migrating through the Snake and Columbia river dams this year is still preliminary, some members of the Columbia River Technical Management Team want to know whether the data will be used to examine t…
Climate change, invasive species, the Columbia River Treaty, salmon reintroduction, and how hydropower fits into a clean energy future. These were some of the main topics explored at the International Columbia Basin Transboundary Conference in Kimberley, B.C., Sept. 12-14.
Should citizens in Canada and the U.S. establish an International River Basin Organization and use it to replace or enhance the Columbia River Treaty process? The idea was presented, debated and then discussed in small groups as the last session of Columbia Basin Transboundary Conference in …
While various attempts to reduce avian predation on young Columbia River salmon and steelhead have been successful, some of the predatory birds have simply moved to new—and potentially more damaging—locations in the estuary, a lead researcher told the Northwest Power and Conservation Council…
The first complete map of tidal wetlands that once made up vast portions of the Pacific coast’s estuaries shows 85 percent of the areas from California to Washington have been lost to development and farmland, and also confirmed the Columbia River’s tidal wetlands are only a quarter of the s…
BPA has renegotiated an extension of the Columbia Basin Fish Accords for four years with all its partners except the State of Washington, and has released the proposed agreements with states and tribes for public comment.
Biologists say last year’s wild B-run steelhead count appeared exceptionally low because the return to Snake River upper tributaries included a large fraction of unexpectedly small fish.
A new marine heat wave that’s nearly as big and as warm as the infamous "Blob" that lingered off the Pacific Coast five years ago formed off the coast of Washington this summer, and it has scientists more than a little concerned.
California Trout and Trout Unlimited are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review an appeals court ruling which found states waive their authority to issue water quality certifications on federal projects after one year, even if the application is withdrawn and later resubmitted.
Although some areas in western Washington still suffer from severe drought, climate experts say cooler-than-average highs in much of the Pacific Northwest have blunted the drought’s potential this summer, despite below-normal precipitation.
Judges for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had plenty of questions for an Environmental Protection Agency attorney arguing to overturn a lower court decision requiring EPA to make plans for resolving water temperature problems in the lower Snake and Columbia rivers.
Eighty years after the construction of Grand Coulee Dam blocked migratory fish, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation released 30 adult summer Chinook above the largest Columbia River dam.
On Aug. 26, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and five conservation groups over who’s responsible for issuing plans to deal with water temperature pollution in the Snake and Columbia rivers, and how soon those plans sh…
A NOAA Fisheries study has some bad news for southern resident killer whales. Their favorite prey—Chinook—are among the most vulnerable anadromous fish on the Pacific coast to climate change.
The Washington State Department of Ecology has proposed a permanent change to a state water quality rule that limits total dissolved gas, and would allow 125 percent saturation under certain conditions in the Snake and Columbia rivers.
An economic analysis conducted for a Seattle philanthropic organization concluded that the economic benefits of removing the four lower Snake River dams would far outweigh the costs.
To some, a new report by ECONorthwest demonstrates that if a monetary value is given to restoring the environment, the economic benefits of removing the lower Snake River dams would more than exceed the costs.
After revising cost estimates, beefing up financial assurances, getting extensions from funding sources and changing its timeline, the Klamath River Renewal Corporation is again asking FERC to transfer the license for four lower Klamath River Dams so that the process to remove them can move …
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is proposing to partner with states and pay 70 percent of the costs to implement a rapid response plan to eradicate zebra and quagga mussels if the invasive species are found in Washington, Oregon, Idaho or Montana.
After more than a year of work, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council on July 19 released a draft 2020 addendum to its 2014 Fish and Wildlife Program and scheduled a series of public hearings throughout the region to get feedback on the document.
Two conservation groups are asking a Multnomah County judge to send a water quality certification for the Hells Canyon Complex back to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality with directions to act within the law.
Fish biologists working to recover Snake River sockeye say this year’s low return—likely to be even smaller than preseason forecasts—is another bump in the endangered salmon’s long road to recovery.
State and tribal officials in Montana have stepped up efforts to prevent quagga and zebra mussels from becoming established in the Columbia Basin, and are asking for additional help from other states and the Northwest Power and Conservation Council.
Led by NOAA Fisheries, a group of stakeholders released their final report outlining a plan for recovery of all Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead, which includes provisional numbers needed to recover 24 stocks of Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead to “healthy and harvestable” levels.
A hatchery program to restore white sturgeon above Grand Coulee Dam some 15 years ago was initially so successful that agencies are now turning to anglers to remove some of the offspring the program first produced.
A new report on the status of ESA-listed salmon throughout Washington state finds that Snake River fall Chinook and Hood Canal summer chum are approaching recovery goals, while populations of upper Columbia River spring Chinook and Puget Sound Chinook have lost ground.
A top FERC official approved Klamath River Renewal Corp.’s request to develop a “Plan B” for additional funding in case the cost of removing four dams and restoring the lower Klamath River exceeds the $450 million committed to the project.
States and tribes preparing a joint application for the lethal removal of California and Steller sea lions that prey on salmon below Bonneville Dam were given funds to by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council to build barges needed in the effort.
As whale watchers were celebrating sightings of a new baby orca in Puget Sound on Jan. 10, fisheries scientist Gregory Ruggerone took comfort knowing that—despite the loss of a baby orca last year—this newest member of the endangered southern resident killer whales has a better chance of sur…
It’s far from a sure bet, but fishermen who know the secrets of catching northern pikeminnow in the Columbia River can actually quit their day jobs, go fishing and still earn a decent living.
With the goal of producing more fish for endangered orcas, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife raised 7 million additional hatchery salmon in 2018 to release this year in the Columbia River, Puget Sound and tributaries to Washington’s coast.
After finding more than a year ago that water temperature cleanup plans for rivers across Oregon must meet the biological needs of fish, a federal judge has asked the EPA, the State of Oregon and an environmental group to work together to develop a schedule to update those plans.
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council has posted the recommendations it received to amend its Fish and Wildlife Program, and is accepting comments on them until Feb. 8.
The eight federal dams on the lower Columbia and Snake rivers will spill as much water as allowed under state water-quality rules, which could trigger a rate increase from the BPA.
FERC could approve a new license for Idaho Power’s 1,167-MW Hells Canyon Complex with conflicting requirements for fish passage and reintroduction, based on a recent order.
Some Columbia Basin hatcheries would need to reduce salmon and steelhead production, while others may see increases, says a new biological opinion released Jan. 15 by NOAA Fisheries.
Conservation and fishing groups and the State of Oregon have asked for an injunction to increase spring spill at Columbia and Snake River dams and to postpone capital investments on 11 projects at four lower Snake River dams.
Adult Chinook barged as juveniles are more prone to straying than those that migrated in-river as juveniles, according to research published Dec. 2 by Transactions of the American Fisheries Society.
The Northwest Resource Information Center filed a brief in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Jan. 14 asking that the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s 2014 Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program be set aside and a new program developed to comply with the Northwest Power Act.