EPA says that in addition to protecting and restoring 12 primary cold water refuge tributaries to the Columbia River, more cold water from the Umatilla River is needed to provide sufficient cool-water resting spots for migrating adult salmon and steelhead in the lower Columbia River.
Surplus summer Chinook salmon that traveled more than 500 river miles up the Columbia River to Wells Hatchery have continued migration after being trucked upstream and released in several locations above Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservatio…
The Public Power Council claims the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated federal laws when it decided to turn off turbines at Detroit Dam during critical power generation hours this winter.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized a new rule that allows greater lethal take of double-crested cormorants nationwide, and greater flexibility for states and tribes to manage the birds.
The late Sen. Mark Hatfield (R-Ore.) predicted it would be the single most important piece of legislation ever to affect the Pacific Northwest.
After learning about the successful operations at eight Columbia River System dams under a flexible spill agreement for the past two years, two members of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council praised the effort, while another asked about Oregon's intent to sue federal agencies despit…
After spending the past 18 months working on its recommendation, the Governor's Salmon Workgroup in Idaho officially met for the last time on Dec. 15.
Thirty-five consumer-owned utilities in Oregon and the associations that represent them told Gov. Kate Brown they are "profoundly disappointed" with Oregon's 60-day notice of intent to sue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation over the Columbia River System Operations Re…
The Fish Passage Center says a scientific article published in Fish and Fisheries in October is technically flawed, and that the data presented do not support conclusions that ocean conditions—and not hydroelectric dams—are causing serious declines in Chinook salmon runs from Northern Califo…
BPA ended the 2020 spill season with $4.7 million in additional revenue compared to how it would have fared under the 2018 court-ordered spill regime.
The State of Oregon says the Columbia River System Operations EIS' record of decision and BiOp violate the Endangered Species Act, and filed a notice on Nov. 23 of its intent to sue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation in 60 days unless dozens of alleged issues are fixed.
After losing vital facilities to Oregon's late-summer wildfires and releasing or losing hundreds of thousands of juvenile salmon and steelhead, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is now focused on minimizing impacts to the environment and meeting production goals.
PacifiCorp would transfer the operating license of the four hydroelectric projects on the lower Klamath River to the states of Oregon and California, along with the Klamath River Renewal Corporation, but would continue to pay for nearly half the costs of removing the dams, according to a dea…
The Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force has released its Phase 2 report, concluding a four-year effort expected to serve as the foundation for a new collaborative process led by four Pacific Northwest states to build healthy and harvestable salmon runs in the Columbia Basin (CU No. 1974 ).
Partnering with local Native American tribes and federal agencies, the State of Montana inspected almost 138,000 watercraft in 2020, up from just over 113,000 in 2019, and more than three times as many compared to its 2016 inspections.
A study of 123 Chinook runs from central California to southeast Alaska shows Chinook populations have dropped by 65 percent across their range over the last 50 years, and that Chinook runs in the Snake River overall have similar survival rates as those in other regions.
In two months, one collaborative process focused on building healthy and harvestable salmon and steelhead runs in Idaho will conclude its work, just as a new collaborative process with a similar goal for the entire region—currently known as the Four State Agreement—prepares to ramp up.
In the Western U.S., snowpack is an important tool for predicting annual streamflow from April through July. But Ben Livneh, a physical hydrologist and professor at the University of Colorado, says it's time to look for new ways to predict streamflow.
Adult Chinook salmon that arrive at Astoria, Ore., in early spring for the long migration up the Columbia River are twice as likely to succumb to the jaws of a California sea lion compared with those that arrive later, a new University of Washington and NOAA Fisheries study found.
Eleven environmental and fishing groups filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue federal agencies over the Columbia River System Operations EIS, record of decision and BiOp.
In a future vision of the Columbia River, 8 million adult salmon and steelhead will be produced, 2.85 million of them will return to spawn, and three-quarters of those will head to natural spawning grounds in rivers and streams while the rest go to hatcheries across the vast basin.
State and tribal fish and wildlife staff have long watched increasing numbers of Steller sea lions, which weigh as much as 2,500 pounds, gobble up salmon and steelhead at the base of Bonneville Dam, at Willamette Falls, and in other parts of the lower Columbia River.
Already in trouble, endangered Snake River sockeye will face serious migration challenges from climate change, according to a new study by NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center.
A joint letter from the governors of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana signals the start of a new collaborative effort on salmon and steelhead recovery in the Columbia Basin, which will include consideration of removing the four lower Snake River dams.
The signing of a joint record of decision for the Columbia River System Operations EIS on Sept. 28 concluded the four-year process to analyze removing the four lower Snake River dams and decide how best to operate 14 hydroelectric projects in the Columbia River system.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it plans to move forward with a plan to expand the use of zero-flow operations for an additional 45 days at four dams on the lower Snake River beginning Oct. 15, now that the record of decision for the Columbia River System Operations is signed.
On Sept. 16, EPA announced more than $2 million in grants awarded to 14 different agencies, governments, organizations and tribes for projects to help reduce toxins in the Columbia River basin.
Concerned about impacts to salmon and steelhead, some members of the Columbia River Technical Management Team are asking federal agencies not to expand the period of time when flows through lower Snake River projects can be shut down to store water for use when power demand is high.
After eight years of legal battling with Portland-based Northwest Environmental Advocates, Oregon and EPA will rewrite plans to protect cool water in 16 river basins, including several Columbia and Snake river tributaries.
New allocations for sharing harvestable Chinook salmon between commercial and recreational fishing, and allowing commercial fishing companies to use gillnets are two of the most controversial changes to the new Columbia River Salmon Fishery Management Policy, adopted in a 5-4 vote by the Was…
A recommendation to add $3.7 million to existing projects in the BPA-funded Fish and Wildlife Program in fiscal year 2021 led to discussions at a Sept. 15 Northwest Power and Conservation Council committee meeting of a possible showdown with BPA over who has power of the purse strings.
A plan to take out four lower Klamath River dams is likely to be delayed by a year and cost an additional $12.25 million, Klamath River Renewal Corporation representatives told the Oregon PUC Sept. 8.
Adult summer steelhead, which sometimes hole up in the lower Columbia River's cold spots for months before continuing their migration to upper reaches of the Snake and Columbia rivers, will now have some protection from fishing in Oregon waters when their numbers are low.
Efforts in the upper Columbia River to eradicate northern pike and prevent the voracious predator from spreading downstream were set back this year, after fishing crews that set out nets to catch adults before and during spawning season were kept home by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chinook, chum, coho and sockeye salmon throughout Alaska have gotten smaller over the last 60 years, and climate change and competition with wild and hatchery pink salmon appear to be the main reasons, according to a new study.
The states of Washington and Oregon told the Environmental Protection Agency the total maximum daily load it issued for water temperature in the lower Snake and Columbia rivers has numerous failures, and have asked for significant changes.
Three states and four tribes are now authorized to kill or move to captivity up to 540 California sea lions and 176 Steller sea lions from the Columbia Basin below McNary Dam over the next five years.
The Independent Scientific Review Panel tackled two tough issues in its latest review for the Northwest Power and Conservation Council—communication problems between the Council, BPA and the ISRP, and a need to bring perspectives from different cultures to the review process.
Much has been tried over the last two decades to help adult Pacific lamprey pass upstream over the Columbia River's major hydroelectric projects. Yet the best way to get these eel-like fish back to the deep interior reaches where they once thrived is almost as mysterious as this ancient spec…
Actual returns have far exceeded springtime estimates for this year's run of sockeye salmon returning to the Columbia River, which was already forecast to be good-sized at about 246,300 fish (CU No. 1949 ).
By all indications, the July 31 release of the Columbia River System Operations Final EIS and the Record of Decision that's expected to follow will not determine the ultimate fate of the four lower Snake River dams.
As with the draft version, federal agencies rejected breaching the four lower Snake River dams in the final EIS for Columbia River System Operations, released July 31.
The question of whether Washington state can require federal agencies to address increases in water temperature caused by reservoirs at federal hydroelectric dams is shaping up to become a potential legal battle.
FERC's July 16 decision approving only a partial transfer of PacifiCorp's Lower Klamath Project [P-14803] and requiring PacifiCorp to remain as a co-licensee is a significant wrinkle in the blueprint for removing the four lower Klamath River projects.
The Environmental Protection Agency extended the comment period on one of the hottest issues in the Columbia Basin—its study on river temperatures, released May 18.
Deferred maintenance of hatcheries in the Lower Snake River Compensation Plan leaves the Columbia Basin's major mitigation program with a huge funding hole, and no clear direction on who should pay for it.
An agreement to protect Hanford Reach fall Chinook by regulating flows at upper and mid-Columbia River dams is meeting all of its flow-level goals, and bringing more adult Chinook back to the reach to spawn.
FERC on July 2 granted late intervention to the Copco Fire Protection District, which is "vehemently against removal of the Klamath River Dams," the fire district wrote in its June 17 request to intervene in a license transfer for the four lower Klamath dams [P-2082, P-14803].
The cost of monitoring, analyzing and reporting that would be required under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency for eight dams on the Snake and Columbia rivers would create significant financial impact to BPA and the re…
Although new PIT-tag antennas were installed in December in only one spillbay at one of eight dams on the lower Columbia and Snake rivers, scientists say the data being gathered from the effort will be very helpful.