Salmon runs on the verge of extinction, more winter flooding and lower summer flows, and a shift from cold-water habitats perfect for resident trout to warmer streams where walleye, bass and other nonresident species are more likely to thrive.
With an estimated price tag of $20 million, Seattle City Light on April 7 significantly expanded its study plans proposed to FERC for relicensing its Skagit River Hydroelectric Project [P-553].
A $33.5 billion proposal by U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) for breaching four lower Snake River hydroelectric dams is unlikely to make it into President Joe Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure package, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) told The Spokesman-Review.
U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) raised a few eyebrows on March 22 when he told the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER) that the cost of maintaining the four lower Snake River dams is substantial and mentioned one Seattle study that concluded the cost of maintaining the dams is not wor…
Seventeen environmental groups say they support breaching the four lower Snake River dams, but not at the expense of a moratorium on environmental laws and the federal hydroelectric licensing that are used to protect the entire Columbia Basin from a whole host of environmental threats.
Hatchery facilities in the Columbia Basin are aging, and at some hatcheries, the infrastructure problems are starting to impact their ability to meet production goals.
To Guy Norman, there's a disconnect between how hatcheries in the Columbia Basin are perceived, and what they are doing to boost—and preserve—the Columbia Basin's salmon and steelhead numbers today.
A NOAA Fisheries study that examined the food sources of endangered southern resident killer whales from fall through spring provides important new information that can be used to help the dwindling population, which now numbers 75 individuals.
Northwest salmon managers predict that except for coho, this year's salmon and steelhead returns to the Columbia Basin will be similar to 2020, which was generally a poor year for most stocks.
Despite a massive boat inspection program to prevent quagga and zebra mussels from populating Northwest rivers and streams, the tiny creatures have found another way to reach the region—through pet stores.
Amid a torrent of requests to take a deeper look at fish passage in its federal relicensing process, Seattle City Light has agreed to expand its fish passage study to include all three dams in its Skagit River Project [P-553], and to evaluate salmon and steelhead habitat potential between an…
U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson's (R-Idaho) $33.5 billion proposal to breach four lower Snake River dams and compensate those who rely on them became a significant topic at the first public organizational meeting for a new Columbia Basin Collaborative—a draft name for the group initiated by four Nort…
State and federal climate officials offered some good news for this year's Columbia Basin water supply, and released a report documenting last year's climate statistics in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, and the impacts of droughts and floods that occurred.
A newly published study by NOAA Fisheries scientists finds that Snake River spring-summer Chinook are on a fast track toward extinction, and ocean warming is the main culprit.
Two new applications with FERC to surrender and transfer a license for the four lower Klamath River dams, as a prelude to their removal, are drawing dozens of comments and motions to intervene from individuals, organizations, tribes, government agencies and elected officials.
Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) created a big splash when he released in early February a concept with a $33.5 billion outline for breaching the four lower Snake River dams and offering economic incentives to industries and communities dependent on them.
On Feb. 6, U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) rolled out his massive $33.5 billion proposal to breach the four lower Snake River dams and compensate those who depend on them in an attempt to save Idaho's threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead runs.
For the PUDs that operate the five mid-Columbia River dams, salmon survival along the 143-mile stretch of river is a balancing act requiring no net impact on ESA-listed salmon and steelhead passing through their projects.
Nearly two years ago, U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) surprised a crowd of conference attendees in Boise when he revealed he was having behind-the-scenes conversations to figure out what it would take to breach the four lower Snake River dams.
At a fraction of historical numbers, Snake River sockeye, Chinook and steelhead are all listed as either threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, and were among the first fish in the Columbia Basin to be listed, some listings dating back to 1991.
Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson's multibillion-dollar plan to end the decades-long legal battle over salmon restoration in the Columbia Basin is a "staggering proposition" that could reshape the energy landscape in the Pacific Northwest and bring an end to nearly two decades of litigation.
The operations at 13 dams in the Willamette Basin are on the verge of change. In the next several months, a federal judge in Oregon is expected to sign off on an interim plan for operating the dams, which together make up the Willamette Valley Project.
The Washington Department of Ecology made one thing clear at its first public meeting on implementing a TMDL for temperature in the Columbia and lower Snake River—the state will not lower its standards for providing cooler water that salmon and steelhead need.
Ten environmental and fishing groups have asked a federal judge to throw out the 2020 Columbia River System Operations EIS, record of decision and biological opinion, and send them back to federal agencies to do over.
A new report from the Washington Governor's Salmon Recovery Office says too many salmon and steelhead runs in Washington are on the "brink of extinction," due in part to the changing climate, warming rivers and diminishing habitat from human population growth.
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.