Columbia River Dams

WikiCommons

Wednesday, dozens of scientists sent a letter to Northwest lawmakers in Congress. In it, they argue in favor of spilling more water over dams to help fish.

New Oil-By-Rail Project Rises On Lower Columbia River

May 24, 2017
SAM BEEBE ECOTRUST / FLICKR

A proposal by Portland General Electric to sell nine oil storage tanks on the lower Columbia River has raised concerns about a potential oil-by-rail terminal in Oregon.

The salmon cannon made a big splash a few years ago on local news stations and even had a cameo on HBO’s "Last Week Tonight" with John Oliver. Soon, it could propel fish into its biggest project yet.

Even with all the hubbub around its name, the salmon cannon isn’t so much an explosion as a flexible plastic tube that sucks fish up and over obstructions — like dams.

Helping juvenile salmon migrate out to sea has long been difficult and controversial. Barging is a common way to get the fish around dams.

The salmon are hauled around eight dams in the Columbia and Snake rivers. Idaho Conservation groups say this practice harms fish — and needs to stop now.

Seven groups sent a letter to NOAA Fisheries and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, asking the agencies to this spring stop sending salmon along their migration route in barges.

A judge has ordered federal agencies to spill more water over Columbia and Snake river dams to help threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead, though not until next year after testing.

Northwest residents are surrounded by thousands of dams, some in disrepair. And now the emergency at California’s Oroville Dam has sharpened interest in dam safety.

Federal Surveyors Investigating Oregon Dams

Nov 15, 2016
KLCC / Northwest News Network

Three dams in the Willamette Valley are being checked out by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It’s part of an ongoing program to ensure their safety and stability.

Updated -- Officials with the Grant County Public Utility District say an electrical equipment failure is to blame for an explosion at Priest Rapids Dam Thursday that injured six workers, two critically.

WikiCommons

The legal battle over maintaining dams and salmon in the Columbia River is back in court this week. On Tuesday, a new judge will hear arguments on the Obama administration's latest salmon protection plan.