Columbia River

Grant PUD

A host of problems caused the massive crack in Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River in central Washington. That’s the news out of a Grant County utility district meeting Tuesday.

Officials at five dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers will start killing birds that eat migrating juvenile salmon. They are meant to protect endangered salmon and steelhead as they begin their journey out to sea.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Dozens of central Washington fruit farmers are still high and dry without water for their valuable fruit trees. Many irrigation pipes don’t reach the lowered Columbia River behind the cracked Wanapum Dam.

But it turns out the farmers’ rush for water is now being slowed because of concerns over endangered tiny baby salmon. 

Tom Banse

Once upon a time, salmon and steelhead swam over a thousand miles upriver to the headwaters of the mighty Columbia River, there at the foot of the Rockies in British Columbia.  Those epic migrations ended in 1938 with the construction of Grand Coulee Dam.  This week, tribes from both sides of the U.S.-Canada border along with scientists and policymakers are meeting in Spokane to figure out how Columbia River fish could be restored to their entire historical range. 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library

British Columbia has staked out a negotiating position on a cross-border water treaty that puts it at odds with public utilities and rate payers in the U.S. Northwest. At issue is whether and how to renew the 50-year-old Columbia River Treaty. 

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Officials in Grant County, Wash., are asking the public to stay away from the shoreline behind the damaged Wanapum Dam. They drew down the level of the reservoir to take pressure off a cracked portion of the spillway. 

Water behind the Wanapum Dam near Vantage, Wash., is being drawn down 26 feet to relieve pressure on the big crack in the structure.

Dam operators are struggling to find a solution for a major underwater crack in the Wanapum Dam. It spans the Columbia River in central Washington near Vantage.

Oregon's state treasurer says he won't approve bonds for a new I-5 bridge across the Columbia River without a guarantee: that Oregon can collect tolls from Washington drivers.

Courtney Flatt

Pacific lamprey numbers are quickly declining throughout Northwestern waters. Tribal elders remember times when the Columbia River was black with the eel-like fish. Now, Northwest researchers are trying to develop a lamprey hatchery – the first of its kind in the world. But, there are challenges ahead.

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