snake river

BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION

Federal agencies are a step closer to deciding how best to manage the Columbia River system and protect endangered fish. They outlined goals for a range of plans at a public meeting Thursday.

A series of public meetings this past year gave the agencies plenty to think about. They received more than 400,000 comments about how to protect endangered salmon and steelhead and, at the same time, maintain navigation channels for river traffic, control floods, and meet hydropower demands.

A new bill in Congress would make sure Washington's four lower Snake River dams stay standing. It’s push back against a recent court order to find “a new approach” to protect threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead.

That approach could include removing or altering the dams.

That's not something Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Washington, thinks would be good for the Northwest. Newhouse introduced the legislation, along with four other Northwest representatives.

Debating The Future Of Snake River Dams

Mar 31, 2017
Public domain

Pro-dam and pro-breach panelists debated the future of Snake River dams earlier this week at Washington State University. Both sides refuted each other’s facts, leaving the panel unable to find common ground.

                                                                                                                      

U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS

The state of the salmon population in Idaho’s Snake River was the topic of a passionate discussion during a conference hosted by members of Idaho’s Nez Perce Indian tribe over the weekend.

NPS Climate Change Response / FLICKR Creative Commons

A lawsuit filed today by salmon advocates aims to reverse a trend of high summer water temperatures on the Snake and Columbia Rivers.

NOAA Fisheries

Whale researchers who track the small endangered population of Puget Sound orcas say three whales are believed dead or missing since this summer. The Center for Whale Research says, as of Friday, there are only 80 animals. Two females and a 10-month old calf are believed gone.

Aaron Kunz

 

Starting Monday people will get a chance to weigh-in on a controversial question: Should four dams come down on the lower Snake River? They’re facing renewed scrutiny because of a court-ordered analysis on how the dams are harming salmon.

Courtney Flatt / Northwest Public Radio

This year’s hot summer and low river flows devastated Snake River sockeye.

Courtney Flatt / EarthFix

This year was supposed to be one of the biggest returns in 40 years for the endangered Idaho sockeye salmon. But it’s not turning out that way. Only a fraction of these fish have survived their journey up the Columbia and Snake rivers. The biggest problems: warm waters. Now dam and fish managers and tribes are in a race against time to save the few remaining fish. 

Idaho's Snake River sockeye were nearly wiped out in the 1990s. But now these salmon are on their way back. Officials released a new recovery plan Monday.

At one point, the sockeye run returning to spawn in Idaho's Redfish Lake was down to just one fish. They called him Lonesome Larry.

The species was listed as endangered, and a captive breeding program was designed to rebuild the population.

Tom Flagg is a manager with NOAA Fisheries. He says that program has paid off. Last year, more than 1,500 sockeye returned.

Dredging of the Lower Snake River started Monday after a delay of several weeks due to a court challenge.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is making a high-stakes bet that it will prevail in a pending lawsuit over Snake River dredging.

U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers / Northwest News Network

In Eastern Washington, an epic swim hole and university party spot on public land was just closed down. This past weekend, nearly 2,000 people mobbed the spot. The horde littered the place known as “The Dunes” with trash, adult-beverage containers and … well, other leavings.