Salmon Plan Approved Allowing More Water Over Columbia River Dams
A federal judge has approved a plan to spill more water through dams in the Columbia River Basin this spring.
It’s part of an ongoing lawsuit over how to manage dams to protect threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead.
Last year, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon ordered dam managers to develop a plan to spill more water on the Columbia and Snake rivers to help fish.
Spilling more water means generating less power, which could raise the price of electricity.
EarthJustice attorney Todd True represents the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, including conservation groups, the state of Oregon and the Nez Perce Tribe. He says spilling more water will help move baby salmon downriver toward the ocean while avoiding dangerous turbines.
“It’s something we can do immediately that will help salmon that are on the brink of extinction,” he said. “The federal agencies have refused to provide spill at this level in the past so the court has ordered them to do that.”
The court ordered as much spill as the law allows. State laws set limits on how much water can be spilled over dams before the gases produced in the process may become harmful to fish.
Dam managers with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers submitted their new spill plan to the court last month. They will start spilling more water through dams in April.
Copyright 2018 Earthfix
Cormorants by the thousands have taken up residence under the landmark Astoria-Megler Bridge over the Columbia River. Their poop can corrode the bridge and that is unacceptable to the Oregon and Washington transportation departments. But what actions to take against the protected birds and whose responsibility that is are up in the air. Continue Reading In Astoria, Cormorant Birds Take Over Iconic Bridge, And Salmon Below Are On The Menu
A team of researchers presented their findings on Tuesday to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. In short, they said, salmon can survive in the upper reaches of the Columbia Basin, and fish passage needs to happen above Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams. Continue Reading Tribes Say Fish Passage Above Grand Coulee Dam Is Possible
The fight to save Columbia River salmon could hinge on a major battle taking place in the basin’s biggest reservoir. It pits biologists against a fish: The invasive northern pike. Continue Reading The Fight Is On To Save Columbia River Salmon From A Toothy Invader