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Pacific Northwest Sea Run Forum No such thing as rainbow trout, only landlocked steelhead

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Old 08-27-2001, 05:32 PM
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FISHWIRE ADVISORY: Fishletter's full text is available at

BPA started cranking up spill and flows after the agency announced Aug. 8 that they found more water in the Columbia River system than their forecast model had predicted. Actual volume at The Dalles was 58.2 MAF through July. The model had pegged it 3.5 MAF lower. BPA said it already has enough water in reservoirs to meet winter storage targets and will loosen up a bit, spill a little more for fish, sell a little more power to California and try to guess-timate effects of the price cap, new loads and the rate case on its financial reliability. Any sign that finances are heading further south will curtail the spill program, the agency said.

Fish biologists have been counting their PIT tags for weeks now to add up the damage from this year's paltry precipitation. First with an official account is the Fish Passage Center, which found that spring chinook survival from Lower Granite to McNary Dam was down from about 70 percent in a normal year to 57 percent this time around. Steelhead survival, according to PIT tag detections, was much worse. Normally on about a par with spring chinook estimates, it came in at a miserable 17 percent to McNary. But there is a caveat to all this: the fish could be playing a fast one on fish managers, hanging back in the river and waiting until next year to finish their migration. The phenomenon is called "residualism" and it's a trait that steelhead are famous for.

After this year's record-setting runs of spring chinook and steelhead in the Columbia River, fall chinook returns are a bit more ho-hum, although they'll track pretty close with returns from recent years. But with the non-Indian commercial season already under way and the tribal fishery to commence Aug. 28, fish managers are still not sure how many ESA-listed fall chinook came back to Idaho last year, though it's likely about 900 made the trip. This year's wild Snake run is expected to be much larger-- three times bigger than last year's run--over 7,600 fish entering the Columbia. After harvest and hydro impacts, they expect nearly 2,700 fish to pass Lower Granite Dam. Other biologists are still trying to figure out the size of last year's run. With so many unmarked hatchery fish, it's been a tough chore to sort them out from the truly wild ones. They say this year it will be even worse.

[4] PACIFICORP, YAKAMA NATION WILL APPLY FOR PRIEST RAPIDS LICENSE PacifiCorp and the Yakama Indian Nation have signed a preliminary agreement to file a joint competing license application with FERC for the Priest Rapids hydro project, now operated by Grant County PUD. Representatives of the utility and the tribe indicate their goal is to more broadly share the benefits of the two-dam, 1900-MW project with the region. Grant County PUD, which holds the existing license, now uses about 37 percent of the output; the rest is under contract to 12 public and private utilities, with the region's four IOUs receiving the most. The current license expires in 2005; PacifiCorp and the Yakamas must file their competing application by 2003.
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Old 08-27-2001, 05:33 PM
juro's Avatar
juro juro is offline
Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Steelhead country|striper coast|bonefish belt
Posts: 20,594
[5] COURT DISMISSES REST OF SKOKOMISH CLAIMS AGAINST TACOMA The US District Court for Western Washington has dismissed the rest of the Skokomish Tribe's damage claims against Tacoma Power for operation of its Cushman hydroelectric project. In an Aug. 9 decision, Judge Franklin Burgess denied the 14 claims remaining in the tribe's $5.8-billion damage suit and dismissed the entire cause of action. While Tacoma Power is pleased, the attorney for the Skokomish Tribe predicts an appeal.

The Power Planning Council has recommended spending more than $7 million for projects designed to mitigate for emergency power operations during this drought year. Most of the funding would go to buy up spawning habitat along a tributary of the John Day River in Oregon, with $1.6 million to pay for irrigation screens in the Yakima River. The $7 million is in addition to $24 million the council has already recommended to pay for projects designed to offset the emergency hydro operations that nearly stopped the spill program at mainstem dams.

FishWire is an Energy NewsData fish & wildlife news service reporting on salmon recovery in the Pacific Northwest. It previews each issue of NW Fishletter and is a feature of FishWEB, a public service guide to NW salmon recovery.
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