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Eye On Boise

Posts tagged: dam breaching

Latest salmon recovery plan offers no major change in strategy

The AP reports that the Obama administration has released its latest plan for making 14 hydroelectric dams in the Northwest safe for salmon; the 751-page draft supplemental biological opinion is online here. The last plan was struck down in 2011 for depending too much on habitat improvements and failing to consider the possibility of breaching four dams on the Snake River in Eastern Washington, but the new plan says that current dam operations are working fine, and habitat improvements are on track to be fully implemented by 2018; it also doesn't call for breaching the dams. A final version of the supplemental biological opinion is due out Jan. 1; click below for a full report from AP reporter Jeff Barnard.

Palouse town, farmers working to destroy old dam to restore steelhead runs

The latest project to remove a longstanding dam to restore fish runs is in north-central Idaho, reports John Miller of the Associated Press, where the town of Troy and area farmers are working to remove an unused, 93-year-old dam that blocks steelhead from reaching prime spawning grounds in the headwaters of Little Bear Creek's west fork. Until 1919, when the Dutch Flat Dam was built as a source of city drinking water, the fish had laid their eggs at the headwaters for thousands of years, Miller reports; the dam that now blocks their passage hasn't even been used since 1926.

“What's really amazing is that those fish were so tough to make it, without being able to go by the dam for so many years,” said Troy Mayor Ken Whitney said. “Hopefully, we're going to help them out a bit.” Little Bear Creek's steelhead have been listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act since 1997; click below for Miller's full report. .

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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