Posts tagged: BPA
INVASIVE SPECIES — Having the invasive quagga mussels booming in Utah's Lake Powell is like having a deadly contagious disease at a major national airport with folks coming and going in all directions — including Idaho, a federal biologist says.
He's trying to get the word out before boaters flood out of Idaho to Utah for spring break.
Here's the story from Rob Thornberry of the Idaho Falls Post Register:
With Utah finding more quagga mussels in Lake Powell, the likelihood they will find their way to Idaho is increasing, said Lee Mabey, a forest fisheries biologist with the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.
Having the mussels in Lake Powell is like having a deadly contagious disease at a major national airport with folks coming and going in all directions, including Idaho, Mabey said. The rate of spread of the mussels could be very rapid now that Lake Powell is infected.
Mabey is trying to raise awareness of the problem before people travel south for spring break.
Data from the Idaho Department of Agriculture’s five years of boat inspections indicates Lake Powell is the most frequently visited mussel-fouled water body by Idaho boaters. Many of these vessels have been out of the water less than 30 days at the time they are inspected, posing a significant risk of transporting larval or adult mussels to the Gem State.
In 2013, Idaho inspected 568 boats that had recently come from Mead, Powell, Mohave, Havasu or Pleasant lakes. All those waters have mussels.
Idaho does not, and officials are keen on keeping it that way.
If quagga or zebra mussels take hold in Idaho, the state’s lake fisheries will be forever changed and the irrigation and hydropower industry could face millions of dollars in added expenses. Undoubtedly these expenses will be passed on to the consumer, Mabey said.
Quagga mussels are prolific breeders and attach themselves to hard and soft surfaces. Once in a lake, they filter plankton from the water, robbing fish of food.
“If we get these mussels in our lakes, it is going to turn the ecology upside down,” Mabey said. “Our fish populations would crash. It is simple biology — a lake only supports so much biomass. You can have plankton and fish or you can have plankton and mussels.”
Mabey encourages all anglers and boaters to take the threat seriously and learn about proper precautions to keep the marauders out of Idaho.
- Click here for more information on steps boaters can take to prevent spread of invasive mussels.
“We need everybody to take part in prevention,” he said. “We can’t rely on just inspection stations. We need to have a change in mentality of all users. Just like anglers have adopted catch-and-release regulation, we need boaters and all water users to adopt clean, drain and dry after each excursion.”
Jordan Nielson, a Madison High School graduate, is the aquatic invasive species coordinator for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. He said government agencies are doing well to slow the spread of mussels, but those efforts will be wasted if boaters don’t change their habits.
“We need a paradigm shift,” he said. “The state agency can only do so much. People have to realize they have a responsibility when they go boating to make sure they aren’t moving things around. It is essential.”
INVASIVE SPECIES — An Independent Economic Advisory Board update released last week indicates that the money spent – an estimated $5 million per year from a variety of sources — in attempts to ward off an invasion of non-native zebra and quagga mussels into the Columbia River basin is money well spent.
However, the report acknowledges there's still a probability the damaging species will eventually get into the Columbia and Snake River systems and raise havoc for irrigators, municipalities and hydropower managers, not to mention boaters and anglers.
See the story from the Columbia Basin Bulletin.
FISHING — The new Chief Joseph fish hatchery that will release nearly 3 million salmon to the wild each year is being dedicated today along the Columbia River in north-central Washington new Brewster, marking the opening of the first hatchery designed and built under new scientific recommendations intended to boost fish survival rates in the Pacific Northwest.
FISHING — The Chief Joseph Hatchery, designed to release up to 2.9 million chinook salmon into the Columbia River, will be dedicated and tours will be offered on Thursday (June 20) during a celebration organized by the Colville Confederated Tribes.
The $50 million state-of-the-art hatchery, between Bridgeport and Chief Joseph Dam, has been built with funding from the Bonneville Power Administration in cooperation with state and federal agencies. It will be managed by the tribe.
The facility will provide chinook for the tribe, boost Columbia sport fishing and facilitate reintroduction of spring chinook to the Okanogan River.
Read on for more details and a schedule of events and tours for the Thursday ribbon-cutting celebration.
RIVERS — In Fiscal Year 2012, the Bonneville Power Administration reported $644.1 million in total costs for its federally mandated actions to mitigate the impacts Columbia River Basin hydroelectric development has had on fish and wildlife.
The costs are listed an annual report released last week by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council to the governors of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.
The Northwest Power passed by Congress in 1980 requires BPA, which markets power generated at federal dams in the region, to fund the NPCC programs undertaken by state and federal agencies and some tribes.
Bonneville estimates the grand total expended since 1978, when the costs began, through 2012, is about $13 billion, not including $2.27 billion in capital investments for fish hatcheries and fish passage facilities at dams.
Read on for a summary of the 2012 costs, compiled by the Columbia Basin Bulletin:
FISHING – The Bonneville Power Administration may fund a salmon hatchery on the Walla Walla River proposed by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
The plan is to naturally spawning spring chinook to the Walla Walla River Basin, where they’ve been missing for more than 75 years.
The project, the latest of several in the basin, would expand the existing adult holding and spawning facility on the South Fork Walla Walla River near Milton-Freewater, Ore.
Read on for more detals from BPA.
FISHING — The BPA-funded upper Columbia River salmon hatchery being built near Bridgeport and managed under the direction of the Colville Confederated Tribes is scheduled to go online in May.
The Seattle Times posted this update on the project, which should greatly enhance salmon fishing potential in the Columbia and Okanogan rivers.
FISHING — The Lewiston Greenbelt area has been the hotspot the past two weeks for anglers cashing in on the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery on the Snake and Columbia rivers.
Harvest reports for Aug. 13-19 show 1,350 pikeminnows turned in to the Greenbelt check station by anglers for cash rewards in the program funded by the Bonneville Power Adminstration.
The next best total was 752 from Cascade Locks. Boyer Park south of Colfax has been hot, dropped to 399 this week.
The Dalles Boat Basin was by far the best producing area in June and early July, but the catch has dramatically delcined there in the past month.The total catch turned in to the 21 check stations on the two rivers that week was 6,733 pikeminnows from 939 anglers, for a rate of 7.2 fish per angler, up from 6.7 the previous week.
From May through Sept. 30, registered anglers are paid $4-$8 per fish in a program to curb the number the fish, which prey on young salmon and steelhead.
As of last week, 17,793 anglers had turned in 103,506 fish. Including bonuses for catching pikeminnows that have been tagged, some anglers have earned more than $60,000 in five months of fishing.
Info: Pikeminnow Reward Program, (800) 858-9015.
FISHING — Spokane-area angler Ed Williams earned $22,374 in this year’s Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Program, according to information just received from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
This is an update from last week’s blog post revealing that the Bonneville Power Administration paid out $1.2 million in rewards to anglers who caught and removed pikeminnows from the Snake and Columbia rivers to reduce their predation on salmon and steelhead smolts.
Williams was seventh on the list of big-money earners this year, far below the record $81,000 earned by an angler from Gresham, Ore. Anglers are paid $4-$8 per fish, plus bonuses.
Dan Geiger of Spokane earned $18,570 and finished 11th on the payout list according to the revised information.
The next pikeminnow reward season begins in May.
FISHING — Two Spokane-area men ranked in top 10 earners among anglers who collected $1.2 million from the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Program this year
Edward Williams ranked ninth while Daniel Geiger ranked 10th, bringing back tens of thousands of dollars to pump into the local economy.
However, they were no match for the No. 1 angler, Nikolay Zaremskiy of Gresham, Ore., who earned $81,000 in the program that pays anglers $4-$8 for each fish caught from the Snake or Columbia rivers from May through September. Zaremskiy caught a record 10,000 fish and earned cash bonuses for catching tagged fish.
Zaremskiy is no stranger to cashing in on pikeminnows. He set the previous record of $58,000 two years ago.
FISHING — The 2010 Northern Pikeminnow bounty program on the Snake and Columbia Rivers paid $1.2 million to anglers who helped to reduce the numbers of a salmon-eating pest called the northern pikeminnow.
One devoted angler cashed in on the deal, earning a record $81,000 during the six-month pikeminnow season, according to the Bonneville Power Administration, which funds the program.
The BPA said just over 173,000 pikeminnows were caught, helping to increase survival rates for young salmon and steelhead.
Fishermen get paid $4 to $8 for northern pikeminnow 9 inches and larger caught in the lower Columbia and Snake rivers. The more pikeminnow caught, the more the program pays. As an added incentive, specially tagged fish are worth $500.
The annual program opened May 1 and was originally scheduled to close Sept. 30 but was extended 10 days this year.