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A federal judge has ordered protection for salmon in the Columbia River basin from warm water temperatures that have been lethal to salmon and steelhead as the climate changes.
Idaho’s imperiled Snake River sockeye run has nearly matched last year’s return but hasn’t paralleled the surprising performance of sockeye that return to the upper Columbia River Basin.
A federal judge in Oregon says a massive habitat restoration effort doesn’t do enough to improve Northwest salmon runs.
In July 2012, The Spokesman-Review editorialized enthusiastically in support of new ways of paying for major irrigation system expansions in the Columbia Basin. Enthusiastically, and prematurely.
Surface water may be as close as ever for some Columbia Basin farmers who have been watching their groundwater slip away. The state Department of Ecology has water rights in hand for some of the farmers in what is known as the Odessa Subarea to move off wells and onto water from the nearby East Low Canal, east of Moses Lake.
Water releases from Sullivan Lake will allow for more residential development in northeast Washington and provide additional stream flows for fish, wildlife and recreation. The Washington Department of Ecology and Pend Oreille County Public Utility District will sign an agreement for the releases today in Newport.
State, federal and tribal leaders pledged support Thursday for restoring Columbia River watersheds through programs that reduce toxic compounds in the water. The nation’s fourth-largest river basin contains mercury, PCBs, DDT and other compounds at levels that pose health risks for people and the environment, officials said.
PORTLAND – Federal biologists will recommend four options for dealing with salmon hatchery programs that feed into the Columbia River Basin, the toughest of which would pull federal dollars from the programs. If that step is taken, the Oregonian newspaper reported, it would halve the number of Columbia Basin steelhead and salmon taken every year.
The Obama administration says it will be more aggressive in protecting declining Pacific Northwest salmon runs and will study breaching some dams as a last resort in a long-awaited management plan.