Save Our wild Salmon: The Blog
Where we candidly and accurately react to and reflect on current affairs impacting wild salmon and salmon jobs. And of course, never missing the opportunity to point out that those obsolete dams on the Lower Snake River need to go. Bloggers include SOS staff, with occassional guest entries.
An enhanced spill experiment – costs and carbon impacts are modest and manageable.
From the desk of Marc Krasnowsky, NW Energy Coalition. December 3, 2013
The NW Energy Coalition has released a pair of fact sheets addressing regional salmon scientists’ proposed experiment to measure survival gains from spilling more water over federal hydropower dams to aid the ocean-bound migration of Columbia Basin endangered wild salmon than is now required by the federal court. Court-ordered spill has increased returns of adult fish, and many regional scientists have concluded that additional spill could raise those returns even further - potentially to recovery levels for some of the endangered stocks.
• Enhanced spill: Consumer bills and CO2 emissions link compares the effect of expanded spill on consumer electric rates and bills and on greenhouse gas emissions. It does so by comparison with a much greater hydrosystem change: removal of the four lower Snake River dams. The region’s official power planning agency – Northwest Power and Conservation Council analyzed the effects of lower Snake River dam removal (coupled with a reduction in coal-fired power) and found that wholesale rates might rise slightly but consumer/residential bills still would go down from current levels due to high, ongoing achievements in energy efficiency. Regional carbon emissions could be minimally affected depending on the amount and type of replacement power.
Seattle Times: Elwha River sees largest run of Chinook in decades
November 17, 2013
The largest run of Chinook salmon in decades returned to the Elwha River this fall, according to officials with the Olympic National Park.
PORT ANGELES, Wash. —The largest run of Chinook salmon in decades returned to the Elwha River this fall, according to officials with the Olympic National Park.
Fish are streaming into stretches of the Elwha River and its tributaries that were formerly blocked by the Elwha Dam, park officials said Friday on its website.
The Elwha Dam, one of two dams on the river, stood for nearly a century before it came down in 2012.
Removal of the remaining 210-foot tall Glines Canyon Dam resumed last month after nearly a year hold to give officials time to fix problems at new water-treatment facilities built as part of the $325 million river restoration project.
During a one-day survey in September, biologists counted 1,741 adult Chinook and mapped 763 reds between the remnants of the Glines Canyon Dam and the river mouth. About 75 percent of those were spotted upstream of the former Elwha Dam site, park officials said.
The biologists navigated over 13 miles of the Elwha River and tributaries, walking and snorkeling to find living and dead salmon along the river from Glines Canyon Dam to the river mouth. They also surveyed lower portions of three river tributaries, including Indian Creek, Hughes Creek, and Little River.
Columbia Basin Bulletin: B.C. Releases Draft Columbia River Treaty Recommendations, Wants Full Accounting Of U.S. Benefits
Posted on Friday, October 18, 2013
Canada’s British Columbia Province this week released draft recommendations for a new Columbia River Treaty, saying the current treaty “does not account for the full range of benefits in the United States or the impacts in British Columbia,” and that salmon migration above Grand Coulee is not a treaty issue.
The draft recommendations say the “ongoing impacts to the Canadian Columbia Basin to meet Treaty requirements should be acknowledged and compensated for.
“All downstream U.S. benefits, such as flood risk management, hydropower, ecosystems, water supply, recreation, navigation and any other relevant benefits, including associated risk reduction arising from coordinated operations compared to alternatives available to each country, should be accounted for and such value created should be shared equitably between the two countries.”
Please Take Action:
Columbia/Snake salmon need a lawful, science-based plan!
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD BEFORE THE OCT. 7 COMMENT DEADLINE!
Please submit your 'official comment' to the Obama Administration re: its new Draft Salmon Plan for Columbia and Snake River wild salmon and steelhead. The comment deadline is Monday, Oct. 7.
(1) Copy and paste NOAA-Fisheries' email address (below) into a new email message, and
(2) Copy and paste our suggested 'subject line' and 'comment letter' (also below) into the body of that email message.
BACKGROUND: On September 9, federal agencies released a Draft Plan for endangered wild salmon and steelhead populations in Columbia and Snake Rivers. Unfortunately for the Pacific Northwest's iconic fish, fishing communities, and our rivers, the 'new' plan is virtually identical to the previous plan rejected by a federal judge in 2011 as inadequate and illegal. In fact, the latest draft would actually allow for a rollback of existing salmon protections - including "salmon spill," a highly effective measure where some water is sent over federal dams in the spring and summer - delivering young out-migrating salmon to the ocean more quickly and safely.
By repeating the mistakes of the previous three illegal plans (that's right - three [!] consecutive plans have been ruled illegal over the past decade; this latest document is a draft of a fourth attempt), the federal agencies are squandering a huge opportunity to help endangered salmon now, provide a much-needed boost to the fishing economy, produce a legally- and scientifically-sound plan that gets the region out of the courtroom, and increases momentum for a regional collaboration that can develop effective, long-term shared solutions for Northwest communities, businesses, and salmon.
The good news here: this is still a DRAFT plan; the final is expected in December. We have a chance to fix this plan and begin to put salmon restoration on track.
PLEASE TAKE ACTION BELOW! Contact NOAA-Fisheries - urge it to strengthen their Draft Plan by including provisions such as expanded spill that will provide endangered salmon and steelhead the help they need in near-term, and increase momentum for a regional collaboration.
Here's how to submit your 'official comment':
(2) COPY/PASTE SUBJECT: Columbia/Snake salmon need a lawful,
(3) COPY/PASTE LETTER to NOAA-FISHERIES:
Mr. William Stelle, Northwest Regional Administrator
7600 Sand Point Way Northeast
Seattle, WA 98115
Dear Mr. Stelle,
I am writing to express my deep disappointment about the flawed and inadequate Draft Columbia-Snake Salmon Plan, and to ask that the final version be significantly strengthened before it is released at the end of this year. An effective, lawful and science-based plan will provide much-needed help to imperiled salmon and steelhead in the near-term and - if we can break out of the current rut of litigation - help build additional momentum for a regional collaboration to craft shared solutions for the connected salmon, energy and transportation challenges we face in the Columbia Basin and Northwest.
Wild salmon and steelhead represent priceless cultural, economic, recreational and ecological treasures for the people of the Pacific Northwest and nation. In the Columbia Basin, however, thirteen stocks of wild salmon and steelhead remain at risk of extinction due in large part to the impacts of the federal dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers - a risk that's further compounded by a long series of expensive, illegal plans produced by NOAA, in partnership with Bonneville Power Administration and other federal agencies.
I am especially concerned that your latest draft salmon plan is virtually indistinguishable from earlier versions - despite clear direction from a federal court to consider new and stronger measures - and even rolls back existing salmon protections. I urge NOAA to make changes that improve and strengthen the plan in its final form.
"Salmon spill" - sending water and fish over the tops of dams to help them reach the ocean more quickly and safely - is one of our most effective measures in the near-term to help salmon and steelhead survive the lethal dams and reservoirs in the Columbia Basin. Since 2006, the federal agencies have been required under court order to spill water and the results
are undeniable. This program has improved the survival of young smolts migrating to the ocean and increased the numbers of adult salmon that return.
Regional state, Tribal, and federal salmon scientists have recently determined that additional spill in the spring and summer months could significantly increase salmon survival, which could in turn be sufficient to begin to restore at least some Columbia River stocks. In contrast to this emerging scientific consensus, NOAA's draft plan would allow dam operators to eliminate spill in August and curtail it in May. In its failure to address the concerns of the court, this plan squanders an opportunity to provide near-term help for endangered salmon and steelhead, move beyond the courtroom, and build additional momentum for a regional collaboration that can help resolve these issues over the long-term.
I ask that you change course and submit an effective, lawful, science-based plan that meets the near-term needs of salmon and steelhead, particularly through inclusion of an expanded spill program, and lays the groundwork for the regional collaboration we need to address the linked challenges that face salmon, energy and transportation in the Columbia-Snake Basin.
Thank you for your consideration of my comments.
Your Name and Address
LA Times: Big chinook run doesn't let Columbia dams off the hook, activists say
Salmon counters at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River are seeing the biggest chinook run since 1938, but environmentalists still worry.
By Maria L. La Ganga
September 24, 2013
BONNEVILLE DAM, Wash. — The tiny fish-counting station, with its window onto the Columbia River, was darkened so the migrating salmon would not be spooked. And it was silent — until the shimmering bodies began to flicker by.
Then the room erupted with loud clicks, as Janet Dalen's fingers flew across her stumpy keyboard. Tallying the darting specimens, she chanted and chortled, her voice a cross between fish whisperer and aquatic auctioneer. Her body swayed from left to right. Her tightly curled bangs never moved.
"Come on, come on, come on," Dalen urged, as she recorded chinook and steelhead, sockeye and coho. "Treat the fish counter nice. Keep going, sweetheart. That's a good girl.… Pretty boy! Salute to the king! He's a dandy. Beautiful, beautiful. Lotta fun. Just can't beat it. An amazing year."
Lewiston Morning Tribune: Feds deal blow to Nez Perce Tribe, salmon advocates - Latest bio-op draft avoids calls for dam breaching, increasing spills over dams to restore salmon runs
By ERIC BARKER of the Tribune | Sept 10, 2013
To the chagrin of salmon advocates, the federal government Monday renewed its focus on easing dam-related mortality on wild salmon and steelhead by improving tributary and estuary habitat.
The latest draft of its biological opinion on the dams does not seek to spill more water at the dams, nor does it call for breaching the four lower Snake River dams - two measures salmon advocates, including the Nez Perce Tribe and a coalition of environmental groups - have backed.
The Nez Perce and the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition have successfully challenged the government's previous four biological opinions, the latest coming in 2011. In that case, federal Judge James Redden at Portland, Ore., ruled the plan illegal because it depended on unspecified habitat improvement projects to make up for fish killed at the dams.
The 751-page draft plan released Monday, commonly called a bio-op, attempts to fix that shortcoming by laying out a course of specific actions that will be taken through 2018 in tributaries and the Columbia River estuary. As with earlier versions, Bruce Suzumoto, head of the National Marine Fisheries Service hydro division, said government scientists believe those improvements - which cost an estimated $30 million annually - will boost survival of wild juvenile salmon enough to offset the number that are killed by the dams.
- Sep 05, 2013 - SOS and Idaho River Adventures on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River
- Aug 31, 2013 - Announcing a leadership transition for SOS
- Aug 15, 2013 - Save Our wild Salmon submits comments on the Columbia River Treaty
- Jul 15, 2013 - Save the law that protects America's natural capital.
- Jul 15, 2013 - Seattle Times: Lamprey Eel - bringing back an ancient species
- Jun 07, 2013 - High Country News Book Review: Elwha, a story of today's West
- May 13, 2013 - All Scientists Are Saying Is…"Give (More) Spill A Chance."
- Apr 10, 2013 - Chicago Tribune: Interior Department recommends removal of Klamath River dams to aid salmon
- Mar 05, 2013 - Farewell to Fenton Roskelley - outdoor writer, sportsman, and conservationist
- Jan 30, 2013 - Change on the Fly
- Jan 17, 2013 - Save Our wild Salmon Coalition welcomes new BPA administrator Bill Drummond
- Jan 11, 2013 - In Gratitude
- Jan 08, 2013 - Thank you for a successful End-of-2012 Fund Drive!
- Dec 04, 2012 - Confusing sockeye hatcheries with sockeye recovery
- Nov 07, 2012 - NOAA, We Have a Problem
- Oct 25, 2012 - Thank you for 13 excellent years
- Oct 22, 2012 - Looking to the Future: New report challenges the Northwest’s aging dam infrastructure
- Oct 08, 2012 - Run Wild for Salmon athletes exceed their goal.
- Oct 04, 2012 - Senator Wyden Supports New Approach to Salmon Restoration
- Oct 01, 2012 - Feds Maintain Status Quo as Salmon Numbers Struggle
- Sep 27, 2012 - Author attempts world record run for salmon
- Sep 25, 2012 - “I’m Pro-Salmon, and I Vote”
- Sep 21, 2012 - A Baker's Dozen
- Sep 18, 2012 - Salmon, Coal, and the Columbia River’s Future
- Sep 14, 2012 - The salmon aren’t celebrating Bonneville’s 75th
- Sep 07, 2012 - Run Wild for Salmon - Meet the Runners
- Aug 30, 2012 - Boil On Columbia
- Aug 28, 2012 - 2012 Salmon and Steelhead Returns Still Poor
- Aug 14, 2012 - The Worst Dam Bill Ever
- Aug 06, 2012 - The Most Interesting Fish in the World
- Aug 03, 2012 - In Virginia: Dam Removal Helping Eels
- Aug 01, 2012 - Outdoor Retailer is here!
- Jul 25, 2012 - Outdoor Idaho Focuses on Idaho's Salmon
- Jul 23, 2012 - Run Wild for Salmon - Portland Marathon 2012
- Jul 19, 2012 - If you un-build it, the fish will come
- Jul 16, 2012 - Rivers Gone Wild! - Patagonia-style...
- Jul 13, 2012 - Roll On Columbia Roll On
- Jun 29, 2012 - Sockeye Numbers at Bonneville Dam are Encouraging
- Jun 28, 2012 - Saving Salmon to Save Orcas
- Jun 25, 2012 - Maine's Great Works and the Columbia-Snake Opportunity
- Jun 21, 2012 - Lamprey Summit Sets a Good Example
- Jun 20, 2012 - Victory: Highway to Hell Defeated
- May 21, 2012 - Book a river trip and help support SOS
- May 18, 2012 - TAKE ACTION: Visualize your support for salmon!
- May 15, 2012 - Solutions for one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers
- May 11, 2012 - Spill, Judge Redden, and the Need for a New Process
- May 03, 2012 - Mother's wants a seat at the table
- Apr 26, 2012 - Judge Redden Supports Dam Removal
- Mar 24, 2012 - Men's Journal Features LSR Dam Removal
- Mar 07, 2012 - Court-Ordered Spill Helps Salmon Returns and Jobs
- Feb 22, 2012 - HB 4101: Serious Issue, Bad Bill
- Feb 21, 2012 - Paul Fish: Salmon Super Hero
- Feb 15, 2012 - Showing NOAA Some Love for Valentine’s Day
- Feb 07, 2012 - Toxic Oil Spill on the Lower Snake; What Next?
- Feb 01, 2012 - Sea Change for Port of Lewiston?
- Jan 25, 2012 - Mascot Love at Outdoor Retailer
- Jan 19, 2012 - Osprey Packs to host Buster, Ice-P, Bigfoot, and Timmy O'Neil at Outdoor Retailer
- Jan 12, 2012 - Outside Sees Momentum for Dam Removal in 2012
- Jan 10, 2012 - Patagonia’s Salmon Super Heroes
- Jan 06, 2012 - Salmon…and bikinis?