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Weekly Fish and Wildlife News
October 14, 2011
Issue No. 594

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Table of Contents

* Report: ESA-Protected Steller Sea Lions Show Increased Presence, Salmon Take In Lower Columbia

* USFWS Releases Pacific Lamprey Assessment, Template For Restoring ‘Priority Species’ In Columbia Basin

* New Fish Passage For Umatilla River Lamprey Helps Spur Higher Than Expected Adult Return

* ISAB Reviews Fish Passage Memos On Long-Standing Issue Of Delayed Mortality In Migrating Salmon

* Council Recommends BPA Funding For 8-Year, $10 Million Tucannon River Project To Boost Salmon, Steelhead

* Idaho Power Begins Fall Chinook Flow Regime; Lower Granite Counts Show Good Spawner Numbers

* Report Shows Energy Efficiency Efforts In 2010 Marked Biggest Megawatt Savings Gain In 30 Years

* Transplanted Bull Trout Spawning In Clackamas River Tributary, First Time In Over 50 Years

* Bonneville Power Makes Scheduled $830 Million Treasury Payment For FY 2011

* Ocean Observatories Initiative Moving Forward With Undersea Gliders, ‘Endurance Array’ Off NW Coast

* Science Advisory Panel Urges, Comprehensive ‘Landscape Approach’ To Fish, Wildlife Restoration

* USFWS Says Northern Leatherside Chub, Found In Snake River Drainages, Does Not Warrant ESA Listing


* Report: ESA-Protected Steller Sea Lions Show Increased Presence, Salmon Take In Lower Columbia

The good news for salmon advocates was that California sea lions’ consumption of fish below the Columbia River’s Bonneville Dam was down in the spring of 2011 after steady increases each year since 2004.

But the bad news may be that Steller sea lions were snapping up more spring chinook salmon and steelhead than ever before, according to the “2011 Field Report: Evaluation of Pinniped Predation on Adult Salmonids and Other Fish in the Bonneville Tailrace, 2011” prepared by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers researchers Robert Stansell, Karrie M. Gibbons, William T. Nagy, and Bjorn K. van der Leeuw.

The report can be found at:

The Corps since 2002 has been observing the behavior of predatory California sea lions, as well as other pinnipeds, in an attempt to estimate the big marine mammals’ impact on steelhead and spring chinook salmon stocks that are listed under the Endangered Species Act.

Until recent years Stellers in the vicinity seemed to focus almost exclusively on white sturgeon that have tended, at least in recent years, to huddle together in relatively large numbers below the dam. And the California sea lions stuck mostly to chinook salmon.

The CSLs in 2011 did again take the majority of the salmon and steelhead that were observed taken below the dam, but their share is slipping.

“The CSL were the primary predator of salmonids, accounting for 70.9 percent (n=1,550) of the 2,186 observed catches in 2011,” according to the report released this week. “This percentage is lower than was seen in previous years, as observed salmonid catch by SSL increased from 0.3 percent (n=12) in 2007, 3.8 percent (n=162) in 2008, 10.1 percent d (n=300) in 2009 and 16.2 percent (n=634) in 2010 to 29.1 percent (n=636) in 2011.”

The estimates of salmon take includes observed daytime catch that is interpolated for hours and days not observed and adjusted to factor in captured fish that observers could not identify.

Observers were stationed at each of the three major tailrace areas of Bonneville Dam -- Powerhouse 1 near the Oregon shore, Powerhouse 2 on the Washington shore and in the spillway mid-river spillway. They used binoculars to observe and record pinniped presence, identify and record fish catches, and identify individual California and Steller sea lions when possible.

Observers completed over 3,315 hours of observations between Jan. 7 and May 31, 2011.

“During that period, observers saw pinnipeds catch and consume 4,489 fish of several species. Adult salmonids were the primary prey item, comprising 48.7 percent (n=2,186) of observed catches. White sturgeon and American shad (Alosa sapidissima) were the second and third most commonly identified prey types, comprising 30.1 percent (n=1,353) and 2.1 percent (n=93) of total observed catch respectively.

“Observers were unable to identify 18.6 percent (n=833) of the fish caught and consumed by pinnipeds during this period. This was higher than any previous year and was primarily due to Steller sea lions taking prey in the far downstream range of the viewing areas,” the report says.

“While surface observations are a useful tool for assessing sea lion diet at Bonneville Dam, pinnipeds can consume smaller prey underwater unseen by observers, so all consumption estimates and associated impacts outlined in this report should be considered minimum estimates,” according to the report.

The report notes that “the last few years, SSL were often observed swallowing steelhead whole, suggesting that they could consume steelhead and chinook salmon jacks entirely below the surface. All consumption estimates provided are minimum estimates, but it should be noted that SSL predation may be underestimated more than CSL predation by the current surface observation methods.” Stellers are the larger of the two species with some males topping out at as much as 2,500 pounds. The largest California sea lion males don’t get much over 1,000 pounds, according to species descriptions posted by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The researchers’ adjusted salmon consumption estimate for 2011 includes 2,689 taken by CSLs and 1,282 taken by SSLs. The total salmonid (salmon and steelhead) take estimate amounted to 1.8 percent of the total number of spawners reaching the dam, which is located 146 river miles from the Pacific Ocean. That’s the lowest percentage of take estimated since at least 2004.

“The estimated percent of the run taken has declined each year since a high of 4.2 percent in 2007, reflecting an increase in the run size each year since 2007,” until a slight dropoff this year.

The estimates of the actual number of salmonids taken by salmonids has risen each year, until 2011. The peak estimate was 6,321 in 2010 (2.4 percent of the run that year; the estimate this year is 3,970).

“In 2011, the expanded white sturgeon consumption estimate for our study area was 2,178, continuing the upward trend of predation on sturgeon in the Bonneville Dam tailrace,” according to the report. “When unidentified catch was divided proportionally according to daily catch distributions and added to the expanded sturgeon consumption estimate, the adjusted consumption estimate was 3,003.”

During the first year (2005) that Steller sea lion consumption of sturgeon was tallied only one was observed taken. But the number of Stellers camped out below the dam in late winter and spring, and their consumption, has increased every year since.

“White sturgeon were the most commonly observed prey for SSL. Stellers made 99.8 percent (n=1,350) of the 1,353 observed sturgeon catches in 2011.”

The sea lion population that zeroes in on salmon, white sturgeon, shad, lamprey and other fish below the dam has become dominated by the Stellers.

“The estimated number of individual pinnipeds observed at Bonneville Dam in 2011 was 144, lower than last year but the second highest since observations began in 2002,” the report says. “SSL numbers continued to rise in 2011 to 89 individuals. The 32 SSL observed on one day in 2011 was not as high as the 53 SSL seen last year.” In the first year of the study there were no SSLs observed at the dam, but their number started to grow slowing with each passing year. The number at the dam nearly tripled from 2009 (26) to 2010 (75).

“CSL numbers dropped in 2011 to 54 after jumping up to 89 in 2010,” the report says. The CSL total matched 2009’s, which was the lowest number since the first year of the study.

“Over the past two years, unusually large numbers of CSL have moved north of California after the summer breeding season. In 2009 this was likely the result of a significant warm water event related to El Nino that caused many CSL to move northward in search of cooler waters and abundant prey.

In 2009 and 2010, increasing numbers of young, sub-adult sea lions have been observed at many locations in Oregon and Washington (Robin Brown, ODFW, Steve Jeffries, WDFW, pers. comm.),” the report says. “The increase in CSL at Bonneville Dam in 2010, many of which were not seen at the dam before, could be the result of this large group of young males exploring new areas, such as the Columbia River, to prey on fish. Many of these animals had not been seen at the dam before.”

The report suggests that the 2011 numbers may reflect the removal of 40 California sea lions, most of which were trapped below the dam, during 2008-2010. The states of Idaho, Oregon and Washington in the spring of 2008 was granted the authority to lethally remove individually identifiable California sea lions that are known to prey on listed salmon. The authority was granted by NOAA Fisheries via an exemption to Marine Mammal Protection Act protections. That avenue is not available to control Steller sea lions, which themselves are ESA protected.

NOAA’s decision was declared illegal by a federal appellate panel in November 2010.

The report noted the “… large drop in both the CSL salmonid predation and CSL abundance for 2011 to levels not seen since 2003. These results show the full impact of the three years of the CSL removal program conducted 2008 through 2010, as the full impact of those animals removed in 2010 could not be fully realized until the results of the 2011 season were in.

“It does appear to indicate that the removal program was gradually reducing the abundance and predation on salmonids caused by CSL. However, the unusual event of the influx of large numbers of new CSL males showing up at Bonneville Dam tailrace in 2010, coupled with the virtual halting of removal actions in 2011, have and will make further analysis of this program more difficult.

“The increasing presence and salmon predation by SSL at Bonneville Dam could also continue to complicate the issue, if current trends persist.”


* USFWS Releases Pacific Lamprey Assessment, Template For Restoring ‘Priority Species’ In Columbia Basin

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week released its “Pacific Lamprey Assessment and Template for Conservation Measures,” the first phase of a broader initiative to conserve and restore the species throughout its range.

One of the oldest fish on Earth, the species is found across much of the Pacific Northwest and California.

The assessment is a comprehensive effort to inventory Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) distribution, recent population trends and data gaps in ecological and life-history knowledge, and provide a catalogue of the threats to the species by geographic location.

The assessment provides guidance for collaborative research, monitoring and evaluation, as well as a risk assessment and framework to help prioritize threats and actions to conserve lamprey.

The document was drafted with collaboration between the Service and partners, particularly West Coast Native American tribes, who provided data, guidance and feedback.

“Hopefully, there is a day, years from now, when natural resource professionals, conservationists and tribal members breathe a collective sigh of relief because Pacific lamprey are abundant once more,” said Michael Carrier, the Service’s Pacific Region assistant regional director for Fishery Resources. “And perhaps, they will reflect on this assessment and the tremendous partnership of government and tribal scientists who contributed to it as the important first step in restoring this iconic fish.”

The Pacific lamprey is considered a priority species by the Service. Many tribes ranging from California to Alaska also regard the fish as culturally and ecologically important. Pacific lamprey migrate from freshwater to saltwater and back again and are a key food source for marine mammals and birds, potentially providing a buffer from these predators for salmon and steelhead protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Pacific lamprey abundance and distribution has declined significantly over the past three decades due to a variety of factors, including: barriers to migration from dams, diversions and other in-stream structures; altered water flows or dewatered stream reaches; dredging; degraded water quality and floodplains that lamprey use for habitat; poor ocean conditions and impacts from climate change.

The Pacific Lamprey Conservation Initiative emerged from tribal treaty summits in 2004 and 2008 in which Columbia River Basin treaty tribes – the Umatilla, Warm Springs, Nez Perce and Yakama Nation – urged the Service and other federal agencies to implement protective measures and initiate restoration actions. The assessment has incorporated elements of the draft Tribal Pacific Lamprey Restoration Plan for the Columbia River Basin and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 10-year Pacific Lamprey Passage Plan.

Both of these plans and the assessment will help guide the next two phases of the Service’s Pacific Lamprey Conservation Initiative. These include developing a range-wide Conservation Agreement among initiative stakeholders and then crafting Regional Implementation Plans in which research needs and conservation actions are prioritized.

“We’ve already been hard at work with our partners, including federal agencies, states, tribes, public utilities and non-profit organizations, by improving monitoring and evaluation techniques and implementing restoration activities to ensure that we make progress to restore Pacific lamprey while we plan,” said Howard Schaller, Western Lamprey Conservation Team lead and manager of the federal agency’s Columbia River Fisheries Program Office.

Lamprey restoration efforts have actually been underway since the 2004 summits and are expected to increase with the issuance of the Service’s Assessment. Earlier this year, the Service published the “Best Management Practices to Minimize Adverse Effects to Pacific Lamprey” to assist partners, organizations and individuals interested in protecting Lamprey habitat.

For more information about the Pacific lamprey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Pacific Lamprey Conservation Initiative, visit:


* New Fish Passage For Umatilla River Lamprey Helps Spur Higher Than Expected Adult Return

It may not seem like a lot, but the return of 138 lamprey to a specially designed ladder on the lower Umatilla River, an eastern Oregon tributary of the Columbia River, has surprised fisheries experts who expected smaller returns that would take much longer to materialize.

“We’re trying to figure out why we have so many more in the Umatilla,” said Aaron Jackson, lamprey technician for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the tribe leading an effort to restore the prehistoric fish.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week released its Pacific Lamprey Assessment and Template for Conservation Measures, the first phase of a broader initiative to conserve and restore the species throughout its range. (See story above: “USFWS Releases Pacific Lamprey Assessment, Template For Restoring ‘Priority Species’ In Columbia Basin” http://www.cbbulletin.com/413276.aspx)

Additionally, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has established a Juvenile Larval Lamprey Work Group that likely will consider a number of methods for monitoring passage at Columbia River dams, said Jackson, a member of the working group. Those methods could include tagging juvenile lamprey and then following their migration downstream as 5-7-inch juveniles to the Pacific Ocean and back 10-30 months later as adults to their spawning grounds throughout the Columbia River Basin.

Also, a Tribal Lamprey Management Plan is going through final editing before it will be released by the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission in the next few months.

“It’s (Tribal Lamprey Management Plan) calling for serious attention,” Jackson said. “The funding gates need to start opening so we can learn more about lamprey. At one time there were probably several million in the Columbia Basin and it’s not unfathomable that we could have as many as 20,000 in the Umatilla River. The populations are depressed and we’re struggling to figure out why that is.”

Jackson said restoring lamprey in the Columbia River Basin will require passage improvements for both migrating juveniles and adults. Juveniles have an option of using a screened salmon bypass system, where they often are impinged in the screen mesh, through “strike and shear” turbines, or over spillways.

“We’re trying to figure out the best route,” Jackson said.

This year, again for an unknown reason, the number of adult lamprey returning to the Columbia River from the Pacific Ocean is higher than normal. This year’s run of an estimated 50,000 lamprey is twice the number that passed over Bonneville Dam last year.

Those numbers are estimates, Jackson said, because lamprey counting occurs for about 16 hours during the day, and not during the night when lamprey are most active.

“We want 24 hour counts,” Jackson said. “The four tribes (CRITFC members) have asked the Corps to fund CRITFC and the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department that oversees the counting at The Dalles and John Day dams.”

Regardless of the total numbers, the run is reduced dramatically before it reaches the Umatilla River as the lamprey navigate The Dalles and John Day dams, and enter other tributaries (John Day, Deschutes, Klickitat, Wind River rivers, and Herman Creek).

“We’re losing 50 percent at every dam,” Jackson said. “That means this year that through attrition we’re down to 25,000 at The Dalles and then 12,500 at the John Day.”

Without proper monitoring, it’s hard to say exactly how many are reaching the Umatilla.

“I’d like to say the adult returns are from our translocation program, but it’s difficult to say without tagging or some kind of detection,” Jackson said. “We’re talking about PIT tagging juveniles in the Umatilla and if we get them back as adults then we can say they were reared in the Umatilla.”

Although they can’t say whether or not the returning adults were spawned in the Umatilla from released adults (annually as many as 600 to as few as 68, depending on the number gathered from John Day Dam) in the headwaters over the last 11 years, the Umatilla Tribes can point with “excitement” to this year’s return, which is eight times higher than last year’s count of 17 adults.

The increase can be attributed to a number of positive things, Jackson said, not the least of which is higher flows in the lower three miles of the Umatilla River. That section of the river often dries up between May and October, just before and just after the peak migration of lamprey, which cross over the John Day Dam in a July-to-August window. To remedy that low-water problem, the Bonneville Power Administration is funding baseline flows of about 75 cubic feet per second through the federal Umatilla Basin Project, which exchanges water from the Columbia River for farmers who leave the same amount in the Umatilla for fish during the spring growing season.

Jackson believes that extra water is pushing out into the Columbia juvenile lamprey pheromones (a chemical substance that triggers reproduction) that attract adult lamprey moving up the Columbia.

Those pheromones were stopped at Three Mile before the additional BPA-funded flows during that peak adult migration period. Once the adults entered the Umatilla River they also were stopped at Three Mile, a concrete diversion built by the federal government to irrigate lands in the early 1900s, which, incidentally, caused expiration of salmon.

But now the new lamprey ladder on the east side of the river is giving tribes hope that lamprey can make a comeback. Built with funding from BPA’s 10-year Accords Project Funding and a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wildlife grant, the lamprey ladder project is designed to see if lamprey can better reach waters above diversion dams, in this case Three Mile Falls Dam. Prior to the lamprey ladder, the fish – sometimes called eels – had to use outdated salmon bypass ladders or suck their way up and over about 20 feet of concrete to the other side.

“Of the 138 we counted, 115 used the new ladder and 23 used the old salmon fish way or climbed the dam,” Jackson said.

The fish ladder, with sharp 90 degree corners, was not suited to lamprey, which rely on the suction of their mouths to reach the waters above Three Mile Falls Dam. The new ladder has rounded edges with a 45 degree climb so lamprey can keep their attachment up and over the structure.

Although the value of the fish has been generally dismissed, the adaptable lamprey is a traditional and ceremonial food for tribes throughout the region.

“The tribes have a vested interest because lamprey are culturally significant,” Jackson said. “They are a prized fish to us.”

For years, Jackson said, state and federal agencies have given short shrift to lamprey in favor of efforts to protect and restore salmon and steelhead listed on the Endangered Species List.

Historically, the only use for lamprey has been as bait for sturgeon or as fish meal to feed young fry in fish farms. In the 1930s tons were collected on barges from the Willamette, then ground into fish meal.

Jackson is hopeful that results from places like Three Mile and subsequent research and monitoring will give lamprey a chance to continue a historic lifecycle that as adapted through the ice age, eons of volcanic disruption, even the Missouri Flood that created the Columbia River system.

“Salmon have been around for 10 to 13 million years. Fossil records show that lamprey have been on earth for 530 million years, since before the Jurassic Period,” Jackson said, noting that a Columbia Basin Fish And Wildlife Authority “white paper” is to be published soon that will provide the research behind the historic claim.

“Lamprey predate dinosaurs,” Jackson said. “These critters are really old and it bothers me to think that in my lifetime they could potentially go extinct. It’s not acceptable; it’s unfathomable to think they’ve been around that long and could be gone within my lifetime.”


* ISAB Reviews Fish Passage Memos On Long-Standing Issue Of Delayed Mortality In Migrating Salmon

Fish Passage Center technical memorandums that say the rigors of negotiating Columbia and Snake River dams dampens salmon survival “are reasonable and scientifically defensible based on the data used,” according to a review of the analysis by the Independent Scientific Advisory Board.

“However, other reasonable conclusions could also be reached, and issues remain concerning the data used,” the ISAB wrote in its Sept. 16 memorandum to the FPC Oversight Board.

Researchers must dig deeper to resolve the long-debated issue of whether or not, and/or to what degree, migrating juvenile salmon suffer from latent/delayed mortality as a result of dam passage or barge transportation downstream, the science panel says.

“Based on our review, the studies and analyses cited in these technical memos do not provide an adequate base of reliable information to support a ‘weight of evidence’ conclusion on the strength of a relationship between multiple bypass passage and latent mortality of juvenile chinook and steelhead,” the ISAB memo says. “That is, the relationships observed between latent mortality and bypass passage are confounded with other factors that obscure unambiguous interpretation.”

The FPC was created through the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s fish and wildlife program with the charge of providing technical assistance and information to fish and wildlife agencies in particular, and to the public in general, on matters related to water management, spill and other fish passage measures. The Oversight Board is made up of representatives of the Council, NOAA Fisheries Service, state fish and wildlife agencies, basin tribes and the public.

The program also calls for the Oversight Board to ensure that the FPC’s functions are implemented consistent with the program. To do this, the Council program specifies that the board will work with the FPC and the ISAB to organize a regular system of independent and timely science reviews of the center’s analytical products. The ISAB was created to provide scientific advice to the Council, NOAA Fisheries and basin tribes.

Review guidelines for the ISAB when it is reviewing FPC materials include whether new or novel analyses are introduced; new conditions or data bring old analyses into question; and/or consensus cannot be reached in the region on the science involved in the product. Three FPC technical memos on the topics of latent mortality and effects on in-river survival were identified as meeting that criteria for review. The three memos address latent mortality of in-river migrants due to route of dam passage.

The three FPC technical memoranda, with associated links, reviewed by the ISAB are:

1) Memo #134-10 dated Oct. 5, 2010, “Delayed/latent Mortality and Dam Passage”

2) Memo #135-10 dated Oct. 6, 2010, “Delayed/latent Mortality and Dam Passage, Fish Passage Operations Implications” and

3) Memo #08-11 dated Jan. 19, 2011, “Effects of Passage through Juvenile Powerhouse Bypass Systems at Mainstem Dams on the Snake and Columbia Rivers.”

The FPC memorandums cited numerous studies as supporting the conclusion that delayed/latent mortality does indeed occur.

“Our overall conclusion is that there is a broad range and scope of evidence indicating that powerhouse passage and the transportation/collection/bypass systems at mainstem dams results in significant delayed/latent mortality of juvenile salmonids, which reduces adult return,” according to an Oct. 6, 2010, memo from FPC manager Michele DeHart to Ed Bowles, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Fish Division Administrator. “In addition, these data and analyses have implications for fish passage management operations.”

Bowles had earlier request that the FPC staff review available information regarding delayed mortality and dam passage and the implications for fish passage operations.

A similar review was issued Oct. 5, 2010 in response to a request from the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission’s Rob Lothrop.

The third memo, also to CRITFC, comes to the same conclusion.

The FPC memos, and research cited, leave many possible mitigating factors unexplored, the ISAB said.

“The issue of possible bypass selectivity for less-fit fish, for example injured, diseased, less advanced in the smoltification process, smaller, or with lower energy reserves, rendering them less likely to survive to return remains unresolved and is in need of evaluation,” the ISAB memo said, as an example.

The complex issue of the relationships among descaling, disease resistance, osmoregulation capability, and survival (See Zydlewski et al. reference above) is another issue in need of investigation,” the ISAB memo says. “These largely unexamined biological and ecological factors potentially affecting SARs have not been thoroughly evaluated. The memos use analytical approaches taking SARs at face value without discussing these unexamined factors.”

Those ISAB memorandum can be found at the Council’s web site:


* Council Recommends BPA Funding For 8-Year, $10 Million Tucannon River Project To Boost Salmon, Steelhead

The Northwest Power and Conservation Council on Tuesday recommended, with qualifications, that an ambitious and expensive habitat restoration project be funded in the Tucannon River basin to make the southeast Washington stream more hospitable for threatened Snake River spring/summer chinook salmon and steelhead.

The project proposed by the Snake River Salmon Salmon Recovery Board outlines an expense budget of $10,852,980 for fiscal years 2011 through 2018. The current contracted amount under this project for fiscal year 2011 is $96,063 for project administration and preliminary planning with a performance period of Jan. 28, 2011 to Jan. 31, 2012. In addition there is a contract request for $495,205 associated with the project that reflects a proposed work period of Sept. 15, 2011, to Sept. 30, 2012, according to a NPCC staff memo describing the project.

The Tucannon drains into the Snake River between Lower Monumental and Little Goose dams near Starbuck, Wash. The Snake River spring/summer chinook and steelhead stocks are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

The tributary habitat project is intended to assist in satisfying commitments made under NOAA Fisheries Service’s 2008 Federal Columbia River Power System biological opinion, a strategy that outlines measures that are intended to mitigate for negative hydro system impacts on listed fish.

The goal of the new Tucannon River project is to implement on-the-ground habitat restoration actions to meet population specific targets required under the 2008 BiOp. The aim is to improve habitat quality 17 percent by 2018, which is expect to, in turn, benefit spring/summer chinook, steelhead, bull trout, fall chinook, freshwater mussels and other species.

The project includes the following restoration actions:

-- Protect and maintain natural processes such as natural hydrologic and sediment routing throughout the system to allow natural migration and wood recruitment.

-- Connect disconnected habitats such as oxbows, wetlands, and former mainstem and side channels. Remove fish barriers.

-- Address roads, levees, and other human infrastructure impairing processes by removing or modifying culverts, levees, dredge spoils, diversion dams, and grade control structures.

-- Restore riparian processes by isolating and protecting healthy riparian areas, eradicating invasive species, and planting native communities.

-- Improve in-stream habitat conditions by installing large individual trees and large woody debris structures in the mainstem channel.

The entities that will be implementing the actions include Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Columbia Conservation District, the Regional Fisheries Enhancement Group, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Pomeroy Conservation District, and/or other qualified groups, tribes, or agencies that submit proposals that are approved by the SRSRB.

The Council recommendation to the Bonneville Power Administration was made with the condition that the SRSRB provide a report by the spring of 2013 addressing two issues raised by the Independent Scientific Review Panel in its Aug. 8 “final” review of the project.

The ISRP reviews for scientific merit projects channeled through the Council’s Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program, which is funded by BPA. The panel is also called on to review projects developed specifically to address elements of the BiOp. Bonneville also has BiOp funding obligations as a federal “action” agency. It markets power generated in the federal Columbia/Snake river hydro system.

The ISRP said that the SRSRB and Bonneville needed to better describe the criteria that will be used to prioritize future projects that need to be developed. It also said a comprehensive restoration strategy and associated prioritization process should be developed before implementation of on-the-ground restoration activities.


* Idaho Power Begins Fall Chinook Flow Regime; Lower Granite Counts Show Good Spawner Numbers

Idaho Power began its annual Fall Chinook Program early this week by reducing outflow from Hells Canyon Dam on the Snake River to 14,000 cubic feet per second to provide steady flows for chinook salmon during their spawning season.

The reduced flow is scheduled to last until Dec. 5.

The program is part of Idaho Power’s commitment to protect and preserve the environment and also part of the requirements of the company’s federal license to operate hydroelectric facilities on the Snake River. The IPC owns the Hells Canyon Complex of three dams on the lower Snake.

Prior to this past weekend, the flow out of Hells Canyon was around 23 kcfs. During September and early October, Idaho Power lowered the level of Brownlee Reservoir, upstream from Hells Canyon Dam, to make room for inflows that exceed what is being released. Brownlee, the primary “storage” reservoir in the complex, was at 2,014 feet above sea level at the beginning of the Fall Chinook Program -- 63 feet below full.

It will begin refilling as inflows from the upper Snake River exceed the amount of water being released downstream. Average inflow to Brownlee Oct. 7-9 was 21.71 kcfs.

Release levels will be evaluated going forward to accommodate higher-than-average releases from federal Bureau of Reclamation dams on the upper Snake River, as well as wet fall weather.

Idaho Power began its Fall Chinook Program in 1990; the following year, 47 salmon redds, or nests, were counted in the Snake River below Hells Canyon Dam. In 2010, a total of 2,944 redds were identified – the highest number since counts began.

Better operations to help salmon populations migrate up and downriver have been a contributor to improving Snake River fall chinook numbers, as have beefed up hatchery programs, including one funded by IPC that involves releasing juvenile into the river just below Hells Canyon. There is not fish passage at the dams, which block access to historic spawning habitat upstream.

There should be plenty spawners this year. A total of 23,070 adult fall chinook salmon had been counted through Thursday passing over Lower Granite’s fish ladders on their way toward Hells Canyon Dam, Idaho’s Clearwater River and elsewhere. Lower Granite, a federally owned hydro project, is located about 140 river miles downstream from Hells Canyon Dam and is the eighth dam the fish clear during their spawning journey.

This year’s adult count already ranks as the second highest since counts began with completion of Lower Granite construction in 1975. The record total was 41,815 in 2010, which was more than double the previous high of 16,628 in 2008.

And there’s still quite a few spawners climbing over Lower Granite. Daily counts from Oct. 4-10 ranged from 134 to 282. Thursday’s count was 188.

This year’s fall chinook jack count at Lower Granite is also already the second highest on record. The total through Thursday was 17,647 which is second only to a total of 41,286 in 2009. Jacks are precocious males that return to freshwater after only one year in the Pacific Ocean.

The daily jack count at Lower Granite also remain relatively high, ranging from 234 to 590 Oct. 4-10. The count Thursday was 251.

Another good news run is that of coho. A total of 2,945 adult coho had passed Lower Granite through Thursday, making it the fourth largest on record already with more than 100 fish still passing the dam every day. The record total was 4,629.

Coho salmon had gone extinction in the lower Snake system. None were counted passing Lower Granite from 1987 through 1996.

The Nez Perce Tribe’s Clearwater Coho Restoration program, begun in 1994, is responsible for reviving coho populations, which now return to the Clearwater drainage to spawn. The Clearwater feeds into the Snake not far above the top of Lower Granite’s reservoir.

For updated Snake River flow and Brownlee elevation and boat ramp information, please visit http://www.idahopower.com/OurEnvironment/WaterInformation/default.cfm.

Additional information about Idaho Power’s Fall Chinook Program is available at http://www.idahopower.com/OurEnvironment/FishAquatic/Chinook/default.cfm

Information on reservoir levels on the Upper Snake River can be found at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s website, http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/burtea.cfm


* Report Shows Energy Efficiency Efforts In 2010 Marked Biggest Megawatt Savings Gain In 30 Years

Increased conservation during 2010 by Pacific Northwest electricity users saved 254 average megawatts, the equivalent annual power use of 153,900 homes, according to the annual “Utility Conservation Achievements Report” released this week by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council and Regional Technical Forum.

That’s the biggest one-year gain since regional energy-efficiency programs began more than 30 years ago.

The 2010 savings bring the region’s total since 1978, when energy-efficiency programs began in the Northwest, to 4,600 average megawatts – enough power for four cities the size of Seattle. Those total savings equal what was needed in 2009 to power the states of Idaho and Montana combined.

The measures implemented in 2010 saved Northwest electricity ratepayers $135 million and will produce the same amount of savings every year for the next 15-20 years, at least.

“The efficiencies you make in one year continue to save energy” in succeeding years, said Terry Morlan, the Council’s Power Planning Division director. The report was previewed by NPCC energy policy analyst Gillian Charles, conservation resources manager Tom Eckman and senior power division analyst Charlie Grist Wednesday during the Council’s meeting in Portland.

Overall utilities spent about $389 million to achieve the $135 million in savings in 2010, but the investments made last year will continue to bring savings in the years to come and very soon pay for themselves.

The Council and RTF, an advisory committee established in 1999 to verify and evaluate electric energy efficiency savings, calculated the savings from the results of a survey of the region’s electric utilities, the Energy Trust of Oregon, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, and the Bonneville Power Administration.

The fiscal year/calendar year 2010 survey represents the activities of 76 utilities serving over ninety-eight percent of the region’s retail electricity sales. The RTF has not independently verified the reported savings and expenditures.

The 2010 savings surpassed the Council’s target for the year in its Northwest Power Plan, 200 average megawatts, by 25 percent. Regional energy conservation achievements have surpassed power plan targets in every year since 2005.

The Council revises its power plan every five years, forecasting energy demand 20 years into the future and recommending a mix of electricity resources to meet that demand. The current plan is for the years 2009-2029.

To see summaries and individual utility reports for 2010 go to:

The savings occur when electricity is used more efficiently – using less power to accomplish the same tasks. Those saving can be gain by replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents or LED bulbs, which produce the same amount of light with less electricity, in homes, businesses, and industries, and also by improving insulation or replacing windows in buildings so less power is needed to heat or cool them.

Replacing inefficient motors, pumps, furnaces, and other types of machinery also yields energy savings, as do changes in how much energy is used during the day, such as through programmable thermostats. The RTF has identified 90 measures that improve electric energy efficiency.

Other highlights include:

--The average cost of the efficiency to utilities in 2010 was 1.7 cents per kilowatt-hour. The average cost of power from new generating plants that use wind or natural gas is much more expensive – between 9 cents and 10 cents per kilowatt-hour.

-- Among the various sectors of electricity use, the biggest improvements in 2010 were in commercial businesses and industries. Those two sectors together accounted for half of the savings.

-- Residential improvements accounted for 28 percent of the savings. Most of the residential improvements were in lighting.

-- Improved efficiency of products such as water heaters, furnaces, clothes washers and other equipment, which is tracked by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, accounted for 18 percent of the total.

The Council’s 20-year Northwest Power Plan, which is implemented by the federal Bonneville Power Administration, the largest electricity supplier in the region, calls for meeting 85 percent of the growth in demand for power through 2029 with energy efficiency. The plan, which also serves as a guide for investor-owned utilities, includes targets for efficiency improvements.

The Northwest Power and Conservation Council is a compact of the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington and is directed by the Northwest Power Act of 1980 to prepare a power plan to assure the Northwest region an adequate, efficient, economical, and reliable electricity supply and a companion program to protect, mitigate, and enhance fish and wildlife of the Columbia River Basin affected by hydropower dams.


* Transplanted Bull Trout Spawning In Clackamas River Tributary, First Time In Over 50 Years

Scientists last week observed bull trout spawning in the Clackamas River basin for the first time in more than 50 years.

Survey crews tracking bull trout implanted with radio transmitters witnessed the spawning event Tuesday, Oct. 4 in the cool, dark waters of Pinhead Creek, a tributary of the Clackamas River located approximately 35 miles upstream from North Fork Reservoir in the Mt. Hood National Forest.

This is the first time bull trout have been seen spawning in the basin since the population was extirpated from the Clackamas River in the early 1960s. Listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act, bull trout were reintroduced into the Clackamas on June 30, 2011, in hopes of re-establishing a naturally reproducing, self-sustaining population.

“This is pretty exciting,” said Patrick Barry, ODFW fish biologist in charge of implementation of the bull trout reintroduction project. “There was a lot of uncertainty about whether these fish would be able to survive and spawn. For this to take place this soon in areas where we thought they might spawn is very encouraging.”

Bull trout were likely extirpated from the Clackamas River as a result of constructing migration barriers from hydroelectric and diversion dams, targeted eradication with bounty fisheries, and habitat and water quality degradation from forest management and agricultural activities. For example, in the ‘60s, woody debris was removed from forest streams because people thought it was an impediment to fish passage when, in fact, it kept the water cool, played a large role in the food chain, and provided habitat that fish needed to survive.

ODFW says many of the conditions that led to the demise of the bull trout “have been corrected as the result of better science, more insightful management, increased ecosystem understanding, and stronger environmental protection. Scientists believe the river has recovered to the point where it may again support a population of wild bull trout.”

“So many times you see habitat degraded beyond the point where it will support wild fish,” said Barry. “The upper Clackamas is now in great shape. This is a really happy story.”

The 24-inch female bull trout seen excavating a redd in Pinhead Creek the other day could produce from 1,000 to 2,000 eggs, according to Barry. Juveniles will likely emerge in March or April and will take 4-6 years to reach sexual maturity.

Planning for the reintroduction of bull trout in the Clackamas River began about seven years ago. Partners in the effort include ODFW, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Forest Service, NOAA Fisheries Service, Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs, and Portland General Electric. Since bull trout are a top of the food chain aquatic predator they are being monitored closely to ensure they do not adversely affect native steelhead and salmon. Last summer the partners released 58 wild radio-tagged adult and sub-adult bull trout into the Clackamas and 58 juveniles. All trout released were captured in the Metolius River and Lake Billy Chinook.

Additional bull trout releases are planned annually for up to seven years.


* Bonneville Power Makes Scheduled $830 Million Treasury Payment For FY 2011

The Bonneville Power Administration made a scheduled payment of $830 million for fiscal year 2011 to the U.S. Treasury on Oct. 5, 2011. This marks the 28th consecutive year BPA has made the payment on time and in full.

BPA’s annual Treasury payments comprise principal and interest primarily on the federal investment in the Federal Columbia River Power System’s power and transmission facilities. The federal fiscal year ended Sept. 30.

BPA is a self-financed agency that covers all of its costs with revenues from Northwest ratepayers and other purchasers of its power and transmission products and services. BPA receives no annual appropriations from the U.S. Congress. None of the outstanding BPA debt can be forgiven by the U.S. Treasury.

To safeguard the Treasury and American taxpayers, BPA requires in its ratemaking process more than 95 percent certainty of making annual scheduled Treasury payments over two consecutive years (or 97.5 percent certainty of making the annual scheduled payments).

"BPA's stellar record of payments reflects our conservative approach to fiscal management and is a clear indicator that BPA is financially stable,” said Steve Wright, BPA administrator.

The Treasury payment included $410 million in principal and $382 million in interest. BPA also paid $38 million in other obligations, including $31 million to ensure that ratepayers – not taxpayers – fully fund post-retirement benefit programs for Federal Columbia River Power System employees.

The principal payment includes $70 million in early retirement of Treasury debt (principal repaid earlier than planned) as part of BPA’s debt optimization program. BPA’s debt optimization program is implemented in partnership with Energy Northwest, which operates the region’s only nuclear power plant, and is designed to restore BPA’s federal borrowing authority.

Operation and maintenance expenses for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service projects directly funded by BPA came to $279 million in fiscal year 2011.

BPA is a nonprofit federal agency that markets renewable hydropower from federal Columbia River dams, operates three-quarters of high-voltage transmission lines in the Northwest and funds one of the largest wildlife protection and restoration programs in the world.

For more information go to www.bpa.gov


* Ocean Observatories Initiative Moving Forward With Undersea Gliders, ‘Endurance Array’ Off NW Coast

Oregon State University will launch a fleet of undersea gliders in 2012 and deploy new moored ocean-observing platforms beginning the following year as part of the $386 million Ocean Observatories Initiative.

The OOI is a major marine science infrastructure project funded by the National Science Foundation and announced two years ago.

A significant piece of the OOI’s “Endurance Array” will be located off the coast of Newport, Ore., which increasingly has been under scientific scrutiny because of issues ranging from hypoxia and “dead zones” to climate change impacts, subduction zone earthquakes, tsunamis, harmful algal blooms, wave energy potential, ocean acidification and dramatic variations in some upwelling-fed fisheries.

One of the other institutional partners on the project is the University of Washington, which this summer led an effort to lay undersea cable off the Northwest coast that will provide power for the moorings and seafloor instrumentation as part of the OOI’s Regional Cabled Network. During the past summer, OSU’s College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences has been designing and testing an array of equipment that will be deployed beginning in the spring of 2013. Testing of the new gliders will begin this fall.

“We’re in the final stage of testing many of the instruments and we’re ready to go,” said Robert Collier, OSU’s program manager for the initiative. “This project is really unprecedented. We’ll be monitoring the ocean in ways it has never been looked at before, and sharing the data in real time with scientists, managers, educators and the public around the world.”

The OOI will result in a networked infrastructure of science-driven sensor systems to measure the physical, chemical, geological and biological variables in the ocean and seafloor. The idea, according to project director Tim Cowles, a former OSU oceanographer, is to provide greater knowledge of the ocean’s interrelated systems, which is vital for understanding their effects on biodiversity, ocean and coastal ecosystems and climate change.

Creating a network of sensors that can accurately measure the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the marine environment – and still withstand the rugged Pacific Ocean – is a major challenge, acknowledges Ed Dever, OSU’s systems engineer for the project.

“For one thing, what happens at the surface is different than what is going on along the seafloor,” Dever said, “so we have to have instrumentation that can monitor both. And the water in between is ever-changing. So the mooring sites will be designed in a way that we will be able to measure changes throughout the water column.”

Beginning in the spring of 2013, the first three (of six) mooring systems will be deployed – all off the coast of Newport. The final three will be deployed in 2014 off Grays Harbor, Wash. The Newport sites will be located at one mile, 10 miles and 33 miles offshore, with the outer two sites connected to the undersea cable.

Each site will feature a surface buoy that will monitor the air-sea interface, and measure air and sea surface temperatures, solar radiation, humidity, air pressure and other variables. The site will include a seafloor platform containing its own array of instruments, including sensors to measure dissolved oxygen for hypoxia studies, carbon dioxide levels, pH and nitrogen. Other sensors will actively observe larger plankton and fish, while “passive” acoustic devices will listen for marine mammals. A third instrument array will continuously move up and down through the full water column, tethered to the seafloor.

“The suite of instruments will really allow us to look at what is happening in the ocean and discover when changes occur,” Collier said. “Some of the biological sensors, for example, will be able to model primary production through chlorophyll and light levels, and another will use acoustic backscatter that can estimate zooplankton density.

“However, it’s not these individual measurements that are really new,” Collier added. “It’s the fact that we’ll be monitoring the ocean 24 hours a day, all year long, instead of looking at it periodically from ships of opportunity.”

One limitation, Dever said, is that these mooring sites will be located only off Newport and Grays Harbor, “giving us great vertical resolution, but only two lines of observations spanning the entire coast.” To cover more of the Northwest regional ocean, the OSU oceanographers will deploy a dozen new undersea gliders beginning in 2012.

Six gliders at a time will patrol the ocean from the Canadian border to southern Oregon. These sophisticated machines can be programmed to run for 2-3 months from the near-shore to the continental slope and every six hours they will rise to the surface and transmit data to OOI computers via satellite.

Instruments aboard the gliders will record temperatures, salinity, biological production and dissolved oxygen – many of the same measurements being made from mooring instruments. “One difference,” Collier said, “is that the mooring platforms will give us a constant look at six places, while the gliders will give us larger views of the coast ocean from Oregon to Canada.”

The gliders are incredibly productive, said Jack Barth, OSU’s project scientist.

“In more than half a century of work, OSU scientists have recorded about 4,000 profiles of the near-shore from ships,” Barth said. “During the past five years, the handful of gliders we already utilize have logged more than 156,000 profiles – nearly 40 times what six decades of shipboard studies have provided.

“That’s pretty amazing, when you think about it,” Barth added. “Each year alone, we log more profiles than have ever been recorded via ship off Newport. And that will only increase as the Ocean Observatories Initiative reaches fruition.”

The Ocean Observatories Initiative team at OSU has grown to 17 staff scientists, engineers and technicians, and the university expects to add even more people to operate the Endurance Array over the next few years, Collier said.

“We are excited to be so close to getting this into the water,” Collier said. “This dream we’ve been developing for more than a decade will soon be a reality.”


* Science Advisory Panel Urges Comprehensive ‘Landscape Approach’ To Fish, Wildlife Restoration

“… unparalleled communication and cooperation” from the grassroots up to the highest levels of policy making is needed if the productivity, diversity, and resilience of fish and wildlife populations are to be maintained in the face of “landscape” change advancing as a result of human population growth and activity, according to a recently released report prepared by the Independent Scientific Advisory Panel.

“It is time to move beyond isolated management and restoration actions to broadly integrated actions based on a comprehensive landscape approach,” the report says. “Such an approach is just as important for local sustainable economies and cultures as it is for Nature and healthy ecosystems.”

The ISAB serves the NOAA Fisheries Service, Columbia River basin tribes, and Northwest Power and Conservation Council by providing independent scientific advice and recommendations regarding scientific issues that relate to the respective agencies' fish and wildlife programs.

Researchers Bruce Rieman, Nancy Huntly, Robert Naiman and Courtland Smith were on hand Tuesday to report to the NPCC on the objectives and recommendations from the ISAB report, “Using a Comprehensive Landscape Approach for More Effective Conservation and Restoration.”

The report can be found at:

The report emphasizes that the concepts it espouses are of vital importance, but not new.

“The objectives of this report are to distill current concepts and understanding of the critical processes shaping landscapes and their associated fish and wildlife populations, and to synthesize the best approaches for conserving and restoring self-sustaining fish and wildlife populations within the landscapes of the Columbia River Basin.

“Landscapes are the features of an area of land, including the physical, biological, and socioeconomic characteristics. Collectively, they reflect the biophysical origins and the overlay of culture and human presence, often created over millennia,” the report says.

“This report focuses strongly on the socioeconomic dimension that has not been explicit in earlier ISAB reports. We emphasize the need for effective socioeconomic and ecological integration and interdisciplinary collaboration,” the report says. “Our review supports an effort to move beyond spatially isolated or independent projects to broader integration of actions.

“A comprehensive landscape approach demands a strong and continued coupling between biophysical and socioeconomic knowledge. It brings understanding and engagement on social and economic issues, making effective management and restoration possible.”

“A history of land use and conversion, alteration of habitat and habitat connectivity, socioeconomic growth and development, expansion of non-native species, and a shift from natural to artificial production of native and non-native fishes translate to declines in abundance and diversity of native species,” the report says. “Remnant native populations are often fewer, smaller, and more restricted in spatial extent; have more limited connectivity; and have less within and among population diversity.

“The net result is populations and species that are increasingly vulnerable in a changing and unpredictable world. These trends can be reversed if critical habitats and connections among them and their landscapes are conserved and restored, but the perspective guiding these efforts must be larger and more comprehensive than in the past.”

“This report focuses strongly on the socioeconomic dimension that has not been explicit in earlier ISAB reports. We emphasize the need for effective socioeconomic and ecological integration and interdisciplinary collaboration. Our review supports an effort to move beyond spatially isolated or independent projects to broader integration of actions. A landscape perspective is critical for effective habitat conservation and restoration.”

The ISAB report outlines general recommendations for any group pursuing a more comprehensive approach and the use of these criteria is the main recommendation of this report:

-- Engage the public and diverse social groups associated with the landscape and build socioeconomic understanding.
-- Incorporate a strategic approach with a foundation in the concepts of comprehensive landscape ecology.
-- Develop organizations that support collaboration, integration, and effective governance and leadership.
-- Promote adaptive capacity based on active learning through assessment, monitoring, innovation, experimentation, and modeling, combined with a clear process to share new information and revise objectives, strategies, and actions in response to that information.

“We beat the adaptive management drum hard in this report,” Huntly told the Council.


* USFWS Says Northern Leatherside Chub, Found In Snake River Drainages, Does Not Warrant ESA Listing

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced this week that it has completed a status review, also known as a 12-month finding, of the northern leatherside chub, and concluded it does not warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act.

The northern leatherside chub is a small desert fish in the minnow family that occurs in northern Utah and Nevada, southern and eastern Idaho, and western Wyoming. Current populations are found in the Bear, Snake and Green river drainages.

Its common name comes from the leathery appearance created by small scales on a trim, tapering body. Northern leatherside chub occur in small desert streams between elevations of approximately 4,100 and 9,000 feet, with low to moderate velocities. They have relatively broad diets, eating items in both the stream drift and the substrate, with insects comprising a large portion of diet.

The Service analyzed potential factors that may affect the habitat or range of the northern leatherside chub including livestock grazing, oil and gas development, mining, water development, water quality, fragmentation and isolation of populations, overutilization, disease, predation, inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms, hybridization, and climate change.

“We found no information to indicate that these impacts are significantly negatively affecting the current status of the northern leatherside chub or will do so in the foreseeable future. We concluded that the size, connectedness, and stability of the Bear River populations are sufficient to ensure the long term persistence of the species as a whole. While some populations are impacted by one or more factors (water quality, nonnative fish species, and isolation), we concluded that these threats do not currently or in the foreseeable future pose a substantial risk to the species range wide,” said the agency.

“Based on a thorough review of the best available scientific information, we have determined that the northern leatherside chub is not in danger of extinction or likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future. Despite not being warranted for listing as endangered or threatened, in making this finding we recognize that the northern leatherside chub may benefit from increased management emphasis due to its current fragmented distribution and its susceptibility to nonnative fish species. We recommend and encourage additional research to improve the understanding of the species and precautionary measures to protect the species.”

The finding responds to a petition from Forest Guardians (now WildEarth Guardians) requesting that the Service consider listing all full species in its Mountain Prairie Region ranked as G1 or G1G2 by the organization NatureServe as endangered or threatened. The northern leatherside chub was included in this list of 206 species.

The Service published the results of its review of the petition, also called a 90-day finding, on Aug. 18, 2009, indicating that the petition presented substantial information that listing of the northern leatherside chub may be warranted. It commenced a status review of the northern leatherside chub at that time.

A copy of the 12-month finding and other information about northern leatherside chub is available at http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/fish/leatherside/index.html

For more information about the CBB contact:
-- BILL CRAMPTON, Editor/Writer, bcrampton@cbbulletin.com, phone:
541-312-8860 or
-- BARRY ESPENSON, Senior Writer, bespenson@msn.com, phone: 360-696-4005; fax: 360-694-1530

The stories in this e-mail newsletter are posted on the Columbia Basin Bulletin website at www.cbbulletin.com. If you would like access to the CBB archives, please consider becoming a Member of the CBB website for as little as $5 a month. Your membership will help support maintenance of the 10-year (1998-2008) news database and the production of trustworthy, timely news and information about Columbia Basin fish and wildlife issues.


Feedback comments should be sent by e-mail to the Editor at bcrampton@cbbulletin.com. Please put "feedback"in the subject line. We encourage comments about particular stories, complaints about inaccuracies or omissions; additional information; general views about the topic covered; or opinions that counterbalance statements reported.

The Columbia Basin Bulletin e-mail newsletter is produced by Intermountain Communications of Bend, Oregon and supported with Bonneville Power Administration fish and wildlife funds through the Northwest Power and Conservation Council's Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program
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