• 2013 Archives: Columbia Basin salmon, steelhead and lamprey in the news

    Prosser, Wash., Oct. 27, 2013: Tribal program give steelhead chance to spawn again. Steelhead are unique among salmon because they can spawn more than once. A program to recondition female steelhead after they spawn is yielding a survival rate of 65 percent rather than the 1 or 2 percent that would result from a repeat trip to the ocean and back, giving the fish a chance to spawn again.

    Toppenish, Wash., July 12, 2013:  Yakama Nation, state officials celebrate successful return of sockeye salmon to central washington lake.Yakama Nation biologists released thousands of sockeye salmon into a central Washington lake over the past four summers to restore fish runs that were decimated with the damming of area rivers and streams. Each fall, the just-released fish swam up the Cle Elum River to spawn and die.

    Cascade Locks, Ore., June 21, 2013: With new ladders at Columbia River dams, Pacific lamprey get a fighting chance at survival.The first big hurdle for migrating Pacific lamprey comes at the base of Bonneville Dam, where fish ladders designed for salmon discourage it from getting over the 200-foot high concrete monolith. But under pressure from Columbia River tribes, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is spending $50 million to build lamprey passage systems at Bonneville and modify fish ladders elsewhere to get more of them upriver.

    Stayton, Ore., June 6, 2013:  Tribe secures stretch of Santiam for salmon. A two-mile stretch of the North Santiam River near Stayton will be permanently preserved as wildlife habitat under an agreement announced Wednesday by the Western Rivers Conservancy, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, the Bonneville Power Administration and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

    Cascade Locks, Ore., June 4, 2013:  Spring Chinook run downgraded at halfway point.  Just when Columbia Basin managers expected spring Chinoook counts to take off at Bonneville Dam, numbers began tapering off, largely dashing any hope of coming close to the preseason prediction of 141,000 at the mouth of the river.  By May 15, only 68,000 upriver springers had passed the dam.

    Gleed, Wash., April 30, 2013:  Young Coho Salmon are being reintroduced to area waterways in hopes they'll return to spawn naturally. The Yakama Tribes have helped native Coho salmon go from extinction in the mid-1980s to an average of 5,200 returning adults each year, hitting a record in 2009 with 10,000 fish.

    Longview, Wash., March 18, 2013:  20-mile-long smelt run moving up the Columbia River. A mass of smelt at least 20 miles long is moving up the Columbia River, attracting thousands of birds and hundreds of sea lions and seals.  Though the birds and marine mammals are feasting on the little fish, dipping by people is likely years away as researchers work on a plan to get smelt off the endangered species list.

    Ahsahka, Ida., March 4, 2013:  'Air spawning' may help steelhead. The floor of the Dworshak National Fish Hatchery is normally an ugly mess on spawning day.  But an experimental effort to increase the survival of repeat spawning steelhead, which includes a different and friendlier egg collection method, is keeping it clean this spring.

    Portland, Ore., Feb. 14, 2013:  Mystery Solved: Salmon Navigate Using Magnetic Field. Whoever said you can’t go home again has never met a sockeye salmon, which navigates more than 2,485 miles (4,000 kilometers) to spawn in the same stream in which it hatched. Now, scientists have finally solved how the species accomplishes its navigational feat—the fish uses Earth’s magnetic field to steer itself home.

    Eugene, Ore., Feb. 6, 2013:  Dam drawdowns an apparent success story for juvenile spring Chinook salmon.Ninety-nine. That’s roughly the percentage of juvenile spring Chinook salmon that appear to have survived passage through Fall Creek Lake to the Pacific Ocean, suggesting that the reservoir’s recent “deep drawdown” was a success.  

    Portland, Ore., Feb. 1, 2013:  Making sense of salmon runs.  While the vast majority of ESA-listed stocks have shown significant increases in abundance since their listings in the 1990s, the return numbers for each species vary greatly between individual years. Recent studies may help explain why.

    2014 Press Archives
    2013 Press Archives
    2011-12 Press Archives 

  • Columbia Basin Federal Caucus news releases

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    Learn more: Fact Sheets 

    The Columbia Basin Federal Caucus agencies may issue joint news releases on key topics. In addition, individual agencies will issue their own news releases about projects and actions taken to improve conditions for ESA-listed fish and lamprey.

    News releases

    2013 news releases

    2012 news releases

    Federal Caucus press contacts

    Kevin Wingert, Bonneville Power   (503) 230-4140 
    Kelly Bridges, Bureau of Reclamation   (208) 378-5101 
    Michael Coffey, Corps of Engineers   (503) 808-3722 
    Michael Milstein, NOAA Fisheries   (503) 231-6268 
    Amanda Smith, Fish and Wildlife Service  (503) 872-2852
    Kathy Anderson, Forest Service   (503) 808-2220