Portland, Ore. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has begun implementing its 2013 Fish Operations Plan to provide spill at the four lower Snake River and four lower Columbia River dams to facilitate the passage of juvenile salmon and steelhead to the ocean.
As specified in NOAA Fisheries’ 2010 Supplemental Biological Opinion, the FOP calls for spill to begin at the lower Snake River dams April 3 and lower Columbia River dams April 10, with spill continuing at all eight dams until August 31. The annual plan, prepared by the Corps, is coordinated with states, tribes, and other federal agencies in the region.
Like 2012 operations, the 2013 FOP includes operations for spring and summer fish passage seasons, includes providing spill for timely and safe passage of fish at dams, adjustments to river operations, and transportation operations of juvenile fish from Lower Granite, Little Goose, and Lower Monumental dams.
The Corps is planning to conduct performance standard fish survival tests this summer at Little Goose and Lower Monumental dams. Last year, the Corps conducted similar testing at six of the eight dams, with results from those tests indicating the survival of juvenile fish passing the dams was high. "We are pleased with the continued high survival for juvenile fish at the dams," said Rock Peters, senior program manager for the Corps’ Northwestern Division. But, he added, “While we’ve experienced many successes, we remain committed to continuing to meet the performance standards in the BiOp and to continue working with the region to do what’s best for the fish.”
The most recent water supply forecast issued by the Northwest River Forecast Center for the Columbia River Basin (Apr–Aug) is 92 percent of normal as measured at The Dalles Dam and 79 percent of normal for the Snake River Basin, (Apr–Jul), as measured at Lower Granite Dam.
For more information on the federal salmon and steelhead recovery efforts in the region, visit www.salmonrecovery.gov