PORTLAND, OR — In an effort to help young fish pass the dams safely to the ocean, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has begun implementing its 2015 Spring Fish Operations Plan. The FOP provides for spill at the four lower Snake River and four lower Columbia River dams to facilitate the timely and safe passage of juvenile salmon and steelhead. As specified in NOAA Fisheries’ 2014 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. The annual plan, prepared by USACE, is coordinated with states, Tribes, and other federal agencies in the region.
The 2015 FOP includes operations for a spring and summer fish passage season, utilizing tools such as spill, flow, adjustments to river operations, and transportation operations of juvenile fish from Lower Granite, Little Goose, and Lower Monumental dams.
"Juvenile fish survival past the dams has increased as a result of extensive dam modifications, such as surface passage, juvenile bypass systems, turbine improvements, and more effective and efficient spill operations," said Rock Peters, senior program manager for the USACE 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 84 percent of normal as measured at The Dalles Dam and 70 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.
Release no. 20150406-001