US Army Corps of Engineers
Northwestern Division

Columbia Basin News Releases

  • Corps begins spring spill operations with new flexibility to benefit fish and hydropower

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin implementing its 2019 Fish Operations Plan at the four lower Snake River dams April 3, and at the lower Columbia River dams April 10. The 2019 plan includes spill and transport operations for the spring and summer juvenile fish passage seasons at these dams, as specified in the NOAA Fisheries 2019 Columbia River System Biological Opinion.
  • River operators increase flows to welcome returning chum salmon

    Sometimes being underwater is a good thing, especially for Columbia River salmon nests, called redds. This fall, federal agencies are increasing Columbia River flows below Bonneville Dam to ensure the redds of spawning chum salmon stay covered with water. The agencies have conducted these “chum operations” every fall since 2000. Beginning Nov. 2, the river will be held between 11.5 to 13 feet above sea level to ensure chum can spawn at the mouth of Hamilton Creek in the Columbia River Gorge. For chum operations to occur, water is released from reservoirs as far away as Hungry Horse and Libby dams in Montana, more than 850 river-miles upriver from Bonneville Dam. The water is then captured and released as needed to create spawning flows that keep the redds underwater.
  • Higher Columbia River water levels possible this fall

    River levels between John Day and McNary dams could be higher during the next three months, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today. From October through December, Lake Umatilla, the section of the Columbia River above John Day Dam, will be operated in a broader and higher range. That means river users could see river levels 2.5 feet higher than in the spring and summer.
  • Columbia-Snake winter navigation lock schedule begins Sept. 15

    COLUMBIA-SNAKE RIVERS, Ore. & Wash. -- Beginning Saturday, Sept. 15, recreational boaters can lock past U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dams on the lower Snake and Columbia rivers almost any time during daylight hours, according to Corps navigation planners. Commercial vessels will have precedence, and recreational vessels may be allowed to lock through with commercial craft at the discretion of the lockmaster.
  • Lower Columbia River levels to remain high, fast

    Residents and river user along the lower Columbia River can expect higher-than-normal water levels over the next week, according to federal water managers and meteorologists.