Opponents Call New Dam Agreement to Help Salmon 'Worse Than Useless'

A new agreement aims to boost salmon populations and preserve inexpensive power in hopes of ending a decades-long legal battle over the future of the four lower Snake River dams.

Three federal agencies, including the Bonneville Power Administration, joined Oregon and Washington officials and the Nez Perce Tribe in signing off on a three-year plan filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Portland.

The move creates more flexibility for the federal agency running the dams, allowing them to focus on producing power for the eight hours in the day when it’s most needed, and increase the amount of water heading over the dam during the rest of the day.

The changes will only affect the dam’s operations between April and mid-June when spring Chinook are heading to the ocean.

This comes on the heels of a court-ordered spill last spring and while the 2019 spill levels will stay the same, the agreement calls for sending more water over the dam in 2020 and 2021.

The agreement aims to help young salmon heading to the ocean while allowing federal officials the ability to be flexible with power production, the administration said.


Read the full article here.

Source: Tri-City Herald

Dan Newhouse for Congress