Columbia River

Nicholas K. Geranios / AP Images

A decades-long debate over four Snake River dams and salmon resurfaced on the floor of the U.S. House Wednesday. A bill from Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington) would prohibit removal or other structural changes of dams on the Federal Columbia River Power System.

Caro / Flickr Creative Commons

Members of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe have started a 100-plus-mile journey in hand-carved canoes to call attention to the tribe's interest in restoring salmon to the Columbia River above Grand Coulee Dam.

The dam has blocked fish passage in the river since the 1930s.

Jerry McFarland / Flickr

More than a quarter million sockeye salmon returning from the ocean to spawn are either dead or dying in the Columbia River and its tributaries due to warming water temperatures.

Federal and state fisheries biologists say water that is 5 to 6 degrees warmer is wiping out at least half of this year's returning population of the cold-water species.

Ritchie Graves of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says up to 80 percent of the population could ultimately perish.

Officials are trying to cool flows by releasing cold water from selected reservoirs.

Hut-to-hut or village-to-village trekking is a popular vacation pursuit in regions as diverse as Europe, New Zealand, the Himalayas and Vietnam.

It's been 75 years since salmon and steelhead last swam into the upper reaches of the Columbia River above Grand Coulee Dam.

Joe Parks / Flickr Creative Commons

The number of returning chinook salmon on the Columbia River has taken a dramatic upswing. Over the weekend, 107,000 chinook salmon climbed the fish ladder at Bonneville dam.

A spokeswoman with the Columbia Inter Tribal Fish Commission, Sara Thompson, says those numbers set a new record.

Hydropower dams built without fish ladders have blocked migratory fish from the upper reaches of the Columbia and Snake Rivers for decades.

columbia river
Shawn Kinkade / Flickr

The Army Corps of Engineers this spring will begin killing birds at some Snake and Columbia river dams to help protect juvenile salmon and steelhead.

The agency unveiled a plan Thursday that will allow as many as 1,200 California gulls, 650 ring-billed gulls and 150 double-crested cormorants to be killed.

The Lewiston Tribune says the action will occur at McNary Dam on the Columbia River and Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose and Lower Granite dams on the Snake River.

The ongoing issue with the cracked Wanapum Dam in central Washington is now creating a problem for migrating salmon.

Once upon a time, salmon and steelhead swam over a thousand miles upriver to the headwaters of the mighty Columbia River, at the foot of the Rockies in British Columbia.

In central Washington, state officials and farmers are scrambling to save orchards at risk of drying up because of a drawdown of the Columbia River.

State officials are reporting the discovery of a second set of human remains near the cracked Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River in Eastern Washington state.

Grant County officials and Native Americans are patrolling round the clock to keep sacred and sensitive sites protected on miles of exposed Columbia River shoreline.

Water behind the Wanapum Dam near Vantage, Wash., is being drawn down 26 feet to relieve pressure on the big crack in the structure.

Chinook Salmon, fish
Pacific Northwest National Lab / Flickr Creative Commons

The federal government's management plan for protecting salmon and steelhead killed by federal dams in the Columbia River basin differs little from its earlier version and continues to rely heavily on habitat improvement. 

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