Snake River

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Dozens of people in boats, kayaks, and canoes will join a flotilla Saturday on the Snake River to protest four dams that advocates say are killing fish and costing taxpayers money.

Greg Stahl is with Idaho Rivers United, one of the groups putting on the flotilla. He says most people don’t know much about the four dams on the river between Lewiston, Idaho and Pasco, Washington, in part because of their remote location.

snake river, canyon
ChadH / Flickr Creative Commons

The Bureau of Land Management is considering what to do about reports of overcrowding on the South Fork of the Snake River.

The Post Register reports the Upper Snake Field Office of the BLM will be holding a series of focus group and gathering input in other ways during a 30-day public comment period.

Proposed solutions include limiting the number of people who float the river, limiting boat access, limiting outfitter use and requiring campsite reservations.

Jerry McFarland / Flickr

Federal authorities have released their final recovery plan for Snake River sockeye salmon, a species that teetered on the brink of extinction in the early 1990s.

Authorities say the plan released Monday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will create a self-sustaining population of sockeye over the next 50 to 100 years.

The run was listed as endangered in 1991, kicking off a hatchery program that at first had only a handful of returning fish to propagate the species.

Eastern Idaho authorities on Monday searched for the body of a 38-year-old Utah man who was one of four people in a fishing boat that overturned in the Snake River.

Sgt. Jeff Edwards of the Bonneville County Sheriff's Office says three of the four people made it to shore when the boat struck a partially submerged cottonwood tree at about 8 p.m. Sunday.

Edwards says Steve Ryan Woods of Ogden, Utah, was last seen as the boat overturned.

Search and rescue teams searched the river Sunday evening until it became too dark.

Dredging of the Lower Snake River started Monday after a delay of several weeks due to a court challenge.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Tow boat captains, wheat exporters, and the directors of the farthest inland ports in the Northwest are breathing easier today.

U.S. District Court Judge James Robart Monday rejected an environmental and tribal challenge to dredging of the lower Snake River.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is making a high-stakes bet that it will prevail in a pending lawsuit over Snake River dredging.

BostonTx / Flickr

Environmental groups and the Nez Perce Tribe have filed a lawsuit to prevent dredging of the lower Snake River that enables Lewiston, Idaho, to be the most inland seaport on the West Coast.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court in Seattle, challenges the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' approval of a $6.7 million dredging project scheduled to begin next month.

The lawsuit was filed by Earthjustice on behalf of a coalition of environmental groups.

Dave Shumaker / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho is famous for its crystal clear rivers. But these days, the Snake River is not one of them.

The Snake is the state’s largest river and it makes southern Idaho’s agriculture economy possible. But that industry is also polluting the Snake

The U.S. Geological Survey uses words like ‘degraded’ and ‘impaired’ to describe parts of the river. Richard Manning calls the Snake “Idaho’s sewer system.”

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

The largest-ever review of water rights claims wrapped up in Idaho this week. A project that started in 1987 ended Monday when a judge signed the final decree of the Snake River Basin Adjudication

Conflicts between Idaho Power, its customers and farmers in southern Idaho in the late 1970s prompted the state to tackle the massive review. The goal was simple: to clearly define water rights in the basin to help resolve future disputes during drought. 

Since the project, Idaho has defined more than 158,000 water rights.

J Stephen Conn / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released its final plan and environmental impact statement for managing sediment accumulation in the lower Snake and Clearwater rivers in northern Idaho.

The plan calls for dredging the navigation channel of the lower Snake River at the confluence of the Clearwater River as early as between Dec. 15 and Feb. 28 this winter.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that the agency has been working on the plan since 2005. The final plan is more than 3,900 pages and cost $16 million to prepare.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is boosting the amount of water flowing in the Snake River in an effort to help native fish between Palisades Reservoir and Shoshone Falls.

Michael Beus with the Bureau of Reclamation in Heyburn, Idaho told The Times-News that the faster, deeper flow will give native cutthroat trout an advantage over invasive rainbow trout.

The bureau has been increasing flows every year since 2004.

Ingrid Taylar / Flickr

Officials at the fisheries division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are working on a long-range plan that could lead to delisting fall chinook in the Snake River.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that officials for the first time are setting down precise standards that must be met for the fish to be taken off the endangered species list.

But officials say it's a long process with many hurdles.

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.

Two teams want to re-enact Evel Knievel's famous jump over the Snake River Canyon in Idaho.

City of Twin Falls

The Twin Falls City Council will meet tonight and revisit the issue of planning a jump over the Snake River Canyon. It's the first meeting for the group since council members last week voted to deny access to city-owned land to a Texas stunt-man the city has been negotiating with for months. The council had concerns over Ed Beckley's proposed safety plan.

The Twin Falls City Council has denied a Texas motorcycle stuntman's request to lease the site from which Evel Knievel made his failed attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon in 1974.

A motion to approve the lease to Beckley Media failed on a 5-2 vote on Monday.

Many council members said they were concerned that "Big Ed" Beckley's safety plan for the proposed September jump was incomplete while some questioned whether local law enforcement could handle the expected crowds.

drought, field, agriculture
Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

Growers of sugar beets and potatoes in eight counties along southern Idaho's Snake River could be in jeopardy after a fish hatchery's complaint it isn't getting its fair share of water.

Idaho Department of Water Resources' director Gary Spackman signed an order Wednesday telling 2,300 water-right holders they'll have to shut down irrigation if they can't reach a compromise with Rangen Inc, a Hagerman-based fish farm.

snake river, canyon
ChadH / Flickr Creative Commons

Jerome County commissioners in south-central Idaho have approved a permit for a rocket-powered jump of the Snake River Canyon the weekend before another daredevil's attempt.

The Times-News reports that commissioners approved the plan for Scott Record and Scott Traux to launch the rocket Sept. 1 from private land in Jerome County to private land in Twin Falls County.

That's a week ahead of the planned attempt by Texas motorcycle stuntman Big Ed Beckley.

MHaze / Flickr Creative Commons

A Twin Falls fish and frog farm has agreed to pay a $25,000 fine as part to settle a case over illegal discharging of phosphorus into the Snake River.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced the settlement Tuesday with McCollum Enterprises, Limited Partnership, which operates the Canyon Springs Fish Farm.

Regulators accused the company of more than 550 violations of its discharge permit between June 2008 and March 2012.