Snake River

snake river, canyon
ChadH / Flickr Creative Commons

Last year’s winter is still impacting the water table in some parts of the state. Reservoirs in the Magic Valley continue to have an abundance of water stored, which means a strong start to the hydrologic year.

EarthFix

An agriculture group says the cost of saving salmon in the Northwest’s largest river system is unsustainable. Now, the Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association is turning to the Trump administration to try and sidestep endangered species laws.


Google Maps

Entergy Nuclear Operations shut down its Vermont power plant in 2014. But much of the waste from the facility remains, including 200,000 gallons of low-level radioactive water. The company applied for permission to truck the water across the country to a site near Grand View, Idaho, about 40 miles south of Boise.

Jim Jones

Before he was a member of the Idaho Supreme Court, Jim Jones was part of the biggest water fight in the Gem State’s modern history. Jones has a new book out that chronicles that time.

Jones was elected to the first of two terms as Idaho Attorney general in 1982. Not long after he started the job, the Idaho Supreme Court issued a decision that reversed 30 years of policy and essentially gave Idaho Power priority of control over much of the water in the Snake River.

Keith Kohl / Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife via AP

Antelope injured while falling on ice. Horses stranded in snowy mountains. Cougars descending from their wilderness lairs to forage in a town.

It's been a beastly winter in the American West, not just for people but for animals too. One storm after another has buried much of the region in snow, and temperatures have often stayed below freezing, endangering a rich diversity of wild animals.

Associated Press

Environmental groups are asking a federal court to halt 11 infrastructure projects on four lower Snake River dams in Washington state that could ultimately be removed if a pending review determines the dams need to come out in order to help salmon.

The 45-page notice filed late Monday in Portland, Oregon, estimates the cost of the projects at $110 million.

Little Black Star / Flickr

Idaho’s Office of Emergency Management is warning of possible flooding around the state, thanks to recent winter storms.

The Idaho Emergency Operations Center is now at the level of Heightened Awareness. That means the threat level is moderate and could develop into a state-level emergency disaster.

Officials are watching the Lemhi River, Big Wood River and the Snake River at Weiser, all of which have ice jams and minor flooding. Ice jams occur when shallow areas of the river freeze faster than deeper spots and the ice gets stuck around bends and curves.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The migration of sockeye salmon from their birth in Idaho’s Redfish Lake to the Pacific Ocean ties Oregon, Washington and the Gem State together. But that trek is a brutal one that kills many fish each year, and advocates say their journey is made more difficult by four federally run dams on the Snake River in Washington.

Oregon State Police / Twitter

Law enforcement officials say an Idaho man was flung 50 feet into the Snake River and forced to swim to a nearby island after being struck by a vehicle on a bridge.

Oregon State Police say that 34-Steven Arrasmith, of Mesa, Idaho, was traveling Monday on Interstate 84 before stopping between the Idaho and Oregon border to offer assistance to a driver who had lost control on black ice and crashed into a bridge.

According to OSP, a third vehicle then lost control on the ice and struck Arrasmith's Jeep. Arrasmith was flung off the bridge when the Jeep lurched forward.

BriarCraft / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho Power is working to improve water quality and habitat in parts of the Snake River upstream from dams in Hells Canyon.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports that the utility company recently wrapped up a project to deepen a stretch of river and plant more than 18,000 trees near Walter's Ferry and other efforts in different parts of the river are expected.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

It’s 60 miles across, mostly hidden from view and vital to the economy of Idaho. Much of the time, the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer gets little attention, even from people who rely on it every day. Without it, farmland would disappear and cities from Twin Falls to Rexburg would dry up. As we begin our series on water in Idaho, we take a closer look at the state’s largest “body” of water, hidden underneath the Snake River Plain.

Amy Meredith / Flickr Creative Commons

In an unprecedented move, Montana officials last week closed a 200-mile stretch of one of the most popular fisheries in the West. The Yellowstone River has been contaminated with a parasite that’s killed thousands of whitefish, the same parasite that continues to impact some Idaho rivers. 

Steelhead
Matt Corsi / Idaho Fish and Game

The first attempt to delist one of the 13 species of Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead protected under the Endangered Species Act has been denied by federal authorities.

The decision made public Thursday by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries cites concerns Snake River fall chinook wouldn't remain viable without continued protections.

An Alaska commercial fishing advocacy group called Chinook Futures Coalition requested the delisting in January 2015.

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.

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