Thursday, September 1, 2011

NOAA Releases Willamette Recovery Plan

Last week NOAA released its recovery plan for ESA listed Spring Chinook and Winter Steelhead in the Willamette Basin. The plan, which is estimated to cost more than $250 million will seek to recovery depressed wild populations in the basin by improving habitat, reducing the impact of hatcheries and, perhaps most interestingly, providing passage above dams on the North and South Santiam, McKenzie and Middle Fork Willamette. Dams on those systems currently block passage to more than 50% of the available spawning habtiat and reduce the quality of downstream spawning areas. Providing passage into watersheds above dams could provide a major boost to salmon and steelhead populations provided they are able to effectively trap outmigrating juvniles and pass them downstream of the dams. More information in the Columbia Basin Bulletin:

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