Draft Plan Details
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation and BPA -- collectively known as the federal action agencies -- have outlined specific actions they will take between 2014 and 2018 to protect Columbia River Basin salmon and steelhead affected by the operation of federal dams on the lower Columbia and Snake rivers.
The draft implementation plan describes actions in hydro, habitat, hatcheries, predation management and research, monitoring and evaluation to meet requirements of NOAA Fisheries' biological opinion for operation of the dams.
Work under this BiOp, the largest effort of its kind ever undertaken in the Columbia Basin, is based in sound science. Most populations of wild Endangered Species Act-listed salmon and steelhead have increased in abundance since the first listings in the 1990s.
In July, the action agencies released a draft comprehensive evaluation that assessed biological results under the first five years of the 2008/2010 BiOp.
The draft implementation plan builds on accomplishments and lessons outlined in the evaluation and incorporates new information to address emerging issues, such as cormorant predation.
The comprehensive evaluation showed that the agencies, working with federal, state and local partners, have met or exceeded tributary habitat goals for more than half the salmon and steelhead populations in the Columbia Basin. Performance testing of juvenile fish passage at the mainstem dams indicates that the fish passage projects that have been tested are on track to meet the BiOp performance standards of 96 percent survival for spring migrating fish and 93 percent survival for summer migrants.
NOAA Fisheries will draw upon findings from the draft comprehensive evaluation as well as actions contained in the draft implementation plan to produce a supplemental FCRPS BiOp for 2014.
The draft plan is open for public comment through Sept. 23. Copies are available at www.salmonrecovery.gov.
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