BiOp Release Paves Way to Recovery
BPA Journal, June 2008
NOAA Fisheries released a final biological opinion last month for operation of the federal dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers. The agency believes the actions BPA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation have planned will put threatened and endangered Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead on a trend to recovery.
The new plan responds to litigation before Judge James Redden in U.S. District Court of Oregon. In September 2005, Redden remanded the BiOp to NOAA, directing the agency to collaborate with federal, state and tribal governments to deliver a new BiOp that addressed the concerns of the court.
The BiOp calls for the federal hydro system to meet higher standards for juvenile fish survival through the dams than ever before - 96 percent survival on average per dam for juvenile spring chinook and 93 percent for juvenile fall chinook.
NOAA Fisheries also issued two other BiOps on May 5 - one for the Upper Snake irrigation dams operated by Reclamation and one for Columbia Basin harvest.
For more details on the new biological opinions, go to www.salmonrecovery.gov.
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