By Christian Wihtol
The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife has implemented an emergency early transfer of more than 50,000 trout from its Leaburg hatchery into Willamette Valley fishing spots because of the problems at the Eugene Water & Electric Board’s Leaburg Dam on the McKenzie River, ODFW said Monday.
Due to mechanical problems, two of the dam’s three gates are stuck in the closed position, letting little water through; the third gate is open, allowing water through. EWEB has said it does not want to raise or lower the third gate by very much because it does not want to risk that gate also malfunctioning. Read more
By Phuong Le, Associated Press
Greenhouse gas emissions in Washington state dropped by about 4.6 percent from 2010 to 2011, led by reductions in emissions from the electricity sector, according to the latest figures released by the state.
The latest data show about 91.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide or its equivalent was released in 2011, compared to about 96.1 million metric tons the year before.
Emissions are on a downward trend but still about 4 percent higher than in 1990. Read more
By Pete Danko
Randy Knowles figures he’s moving in the right direction. “They used to call me crazy,” he said with a self-effacing chuckle. “Now they’re calling me audacious.”
For well over a decade, the Klickitat (Washington) Public Utility District commissioner has promoted building a big pumped storage project off-stream from the Columbia River at the John Day Dam, 110 miles upriver from Portland, Oregon. Now, after years of holding a preliminary permit to study the possibility, the district is moving to obtain a license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Read more
By Phuong Le, The Associated Press
Boeing said Tuesday it plans to buy renewable energy credits to replace fossil-fuel power at the factory where it assembles its 737 commercial airplanes.
The aerospace company and the utility, Puget Sound Energy, said the plan will move the Renton factory near Seattle toward an all-renewable energy mix. Read more
By Christine Pratt
A unprecedented boom in applications to the Chelan County PUD for large amounts of power for upstart server farms is threatening the business model the utility has depended on to keep rates low for decades and provide additional services, like parks and fiber-optics.
“It’s been a very busy year… we typically aren’t used to this,” John Stoll, the PUD’s managing director of customer utilities told commissioners Monday, shortly before the board approved a moratorium on applications for large amounts of power. Read more
By Christine Pratt
The Columbia River behind Wanapum Dam hit its targeted 17-foot elevation increase 10 days ahead of schedule, but the shoreline remains closed, Grant County PUD officials said Tuesday. Read more
By Rocky Barker
History says the situation could be disastrous for Idaho’s salmon and steelhead.
A mass of warm water thousands of square miles in size that was five degrees Fahrenheit above average on the surface last summer is being called “the blob.” But scientists say it’s too early to tell if it’s short-term phenomena or a sign of a longer trend. Read more
by Keith Ridler
The Seattle Times
Strategies used to bring back from the brink of extinction a population of central Idaho sockeye salmon have been so successful they could be used as a blueprint to prevent other extinctions, fisheries biologists say. Read more
The News Tribune
A little after 8 a.m. at the Cowlitz River Salmon Hatchery, about 800 coho idle in a narrow concrete channel impatiently leaping at the stainless steel grate barring their journey upriver.
“It’s kind of slow up here right now. A little while ago we had 2,500 or 3,000 fish per day,” said Hatchery Coordinator Jamie Murphy.
Although there are still several months remaining before the last fish returns, officials are already calling this a historic year for hatchery coho salmon returns.
Mark LaRiviere, senior fishery biologist for Tacoma Power, said “this year we broke an all-time record.” Read more
By Cheryl Schweizer
Grant County PUD officials should start raising the water behind Wanapum Dam sometime before the end of 2014. Construction work to repair a cracked spillway pillar and stabilize the rest of the dam is expected to last through March or April 2015. Read more