Monthly Archives: July 2014

Bonneville Dam sockeye salmon run notches record

By: Mike Prager
The Spokesman-Review

The growing abundance of sockeye salmon on the Columbia River reached a new milestone this week with passage of another record run at Bonneville Dam.

It is the third record-breaking run in the past five years.

Through Wednesday, the sockeye count at Bonneville Dam stood at 539,225 fish, with the run reaching its latter stages. Record-keeping dates to 1938, when fish counts began at Bonneville.

This year’s run eclipsed the old record of 520,959 sockeye in 2012, which came after a 2010 record run of 386,525 sockeye.

Last year’s return was 186,100 sockeye.

“It’s amazing,” said Joe Hymer, a fish biologist based in Vancouver, Washington. “The run is still coming.” Read more

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As dams fall, Elwha River makes stunning recovery

By: Phuong Le
The Spokesman-Review

The final chunks of concrete are expected to fall this September in the nation’s largest dam-removal project, but nature already is reclaiming the Elwha River on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.

So much sediment, once trapped in reservoirs behind two hydroelectric dams, has flowed downstream that it has dramatically reshaped the river’s mouth, replenished eroding beaches and created new habitat for marine creatures not observed there in years.

Meanwhile, Chinook salmon and steelhead have been streaming into stretches of the Elwha River and its tributaries previously blocked by the Elwha Dam, which stood for nearly a century before it came down in 2012.

With the first dam gone, the ocean-migrating fish have been swimming as far upriver as they can. Scientists have observed them at the base of the second 210-foot-tall Glines Canyon Dam about 13 miles upstream, as if they want to continue on. Read more

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Yahoo Data Center plans growth in Grant County

By Tom Sowa
The Spokesman-Review

When the World Cup started last month, the little blue lights on thousands of racks inside Yahoo’s Quincy data center began flickering faster than usual.

Millions of people on phones, tablets and computers were tracking teams and watching video from the event, a once-every-four-years sports spectacle that garners intense online interest.

Much of that Web traffic pulsed in and out of Yahoo’s 400,000-square-foot data center, which sits near farm fields in the heart of Grant County. Read more

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