Strategies to Preserve Endangered Salmon in the Columbia River

by John W. Keys, III, Bureau of Reclamation, Boise, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Management of Irrigation and Drainage Systems: Integrated Perspectives


The recent listing of some Snake River salmon stocks as threatened and endangered has forcefully brought Pacific Northwest resource interests together to seek solutions to preserve the failing fish runs. The Bureau Reclamation is one of those interests with major water project operation responsibilities that include 48 storage reservoirs, providing water to irrigate 1.2 million hectares, power generation of 24 billion kilowatt-hours, flood protection, and recreation. For the past 4 years, Reclamation has participated in an unprecedented four-State cooperative effort to develop a comprehensive management program for salmon. Reclamation is also cooperating with the National Marine Fisheries Service which is formulating a formal Endangered Species Act Recovery Plan for the salmon. Potential recovery measures include using stored water for flow augmentation, implementing programs to increase irrigation water use efficiencies, and modifying flood control and hydropower operations to improve streamflow conditions for fish. Using water for salmon purposes generally falls outside of existing State-issued water permits for Reclamation projects and such uses will require approval by the States.

Subject Headings: Water reclamation | Water storage | Hydro power | Fish management | Water-based recreation | Water conservation | Rivers and streams | Irrigation water | Pacific Northwest | United States

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