Record coho returns boost Columbia River restoration

Coho on redd in Methow River - Photo courtesy Tom Scribner, Yakama NationPortland, Ore. – Record returns of coho salmon to the middle and upper Columbia River this year signal the comeback of fish that 20 years ago were virtually extinct in upriver tributaries.

Reintroduction programs led by the Yakama Nation and funded in part by the Bonneville Power Administration combined with restored habitat, improved dam passage and positive ocean conditions to bring unrivaled numbers of coho back to the rivers and streams, according to recently concluded annual counts.

Ten years ago, 12 adult coho returned past Rock Island Dam near Wenatchee, Wash. This year, 19,805 passed the dam. Returns past McNary Dam near Hermiston, Ore., climbed from 4,736 coho a decade ago to 33,385 this year – by far the most since counting began at the dam in 1954.

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  • BPA plans meetings on coho reintroduction

    Portland, Ore. – The Bonneville Power Administration will hold two open-house-style public meetings in Leavenworth, Wash., and Twisp, Wash., this week as an initial step in preparing an environmental impact statement to assess the reintroduction of coho salmon into tributaries of the Columbia River in Chelan and Okanogan counties, Wash.

    The first scoping meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Aug., 20, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Chelan Fire District 3, Community Center, 228 Chumstick Hwy., Leavenworth, Wash., 98826.

    The second meeting will be Friday, Aug. 20, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Methow Valley Community Center, 201 South Methow Valley Hwy., Twisp., Wash., 98856.

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  • WSDOT Survey Seeks WA Volunteers to Count Non-Motorized Traffic

    OLYMPIA –Volunteers are needed in communities across the state to help count the number of people who walk or bike to their destinations. The information being gathered this fall will be used to track progress toward the state’s goal of increasing bicycling and walking in Washington and reducing the number of vehicle miles driven.
    The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and the Cascade Bicycle Club are enlisting volunteers and organizations like FeetFirst and the Bicycle Alliance of Washington to count the numbers of people bicycling and walking on paths, bike lanes, sidewalks, and other facilities on Sept. 29 and 30 and Oct. 1.
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  • Gov. Gregoire announces certification for 138 transportation projects

    OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire today announced that she certified 138 transportation projects, which makes them ready to receive funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The state is expected to receive $551 million dollars from the federal stimulus package to help pay for the certified projects.

    “We promised that we would expedite the certification process, and now 138 transportation projects are ready to go,” Gregoire said. “By working in partnership with the Obama administration, we are saving and creating jobs by quickly getting the federal stimulus funding moving through our economy.”

    Some local projects include;

    Heron Street Sidewalk Bulb-out Project (TE) Pedestrian / Safety $730,000
    Wynoochee-Wishkah Road 13 Corners Realignment Safety Improvement $750,000
    City Wide Pedestrian Safety and Mobility Improvement Phase II (TE) Pedestrian Improvement $195,000

    Total ARRA funding amount $152,101,154

    To learn more about these transportation projects, visit:

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  • Illegal fishing, dry weather conditions threaten fish across the state

    OLYMPIA – Despite recent showers, the summer’s prolonged dry weather has left fish vulnerable, including on the Dungeness River, where two anglers were recently caught poaching.

    An enforcement officer with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) cited the anglers for multiple fishing violations, including possession of federally protected wild chinook salmon. 

    The Dungeness River, which flows through Clallam County to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, is closed to all fishing to protect returning wild chinook, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

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  • Free Services Available at Upcoming Citizenship Day

    SEATTLE – Voting rights, safety and job opportunity are just a few of the benefits that citizenship brings. On April 18th, Citizenship Day will provide free services to legal permanent residents in Washington state who are seeking the American dream.

    The Washington New Americans program — administered by OneAmerica (formerly Hate Free Zone) in partnership with the Washington Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) — will present Citizenship Day in Centralia, Wenatchee, Tukwila, and Yakima. This is the second of three Citizenship Day's offered in 11 Washington cities. The first Citizenship Day on Feb. 28, 2009 served 165 people.

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