Environment & Energy Report

Warm Columbia Basin Water Killing Thousands of Salmon

July 28, 2015, 4:00 AM

Despite the release of 1.5 million acre-feet of water from headwater reservoirs in Canada, sockeye salmon carcasses riddled with fungus or bacteria litter some reaches of the Columbia River system, a result mainly of water that is too warm.

“Every little bit helps,” Ritchie Graves, Columbia hydropower branch chief for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said of the release of water from Canada.

Even with the additional Canadian water—and millions of additional acre-feet drawn from federal projects around the basin, which is the size of France—Graves told Bloomberg BNA July 24 that somewhere between about 50 percent to 80...

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