Lawsuit seeks more spill over Columbia Basin dams for salmon

East Oregonian

The record-shattering heat wave in the Pacific Northwest prompted fishing and conservation groups to ask a federal court Friday, July 16, to order more spill from dams on the lower Snake and Columbia rivers next spring, which could aid the migration of endangered salmon and steelhead runs.

Earthjustice, on behalf of a coalition of fishing and conservation groups, asked a federal court in Portland for more water to be released to help the fish navigate a series of dams in the river basins. Increasing the amount of water helps flush young fish along their river migration to reach the ocean where they mature.

But increasing spill also means that water is not available later to generate power.

The groups are also seeking lowered reservoir levels, which are routinely too hot, to help speed fish migration.

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