San Joaquin River restoration will cost $900m

The Fresno BeeBy Mark GrossiJune 30, 2012On the flat west-Valley prairie, the San Joaquin River looks like any other irrigation ditch amid tomato, garlic and onion fields -- except that this ditch has a $900 million future.The federal government has finally attached that price tag to the historic remake of this river, aimed at reconnecting it to the Pacific Ocean and restarting long-dead salmon Read More…

Commercial shad harvest with experimental gear approved

The Columbia Basin BulletinJune 29, 2012In between summertime fishing seasons this year for chinook and sockeye salmon, steelhead and other fish stocks, tribal fishermen could well be setting their sights on American shad, a non-native species that also heads up the Columbia River system each year to spawn. The Columbia River Compact last week approved a tribal request that commercial fishing be Read More…

Wild ride

Mail TribuneBy Mark FreemanJune 29, 2012A select group of Rogue River spring chinook salmon are getting some colorful bling as part of a test to see whether they're staying true to their schools or running astray.Recent batches of excess hatchery spring chinook recycled from Cole Rivers Hatchery back into the Rogue are sporting spaghetti-like floy tags in addition to the traditional punched hole Read More…

Sturgeon season will close early in the Columbia River estuary

WDFW NewsJune 29, 2012Anglers must release any sturgeon they catch in the Columbia River estuary starting Thursday (July 5) under an agreement reached yesterday by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon.The agreement, which closes the retention fishery for white sturgeon four days ahead of schedule, is necessary to keep the catch within approved levels, according to fishery managers from Read More…

Scientists identify 50 marine organisms on Japanese dock washed ashore

The Columbia Basin BulletinJune 29, 2012As scientists continue identifying the organisms attached to a floating dock from the 2011 Japanese tsunami that came ashore at Agate Beach just north of Newport, Ore., earlier this month they also are casting a wary eye to the future and what other potential invasive species may arrive. “The floating dock can be considered a wake-up call that Read More…

Summer chinook run downgraded in Columbia River

The ColumbianBy Allen Thomas June 28, 2012 The summer chinook run in the Columbia River will be about 40 percent smaller than forecast this year, while the sockeye return will be a mega-record exceeding 500,000 salmon. Biologist Robin Ehlke of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife told the Columbia River Compact on Thursday the summer chinook projection has been downgraded from 91,200 Read More…

Xayaburi Construction Moves Ahead

Radio Free AsiaJune 27, 2012 Work on the Mekong dam in northern Laos has gone beyond preliminary preparations, an environmental group says. An international NGO has said construction on Laos’s controversial Xayaburi hydropower dam is moving ahead despite promises to suspend the project following uproar from neighboring countries and environmental groups. Construction and resettlement Read More…

Contested McClure reservoir expansion project inches forward

Merced Sun StarBy Joshua Emerson SmithJune 26, 2012 After years of frustration, Merced Irrigation District officials continue to push for a $40 million reservoir expansion project, which would have brought in roughly 360,000 acre-feet of extra water over the last 30 years, according to data from the district. "This project is incredibly important to MID growers and to our community as a whole," Read More…

MID weighs releasing sale contract, but critics vocal

Modesto BeeBy Ken CarlsonJune 25, 2012 As district leaders decide today whether to release a revised water-sale proposal, Modesto Irrigation District officials were pushing aside concerns raised by the city of Modesto and farmers regarding the 2,240 acre-foot sale to San Francisco. MID board President Tom Van Groningen said Monday evening that the board will decide at its meeting today whether Read More…

High levels of lead found in Indian Ocean

United Press InternationalJune 27, 2012 U.S. researchers say they have discovered high concentrations of lead in the Indian Ocean despite leaded gasoline having been slowly phased out worldwide. While leaded gasoline usage has decreased drastically in the last few decades, lead is still pervasive in the environment, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reported. MIT ocean Read More…