Summer Spill Analysis:
by Bill Rudolph
A BPA analysis of biological and economic effects from reducing spill concludes that stopping spill in the lower Columbia River for the last two weeks of August would increase the agency's revenues by at least $17 million, with negligible effects on Snake River fall chinook that are listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act.
The analysis, requested by the Pacific Northwest Utilities Conference Committee, found that Columbia River fall chinook, mainly from the Hanford Reach area, would experience about 5 percent less survival. But since only about 10 percent of the run is still migrating by the middle of August, the potential action would decrease adult returns by only about 600 fish.
Assuming 11 million fall chinook survive to John Day Dam, the analysis said that would add up to only 41 fewer chinook for non-tribal fishermen to catch, worth about $4,100 to the economy, and 117 fewer chinook for tribal fishermen, worth about $7,600.
BPA also noted, "there is no means this year to study the effects of curtailing spill by two weeks."
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