IV. Program progress

A. Program successes

The Council, working with regional partners, has made progress in a number of key areas since the Act was enacted in 1980:

  • Improved over 2,400 river miles of habitat, supporting hundreds of thousands of natural-origin juvenile salmon. In 2013, almost 1,200 miles were restored, a record year
  • In Idaho’s Lemhi River, a 15-year effort to install fish screens in irrigation diversions has reduced the stranding of out-migrating smolts from an estimated 71 percent to 1.9 percent, preserving tens of thousands of juvenile salmon
  • Supported efforts to increase Snake River fall Chinook from fewer  than 1,000 fish in the 1980s to more than 56,000 fish in 2013
  • Supported critical funding to help save Snake River sockeye salmon from extinction, and supports efforts to move beyond conservation toward recovery
  • Supported state and tribal efforts to acquire more than 400,000 acres for resident fish and wildlife, including conservation of riparian habitat in Montana for sensitive species like bull trout
  • Significantly improved salmon and steelhead survival at federal dams
  • Increased flows that improve fish production, migration, and survival
  • Supported construction of hatcheries to recover species like the endangered Kootenai River sturgeon and mitigate for lost salmon and steelhead with resident species such as rainbow trout and kokanee in Lake Roosevelt above Grand Coulee Dam
  • Supported state and tribal efforts to operate Libby and Hungry Horse dams in ways that improve biological benefits to fish and wildlife
  • Protected more than 117,000 acres of wildlife habitat in Oregon by supporting restoration projects implemented by the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Nez Perce Tribe, Burns Paiute Tribe, and Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and many non-governmental organizations
  • Protected the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River where the last healthy population of fall Chinook spawn
  • Supported new and ongoing efforts that are expected to show results in the near future. For example:
    • Yakama Nation fisheries biologists are working to reintroduce extirpated coho to the Yakima River Basin.
    • The recently completed Chief Joseph Hatchery is expected to reestablish a population of Upper Columbia River spring Chinook in the Okanogan River Basin.
    • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is implementing a Memorandum of Agreement to provide habitat improvements in the Columbia River estuary, an area utilized by all fish migrating to and from the ocean.
  • For more detail on program successes, please visit the High-Level Indicators page on the Council’s website and Bonneville’s project tracking website, CBFish.org.

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B. Program challenges →

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