Lawsuit seeks more spill over Columbia Basin dams for salmon

Lower Granite Dam on Snake River aerial from AP low res.jpg
Posted at 3:40 PM, Jul 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-16 17:40:41-04

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

Earthjustice and other groups asked Friday in a federal court in Portland, Oregon, 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.

The groups are also seeking lowered reservoir levels to help speed fish migration through reservoirs that are routinely too hot.