Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho


Idaho and the Nez Perce Tribe lost their bid to save some of Dworshak Reservoir's cool water for adult and late migrating juvenile fall chinook. The National Marine Fisheries Service, Oregon and Washington were unwavering in their belief that juvenile fall chinook headed downstream need the cool water now from the Clearwater River dam. The fisheries service decided to immediately increase flows at the dam to full powerhouse capacity - 10,000 cubic feet per second. When temperature readings at Lower Granite Dam on the lower Snake reach 68 degrees, Dworshak flows will increase to 14,000 cfs. That will draft the reservoir to 80 feet below full pool by the end of August. The state, tribe and Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission wanted Dworshak's flow to hold steady at 6,500 cfs until mid-July, leaving some water for September when adult fall chinook are returning and 40 percent of juvenile chinook from the Clearwater River are still migrating. Fish and Game fish passage specialist Steve Pettit said Dworshak water likely will run out by the third week of August. "I just think juveniles and adults migrating after the third week of August are going to be looking at very hostile conditions."

The federal Wildlife Services agency has set traps for a wolf pack that reportedly killed 14 sheep in the Sawtooth Valley. Ranchers are moving the remainder of their sheep to another grazing allotment. Last summer Stanley pack members killed three cow calves and 12 sheep, said tribal wolf recovery leader Curt Mack. Wildlife Services shot one wolf and relocated another to the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness Area. Mack said earlier this year if "they have another year like they did last year, we're going to have some unfortunate control actions there. If we continue to have repeated depredations in the Stanley Basin, we won't have a choice but to go in and continue with control actions." The Stanley wolf pack was founded by two of the 20 wolves released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Middle Fort of the Salmon River valley in 1996. The action came as part of federal reintroduction efforts in Yellowstone National Park and in Idaho in 1995 and 1996.