Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho


State, tribal and federal officials walked away from a meeting on how to manage the Dworshak Reservoir to benefit fall chinook salmon with only a pledge to try for a consensus, later. At issue is the practice of releasing water from the reservoir in July and August to speed the velocity and cool the temperature of the lower Snake River. Federal fish managers have come to rely on the reservoir as a tool to help juvenile fall chinook make it to the river. This happens at the same time boaters, anglers and campers traditionally flock to Dworshak for recreation. It hurts Orofino businesses that depend on visitors for an influx of cash. To combat the drawdowns, the state and the tribe issued a conditional dissolved gas waiver this spring. It said the reservoir must be full between June 30 and the end of July and some water must be set aside to aid adult migration in late summer and early fall. It was rejected by the National Marine Fisheries Service which said there's no point waiting until August when most of the juvenile fish already have migrated.