Another Victim Of The Shutdown: Columbia Fish Counts

Dearest President & Congress: The shutdown has gone on long enough, but let’s get the government going again — two days without Columbia fish counts is killing me!

As of 8 this morning, salmon passage numbers for Bonneville, The Dalles and John Day Dams haven’t been updated since Monday, the day before federal agencies crawled into a fetal ball and put out notices to stay off our wildlife refuges, campgrounds, etc.


Especially during this mother-of-all fall king runs up the crick!!

Even worse — it looks like we’re going to have to actually do some work today — the Bonneville fish cams are off, meaning we can’t watch all the fat fishies swim past the viewing window!!!


A notice on the Army Corps of Engineers’ dam cam page says: “Due to the government shutdown, this website may not be up-to-date or responsive. More information is posted at”

Michele DeHart at the Fish Passage Center in Portland reposts daily fish counts from the Corps’ data for those three dams. She says her outfit has been in constant contact with the few federal staffers on duty at the dams, but don’t have counts yet for Oct. 1 and 2.

“We are trying and will post counts as soon as we get them,” she vows.

On the flip side, at least the budget impasse didn’t start back on Sept. 7, the start of a five-day, 250,000-Chinook surge through Bonneville that drove the Northwest batty.

In the meanwhile, fresh figures for the lower Snake dams and McNary are available.

And, oh, look at that, as of 8:20ish Thursday morning, Michele and crew were finally able to post Tuesday’s tallies for the dams.

But our point remains: Obama, Reid, Boehner, et al, get to work!

2 thoughts on “Another Victim Of The Shutdown: Columbia Fish Counts”

  1. Not only are the fish counts affected but with the deer opener just around the corner where are people to hunt and camp?………..

    1. That’s a good question to try and tackle. Our understanding is that while the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has closed hunting and fishing on their national wildlife refuges, land managed by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management remains open for hunting. That’s a pretty big swath of federal ground still open for business. Also, the shutdown does not affect state wildlife areas and state forests, which encompass millions more acres of land. Where it gets tricky is USFS and BLM campgrounds. The Oregonian put together a blog which goes into the complicated details of which campgrounds remain open (those operated by concessionaires), which are open but unserviced (ungated ones) and which are closed. It’s best to direct you to that particular article:

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