Plan for Idaho dam water release poses threat to fish

LEWISTON, Idaho — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will have to release more water than normal this year from a northern Idaho dam because of ample snowpack, but the move may negatively impact fish.

The Lewiston Tribune reported Monday that the largest hydroelectric generator at the Dworshak Dam is down for repair work, and Corps officials will have to release massive amounts of water to avoid downstream flooding.

Water plunging from the dam’s spillways creates high levels of dissolved gas, which has the potential to harm or kill fish.

The fish that may be affected are from the Dworshak National Fish Hatchery and fall chinook fry in the Clearwater River.

The Corps plans to reduce outflows from the dam when juvenile fish are released from the hatchery this month and in April.

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