Utility features fish improvements through hydro licensing on new website

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The Coalition was pleased as punch to see Portland General Electric (PGE) showcase its new commitments to fish recovery - taking the connection between environmental restoration and its hydropower dams and new licenses online. From PGE's March 8th press release:Fish and the rivers they live in: PGE Web site tells many storiesAnglers will find trend data and fish counts helpfulMuch of Oregon' s story, past and present, is about our waterways and the fish that travel them. Now anglers – as well as hikers, boaters and campers or anyone who enjoys learning about Oregon' s treasures – can find a wealth of information on Portland General Electric' s (PGE' s) Web site. A visit to www.PortlandGeneral.com/Fish (located in the “Our Community & Environment” section), lets visitors explore the four river basins where PGE generates electricity: Clackamas, Deschutes, Sandy and Willamette. Visitors will discover photos and maps of hydroelectric and fish passage facilities, the history behind them, and get in-depth information about the present-day runs of wild and hatchery salmon, steelhead and other species. “Anglers will find our new Hydropower and Fish section especially interesting and useful,” said Tim Shibahara, a PGE fish biologist. “Timing a fishing trip is easy. We chart the peak migration dates for salmon and steelhead, when fishing is at its best. Plus, we provide graphs that show run strengths over time. Anglers can even view daily updates of how many fish, and what type, are passing by PGE facilities on both the Clackamas and Willamette rivers.” How do you tell the difference between a salmon, a steelhead and a kokanee? All the game fish species are profiled, along with photos of both adults and juvenile fish. The Clackamas section includes a short video on how PGE counts and separates wild and hatchery fish. (The hatchery fish receive another trip downstream, so anglers have another chance to catch them.) The site also presents some fascinating history of the local rivers. History buffs can read or download short books on the history of the Clackamas and the Sandy, commissioned by PGE as part of the relicensing of its hydro plants. One of them has a quote from the famous author Rudyard Kipling, made after spending a day steelhead fishing on the Clackamas in 1889, “I have lived! The American continent may now sink under the sea, for I have taken the best of it.” The river histories are still being written as PGE makes major changes to its generating facilities that make life easier for threatened salmon and steelhead. The utility' s plans to remove two dams in the Sandy Basin, restore salmon runs above its dams for the first time since 1968, and improve fish survival on the Clackamas and Willamette are detailed with full-color illustrations. Those interested in camping and picnicking can also find out about the parks and campgrounds PGE maintains, check on amenities such as boat launch and rentals, restrooms and showers and even make camping reservations online. "While hydroelectric plants are among the cleanest and lowest-cost ways to produce electricity, they also impact the natural habitat of the river. That's why PGE strongly supports fisheries management programs and facilities,” Shibahara said. “We partner with a variety of organizations, finding science-based, innovative solutions to help fish migration and aid in the recovery of threatened species. We also work to protect species living on the land near our projects and provide recreation on the rivers and lakes we help manage.”