Group urges federal action to protect Oregon river fish

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — A national conservation group is calling on the federal government to take action to protect fish runs in the Willamette River.

The Corvallis Gazette-Times reported Tuesday that America’s Rivers named the Willamette in northwest Oregon to its annual list of “America’s Most Endangered Rivers” released Tuesday.

America’s Rivers says the Army Corps of Engineers should act to protect imperiled spring chinook salmon and winter steelhead runs by improving operations at its 13 Willamette Basin dams.

The group also says Congress should secure funding for the work.

The report says that without functioning fish ladders, salmon and steelhead swimming upstream to spawn must be collected and trucked to the tops of the dams, while juveniles migrating downstream cannot get past dams without being forced through power turbines.