Idaho congressman unveils plan to breach dams, save PNW salmon

A Republican congressman has proposed removing four hydroelectric dams in the Northwest as part of a sweeping new plan to address the decades-long problem of how to save salmon populations without upending a system that provides power to millions of people.

New study: Hood Canal Bridge is a big fish-killer

A long awaited study from local environmental non-profit Long Live The Kings show how much of a trouble spot the Hood Canal Bridge really is for migrating fish trying to get from Hood Canal to the open ocean. But solutions could be quite affordable. 

Washington governor slams military testing impact on orcas

The planned military exercises include testing torpedoes, firing projectiles at seven times the speed of sound, piloting mine-detecting undersea drones, deploying underwater sonar and exploding bombs up to 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms) in waters from northern California to Alaska.

Chinook salmon decimated, southern resident orcas are residents no more

Summer is synonymous with seeing whales in the Pacific Northwest, but visits from the locally-beloved southern resident orcas are becoming few and far between. Experts say the dramatic absence is likely directly tied to tanking salmon returns in the Fraser River, which were historically abundant. 

Another endangered southern resident orca missing and feared dead, scientists say

FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash. -- Scientists worry another endangered Southern Resident killer whale may be dead.The orca whale known as L41 was not seen in an encounter with his pod on Jan. 24, scientists with the Center for Whale Research said.He hasn't been spotted by the group since August, and because of his advanced age, scientists worry he may be dead."Given his age and that he looked a little thin in our January 2019 encounter, we fear he may be gone and consider him missing unless he shows up unexpectedly in an upcoming encounter," scientists with CWR said.

Drone footage offers scientists new perspective in understanding killer whale behavior

SEATTLE - Drone technology is now offering scientists a new perspective on killer whale behavior and help endangered southern residents.Scientists at the University of British Columbia are using aerial drones to get a rare glimpse at the whale's eating habits while underwater.The footage will help them determine if endangered southern residents are getting enough Chinook salmon to meet nutritional needs.Researchers say comparing northern residents to southern residents is an important step to understanding foraging habits.“We’re studying northern residents, that unlike southern, appear to be healthy, generally better body condition, a larger population size,” researcher Sarah Fortune explained. “And we're looking at their feeding behavior and the prey that they have available in habitats, and we're comparing that to the smaller population of southern residents that show poor body condition.”This is the first time researchers are using drones to record behavior and prey fields at the same time.