Northwest Salmon Having Another Record Year

The Columbia River’s upriver bright fall Chinook run and the combined lower and upper river fall Chinook run will each be the second-largest on record since Bonneville Dam was completed in 1938, according to the Technical Advisory Committee.

The total adult fall Chinook return to Lower Granite Dam may also be the largest since construction of Lower Granite Dam in the 1970s. Some 735,000 upriver adult fall Chinook are expected to pass Bonneville Dam this year. The 10-year (2004-2013) average is 243,000 fish. Upriver brights, as these fall Chinook are called, are the largest component of the total fall Chinook run entering the Columbia River at its mouth.

More than a million total adult fall Chinook are predicted for the Columbia River this year. If this forecast pans out, the fall Chinook run will have been more than a million fish for three years running. The three-year period 2013-2015 has been significantly better than the 10-year (2004-2013) average of 595,000 fall Chinook at the river mouth. About 1,270,000 were counted in 2013 (the largest since Bonneville Dam was built), last year brought 1,160,000, and this year has hit 1,100,000 so far.

At Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River, a large run of 58,200 adult fall Chinook is anticipated. That, too, would be a second-best fall Chinook return since Lower Granite—the uppermost of four dams on the Lower Snake—was completed in 1978.

Asked about Snake River fish counts, Stuart Ellis, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission biologist and TAC chairman, said he was amazed to find that “in just the past four years, we almost certainly will have had more adult fall Chinook counted at Lower Granite than in the previous 37 years Lower Granite has existed.” “Those 37 years total 202,787 fall Chinook, while the total for the last four years is already 190,238 fish,” he said. “And we will get another 13,000 fish this year
without much trouble at all”

[Laura Berg at EnergyNewsData].


Another Great Annual Meeting!

CPI just concluded another great annual meeting. It was great to get our members out to the Lebanon Samaritan Event Center to celebrate 76 years of making life better! While the main purpose of our annual meeting is to elect board members and conduct CPI business it was also great to get to know more about the services CPI provides. For a copy of our President’s message at the meeting please click here.

Check out some of the awesome photos of the membership:














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Safety Matters

Although seemingly innocent enough, putting signs or other items on utility poles creates serious safety hazards. Staples, nails, and tacks used to hang signs as well as the signs themselves, pose dangers to line workers who must climb poles when either restoring power following storms or while performing routine maintenance to ensure system reliability.

The nails and tacks left behind from signs can snag utility workers gloves and sleeves that they wear to work on high voltage lines and puncture the safety clothing making line workers vulnerable to electrocution.

Posters or other objects (birdhouses, balloons, flags, and even basketball nets) can also create dangerous obstacles as they themselves or the objects left behind from hanging them can cause problems for line workers.

CPI offers an electricity safety course to help teach children and adults of all ages to be safe around electricity and learn what it is. To learn more and schedule a demonstration please visit our safety page.

Thank you for following these safety tips and helping to keep our CPI linemen safe!
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CPI is offering FREE Smart Power Strips at our offices

The Smart Power Strip is an infrared and motion sensing strip that reduces power consumption of home entertainment centers by shutting off power to the main device (television) and other controlled devices (gaming systems, DVD players, entertainment systems).

You can get a free Smart Power Strip from CPI and cut waste and save around $30 a year! Come visit us at either our Philomath or Lebanon office to get one for your home today.

CPI Joins with Northwest RiverPartners for Hydropower Education Effort

In recognition of the tremendous value of the Columbia and Snake River System, CPI is continuing to partner with a regional effort to educate people about the multiple benefits the rivers provide to the region’s economy.  An informational “CleanHydro” campaign features a website, fact-based materials, television and print ads. CPI is joining other utilities and users of the region’s rivers on the campaign, which is being coordinated by Northwest RiverPartners, an organization of river users with members in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.

To view a video on the benefits of the hydro system that benefits our region click on the video below.

Public opinion research shows a lack of understanding of the river system’s value to the Northwest’s economy. Many Northwest residents believe wind and solar technologies produce a much higher percentage of power than what is accurate. Younger generations know very little about the Columbia and Snake River System’s positive contributions. For example, hydro-power produces 60 percent of the region’s electricity, while solar and wind produce 4 percent. And in the Northwest, hydro-power provides 90 percent of the region’s renewable energy.

“We are launching this effort to educate people that a great deal of important commerce flows from our Northwest rivers,” said Scott Corwin, Executive Director of the Public Power Council and also a co-chair of the CleanHydro campaign. “The fact that hydropower is the region’s premier renewable energy source is a compelling story to share,” Corwin added.

Examples of facts and benefits from the campaign:

  • Agriculture: Northwest rivers irrigate 7.8 million acres of farmland each year. Annual net earned income from Northwest agriculture production exceeds $8 billion.
  • Commerce: Over 50 million tons of commercial cargo, valued at over $20 billion, is moved down the Columbia and Snake Rivers annually. The Northwest is the nation’s number one exporter of wheat, barley and paper products. The Northwest river system provides over 100,000 jobs to the region.
  • Clean air: Barges on Northwest rivers keep 700,000 trucks off the highways each year. Because hydropower produces no carbon emissions, the Northwest’s carbon footprint is half that of other parts of the country.
  • Renewable: Hydropower provides nearly 90 percent of the Northwest’s renewable energy.
  • Energy: Northwest dams provide nearly 60 percent of the region’s electricity. It would take two nuclear, three coal-fired, or six gas-fired power plants to replace the average annual power produced by the four lower Snake River dams.
  • Flexible and reliable: Because the rivers are always flowing in the Northwest, hydropower is also used as a tool to back up intermittent generators such as wind or solar. Hydro generation can be quickly adjusted to follow changes in wind production and keep the transmission system reliable.
  • Flood control: Prior to the federal dams on the Columbia and Willamette rivers, Portland and other cities were subject to severe flooding. Controlling flood waters became a high priority in 1948 when Vanport, Oregon, was destroyed in a late spring deluge. A 1964 treaty with Canada led to the development of millions of acre-feet of water storage for flood control and power generation. Estimates show that flood control operations in February 1996 saved $3.2 billion to the Portland metropolitan area in what otherwise would have been devastating flood damage.
  • Recreation: The reservoirs formed by dams provide Northwest residents with abundant waterways for boating, fishing, water-related sports and cruises. Tourism from river cruise ships alone brings $15 to $20 million annually to local Northwest economies.

About Northwest RiverPartners: Northwest RiverPartners is an alliance of over 120 farmers, utilities, ports and small and large businesses that relies on and promotes the economic and environmental benefits of the Columbia and Snake Rivers, and fish and wildlife policies and programs based on sound science. RiverPartners’ member organizations represent more than four million electric utility customers, 40,000 farmers and thousands of port employees that provide hundreds of thousands of Northwest jobs.

For information on the CleanHydro campaign, visit