The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Dena Martin

Fish count web-postings will see delays at most dams

Counts at Bonneville and Lower Granite will post as usual


COLUMBIA & SNAKE RIVERS, Wash. & Ore.—A gap in the federal contract that provides fish counting services will mean a delay in the web-posting of the counts of adult salmon passing through U.S. Army Corps of Engineers fish ladders this spring.

A contract with Normandeau Associates of Bedford, N.H. ended Feb. 28, 2019 and a new fish-counting contract was competitively sourced and awarded to Four Peaks Environmental Science & Data Solutions from Wenatchee, Wash.

The new contractor was scheduled to begin fish-counting duties on March 1 at all eight Corps dams on the Snake and Columbia rivers. However, a protest in November on the awarded contract, prevented the contractor from beginning any work. The protest was ultimately dismissed by the Government Accounting Office in early February.

“Because of the three-month delay created by the protest, it was not possible to have the new contractor performing the obligations of the contract by March 1, said Corps Fish Biologist Chris Peery in a Corps media release. “The contractor is now allowed until June to assume full performance of the new contract, although they may be able to start sooner at some locations.”

The Corps has selected Bonneville Dam and Lower Granite Dam as critical counting locations and experienced fish counters have been hired. Counters will work at those two locations and data will be posted on the Fish Passage Center website within the usual timeframe, which is typically 24 hours.

At the remaining dams – The Dalles, John Day, McNary, Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental and Little Goose – video recording of fish passing will begin April 1. Recorded data will be reviewed, counted and fish-count data posted within 3-5 days, depending on staff availability.

“While there likely will be delays in posting some of the fish-count data, collecting video records means critical fish identification and count data will be preserved during this transition period between contractors,” Peery said.

The Fish Passage Center website can be found at


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