Approximately 200 federally-listed adult steelhead were discovered dead last week in the tailrace below the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Dworshak Dam on the North Fork of the Clearwater River near Orofino, Idaho. Cause of the mortalities is still under investigation, but it’s believed the injuries stemmed from non-routine upgrades of the Dam’s turbine unit.

Not the first time. In November 2010, about 1,000 Clearwater River steelhead died after being trapped by a generator maintenance project at Dworshak. During that incident, dam workers saved more than 500 fish so they could continue their spawning migration.

As of last Friday, the Corps had requested an assessment from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff at Dworshak Fish Hatchery. It is also coordinating with federal and state agencies and other regional fish managers, including Native American tribes.

Before the construction of Dworshak, which was completed in 1973, the North Fork historically produced 90 percent of the Clearwater’s native B-run steelhead—runs of 20,000 to 40,000 fish according to counts from the late 1950s.

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Tom Bie is the founder, editor, and publisher of The Drake. He started the magazine in 1998 as an annual newsprint publication based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He then moved it to Steamboat, Colorado (1999), Boulder, Colorado (2001), and San Clemente, California (2004), as he took jobs as managing editor at Paddler, Senior Editor at Skiing, and Editor-in-Chief at Powder, respectively. Tom and The Drake are now both based in Denver, Colorado, where The Drake is finally all grows up(Swingers, 1996) to a quarterly magazine.

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