News

Rachael McDonald

An unusual number of Chinook salmon carcasses have been found in the Willamette River around Portland. State wildlife biologists are blaming warm water.

Salmon need cool water to thrive. Nick Swart, a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says in the last week they've measured temperatures at 75 degrees around Willamette Falls.   

Swart: "That's really a precarious condition for migrating fish."

Jeff Ziller, with ODFW's Springfield office, says the warmer water is due to drought conditions.

This year’s Oregon Bach Festival runs from June 25th to July 12th, with events in Eugene and Portland. Its wide range of musical offerings will include the new Berwick Academy for Historical Performance, which will debut on Saturday, June 27th as Matthew Halls conducts three of Beethoven’s greatest works in Beall Hall.  Members of the Berwick Academy will also perform live in KLCC's SELCO Performance Hall on Wednesday, June 24th at 6:30 p.m. OBF Artistic Director Matthew Halls preview this year’s festival, with KLCC's Eric Alan.

Kari Greer / U.S. Forest Service

The federal government is one step closer to changing the way it pays to fight wildfires. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley said the preliminary legislation was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday.

Wildfires are not treated the same as other natural disasters, such as floods and hurricanes. This forces the U.S. Forest Service to take money intended for fire prevention efforts, like thinning, and use it to fight fires. Under the new system, Senator Merkley explains the wildfire budget would be based on the 10-year average cost.

www.blacksheepgathering.org

You won’t see many white sheep at this weekend’s  Black Sheep Gathering at the Lane County Fairgrounds. The show was founded 41 years ago to preserve the genetics of black, brown and grey animals.

The event began in the mid-1970s with gatherings held at people’s homes. It’s grown every year and this year will take over the convention space as well as the expo barns at the fairgrounds. Wayne Thompson has been involved for 35 years:

Jes Burns / Earthfix

Drought is creating problems in river systems all around the Northwest. Nowhere is this more evident than on the Klamath River in Southern Oregon and Northern California.

Scientists there say there’s not enough cool water flowing, and a fish kill of young Chinook [shin-’nook] salmon is likely.

Releasing more water from upstream reservoirs could help the fish stay healthy.
 

Eugene voters could see a property tax levy on the November ballot to help fund library services. The City Council discussed several options at its Wednesday work session. The previous library levy was allowed to expire four years ago. The Sheldon, Bethel and downtown branches now receive about 10-million dollars a year from the city's general fund. But the needs of other departments, as well as increased benefits and payroll costs have led to cuts in library hours.

The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts launches its 2015 theatricals season with the classic musical, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, a satire of 1950s corporate America. Director Peg Major speaks with KLCC’s Eric Alan, in an interview that includes music from the 2011 cast recording with Daniel Radcliffe. The play runs June 19th through 28th in the Jaqua Concert Hall in Eugene.

Oregon State Parks

Planners are gathering information about trails at Honeyman State Park in Florence. There's a public meeting Thursday evening.

Dan Ayres / Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife

The west coast is seeing the largest bloom of toxic algae in more than a decade. It's led to the closure of some commercial crab and shellfisheries in Oregon, Washington and California.
 

Wildlife managers spotted a sea lion in Longview, Washington that was arching its back, and then having seizures. They had to euthanize it.

The cause?

Pseudo-nitzchia. It’s a type of algae that releases a neurotoxin. If people eat shellfish or crabs contaminated with it, they can also suffer seizures, short term memory loss and even death.

Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest Public Radio

At high-end grocers in Paris or Tokyo, wild mushrooms flown in from the Northwest can fetch upwards of $100 a pound. That supply chain invariably begins on a dirty folding table on the side of a backwoods highway. In this second of two reports on the morel mushroom economy, Rowan Moore Gerety takes us to a buying station in the mountain town of Twisp.

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