Rivers & Lakes

A toxic past and present on the Spokane River
A toxic past and present on the Spokane River
In eastern Washington, a push to clean PCBs from its namesake river faces a dirty legacy and global pollution problem.
Update: New law makes it easier to kill salmon-eating sea lions
Update: New law makes it easier to kill salmon-eating sea lions
In the Columbia River, up to 920 sea lions can be removed each year to protect fish.
Alone on the Green River
Alone on the Green River
Writer Craig Childs goes boating in Utah and ponders the costs and payoff of solitude.
Does a river have a right to life?
Does a river have a right to life?
No law gives a river a right to exist; at best, laws protect a river from harm caused by new development.
Standing sentinel over the Umpqua River’s steelhead
Standing sentinel over the Umpqua River’s steelhead
A Buddhist fly-angler in Oregon protects fish from death by dynamite.
California Westlands water settlement in limbo
California Westlands water settlement in limbo
The deal addresses toxic drainage but could fall apart without congressional action.
A water-bottling plant creates a rift in Montana
A water-bottling plant creates a rift in Montana
Opponents say a proposal is tilting Flathead Valley development toward corporate interests.
Latest: Klamath farmers lose ‘takings’ lawsuit
Latest: Klamath farmers lose ‘takings’ lawsuit
A judge denies compensation for the 2001 water shut-off to protect salmon runs.
As sediment builds, one dam faces its comeuppance
As sediment builds, one dam faces its comeuppance
Officials at a Colorado reservoir are reckoning with decades of accumulation.
‘Diabolical’ mussels begin their march into Montana
‘Diabolical’ mussels begin their march into Montana
Divisions between state and tribal agencies could keep the door open for a most unwelcome visitor.
Why a Colorado River reunion with the sea isn’t a guarantee
Why a Colorado River reunion with the sea isn’t a guarantee
To revive a desiccated ecosystem, a U.S.-Mexico agreement looks past ‘pulse flows.’
Latest: A setback for a Las Vegas pipeline
Latest: A setback for a Las Vegas pipeline
Judge tells BLM to redo plans for compensating for wildlife habitat that would be lost to massive groundwater project.
West Obsessed: On dams and the rebirth of the Elwha
West Obsessed: On dams and the rebirth of the Elwha
A deep dive into a dismantled dam — and another in the planning stages.
U.S. and Mexico agree to share a shrinking Colorado River
U.S. and Mexico agree to share a shrinking Colorado River
The two nations are poised to sign an updated water pact to deal with drought.
In Glen Canyon, a fight against invasive grasses
In Glen Canyon, a fight against invasive grasses
A young researcher seeks to make the Southwest more resilient to climate change.
Will Utah dam the Bear River?
Will Utah dam the Bear River?
The Wasatch Front faces drier times and a growing population, threatening the Great Salt Lake.
Down with the Glen Canyon Dam?
Down with the Glen Canyon Dam?
Activists claim that decommissioning the dam will save water and restore a wild canyon. Are they right?
A return to the Snake River
A return to the Snake River
Taking a trip down the undammed section of Hells Canyon.
Slow progress on Park Service harassment
Slow progress on Park Service harassment
The agency begins to deliver on promises to confront sexual harassment.
Owls stuck in toilets; Otter attacks tuber; Mr. Mayor: Stubbs the cat
Owls stuck in toilets; Otter attacks tuber; Mr. Mayor: Stubbs the cat
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.
After its dams came down, a river is reborn
After its dams came down, a river is reborn
A look at the Elwha unleashed.
A community copes with record low salmon returns
A community copes with record low salmon returns
On the Fraser River, faltering salmon populations have impacted tribes and urban economies.
States restrict chinook fisheries
States restrict chinook fisheries
Extreme climate conditions over recent years pummeled the king of Western salmon.
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