Note: In October 2019, EPA issued its draft Columbia River Cold Water Refuges Plan (see "Documents" below) and solicited feedback from a broad group of organizations and individuals. We received 18 comment letters in 2019, and we're now in the process of finalizing the plan.
The Columbia River Temperature TMDL issued by EPA on May 18, 2020, includes temperature targets for 12 cold water refuges and references the draft Columbia River Cold Water Refuges Plan as the scientific basis for the targets. As part of the public review of the TMDL, the public has the opportunity to comment on Section 5.0 and Section 6.5.6 of the TMDL that addresses cold water refuges. We recognize that comments on these sections of the TMDL may relate to the draft Cold Water Refuge Plan, particularly chapters 1-6. Therefore, we will review public comments on the TMDL prior to finalizing the Cold Water Refuges Plan.
For questions, contact John Palmer (email@example.com), 206-553-6521.
The Columbia River Cold Water Refuges Plan is a scientific document with recommendations to protect and restore cold water refuges. By issuing this plan, EPA is meeting its responsibilities under the Endangered Species Act associated with its approval of Oregon’s temperature standards for the Columbia River. The plan:
- Characterizes Columbia River water temperatures.
- Identifies the location and size of each cold water refuge in the Lower Columbia River.
- Quantifies the extent to which salmon and steelhead use the refuges.
- Summarizes the effects of warm river temperatures on migrating salmon and steelhead.
- Evaluates Columbia River temperature trends.
- Assesses whether the amount of existing refuge is sufficient to support migrating adult salmon and steelhead.
- Provides snapshots of each of the watersheds supporting the refuges.
- Outlines strategies to restore, enhance, and protect refuges for the future.
For more information about this project, visit Columbia River Cold Water Refuges.
DocumentsYou may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.
- Draft Columbia River Cold Water Refuges Plan (PDF)(187 pp, 18 MB, October 2019)
- Appendix 1: Characterization of Columbia River Temperature Variability (PDF)(15 pp, 2 MB, August 19, 2019)
- Appendix 2: Evaluation of the Potential Cold Water Refugia Created by Tributaries Within the Lower/Middle Columbia River Based on NorWeST Temperature Model (PDF)(2 pp, 499 K, June 6, 2017)
- Appendix 3: Screening Approach to Identify the 23 Tributaries that Currently Provide Cold Water Refuges in the Lower Columbia River (PDF)(10 pp, 222 K, March 29, 2018)
- Appendix 4: Location of Upstream Extent of 23 Cold Water Refuge Areas Used by Migrating Salmon and Steelhead (PDF)(18 pp, 5 MB, November 1, 2018)
- Appendix 5: Volume of Cold Water Refuge (CWR) Associated with the 23 Tributaries Providing CWR in the Lower Columbia River and Selection of the 12 Primary CWR (PDF)(4 pp, 228 K, September 11, 2019)
- Appendix 6: CORMIX Modeling of Tributary Plumes in the Lower Columbia River (PDF)(22 pp, 3 MB, June 23, 2017)
- Appendix 7: Estimating the Potential Cold Water Refugia Volume within Tributaries that Discharge into the Columbia River (PDF)(2 pp, 79 K, October 26, 2018)
- Appendix 8: Estimates of Plume Volume Associated with Five Tributary/Columbia River Confluence Sites using U.S. EPA Field Data Collected in 2016 (PDF)(48 pp, 9 MB, March 1, 2017)
- Appendix 9: Estimated Cold Water Refuge Volume for the Wind River and Little White Salmon River/Drano Lake (PDF)(2 pp, 293 K, May 22, 2017)
- Appendix 10: Estimated Cold Water Refuge Volume in Herman Creek Cove (PDF)(3 pp, 597 K, June 1, 2017)
- Appendix 11: Supplement to Estimated Cold Water Refuge Volume in Herman Creek Cove (PDF)(14 pp, 3 MB, September 27, 2017)
- Appendix 12: Tributary and Columbia River Measured Temperature Data Summary (PDF)(42 pp, 10 MB, February 17, 2017)
- Appendix 13: Estimated Number of Steelhead and Fall Chinook Using Cold Water Refuges in the Bonneville Reservoir Reach (PDF)(23 pp, 1 MB, April 11, 2019)
- Appendix 14: Water Temperature Estimates of the Columbia River and Tributaries in 2040 and 2080 (PDF)(5 pp, 5 MB, March 13, 2019)
- Appendix 15: Stream Temperature Predictions Under Varying Shade and Climate Scenarios in the Columbia River Basin (PDF)(31 pp, 3 MB, November 20, 2018)
- Appendix 16: Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Temperatures of the Columbia and Snake Rivers (PDF)(32 pp, 2 MB, December 2018)
- Appendix 17: Water Temperature Estimates of the Lower/Middle Columbia River and Tributaries in 2040 and 2080 Based on the NorWeST Model (PDF)(4 pp, 990 K, June 7, 2017)
- Appendix 18: Predicted Maximum Temperature Using the NorWeST Model in 12 Primary Cold Water Tributaries and 2 “Restore” Tributaries (PDF)(1 pg, 82 K, April 11, 2019)
- Appendix 19: Comparison of NorWeST Future Temperature Estimates to a Continuation of Historical Warming Trends in the Lower Columbia River (PDF)(1 pg, 83 K, June 5, 2019)
- Appendix 20: Watershed Snapshot Assumptions and Approaches (PDF)(11 pp, 911 K, August 20, 2019)
- Appendix 21: HexSim Migration Corridor Simulation Model Preliminary Results (PDF)(72 pp, 3 MB, September 30, 2019)