Utilities in the Pacific Northwest expect to see electric rates rise as a result of last week's announcement declaring the Snake River sockeye salmon an endangered species.
The National Marine Fisheries Service last Thursday declared the sockeye salmon an endangered species, a move that requires developing a recovery plan for the fish.
The Bonneville Power Administration, which markets hydroelectric electricity produced by a series of dams on the Snake River and other projects, said rates probably will rise 5% to 10% to accommodate changes in water flows that benefit the salmon.
Bonneville plans to cut its annual power production slightly and replace the lost energy with conservation measures and power purchases from outside the Pacific Northwest.
Salmon populations have dwindled dramatically in recent years in the Pacific Northwest, but business groups also are concerned about potential economic impact if prices on inexpensive hydroelectric electricity rise too quickly.