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Mon., April 15, 2013, 6:40 a.m.

Salmon hatchery proposed on Walla Walla River

FISHING – The Bonneville Power Administration may fund a salmon hatchery on the Walla Walla River proposed by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

The plan is to naturally spawning spring chinook to the Walla Walla River Basin, where they’ve been missing for  more than 75 years.

The project, the latest of several in the basin, would expand the existing adult holding and spawning facility on the South Fork Walla Walla River near Milton-Freewater, Ore.

  • A public meeting is set for  6 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, at the Elementary School in Dayton.
  • Comments will be accepted through April 29 and can also be submitted online at

 Read on for more detals from BPA.

From a BPA media release:

Up to 500,000 yearling spring chinook smolts would be produced annually at the facility from brood stock collected downstream at the Nursery Bridge Dam. The hatchery would be used to hatch and rear juvenile spring chinook with releases of smolts and adults planned for Walla Walla River tributaries in both Oregon and Washington.

BPA will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act that considers two options: funding the Tribes’ proposal; or a no-action alternative of not funding. The EIS will describe anticipated impacts to natural and human resources, including steps to avoid or minimize those impacts.

As the initial scope of the EIS is developed to produce a draft document, input from the public helps BPA make well-informed decisions and ensures a thorough analysis of the project.

“We want to know what people are concerned about,” said Jay Marcotte, a fish and wildlife project manager for BPA. “Do they have questions about the project? Do they know something about a particular stretch of river or other species that this proposal might impact? We want to be able to address that in the EIS.”

Public comments will be accepted through April 29, 2013.

Comments will be accepted through April 29 and can also be submitted online at, by fax at 503-230-4019, by voice at 800-622-4519 or via mail to Bonneville Power Administration, Public Affairs Office – DKE-7, P.O. Box 14428, Portland, OR 97293-4428. Be sure to reference the “Walla Walla Basin Spring Chinook Hatchery Program” when submitting comments.

If constructed, the project would be funded as part of the 2008 Columbia Basin Fish Accords and BPA’s responsibilities under the Northwest Power Act. To find out more about the proposed hatchery program, please visit

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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