More than 400 adult steelhead have been rescued today at Dworshak Dam near Orofino, Idaho, after workers discovered the fish trapped while dewatering a hydro-electric generator unit for routine maintenance, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials.
The stranded fish were discovered around noon today. Some were dead in floating, but many were active and swimming, they said.
Workers placed an air line in the water to help supply oxygen and all available personnel at the dam assisted with removal of the fish, officials said. They used large plastic containers to a makeshift “fish slide” just outside the powerhouse where fish could slip into the North Fork of the Clearwater River on the downstream side of the dam.
“By 4:45 p.m. today, over 400 steelhead had been released into the river. So far, no salmon have been found among the fish,” said Greg Parker, Dworshak operations project manager.
“We’re still rescuing live fish and will shift our focus to recovering any dead fish once our rescue effort is completed.”
Dam workers and Idah Fish and Game staff were filling containers with ice to salvage dead fish for local food banks. The number of dead fish has not been reported.