NESPELEM, Wash. — The Northwest Power and Conservation Council approved plans Wednesday for a salmon hatchery at the Chief Joseph Dam to help rebuild chinook runs in the upper Columbia River watershed.
The $40 million project will be funded by the Bonneville Power Administration.
The project still needs final approval of the Corps of Engineers which operates the dam and owns property where the hatchery will be built. It will produce up to 2.9 million smolts a year.
The council says the goal of the hatchery is provide a salmon harvest for Colville tribal members whose historic fishery was wiped out by the construction of Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph dams.
The tribe has taken the project through seven years of planning and scientific review.