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Upper Columbia Spring Chinook and Steelhead Acclimation Program (DOE/EA-1998)
Chelan and Okanogan counties, Washington

BPA has decided to fund the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation’s Upper Columbia Spring Chinook and Steelhead Acclimation Program.  The program would include the development and use of ponds to acclimate existing hatchery-bred juvenile Chinook salmon and steelhead prior to releasing them into the Methow and Wenatchee river basins in Okanogan and Chelan counties, Washington.  

Currently, hatchery-reared spring Chinook and steelhead are released in the Wenatchee and Methow watersheds without any acclimation to their release sites, and thus the fish remain imprinted on the hatchery waters where they were raised.  Upon return from the ocean, their spawning instinct returns them to those hatcheries or nearby waterbodies unsuitable for spawning. Acclimating juvenile fish to natural spawning habitats throughout their native watersheds would help ensure their return as adults to locations where they can spawn successfully.

The program would involve using six acclimation ponds currently used or planned for acclimating coho salmon in the Methow and Wenatchee watersheds, and constructing one new pond in the Wenatchee watershed.  No additional hatchery production is proposed.

To understand the potential environmental impacts of this proposal, BPA prepared an environmental assessment (EA) following the procedures of the National Environmental Policy Act. The EA describes anticipated impacts on natural and human resources, as well as mitigation measures to help avoid or minimize impacts. During this process, BPA communicated with landowners, tribes, federal, state and local agencies, and interest groups.


BPA released the draft EA for public review and comment in November 2106 and received no comments in response. Following completion of consultation under the Endangered Species Act, a final EA was produced in early July, 2017.  Based on the EA analysis and mitigation measures to help lessen impacts, BPA has found that the project will not cause any significant impacts, and has issued a finding of no significant impact (FONSI). 

Scoping comment period
Scoping public meeting
Scoping public meeting
Draft EA comment period
Final EA
Finding of No Significant Impact (if warranted)
If decision to build, construction start

For environmental information, contact
Rob Shull
Contract Environmental Protection Specialist
FirstTekDOS, LLC
Bonneville Power Administration - ECF-4
P.O. Box 3621
Portland, Oregon  97208-3621

For project information, contact:
Roy Beaty
Project Manager
Bonneville Power Administration - EWU-4
P.O. Box 3621
Portland, Oregon  97208-3621

April 2, 2015 through May 4, 2015
April 22, 2015 in Leavenworth WA
April 23, 2015 in Winthrop, WA
November 2, 2016 through December 5, 2016
July 2017
July 13, 2017
late summer or fall 2017


Toll-free:        800-622-4519
Direct line:     503-230-3962

Toll-free:       800-622-4519
Direct line:    503-230-5213


Public Letter                                      (07/28/2017)
Final EA                                            (July 2017)
FONSI and Mitigation Action Plan          (07/13/2017)

Draft EA comments received 
Public Letter             (11/02/2016)
Draft EA                   (November 2016) 
Comment Form        (11/02/2016) 

Scoping comments received 
Public Letter             (04/02/2015)
Project Map              (09/29/2014)
Comment Form        (04/02/2015)