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Prepare an implementation strategy to reestablish salmon runs above existing dams, increasing prey availability for Southern Resident orcas.
Provide funding to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and regional salmon organizations to coordinate with partners to determine how to reestablish sustainable salmon runs above dams including the Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee Dams on the Columbia River and the Tacoma Diversion, Howard Hanson, and Mud Mountain Dams in the Puget Sound area.
In addition, provide policy support for actions needed and prioritize projects that produce downstream adult Chinook salmon.
- In 2019, the Governor and Legislature should provide funding through the Department of Fish and Wildlife and regional salmon recovery organizations to coordinate with tribes, local governments, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other key partners to assess and prioritize appropriate locations based on potential benefits, costs, management, operations, and other key information necessary to reestablish salmon runs as soon as possible above the dams and in the watersheds agreed to by the parties.
- Provide policy support for Chinook reintroduction upstream of dams such as Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee Dams for both the near-term trap-and-haul efforts (cultural releases implemented by the upper Columbia tribes).
- In addition, provide policy support for the long-term, phased approach in the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Fish and Wildlife Program and support the U.S. entity’s regional recommendation concerning the Columbia River Treaty. Prioritize projects that can produce downstream adult Chinook and areas with suitable habitat or areas targeted for habitat restoration in the near term.
- The Department of Fish and Wildlife was awarded $524,000 to help the Upper Columbia United Tribes complete the first of three phases of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s process to reintroduce salmon above the Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee Dams in the upper Columbia River. The efforts included screening salmon for diseases and conducting cultural releases of Chinook above the two dams. The department has begun looking for new sources of funding to continue the phased reintroduction of salmon above the two dams.
- In the second phase of the reintroduction process, the Legislature awarded $250,000 for a study of salmon migration and survival upstream of the two dams. The study focused on experimental adult and juvenile releases and an assessment of the best technologies and locations for juvenile fish passage collection facilities.
More details may be found in the progress reports in the resources library.