Starting in March, 2013 The Bonneville Power Administration began preparing an Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Walla Walla Spring Chinook Hatchery Program. BPA is proposing to fund the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation to construct and operate a hatchery for spring Chinook salmon in the Walla Walla River basin in northeast Oregon and southeast Washington. The proposed Walla Walla Basin Spring Chinook Hatchery would be constructed at the CTUIR’s existing Adult Holding and Spawning Facility on the South Fork Walla Walla River near Milton-Freewater in Umatilla County, Oregon. The new hatchery facility would be designed to incubate and rear up to 500,000 yearling spring Chinook smolts.
During the process of analyzing the impacts of the proposal, it was discovered that the original design with traditional hatchery raceways was not feasible. To solve the problem, circular tanks for rearing juvenile fish that recirculate and reuse water were evaluated. The new design saves water and increases fish survival. In addition to changing the design of the proposed hatchery, the feasibility of transferring the production of 850,000 spring Chinook smolts from the Umatilla Hatchery to the proposed Walla Walla Basin Spring Chinook Hatchery is also being analyzed.
The original alternatives in the EIS have been expanded. We would like to hear from you about these new alternatives. To learn more about the project go to www.bpa.gov/goto/WallaWallaHatchery or contact Jay Marcotte at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also call toll free at 800-622-4519, please mention Walla Walla Basin Spring Chinook Hatchery Program.