Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is proposing to fund parts of the ongoing Mill Creek Fish Passage Project located in Walla Walla, Washington. The project would benefit the conservation and recovery of mid-Columbia steelhead and bull trout, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Specifically, BPA proposes to fund the Tri-State Steelheaders, a non-profit organization that promotes healthy salmon and steelhead populations, to oversee concrete panel fabrication for the ongoing Mill Creek Fish Passage Project in Walla Walla, Washington. The concrete panels would replace existing in-channel concrete that has presented depth and velocity barriers to migrating fish. The fabricated panels would be used to create channel roughness and resting pools for ESA-listed mid-Columbia steelhead, and bull trout that migrate through channelized portions of Mill Creek to vital upstream spawning and rearing habitat.

Under the Pacific Northwest Power Planning and Conservation Act of 1980, 16 USC § 839 et seq. (Northwest Power Act), BPA is directed to protect, mitigate, and enhance fish and wildlife affected by the development, operation, and management of federal hydroelectric facilities on the Columbia River and its tributaries. These actions would also support conservation of ESA-listed species considered in the 2020 ESA consultations with National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on the operations and maintenance of the Columbia River System.


In April 2016, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) issued the Mill Creek Fish Passage Project Section 408 Permissions Walla Walla, Washington Environmental Assessment. BPA has adopted the EA and issued a FONSI to support panel construction. BPA-funded panel manufacture would begin in winter 2020. The panel installation, which BPA would not fund, would occur during the in-water work window in the summer/fall 2021 and 2022.


For environmental information, contact:
Chad Hamel         Toll-free: 800-622-4519
Supervisory Environmental Protection Specialist Direct line: 503-230-5564
Bonneville Power Administration - ECF-4  Email: 
PO Box 3621
Portland, Oregon 97208-3621

For project information, contact:
Andre L'Heureaux        Toll-free: 800-622-4519
Fish & Wildlife Administrator        Direct line: 503-230-4482
Bonneville Power Administration - EWU-4 Email: 
PO Box 3621
Portland, Oregon 97208-3621


Public Letter  (03/17/2021)
FONSI & MAP  (03/17/2021)
EA Determination  (03/03/2021)

USACE Final EA  (April 2016)
USACE FONSI  (April 2016)