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.

The environmental review process was as follows:

Scoping comment period April 2, 2015 through May 4, 2015
Scoping public meeting April 22, 2015 in Leavenworth WA
Scoping public meeting April 23, 2015 in Winthrop, WA
Draft EA comment period November 2, 2016 through December 5, 2016
Final EA July 2017
Finding of No Significant Impact (if warranted) July 13, 2017
If decision to build, construction start Late summer or Fall 2017


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).


For environmental information, contact
Rob Shull Toll-free: 800-622-4519
Contract Environmental Protection Specialist Direct line: 503-230-3962
CorSource Technology Group Email: 
Bonneville Power Administration - ECF-4
P.O. Box 3621
Portland, Oregon 97208-3621

For project information, contact:
Roy Beaty Toll-free: 800-622-4519
Project Manager Direct line: 503-230-5213
Bonneville Power Administration - EWU-4  Email: 
P.O. Box 3621
Portland, Oregon 97208-3621


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)