The Council's Strategy for Improving Fish Passage

by James D. Ruff, Northwest Power Planning Council, Portland, OR, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Power '87


The Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program was developed by the Northwest Power Planning Council in 1982 and amended in 1984 and 1987. The program is likely the largest ongoing effort in the nation to rehabilitate a biological resource. The Northwest Power Act (the Act) of 1980 directed the Council to 'protect, mitigate and enhance' fish and wildlife resources that have been affected by the development and operation of the Columbia River Basin's extensive hydropower system. The program must strike a balance between fish and wildlife protection and hydropower production, so the region is assured an economical and reliable electrical supply. This paper will describe the Council's strategy to improve downstream fish passage. This strategy calls for a mix of actions, including a water budget to increase flows during the critical spring migration period; the construction of mechanical facilities at mainstem projects to divert, collect and bypass juvenile fish; the purposeful spilling of water at the dams to bypass fish until mechanical bypass systems are installed; and the transportation of juveniles around the projects in barges and trucks.

Subject Headings: Fish and fishery management | Hydro power | Rivers and streams | Basins | Wildlife | Aquatic habitats | Project management | Biological processes

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