In December 2001, as part of the solicitation associated with the Columbia Cascade Province, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (Colville Tribes) submitted a series of proposals to address habitat restoration, fish propagation, fish harvest, and research monitoring and evaluation needs in the Okanogan subbasin. In October 2002 the Council approved Proposal #29040 Develop and Propagate Local Okanogan River Summer/Fall Chinook as part of the issue summary for the Columbia Cascade provincial review.
A master plan (see below), as the first step in the Major Project Review process for this project, was prepared by the Colville Tribes and the Bonneville Power Administration and submitted to the Council on May 26, 2004. The master plan proposes to increase the abundance, distribution, and diversity of naturally spawning populations of summer/fall Chinook salmon in the Okanogan River and in the Columbia River above Wells Dam by constructing a hatchery and acclimation ponds, and instituting terminal, selective fisheries. While the focus of the Chief Joseph Dam Hatchery Program Master Plan is on propagation of summer/fall Chinook salmon, an important secondary priority for the Colville Tribes is consideration of the proposed facility to include propagation of spring Chinook salmon .
The Council invites comment on this issue paper and on the master plan (see blue sidebar). In particular, public comment is requested on key issues listed in this issue paper. This issue paper is not intended to constrain alternatives the Council may consider or limit Council action on this project.
The master plan has been submitted to the Independent Scientific Review Panel (ISRP) and their review is anticipated later this year. Based on comments and reviews received, Council staff will develop a list of alternative actions that will be considered by Council. At the December 14-16, 2004 meeting in Portland, Oregon, the Council will consider whether to approve the Chief Joseph Dam Hatchery Program Master Plan.
Thank you for your interest in the Council's review of this project.
Stephen L. Crow Executive Director
Chief Joseph Master Plan: