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Walla Walla Basin Spring Chinook Hatchery Program (DOE/EIS-0495)

Umatilla County, Oregon and Walla Walla County, Washington


    Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is considering whether to fund a proposal by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CRUIR) to construct and operate a hatchery for Walla Walla spring Chinook salmon near Milton-Freewater in Umatilla County, Oregon. The proposal involves constructing a hatchery at the CTUIR's existing adult holding and spawning facility on the South Fork Walla Walla River in order to produce up to 500,000 yearling spring Chinook smolts annually; collecting adult spring Chinook for broodstock at Nursery Bridge Dam downstream of the proposed hatchery; incubating and rearing juveniles; and releasing smolts and adults in tributaries to the Walla Walla River in both Oregon and Washington. Spring Chinook were extirpated from the Walla Walla River basin in the early to mid-1900s. The proposed project would augment fish populations available for harvest and aid in establishing a naturally spawning spring Chinook population. In addition, BPA, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), and CTUIR are proposing an alternative to transfer production of 850,000 spring Chinook smolts currently reared at the Umatilla Hatchery to the proposed Walla Walla Hatchery. The Umatilla Hatchery, near Irrigon, Oregon, is managed by the ODFW and has water shortage problems that limit its ability to produce healthy spring Chinook smolts. The transfer would not change other aspects of the Umatilla spring Chinook program such as acclimation and release sites, and the Umatilla Hatchery would say in operation and continue to produce other fish.

    To understand the potential environmental impacts of this proposal, BPA is preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS) following the procedures of the National Environmental Policy Act. ODFW has agreed to participate in the EIS as a cooperating agency.

    The EIS will study three alternatives: to fund construction and operation the hatchery for Walla Walla spring Chinook; to fund construction and operation of the hatchery for Walla Walla spring Chinook and include production of Umatilla spring Chinook; a no action alternative not to fund the proposal. The EIS will describe anticipated impacts to natural and human resources and include mitigation measures that would help avoid or minimize impacts. During this process, we will work with landowners, federal, state and local agencies, interest groups, and tribes.


    Since March 2013, when BPA sought public comment on the scope of the EIS, the project proposal has changed somewhat. BPA is now requesting comments on project scope changes that would include production of spring Chinook currently produced at a different hatchery (Umatilla Hatchery), as well as a hatchery design change from traditional raceways to circular tanks.


    Scoping comment period
    Scoping meeting
    Scoping meeting
    Additional scoping - comment period
    Draft EIS available for public comment
    Final EIS
    If decision to build, construction start
    March 28, 2013 to May 15, 2013
    April 17, 2013 in Dayton, Washington
    April 16, 2013 in Milton-Freewater, Oregon
    June 2, 2014 to July 1, 2014
    Fall 2014
    Summer 2015
    Summer 2015


  • For environmental information, contact:
    Judy Woodward
    Contract Environmental Protection Specialist
    MBO Partners
    Direct line:
    Bonneville Power Administration - KEC-4
    P.O. Box 3621
    Portland, OR 97208-3621
    Don Rose,
    Supervisory Environmental Protection Specialist

    Bonneville Power Administration - KEC-4
    P.O. Box 3621
    Portland, OR 97208-3621

    Direct line:


    For project information, contact:
    Jay Marcotte, Project Manager
    Bonneville Power Administration - KEWU-4
    P.O. Box 3621
    Portland, OR 97208-3621

    Direct line:



    (All documents are in pdf format)

    Comments received on scoping
    Public Letter - update (288 Kb) (06/02/2014)
    Project Map (683 Kb) (05/12/2014)
    Comment Form (122 Kb) (06/02/2014)

    Comments received on scoping
    Public Letter (34 Kb) (03/28/2013)
    Comment Form (21 Kb) (03/28/2013)
    Project Map (3.6 Mb) (03/15/2013)

    Notice of Intent (29 Kb) (03/20/2013)

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 Page last reviewed on 3/27/2013 6:20:27 PM