The Douglas PUD worked cooperatively with various state and federal fisheries agencies, including National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and an environmental organization, American Rivers, to develop the first hydropower Habitat Conservation Plan for anadromous salmon and steelhead. The plan commits Douglas PUD to a 50-year program to ensure that its hydro project has no net impact on mid-Columbia salmon and steelhead runs. This will be accomplished through a combination of juvenile and adult fish passage measures at the dam, off-site hatchery programs and evaluations, and habitat restoration work conducted in tributary streams upstream of Wells Dam.
As of April 2005, the Wells HCP has been signed by NMFS, USFWS, WDFW, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, Douglas PUD and the Wells Project Power Purchasers (Puget Sound Energy, Portland General Electric, PacifiCorp and Avista Corporation). The Wells HCP was reviewed and approved by NMFS following the issuance of biological opinions and Incidental Take Permits covering hatchery and hydro operation. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the Wells HCP on June 21, 2004 along with similar HCPs submitted by Chelan PUD for the Rock Island and Rocky Reach Hydroelectric projects.
With respect to plan species, the HCP parties have agreed to be supportive of the District’s long-term relicensing efforts. The HCP also provides Endangered Species Act coverage for all of the permit species (spring Chinook, summer/fall Chinook, sockeye and steelhead). The HCP also is intended to constitute the parties' terms, conditions and recommendations for Plan Species under Sections 10(a), 10(j) and 18 of the Federal Power Act, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, the Essential Fish Habitat provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act and Title 77 RCW of the State of Washington.
For more information on the Wells Habitat Conservation Plan, please contact Douglas PUD at (509) 884-7191.
Documents related to the Wells HCP are available below:
2010 Survival Verification Study
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