Priest Rapids Dam

Priest Rapids Dam.

A program that involves significant coordination between fish biologists and dam operators at several hydroelectric projects in the mid- and upper Columbia River has shown increasing success at keeping fall Chinook alive in their freshwater life stages.

Agreements in 1988 and 2004 have led to increased redd counts, better egg-to-smolt survival and adult returns that continue to meet goals in Hanford Reach. This stretch of river below Grant County Public Utility District's Priest Rapids Dam is often called the last free-flowing section of the Columbia River, and is highly productive habitat for the main-stem river's fall Chinook population.

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K.C. Mehaffey covers fish issues for Clearing Up, and is editor of the NW Fishletter. She joined the NewsData writing team in February 2018. From lawsuits to scientific studies, she is enjoying the deep dive into the Columbia Basin's many fish topics.