Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinion
The Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) is comprised of a series of hydropower projects in the Columbia Basin located on the mainstem Columbia River and in several of its major tributaries that provide about one third of the electricity used in the Pacific Northwest. The Bureau of Reclamation manages two facilities, Grand Coulee and Hungry Horse dams, and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) manages12 facilities that are included in the FCRPS Biological Opinion (BiOp).
The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) markets the power generated from the federal projects and distributes power from both the federal and non-federal projects through its transmission system. The revenues collected cover the cost of operating and maintaining the projects and contribute to the region's efforts to protect and rebuild fish and wildlife populations in the Columbia Basin.
Learn more about the 2014 NOAA Fisheries Supplemental FCRPS Biological Opinion >>
FCRPS and the ESA
The operation of the FCRPS affects 13 species of Columbia River Basin salmon and steelhead listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In addition, two native stocks (bull trout and sturgeon) are affected by the federal dams. map >>
The ESA requires the three agencies that operate the FCRPS, called the FCRPS Action Agencies (Action Agencies), to ensure that their actions are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species, nor result in the destruction of critical habitat. The Action Agencies consult with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries on the management of the FCRPS. NOAA Fisheries issues biological opinions on the operation and maintenance of the FCRPS. The Action Agencies also consult with the US Fish and Wildlife Service on hydrosystem impacts to sturgeon and bull trout.
The Action Agencies are currently operating under the 2014 Supplemental FCRPS BiOp issued by NOAA Fisheries, working closely with the affected states and 13 tribes. The biological opinion includes hydrosystem, harvest, hatchery, predator control, tributary and estuary habitat, and research, monitoring, and evaluation (RME) actions to avoid jeopardy and destruction of critical habitat by improving salmon and steelhead survival. Reclamation implements those BiOp actions associated with Grand Coulee and Hungry Horse dams.
The Federal Caucus
Reclamation participates in the Federal Caucus, a group of ten agencies with natural resource responsibilities in the Columbia River Basin. Visit http://www.salmonrecovery.gov for information about the Federal Caucus and its activities to protect and recover ESA-listed species in the Columbia River Basin.
Public Affairs Office
Bureau of Reclamation
Pacific Northwest Region
Columbia/Snake Salmon Recovery Office
1150 N Curtis Road, Suite 100
Boise, Idaho 83706