News Release Archive

Reclamation Announces Record of Decision for Cle Elum Fish Passage Final Environmental Impact Statement

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212,
Candace McKinley,

For Release: August 26, 2011

The Bureau of Reclamation today announced the signing of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Cle Elum Dam Fish Passage Facilities and Fish Reintroduction Project by Pacific Northwest Regional Director Karl Wirkus.

The project will provide fish passage to historic habitat and restore biodiversity to enhance the natural production of salmon and lamprey in the upper Cle Elum subbasin. Cle Elum Dam located on the Cle Elum River about 8 miles northwest of Cle Elum, Washington, built in 1933 without fish passage facilities.

Fish expected to benefit include Sockeye, Coho and Spring Chinook Salmon, and Pacific Lamprey. The project also benefits the Upper Middle Columbia River Steelhead and Bull Trout, two species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The preferred option is Alternative 3 described as the Right Bank Juvenile Passage with Right Bank Adult Passage without Barrier Dam. This alternative meets the project's purpose and need for fish passage in the Yakima basin in the most environmentally sensitive manner and completes the environmental compliance for this project.

The preferred alternative includes building downstream passage facilities for juvenile fish to pass through a multilevel gated intake structure and through a conduit on the right abutment of the Cle Elum Dam. A trap-and-haul facility is also included in this alternative.

Details about Alternative 3 are described in the Cle Elum Dam Fish Passage Facilities and Fish Reintroduction Project Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and the ROD.

Reclamation is responsible for the Fish Passage Facilities portion of the FEIS; the Washington State Department of Ecology, in collaboration with the Yakama Nation and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), are responsible for the Fish Reintroduction Project portion; and the Fish Reintroduction Project decision was made by the Yakama Nation and WDFW.

The Final Planning Report focuses on fish passage facilities at Cle Elum Dam and includes additional information on design, costs, and economic analysis. The ROD can be viewed online at: .

Questions about the report may be directed to Ms. Candace McKinley, Environmental Program Manager, at the Bureau of Reclamation, 1917 Marsh Road, Yakima WA 98901, (509) 575-5848, ext. 232; by fax to (509) 454-5650; or by email to TTY users may dial 711 to obtain a toll-free TTY relay.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

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