Reclamation seeks public comment on hatchery infrastructure improvements

Media Contact: Michael Coffey, (208) 378-5020, mcoffey@usbr.gov

For Release: April 24, 2020

LEAVENWORTH, Wash. – The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking comment on the rehabilitation, replacement and modernization of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Surface Water Intake Fish Screens and Fish Passage Project.

The LNFH intake facility on Icicle Creek that supplies fresh water to the hatchery is deteriorating due to age and needs to comply with National Marine Fisheries Service current fish screening and fish passage criteria. The purpose of the project is to minimize the impacts to fish listed under the Endangered Species Act by improving fish passage and providing safe, efficient and reliable delivery of the hatchery’s surface water rights from Icicle Creek.

“This hatchery plays a vital role in the continued success of the Leavenworth Fisheries Complex to provide for sport, tribal, and commercial fisheries in the Pacific Northwest,” said Dawn Wiedmeier, Reclamation’s Columbia-Cascades area manager.

The hatchery is one of three mitigation hatcheries established by the Grand Coulee Fish Maintenance Project to compensate for anadromous fish losses above Grand Coulee Dam. It is operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and funded by Reclamation and Bonneville Power Administration. The hatchery raises and releases 1.2 million spring chinook salmon smolts annually into Icicle Creek.

Reclamation is preparing an environmental impact statement on the LNFH Surface Water Intake Fish Screens and Fish Passage Project. Reclamation will be gathering information from other agencies, interested parties and the public on a range of possible alternatives to modernize this hatchery’s water intake, fish screening and fish passage system. The public will have the opportunity to participate in the scoping process and provide input through a web-based virtual meeting room from April 24, 2020 to May 26, 2020. The virtual “meeting” will be accessible at https://virtualpublicmeeting.com/leavenworth-swisp-eis. The public can also participate in a teleconference on May 18, 2020, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. PDT. Subject matter experts will be available to answer any questions attendees may have about the project.

Comments must be submitted by close of business on May 26, 2020, in the web-based virtual meeting room, by email to BOR-SHA-PNRLSWISP@usbr.gov or by U.S. mail. If submitting an email, please indicate “SWISP Scoping Comments” in the email subject line. To submit written comments, please contact Mr. Jason Sutter, EIS Team Lead, Bureau of Reclamation, Columbia–Pacific Northwest Regional Office, 1150 N. Curtis Road, Boise, ID 83706. More information can be found on the SWISP official website: https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/leavenworth/swisp/index.html.

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The Bureau of Reclamation is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior and is the nation's largest wholesale water supplier and second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Our facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation opportunities, and environmental benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

Relevant Link:

https://virtualpublicmeeting.com/leavenworth-swisp-eis

https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/leavenworth/swisp/index.html