News Release Archive

Reclamation seeks public comment on draft environmental impact statement on hatchery infrastructure improvements

Media Contact: Michael Coffey, 208-378-5020,

For Release: November 20, 2020

LEAVENWORTH, Wash. – The Bureau of Reclamation announced today it is seeking public comment on the draft environmental impact statement for the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Surface Water Intake Fish Screens and Fish Passage Project. The draft EIS is a result of scoping comments received from other agencies, interested parties and the public on possible alternatives to modernize this hatchery’s surface water intake, fish screening, fish passage and water delivery system. “This project is a benefit to the long-term operational needs of the LNFH and also addresses needed conservation of critical natural resources. It’s a win-win for both our partners and the continued health of the Icicle Creek Watershed,” said Talmadge Oxford, Reclamation’s Columbia-Cascades area manager.

The LNFH intake facility on Icicle Creek that supplies fresh water to the hatchery is deteriorating due to age and needs to comply with the National Marine Fisheries Service 2017 Biological Opinion. The purpose of the project is to minimize the impacts to fish listed under the Endangered Species Act by installing fish screens, improving fish passage and providing safe, efficient and reliable delivery of the hatchery’s surface water rights from Icicle Creek.

Three alternatives are analyzed in the draft EIS:

  • No Action Alternative – This alternative assumes no federal action would be taken
  • Alternative B – Proposed Action, rehabilitation of the LNFH surface water intake and delivery system with a Phase I expedited construction schedule
  • Alternative C – Preferred Alternative, rehabilitation of the LNFH surface water intake and delivery system with an expedited Phase I construction schedule and reduced impacts to riparian areas
  • Alternative D – Rehabilitation of the LNFH surface water intake and delivery system with a Phase I standard workday/4-month in-water work window construction schedule

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.

The public will have the opportunity to participate during the draft EIS public comment period and provide input through a web-based virtual meeting room from November 20, 2020 to January 4, 2021. The virtual “meeting” will be accessible at The public can also participate in two Q&A/public comment video teleconferences that will be held on December 8, 2020, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. PST and December 10, 2020, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. PST. Subject matter experts will be available to answer questions about the project.

Comments must be submitted by close of business on January 4, 2021, in the web-based virtual meeting room, by email to or by U.S. mail. If submitting an email, please indicate “SWISP DEIS Public Comments” in the email subject line. If submitting by U.S. Mail, please address to 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:

# # #

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 and follow us on Twitter @USBR; Facebook @bureau.of.reclamation; LinkedIn @Bureau of Reclamation; Instagram @bureau_of_reclamation; and YouTube @reclamation.

Relevant Link: