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NCW projects to get federal fish funding

By Michelle McNiel, Wenatchee World staff writer


WENATCHEE, WA — Projects to improve fish and wildlife habitat in North Central Washington are slated to receive more than $16 million from the Bonneville Power Administration over the next three years.

The Northwest Power and Conservation Council, which determines how the BPA fish and wildlife funding will be spent, finalized the 2007-09 funding at a meeting last week in Montana.

The list includes 17 projects in Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties that will receive amounts ranging from $60,000 to nearly $3 million over the next three years.

They include work on hatcheries and irrigation systems, improving fish habitat in rivers, and reopening old river channels that have been closed.

However, a Yakama Nation project that has reintroduced coho salmon in the Wenatchee and Methow river systems will not get any more funding. BPA has already invested nearly $14 million in that project.

A coalition of local, state and federal government agencies, irrigation districts and tribes made recommendations on what NCW projects should be funded, said Mike Kaputa, natural resources director for Chelan County.

"We are happy that the council relied on the local planning process in their recommendations," he said. "What they did was look at all the work that's been done and decided to fund the on-the-ground implementation projects."

Here's a list of North Central Washington projects to be funded by the Bonneville Power Administration from 2007 to 2009:

•Chief Joseph Dam hatchery program, $2.8 million

•Okanogan/Similkameen rivers fish and wildlife habitat project, $2.38 million

•Wenatchee River fish habitat improvement projects, $2.1 million

•Okanogan River monitor and evaluation project, $1.98 million

•Summer steelhead supplementation in the Okanogan River, $1.66 million

•Nason Creek oxbow reconnection, $1.23 million

•Methow River habitat enhancement, $1 million

•Upper-middle Columbia River irrigation screen corrections, $927,000

•Scotch Creek Wildlife Area (Okanogan County), $600,000

•Knapp-Wham Hanan Detwiler irrigation system, consolidation project, $375,000

•Okanogan River anadromous fish habitat and passage, $350,000

•Wenatchee River riparian improvement, $300,000

•Sagebrush Flats Wildlife Area, protect and maintain shrub-steppe habitat, $300,000

•Wenatchee River fish passage projects, $250,000

•Entiat River riparian enhancement, $250,000

•Steelhead spawning ground surveys in the upper-middle Columbia River, $175,000

•Lower Entiat River off-channel restoration project, $60,000


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