Salmon expansion possible in Columbia River talks

Third Power Plant at Grand Coulee Dam. Columbia Basin Project, WA. June 28, 1967. Photo: Image by US Bureau of Reclamation, Pacific NW Region

Salmon expansion possible in Columbia River talks

By Associated Press. CREATED Sep 26, 2013

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- Salmon could one day return to areas above the massive Grand Coulee Dam.

The Spokesman-Review reports that the issue of salmon passage has resurfaced as officials explore the renegotiation of the Columbia River Treaty. Tribes in the Northwest and First Nations in Canada have long sought the restoration of salmon habitat above the 550-foot-high Grand Coulee.

The 1964 Columbia River Treaty focuses on hydropower and flood control. Officials in the United States are interested in expanding the treaty's purpose to also address issues such as salmon and climate change.

The Grand Coulee Dam was built in the 1930s without fish ladders, halting salmon runs to the Upper Columbia River.