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Tribes Hope to Reintroduce Salmon in Upper Columbia

A bold project to try to reintroduce salmon in the upper reaches of the Columbia River is being announced by Native American tribes. While salmon runs seems to be making a gradual comeback in the Columbia river, no Salmon have been able to make it past the Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph dams since 1942.

A new paper from the Columbia basin tribes and Canadian First Nations lays out a phased approach that would first assess the viability of reintroduction.

The project will be coordinated by the upper Columbia United tribes, or UCUT. Executive Director and Colville tribal member DR Michel says this is a huge undertaking, but if successful will provide many benefits.

Michel: "There ‘s a lot of benefits you for thousands of years where we are and how we use the river and our ties to it. But were looking at more the regional benefit, it will benefit all those who live along the river and those who visit here, there’s a lot of opportunity and good opportunity for those fish above those facilities.”

Phase one of the plan will consist of a feasibility study to determine habitat availability, suitability, and salmon potential above Grand Coulee.

A 30 day public comment period on the plan will kick off the process.

Steve was part of the Spokane Public Radio family for many years before he came on air in 1999. His wife, Laurie, produced Radio Ethiopia in the late 1980s through the '90s, and Steve used to “lurk in the shadowy world” of Weekend SPR. Steve has done various on air shifts at the station, including nearly 15 years as the local Morning Edition host. Currently, he is the voice of local weather and news during All Things Considerd, writing, editing, producing and/or delivering newscasts and features for both KPBX and KSFC. Aside from SPR, Steve ,who lives in the country, enjoys gardening, chickens, playing and listening to music, astronomy, photography, sports cars and camping.