Rocky Reach Hydro in Washington Gets 43-year License

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FERC has issued a 43-year license to the Chelan County PUD in Washington for continued operation of the Rocky Reach Hydroelectric Project (P-2145).The license issued last week is based on the Rocky Reach Comprehensive Settlement Agreement signed in 2006 by the PUD, the tribes and state and federal resource agencies.According to the license, there are more than 41 species of fish, including 15 coldwater species, 18 coolwater species, and 8 warmwater species in the project area. These species are either native to the project area, introduced, or stocked. Along with the Habitat Conservation Plan, included in the license as license conditions are shoreline protection, water quality, white sturgeon, bull trout, pacific lamprey, recreation resources management plans, as provided in the settlement agreement. The HCP is a 50-year agreement aimed at protecting protect five species of Columbia River steelhead and salmon. The 1,200 mile long Columbia River used to produce the world’s largest runs of Chinook salmon and steelhead trout, major runs of coho and sockeye salmon, and small numbers of chum and pink salmon.  However, a series of dams in the river system has led to the decline of several species.