SPOKANE — The Spokane Tribe has received $200,000 to study whether salmon could survive above Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph dams.
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council approved the funding last week.
The Spokesman-Review says the study is part of an investigation into whether salmon and steelhead could be successfully reintroduced above the dams, which were built without fish ladders decades ago.
Reintroducing salmon above the two dams has been a priority for Upper Columbia tribes. They say the salmon’s return would reconnect the tribes with their culture while benefiting the region economically through sport fishing.
Salmon migration to the Upper Columbia was blocked first by Grand Coulee’s construction in the 1930s, and later by Chief Joseph Dam, which was built downstream in the 1950s.