We’re making sure the Yakima Basin is always a great place for fish, families and farms.

Updated by @YakimaForever

Recent Updates

Jul20

Environmental groups request support for Yakima Plan legislation

On July 19, representatives from eight major environmental nonprofits sent the following letter to Washington’s U.S. House of Representatives delegation, urging them to join colleagues already co-sponsoring H.R. 4686, the House version of the Yakima Bill:
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Jul15

Experiment promises to aid fish — and possibly much more

Photo Credit: Tim Hill, WA Dept. of Ecology

Photo Credit: Tim Hill, WA Dept. of Ecology

by: Yakima Herald-Republic Editorial Board, 7/14/2016

On the Yakima River near Roza Dam, biologists recently conducted a little experiment that could revolutionize the policies and politics surrounding fish migration, which has long been one of the Northwest’s most contentious issues. If implemented on a large scale, the experiment could help provide a template for protecting endangered fish species around the country.

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Jul07

Fish Passage Innovations on the Yakima

We’ve blogged about fish passage here in the Yakima Basin before – about how the reservoirs that power our agricultural economy were constructed without passage systems, and the steps the Yakima Plan partners have taken to restore struggling and extirpated species.  Almost a year later, we’ve moved a lot of ground on construction of the $100 million downstream passage facility at Cle Elum Reservoir, but what about upstream passage?  What about the sockeye returning to spawn in the lake?

Cle Elum Dam poses some unique challenges on that front.  At 165-feet high, the dam is too tall and steep to accommodate a traditional fish ladder. The reservoir itself rises and falls throughout the year as the water is tapped for irrigation, another mark against typical ladder systems. The original downstream passage designs incorporated a trap-and-haul facility below the dam, where returning adults would be gathered, moved to a tanker truck, and driven up to the lake.

One new alternative could let the fish move themselves.  It’s called the Whooshh, and its engineers have been working with Yakama Nation Fisheries biologists at Roza Dam all summer, conducting tests to determine its impacts on the health, mortality rates, egg viability and fecundity of spawning salmon.  The Whooshh is a flexible pressurized tube, similar to the type used at drive-up bank windows, capable of transporting fish at speeds of 25 feet per second.  Cle Elum will require a 1100-foot long tube, the largest ever designed by Whooshh Innovations, to span the height of the dam, the length of the spillway, and the seasonal drawdown of the reservoir.

Fish moved via Whooshh expend no energy compared to fish tackling traditional ladders, leaving them with more stored nutrients to put toward egg development.  The Roza Dam trials will help biologists gauge whether the stress of being removed from the water and sped through a tube is more, less or comparable to trap-and-haul techniques.  Until all the numbers are crunched, this is just one possible alternative, but these tests continue to demonstrate the Yakima Plan’s commitment to innovation and best practices!

For more footage of the Roza trials, check out KNDO 23’s piece, or the Department of Ecology’s video.

Jun13

KCTS 9 – Explore the Outdoors: Yakima River Canyon

Original articles and images posted to KCTS 9, May 17, 2016

by John Taylor

You might sit on one of these ridges on some warm spring afternoon just to watch the Yakima River glide through the canyon below. You’ll swear that river hasn’t really moved, hasn’t changed, hasn’t heard anything anyone has said for 10,000 years.
The Yakima River Canyon. Photo by KCTS 9

The Yakima River Canyon. Photo by KCTS 9

It’s one of those Northwest constants, you might tell yourself. A comfort in an upside-down world of computerized chaos and political provocation. A free spirit that’s oblivious to the hum of Interstate 82 traffic over the crests to the east, the buzz of boat motors on its surface or the throaty snarls of Harleys that make their way up and down scenic State Route 821 along its banks.
And yet…

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Jun08

YBIP does TEDx

Recently Steve Malloch, a longtime member of the Yakima Plan coalition, was invited to present a TEDx Talk on the YBIP.  If you’ve ever wondered how or why the Yakima Plan came to be, or had questions about how to develop a similar stakeholder model, Steve demystifies those processes with plain language and good humor.

TEDx Talks Yakima said:

“Focusing on the intersection of social relationships, natural resources and taking risks, Steve Malloch takes us on a journey through the process of collaboration. In so doing, he shares his lessons from addressing age-old positions around the use of water by presenting an alternative model for resolving conflict. Highlighting the courage of those risk takers building trust in contentious times, Steve’s talk offers great inspiration for us all.”

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