Overview

Douglas PUD worked cooperatively with various state and federal fisheries agencies to develop the first hydropower Anadromous Fish Agreement and Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for anadromous salmon and steelhead. Our colleagues include:

  • National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
  • United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
  • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
  • Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (CCT)
  • Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation (YN)
  • Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
  • An environmental organization, American Rivers

​The Wells HCP commits Douglas PUD to a 50-year program to ensure that its Wells Hydroelectric Project has no net impact on mid-Columbia salmon and steelhead runs. We accomplish this through a combination of juvenile and adult fish-passage measures at Wells Dam, off-site hatchery programs and evaluations, and habitat restoration work conducted in the dam’s upstream tributaries.

The Wells HCP has been signed by NMFS, USFWS, WDFW, CCT, YN, Douglas PUD, and the Wells Project Power Purchasers (Puget Sound Energy, Portland General Electric, PacifiCorp and Avista Corporation).  The Wells HCP was reviewed and approved by NMFS after issuing biological opinions and Incidental Take Permits covering hatchery and hydro project operations.  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the Wells HCP on June 21, 2004.

The HCP provides Endangered Species Act coverage for all permit species (spring Chinook, summer/fall Chinook, and sockeye salmon; and steelhead).  The HCP also constitutes the parties’ terms, conditions and recommendations for Plan Species (includes the permit species listed above, plus coho salmon) under Sections 10(a), 10(j) and 18 of the Federal Power Act, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, the Essential Fish Habitat provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act, and Title 77 RCW of the State of Washington.

Committees

The Wells HCP Coordinating Committee provides technical oversight over the implementation and passage of survival related measures required by the Wells HCP.  The HCP Coordinating Committee also supervises the other committees and resolves any disputes. 

The Wells HCP Tributary Committee oversees the implementation of the Tributary Conservation Plan which utilizes funds set aside each year by Douglas PUD to enhance tributary habitats upstream of Wells Dam. 

The Hatchery Committee oversees the implementation of the Hatchery Compensation Plan. This Plan is intended to enhance the productive potential of all five plan species by up to 7% through either hatchery or other committee approved actions.​