The Douglas PUD worked cooperatively with various state and federal fisheries agencies, including National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation to develop the first hydropower Habitat Conservation Plan for anadromous salmon and steelhead.
The Wells Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) commits Douglas PUD to a 50-year program to ensure that Wells Hydroelectric Project has no net impact on mid-Columbia salmon and steelhead runs. This is accomplished through a combination of juvenile and adult fish passage measures at the dam, off-site hatchery programs and evaluations, and habitat protection and restoration work conducted in tributary streams upstream of Wells Dam.
The Wells HCP is signed by NMFS, USFWS, WDFW, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, 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 following the issuance of biological opinions and Incidental Take Permits covering hatchery and hydro operation. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the Wells HCP on June 21, 2004 along with similar HCPs submitted by Chelan PUD for the Rock Island and Rocky Reach hydroelectric projects.
With respect to plan species, the HCP parties agreed to support the District’s long-term relicensing efforts, completed in 2012. The HCP also provides Endangered Species Act coverage for all of the permit species (spring Chinook, summer/fall Chinook, sockeye, coho and steelhead). The HCP also is intended to constitute the parties’ terms, conditions and recommendations for Plan Species 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.
For more information on the Wells Habitat Conservation Plan, please contact Douglas PUD at (509) 884-7191.
Documents related to the Wells HCP
Wells HCP Approved as a Comprehensive Plan
Anadromous Fish Agreement and Habitat Conservation Plan
HCP Supporting Documents
- Document A: Aquatic Species and Habitat Assessment: Wenatchee, Entiat, Methow and Okanogan Watersheds (1998)
- Document B: Biological Assessment and Management Plan: Mid-Columbia River Hatchery Program (1998)
- Document C: Briefing Paper: Estimating Survival of Anadromous Fish Through the Mid-Columbia PUD Hydropower Projects (2002)
- Document D: Tributary Plan: Project Selection, Implementation, and Evaluation (1997)
Current Endangered Species Act Incidental Take Permits for HCP Plan Species
- Permit No. 23163 Permit for Incidental Take of Endangered or Threatened Species during the Operation and Maintenance of Steelhead Hatchery Facilities (2019)
- Permit No. 23193 Permit for Incidental Take of Endangered or Threatened Species during the Operation and Maintenance of Summer Chinook Hatchery Facilities (2019)
- Permit No. 1391 – Permit for Incidental Take of Endangered or Threatened Species during the Operation and Maintenance of the Wells Hydroelectric Project (2003)
- Permit No. 18925 – Permit for Incidental Take of Endangered or Threatened Species during the Operation & Maintenance and Monitoring & Evaluation of the Methow Hatchery Spring Chinook Salmon Program (2017)
- 4(d) Rule Decision: One Summer Chinook Salmon Hatchery Program in the Upper Columbia River Basin, WA-Decision Memorandum
Hatchery and Genetic Management Plans (HGMP)
- Spring Chinook HGMP (2010)
- Steelhead HGMP (2013)
- Summer Chinook HGMP (2013)
Biological Opinions Supporting Incidental Take Permits
- Biological Opinion for Permit No. 23163 (2017)
- Biological Opinion for Permit No. 23193 (2017)
- Biological Opinion for Permit No. 1391 (2003)
- Final Environmental Impact Statement for Wells, Rocky Reach and Rock Island Hydroelectric Projects – Permit No. 1391, 1392 and 1393 (2002)
- Biological Opinion for Permit No. 18925 (2016)
FERC Orders Approving HCP
- Wells HCP Specific Order Amending License (2004)
- Master Order for HCP Approving Anadromous Fish Agreements(2004)
- Order on Rehearing for Wells HCP (2004)