No Cause or Fix for Wanapum Dam Crack, But Fish Migration Back t - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

No Cause or Fix for Wanapum Dam Crack, But Fish Migration Back to Normal

Posted: Updated:
Investigators said they still don't know what caused the massive crack in Wanapum Dam or how to fix it, but one thing that is back on track is the fish migration around the dam. Investigators said they still don't know what caused the massive crack in Wanapum Dam or how to fix it, but one thing that is back on track is the fish migration around the dam.
BEVERLY, WA.- Investigators said they still don't know what caused the massive crack in Wanapum Dam or how to fix it, but one thing that is back on track is the fish migration around the dam.

It's a tradition filled with history and culture for the Pacific Northwest.

"It really is our duty and our responsibility and our obligation to ensure that the salmon that come through here will make it past Wanapum Dam," said Chuck Allen with the Grant Public Utility District.

But they almost didn't. The Grant PUD said the reservoir was dramatically lowered after crews discovered a crack in Wanapum Dam in February, and fish couldn't make it through the passageway. Crews said they had to find a way to improvise and came up with the idea of a flume system.

"They basically swim over the flume system, and then enter into the bay and then continue their migration up through the Wanapum Reservoir," said Tom Dresser, a Water Quality Manager.

As of Thursday, 2,200 Steelhead have passed through and hundreds of other species as well. The Grant PUD said fish migration is back on track, but one thing that won't return to normal is recreational activities.

Boat launches, beaches and public access points remain closed.

"We found that the conditions are very hazardous on the reservoir, and there are also a number of culturally sensitive sites with much significance, and we need to protect these sites," said Allen.

We asked the PUD if this will greatly affect tourism over the summer and the answer is, it already has.

"I live in the Quincy area," said Allen. "It's near Crescent Bar, and a number of my friends are seeing some impacts there."

The PUD said recreation areas will remain closed until crews can find out what caused the crack and how to fix it. But the priority is always safety.

"We're doing everything in our power to ensure that it will be a temporary situation, and we can restore the Wanapum Reservoir back to the condition it was before we discovered the fracture," said Allen.

Crews said by the end of May, they hope to have a timeline on when repairs will be complete and when the reservoir will be raised.
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Regional NewsMore>>

  • U.S. Forest Service warns of aggressive bear on Canfield Mountain

    U.S. Forest Service warns of aggressive bear on Canfield Mountain

    Friday, July 21 2017 8:41 PM EDT2017-07-22 00:41:48 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - If you're planning on doing some outdoor activities on Canfield Mountain this weekend, listen up! The U.S. Forest Service wants the public to avoid the upper parking area and trail system on the mountain for the time being. An aggressive sow bear with a cub (possibly more than one cub) has been reported on the Cave Trail.

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - If you're planning on doing some outdoor activities on Canfield Mountain this weekend, listen up! The U.S. Forest Service wants the public to avoid the upper parking area and trail system on the mountain for the time being. An aggressive sow bear with a cub (possibly more than one cub) has been reported on the Cave Trail.

    >>
  • UPDATE: 19-year-old firefighter killed by falling tree in Montana

    UPDATE: 19-year-old firefighter killed by falling tree in Montana

    Thursday, July 20 2017 4:27 PM EDT2017-07-20 20:27:38 GMT
    Trenton JohnsonTrenton Johnson

    MISSOULA, Mont. - Authorities say a 19-year-old firefighter has died after being struck by a falling tree while responding to a small blaze in western Montana. Missoula County sheriff's officials say Trenton Johnson of Missoula died from his injuries Wednesday afternoon in a hospital. Johnson worked for a Merlin, Oregon-based private firefighting contractor called Grayback Forestry Inc. 

    >>

    MISSOULA, Mont. - Authorities say a 19-year-old firefighter has died after being struck by a falling tree while responding to a small blaze in western Montana. Missoula County sheriff's officials say Trenton Johnson of Missoula died from his injuries Wednesday afternoon in a hospital. Johnson worked for a Merlin, Oregon-based private firefighting contractor called Grayback Forestry Inc. 

    >>
  • Man with previous ties to Coeur d'Alene and Spokane wanted by the FBI on meth trafficking charges

    Man with previous ties to Coeur d'Alene and Spokane wanted by the FBI on meth trafficking charges

    Wednesday, July 19 2017 5:57 PM EDT2017-07-19 21:57:16 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The FBI is looking for a convicted felon they believe is involved in trafficking methamphetamine in Montana.  33-year-old Chase Storlie initially had a federal arrest warrant issued for him in Montana on June 9 for failure to appear at his arraignment in Helena. Storlie was previously charged on April 26, 2017, with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute meth.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The FBI is looking for a convicted felon they believe is involved in trafficking methamphetamine in Montana.  33-year-old Chase Storlie initially had a federal arrest warrant issued for him in Montana on June 9 for failure to appear at his arraignment in Helena. Storlie was previously charged on April 26, 2017, with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute meth.

    >>