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Reports > 2019 > August > Monday 12
Monday, August 12, 2019
By Dave Graybill
Last Saturday was a big day for the Colville Confederated Tribes and Chinook salmon passage to the upper Columbia River. When Grand Coulee Dam was built in 1933 it ended the migration of salmon beyond this site. On Saturday the Colville Tribe introduced Chinook salmon to Rufus Woods Reservoir, which is the first phase in the re-introduction effort that ultimately may see passage of Chinook salmon over Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams. The ceremonial release of 30 Chinook into Rufus Woods will be followed by additional releases of acoustic tagged fish that will be monitored to observe their behavior in the reservoir. This was a monumental day for the tribes and emotions were high. Tears were shed as fish were transferred from the tribal hatchery truck and then passed down by hand in “boots” to the river’s edge and released. The ceremony was attended by many tribal representatives, tribal members and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife staff who are working closely with the tribes on this effort. Hopes are high that Chinook will find spawning habitat in upper Rufus Woods Reservoir, and fish will once again be present in the upper reaches of the Columbia River.