Nez Perce Tribe Agrees to 2019-2021 Spill Operations Agreement for Mainstem Columbia and Lower Snake River Dams

Agreement Increases Certainty of Beneficial Fish Operations and Sets Aside Litigation During the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Remand Period


Tribe Continues to Focus on Ensuring Full Analysis of Lower Snake River Dam Breaching

Lapwai, Idaho – Oregon, Washington, and the Nez Perce Tribe have reached agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bonneville Power Administration and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on fish passage spill operations at the mainstem Columbia and lower Snake River Dams for 2019-2021.  This interim agreement increases the certainty of beneficial fish operations for juvenile fish passage in 2019-2021 using flexible spill and power principles, setting aside litigation until the completion of analysis of these dam operations required by the National Environmental Policy Act.  


“The Nez Perce Tribe is pleased that this collaboration resulted in spill operations that are designed to benefit juvenile salmon passage in the interim, as the Tribe continues working to address the significant fish mortality from the dams and ensure a full analysis of lower Snake River dam breaching,” said Shannon F. Wheeler, Chairman of the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee.  


The Nez Perce Tribe, as a fisheries co-manager, is actively involved in all aspects of salmon recovery in all forums to help rebuild natural runs to healthy, harvestable levels.  The Tribe has actively participated in litigation concerning the impacts of the mainstem Columbia and Snake River dams on fish.  The Nez Perce Tribe is also actively participating in the court-ordered NEPA remand process to advance and protect the Tribe’s interests.  The Tribe has long supported breaching the four lower Snake River dams.