Program History

The Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act of 1980 (16 U.S.C. § 839-839h, December 5, 1980) established the Northwest Power Planning Council and directed the Council to adopt a Fish and Wildlife Program to protect, mitigate and enhance fish and wildlife, including related spawning grounds and habitat, on the Columbia River and its tributaries and that prior to its development or major revision that the Council request recommendations from federal, regional state fish and wildlife agencies and Native American Tribes in the region. Between 1984 and 1986, a series of feasibility investigations performed by the Spokane Tribe of Indians (STI), in collaboration with the Colville Confederated Tribes (CCT), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and the U.S. National Park Service (NPS), identified artificial production of kokanee (lacustrine Sockeye Salmon) and Rainbow Trout as appropriate mitigation for providing harvestable tribal subsistence and sport fisheries in lieu of lost anadromous fishes. In 1987, the Northwest Power Planning Council adopted the resident fish substitution policy, which allowed resident salmonids to be substituted for lost anadromous fish in cases where dams have permanently blocked anadromous fish. This resulted in the formation of the Lake Roosevelt Artificial Production Program (LRAPP), under the U.S. Congressional 1980 Northwest Power Act. This legislation authorized the U.S Department of Energy by directing the administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) to provide funding for the construction and operation of the Spokane Tribal Hatchery in 1990. The LRAPP also includes the WDFW Sherman Creek Hatchery and Lake Roosevelt Volunteer Net Pen Program. In 1988, the Lake Roosevelt Monitoring Program (LRMP) was established and tasked with assessing the performance of salmonids stocked by the LRAPP and subsequent evaluation of the impacts of hatchery fishes on resident fish communities and the ecosystem. In 1998, after a series of program mergers and name changes, the LRMP settled into its current identity, the Lake Roosevelt Fisheries Evaluation Program (LRFEP). Following an amendment process in 2013, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council adopted a new Fish and Wildlife program that further defined the resident fish substitution policy and identified an “emerging priority’ to study anadromous mitigation in the habitats above Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee Dams through a phased approach to the reintroduction of anadromous species.

Currently, the Lake Roosevelt fishery is cooperatively managed by STI, CCT, and WDFW. Coordination between these management entities simplifies the logistics of surveying a large reservoir, such as during annual Fall Walleye Index Netting (FWIN). The annual FWIN survey is conducted during a five day span, during which numerous crews from each management entity participate in standardized data collection, including morphometric indices and removal of otolith bones, for characterization of size and age structure. The three co-management entities also cooperate in the management of species of interest, including resident White Sturgeon and genetically distinct resident redband trout (subspecies of Rainbow Trout, O. mykiss gairdneri).