Salmon Spawning Above Grand Coulee Dam A ‘Hopeful’ Sight

Northwest Public Broadcasting

Salmon are now spawning in waters blocked by Grand Coulee Dam. It’s the start of a larger effort to reintroduce salmon into the blocked area.

A salmon splashes its tail in a shallow part of the Sanpoil River in an ancient ritual to build a nest, or redd. The salmon pushes lemon-sized pieces of gravel into a mound, burying the eggs underneath.

In many other rivers in Washington, this is a normal sight. That’s not the case here, where massive concrete dams stopped salmon from reaching these spawning grounds for around 80 years.

Now, the salmon have made it to this area with the help of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

In the Sanpoil River, these salmon are a welcome, hopeful sight, said Casey Baldwin, a research scientist for the Colville Confederated Tribe Fish and Wildlife Department

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