Monthly Report Archive

Monthly Report December 2021

Storage: The Yakima Basin storage is at 60%. Snow and rain in the Cascades are greater this year than during recent years. Predictions for the spring of 2022 is more rain and less snow.

Basin Projects: Work continues on the Lake Cle Elum fish passage. There have been changes on the Lake Kachess pumping plan study. No word on who will pay and benefit from the Lake Kachess water. Evaluations continue on the water temperature and instream flow in the lower Yakima River.

Improvements in the Yakima Basin: Conservation of water continues as irrigators improve their delivery systems. Habitat and fish passage have been improved in the upper Yakima Basin.

The number of Sockeye and Coho Salmon have improved in the upper Yakima River Basin. Sockeye are caught in the Columbia River and delivered to Lake Cle Elum. Coho hatchery salmon are released in the upper Yakima River.

2022 Plans:

  • • Improved fish passage and survival in the lower Yakima River by increase instream flow which will reduce water temperature.
  • • Apply to aquire additional funding from the Federal infrastructure legislation that has been approved.
  • • Access Governor Inslee’s funding for salmonoid improvements.
  • • Decide who will pay for the drought relief project at Lake Kachess so the plan can more forward.

The Integrated Plan was developed, and a Work Group was appointed to address water, fish and habitat needs in the Yakima Basin. Prior to the Integrate Plan, the Bureau of Reclamation completed the Yakima River Basin Water Storage Feasibility Study in 2008. The study considered all the options to increase water storage in the basin. The best alternative was a pump storage project using Columbia River water. Page IX, the executive summary suggests the Columbia River would solve current and future water problems. The Integrate Plan Work Group needs to consider the information while working toward finding additional water for fish, agriculture, and the economy

Happy New Year!