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Reports > 2012 > December > Monday 24
Monday, December 24, 2012
By Dave Graybill
Last week I got a guided tour of the new Colville Confederated Tribe hatchery at Bridgeport. Funded by the Bonneville Power Administration and other agencies, such as the Grant County PUD, the 50 million dollar facility will be in operation by spring of 2013. The hatchery is the fourth promised in an accord with the tribes. The other three are in Leavenworth, Entiat and Winthrop. Pat Phillips, hatchery manager, said that they will be producing for release over one million spring salmon and over two million summer-run salmon. The result will be thousands more salmon returning to the upper Columbia River, and the first-ever run of spring salmon to the Okanogan River. Anglers can expect to see salmon returning to the region by 2015, with the first significant numbers of fish coming back in 2017. The Colville Tribe will be distributing fish from the hatchery among its members, and sport anglers will be able to take these additional fish. This replaces the loss of salmon as an important food and cultural aspect of tribal life. The economic benefits resulting from improved sport fishing will also be significant to the communities in the vicinity of the hatchery and all along the Columbia River.