Biologist Says Umatilla Dam Work is Helping Fish - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Biologist Says Umatilla Dam Work is Helping Fish

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PENDLETON, Ore. - Research on the Umatilla Road in Pendleton shows fixing irrigation dams allows more of the protected steelhead and salmon to pass through.

Biologist Craig Contor of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation recently delivered a report on the work.

Contor says in the 1990s few fish made it upstream to spawn due to either the fish ladders at dams being clogged with gravel or were above the water line because of erosion.

He says cleaning out the gravel in the ladders and adding rocks in the river is helping the fish.
He says nearly 1,000 fish have been tagged with tracking devices since 2009 and nearly all made it through the spawning system.