No Cause or Fix for Wanapum Dam Crack, But Fish Migration Back t - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

No Cause or Fix for Wanapum Dam Crack, But Fish Migration Back to Normal

Posted: Updated:
Investigators said they still don't know what caused the massive crack in Wanapum Dam or how to fix it, but one thing that is back on track is the fish migration around the dam. Investigators said they still don't know what caused the massive crack in Wanapum Dam or how to fix it, but one thing that is back on track is the fish migration around the dam.
BEVERLY, WA.- Investigators said they still don't know what caused the massive crack in Wanapum Dam or how to fix it, but one thing that is back on track is the fish migration around the dam.

It's a tradition filled with history and culture for the Pacific Northwest.

"It really is our duty and our responsibility and our obligation to ensure that the salmon that come through here will make it past Wanapum Dam," said Chuck Allen with the Grant Public Utility District.

But they almost didn't. The Grant PUD said the reservoir was dramatically lowered after crews discovered a crack in Wanapum Dam in February, and fish couldn't make it through the passageway. Crews said they had to find a way to improvise and came up with the idea of a flume system.

"They basically swim over the flume system, and then enter into the bay and then continue their migration up through the Wanapum Reservoir," said Tom Dresser, a Water Quality Manager.

As of Thursday, 2,200 Steelhead have passed through and hundreds of other species as well. The Grant PUD said fish migration is back on track, but one thing that won't return to normal is recreational activities.

Boat launches, beaches and public access points remain closed.

"We found that the conditions are very hazardous on the reservoir, and there are also a number of culturally sensitive sites with much significance, and we need to protect these sites," said Allen.

We asked the PUD if this will greatly affect tourism over the summer and the answer is, it already has.

"I live in the Quincy area," said Allen. "It's near Crescent Bar, and a number of my friends are seeing some impacts there."

The PUD said recreation areas will remain closed until crews can find out what caused the crack and how to fix it. But the priority is always safety.

"We're doing everything in our power to ensure that it will be a temporary situation, and we can restore the Wanapum Reservoir back to the condition it was before we discovered the fracture," said Allen.

Crews said by the end of May, they hope to have a timeline on when repairs will be complete and when the reservoir will be raised.
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Yakima NewsYakima News TodayMore>>

  • Crews search for missing swimmer at Palouse Falls State Park

    Crews search for missing swimmer at Palouse Falls State Park

    Monday, April 23 2018 6:49 AM EDT2018-04-23 10:49:56 GMT

    FRANKLIN COUNTY- A man is still missing after swimming in the Palouse Falls Saturday.  Franklin County Sheriff's Deputies said the call came in around 5:30 p.m. about a possible drowning. Three men in their early 20s had been swimming in the pool of water below the falls. The strong current swept the three men underwater, and only two resurfaced. Park Rangers, Franklin County She Riff's Office, Pasco Fire, Life Flight, and Columbia Basin Dive Rescue all responded.  Richlan...

    More >>

    FRANKLIN COUNTY- A man is still missing after swimming in the Palouse Falls Saturday.  Franklin County Sheriff's Deputies said the call came in around 5:30 p.m. about a possible drowning. Three men in their early 20s had been swimming in the pool of water below the falls. The strong current swept the three men underwater, and only two resurfaced. Park Rangers, Franklin County She Riff's Office, Pasco Fire, Life Flight, and Columbia Basin Dive Rescue all responded.  Richlan...

    More >>
  • Reporting Sexual Assault in Hermiston

    Reporting Sexual Assault in Hermiston

    Sunday, April 22 2018 9:14 PM EDT2018-04-23 01:14:47 GMT
    It's a sad reality, but many sexual assault cases go UN-reported across our nation each year. Officers and nurses in Hermiston have a message for all victims of sexual assault- they are there to help. Randy Studebaker is the supervisor for all sexual assault cases in Hermiston. Studebaker says sometimes reports come in "days, weeks and even years later." Reporting cases too late is something Lieutenant Studebaker is hoping to change. "I would like to DE-mysti...More >>
    It's a sad reality, but many sexual assault cases go UN-reported across our nation each year. Officers and nurses in Hermiston have a message for all victims of sexual assault- they are there to help. Randy Studebaker is the supervisor for all sexual assault cases in Hermiston. Studebaker says sometimes reports come in "days, weeks and even years later." Reporting cases too late is something Lieutenant Studebaker is hoping to change. "I would like to DE-mysti...More >>
  • Deadly home invasion in Yakima

    Deadly home invasion in Yakima

    Sunday, April 22 2018 7:03 PM EDT2018-04-22 23:03:10 GMT
    YAKIMA- A home invasion turned deadly after a fight broke out between the homeowners and suspects. On Sunday morning around 3:50 a.m. Yakima Police responded to a home invasion robbery in the 1900 block of South 64th Ave. The initial investigation revealed that two suspects forced their way into a home. Once inside, a physical confrontation occurred between family members and the two suspects.  Three family members were stabbed during the altercation. Both suspects were a...More >>
    YAKIMA- A home invasion turned deadly after a fight broke out between the homeowners and suspects. On Sunday morning around 3:50 a.m. Yakima Police responded to a home invasion robbery in the 1900 block of South 64th Ave. The initial investigation revealed that two suspects forced their way into a home. Once inside, a physical confrontation occurred between family members and the two suspects.  Three family members were stabbed during the altercation. Both suspects were a...More >>