| Final environmental assessment for non-essential experimental population designation for Middle Columbia River steelhead reintroduced above the Pelton Round Butte Hydroelectric Project - :4606 | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
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Final environmental assessment for non-essential experimental population designation for Middle Columbia River steelhead reintroduced above the Pelton Round Butte Hydroelectric Project
  • Published Date:
    2012
Filetype[PDF-4.71 MB]


Details:
  • Personal Authors:
  • Corporate Authors:
    United States, National Marine Fisheries Service., Northwest Region, ; United States, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration., Office of Program Planning and Integration, ;
  • Description:
    "Since 2007, annual releases of juvenile Middle Columbia River (MCR) steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) have occurred in the upper Deschutes River and its tributaries in Jefferson, Crook and Deschutes Counties, Oregon. These releases are part of an anadromous fish reintroduction commitment under a regional settlement agreement and new Federal license for the Pelton Round Butte Hydroelectric Project. The licensees, Portland General Electric Company (PGE) and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon (Tribes), are conducting the reintroduction program in cooperation with the State of Oregon; National Marine Fisheries Service; the U.S. Forest Service; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Bureau of Land Management; Jefferson and Deschutes Counties, Oregon; and 10 other stakeholder groups. The geographic boundaries of the reintroduction area extend upstream from Round Butte Dam and include the Metolius River and tributaries, Deschutes River and tributaries from Lake Billy Chinook upstream to Big Falls and the Crooked River and tributaries upstream to Bowman and Ochoco Dams. The long term goal is to establish a self-sustaining population of MCR steelhead in the reintroduction area. PGE and the Tribes as well as the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and U.S. Forest Service, are conducting the monitoring activities. On May 18, 2011, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published a proposed rule and draft Environmental Assessment (EA) to designate the MCR steelhead that are part of the on-going reintroduction effort as a nonessential experimental population (NEP) under section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) (76 Fed. Reg. 28715). The NEP area encompasses the same geographic boundaries as the ongoing reintroduction area. This final EA addresses NMFS's issuance of a final rule to designate MCR steelhead in the NEP area as a nonessential experimental population. The designation will expire after 12 years from the published date of the final NEP rule. NMFS will publish a notice of the NEP's expiration in the Federal Register approximately 1 year before it expires, to ensure adequate notice to the public."--Executive Summary (page E-1).

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