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Restoring Fish Passage to Historical Areas in the Columbia River Basin is Focus of 2014 Future of Our Salmon Conference

Portland, Oregon – Salmon swimming above Grand Coulee Dam is either a dream or a memory, depending upon on your age. A two-day conference in Portland, Oregon this week will bring together innovators, scientists, and government officials to explore the real possibilities of restoring salmon above previously impassable dams, something long dismissed as being technically impossible, politically unachievable, or both.

The 2014 Future of Our Salmon Conference on April 23-24 at the Oregon Convention Center will focus on restoring fish passage that would allow salmon, lamprey, sturgeon, bull trout, and other migratory and resident species to return to their historical range throughout the Columbia and Snake river systems. The conference will also seek to develop a unified regional strategy on how to accomplish this goal.

Conference attendees will delve into various case studies that have successfully developed fish pa

Grand Coulee Dam has blocked all fish passage into the Upper Columbia since it was completed in 1941.

Grand Coulee Dam has blocked all fish passage into the Upper Columbia since it was completed in 1941.

ssage projects throughout the Columbia River system, explore the economics of fish passage projects, discuss engineering strategies and experimental designs and discuss the cultural and legal perspectives on fish passage to all historical locations.

“We will demonstrate the capabilities for fish passage at any dam,” said Paul Lumley, executive director for the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. “The regional questions is when, not if, passage can be restored to all historical locations.”

The conference is hosted by the Canadian Columbia River Intertribal Fisheries Commission, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Cowlitz Indian Tribe, Okanagan Nation Alliance, Upper Columbia United Tribes and Upper Snake River Tribes. This international coalition includes many tribes from areas where salmon can longer return due to dams that lack fish passage.

Leading up to the conference, a technical workshop was held in March to review recent advances in passage technology, identify passage obstacles, and explore viable fish passage solutions. The technical workshop presentations are available at

The Future of Our Salmon Conference is sponsored by 29 different organizations and agencies including: Columbia Basin Trust, Okanagan Nation Alliance, Ktunaxa Nation Council, Secwepemc Nation, Pacific Salmon Foundation, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Northwest Power and Conservation Council, Columbia Power Corporation, and the Center for Coastal Margin Observation and Prediction.

The conference is for federal, tribal, First Nation, state, provincial, and local government representatives; Indian, sport, and commercial fishers; environmental organizations; and anyone else interested in restoring healthy, sustainable populations of anadromous and resident fish throughout the Columbia River Basin. Registration is available online or at the door. For more information on the conference or to register visit:

About CRITFC. The Portland-based Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission is the technical support and coordinating agency for fishery management policies of the Columbia River Basin’s four treaty tribes: the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation and the Nez Perce Tribe.

CRITFC, formed in 1977, employs biologists, other scientists, public information specialists, policy analysts and administrators who work in fisheries research and analyses, advocacy, planning and coordination, harvest control and law enforcement.

Public Information

Sara Thompson
CRITFC Media Contact
(503) 238-3567

Non-media Inquiries
700 NE Multnomah, Suite 1200
Portland, OR 97232
(503) 238-0667