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Spokane River

A license for action: Spokane River   

Tags: Avista Utilities, Spokane River, Electricity, Hydro power, Renewable Energy, Environment

The Spokane River
The Spokane River through downtown Spokane.
One year into our new FERC license on the river, big projects happening

Watch for activity on the downtown Spokane stretch of the Spokane River beginning this week, as Avista starts work on several projects to protect and enhance fish, wildlife, water quality, recreation, cultural and aesthetic resources related to our Spokane River hydroelectric project.

Spokane River Activities Map
Click to view a map of the activities happening on
the Spokane River.
Over the next few months, visitors to the stretch of the river between Upper Falls and Monroe Street Dams will see equipment and temporary work structures in and around the river, including a crane near the river above Monroe Street Dam, intermittent aesthetic flows at Upper Falls Dam, sandbags, water bladders and moving equipment in the Upper Falls area. All of the equipment will be handled and operated with an emphasis on public safety and protecting the surrounding environment.

Work taking place includes a pilot study in the north channel of the river to learn what modifications can be made in order to return the river to a more natural state, and removal of accumulated rock, gravel and sediment at Monroe Street Dam. The work will begin in July and August as flows drop to their summer levels, and could be extended into early autumn.

While fishery work may not be as visible as other activities, it’s just as important. While we’re studying the river channel, biologists and contractors will be working in the stretch of the river between Upper Falls Reservoir and Monroe Street Dam, primarily on a study to assess whether fish can become trapped or stranded in the north channel of the river when water levels are low.

In late June, 3,000 catchable, sterile rainbow trout were planted in Upper Falls Reservoir. Another 3,000 fish will be planted in Upper Falls Reservoir this fall. The first year of a three-year fish population assessment will also be conducted in the Upper Falls Reservoir this fall.

Watch for updates as we progress, and see the attached map and handout for specific details, locations and approximate dates/timelines.

A year into the 50-year Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license to operate our five hydroelectric dams on the Spokane River (Post Falls, Upper Falls, Monroe Street, Nine Mile Falls and Long Lake), the work Avista will do is just getting started. These significant environmental measures will benefit both the communities and the natural resources where our facilities are located. Protecting resources and responsibly operating our dams helps us continue to generate low-cost, renewable hydroelectric energy.
Posted by  System Account  on  7/19/2010
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