In 2020, Yakama Nation was successful in securing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Columbia River Basin Restoration Program (CRBRP) funding to begin Phase 1 of a multi-phased, multi-year project to develop a Fish Tissue and Water Quality Monitoring Program (Monitoring Program) along the approximately 600-mile length of the Middle and Upper Columbia River mainstem to assess and track status and trends of contaminants in fish, water, sediments and invertebrates from the Canadian Border to Bonneville Dam.
The Yakama Nation is a federally recognized Tribe, pursuant to the Treaty of 1855 (12 Stat. 951), with authority to manage, protect and restore treaty resources throughout the Pacific Northwest. The Columbia River is frequently referred to and honored as "the life blood of the Yakama Nation." Currently, the Columbia River is a polluted and life-threatening environment for salmon and other aquatic resources primarily because of industrial development.
The Yakama Nation is working to restore natural production of Pacific lamprey to a level that will provide robust species abundance, significant ecological contributions and meaningful harvest within the Yakama Nations Ceded Lands and in the Usual and Accustomed areas.
The Sunnyslope Side Channel Project is located on the Wenatchee River at RM (river mile) 1.4. This excavated side channel is approximately 1,350 feet in length. It is connected to a natural side channel of the Wenatchee River at the upstream end and flows into the mainstem of the Wenatchee River at the downstream end. This project is aimed at creating a groundwater fed side channel with an upstream connection during high flows (approximately 7,000 cfs or greater).
Yakama Reservation Watershed Project (YRWP) proposed to remove a culvert on North Fork Simcoe Creek just above its confluence with Diamond Dick Creek within the closed area of the Yakama Nation Reservation. The culvert was undersized and a seasonal barrier to ESA listed Middle Columbia River Steelhead (MCRS). At high flow, the culvert became clogged and temporarily re-routed water down the adjacent road stranding fish and damaging the road surface.
Enhance instream habitat and water quality to benefit Middle Columbia steelhead and spring Chinook at three priority sites totaling 0.29 cumulative river miles. Work will involve reshaping and replanting 0.62 miles (cumulative) of bank and 2.1 acres of floodplain.