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EA-1301: Final Environmental Assessment

Idaho Department of Fish and Game Captive Rearing Initiative for Salmon River Chinook Salmon

Development, operation, and management of Columbia River Basin Federal hydroelectric facilities have had far-reaching effects on many species of fish and wildlife within the basin. The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is responsible for protecting, mitigating, and enhancing these affected species and their habitats (see Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act of 1980 [Northwest Power Act]2, 16 U.S.C. 839 et seq., Section 4 (h)(10)(A)). Additionally, under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) as amended, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq., BPA shares responsibility for protecting and conserving listed threatened and endangered species. One measure that may help mitigate for the loss of anadromous fish populations is the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) Captive Rearing Initiative for Salmon River Chinook Salmon Program (IDFG Program). The proposed captive rearing initiative is a research program designed to assist the recovery of Salmon River spring/summer3 chinook salmon. By extension, the IDFG Program may contribute to the overall health of the Snake River spring/summer chinook salmon Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU)4. This Environmental Assessment (EA) analyzes alternatives for achieving IDFG.