The anadromous fish agreements were drawn up by Chelan and Douglas county public utility districts, and commit them to a 50 year programme ensuring that the Rock Island, Rocky Reach and Wells hydro power projects have ‘no net impact’ on salmon and steelhead runs in the Mid-Columbia river.

Through a series of measures including offsite hatchery programmes and habitat restoration, the HCPs will mean that the power plants become virtually invisible to fish migrating downstream past the dams.

FERC’s approval makes the agreements part of the formal operating licenses for the three projects.

The HCPs have also received approval from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Department of Commerce – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Wells project power purchasers.