McNary Fisheries Compensation Committee


In 1990, Northern Wasco County People’s Utility District (NWCPUD) launched an effort to build an 8 MW hydroelectric power plant on the north shore of McNary Dam. The turbine would be powered by water used to supplement the flow at the adult fish ladder entrance.  The intake for this water was deep in the dam face and not easily screened to prevent juvenile fish from passing through the turbine.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), as a condition of the license, stipulated that NWCPUD come to an agreement with the fishery managers to mitigate the fish mortality losses that may be associated with an unscreened turbine intake. The federal, state, and tribal fishery managers proposed that a fund should be established that the power plant owners would pay into each year the facility operated.  That money would be used to fund projects above McNary Dam that mitigate for those fishery losses.

In July 1991, NWCPUD, formally agreed to this arrangement, referred to as Exhibit “A” of FERC Project No. 10204, and titled, “Fisheries Settlement Agreement for McNary Dam Washington Shore Fishway Attraction Water System Hydroelectric Project”, or just SA.

The SA stipulated the formation of a Fisheries Compensation Committee that would be responsible for deciding which applications to fund. The committee would have seven members, one from each of the fishery management agencies, including: Oregon, Washington, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Yakama Nation, Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission, NWCPUD and the National Marine Fisheries Service, whose representative would be the Fisheries Compensation Committee Chair.

This committee would have sole discretion on how the trust fund monies would be spent. Anyone may apply for grant funds and applications can be for any amount.

In 1994, Klickitat PUD joined NWCPUD as a joint owner of the project.

On the 30th of October, 1997, prior to the onset of commercial generation, the McNary Fisheries Irrevocable Trust Fund was established and the first payment was made.  The power plant owners have made an annual contribution each year since, with the exception of 2016 when the power plant underwent extensive component replacement and damage repairs, and was off line for the entire year.

Links to the documents referenced, including the Settlement Agreement, the Trust Fund details, and current committee members contact information and quarterly meeting details, are listed below.

Thank you for your interest in the McNary Fisheries Compensation Committee. If you have any questions please contact Rick Martinson, the Committee Coordinator at 541-980-7727.

Only recent documents are provided on the web site. For archived documents, contact the committee coordinator listed above.


Annual Report

Meeting Minutes

Committee Protocols & Change Forms