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Washington Fish and Wildlife Declares Emergency to Help Endangered Fish

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is taking serious action in the Wanapum and Rock Island dams in Central Washington.

A press release from the WDFW stated that access to the irrigation waters behind the dams will be re-established and maintained by farmers after a cracked spillway in the Wanapum Dam revealed itself.

Even more dire is the situation of the environmental habitat behind the dams, where a number of endangered fish species reside.

The unique process of irrigation diversions, and of course the regulated process needed to divert the flow of state waters, has become an important tool in Washington and the WDFW's protection of vital steelhead, salmon and other fish.

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"Our primary goals are to help get irrigation diversions quickly reconnected to the water, and to make sure those diversions are screened to prevent the loss of endangered fish stocks," said Jeff Davis, deputy director of the department's Habitat Program. Damage to orchards and other agricultural systems dependent on water supplies in Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Kittitas counties sparked the emergency, according to Davis and the WDFW.

Tests are planned to ensure the water flow and levels will be sufficient for migrating fish to swim up and past the dam, or if modifications will be needed.

What do you think of the WDFW's plan? Does our country take the water supply for granted at times? Leave your comments below.

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Washington Fish and Wildlife Declares Emergency to Help Endangered Fish