Office of Columbia River photo identifier

Office of Columbia River

Water for Fish Survival

"The legislature tasked OCR with improving the instream flow needs of fish"

Legislative Directive

RCW 90.90.005(1) “The legislature finds that a key priority of water resource management in the Columbia river basin is... the instream flow needs of fish.” RCW 90.90.005(2) “The legislature…directs the department of ecology to aggressively pursue the development of water supplies to benefit both instream and out-of-stream uses.” RCW 90.90.020(1)(a)(ii) “One third of active storage shall be available to augment instream flows...”

Funding Projects that Help Fish

Low stream flows threaten salmon and steelhead populations throughout the Columbia River system. The Office of Columbia River (OCR) is working hard to develop new water sources to address this problem with projects such as Lake Roosevelt Incremental Storage Releases, The Yakima Basin Integrated Water Management Plan, Barker Ranch Canal Piping, Manastash Ditch Piping, Sullivan Lake Water Supply Project and Peshastin Irrigation District Piping among others.

Columbia River Instream Atlas

Every five years, the Office of Columbia River is required to publish the Columbia River Basin Long-Term Water Supply and Demand Forecast (Forecast). The Columbia River Instream Atlas (Atlas) is a component of the Forecast. Produced by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for Ecology, the Atlas is  a detailed stream-reach-based study of fish utilization, habitat and flow conditions in eight fish-critical watersheds and basins (Walla Walla, Middle Snake, Wenatchee, Methow, Okanogan, and Yakima Basin).

ECOconnect article: "New Tool Helps Ecology Help Fish"

Download the complete Atlas (17 MB)

Interactive online Atlas

Other Salmon/Steelhead Information

WAC 173-563: Instream resources protection program for the mainstem Columbia River in WA State

National Academies of Science report: Managing the Columbia River: Instream Flows, Water Withdrawals, and Salmon Survival

NOAA Fisheries Biological Opinion for operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System.


Fish Specific PowerPoint Presentations & Reports