30 years ago, Curt Holmes – Vice-Chair for Kalispell Tribe, was riding around in boat netting and manually moving fish past Box Canyon Dam in Washington. He was passionate about gathering data and fish, with the hopes that one day someone would use what he found to build a fish passage. Now, 65 years after the original completion of Box Canyon Dam, Pend Oreille County Public Utility District hosted a ribbon-cutting on October 21st to celebrate the grand opening of the brand-new upstream fish passage facility!
Having the privilege to participate in the design and engineering of the fish passage project, McMillen Jacobs is ecstatic about the benefits its operation will bring. By providing safe and timely passage for juvenile and adult Bull Trout, Westslope Cutthroat Trout, and Mountain Whitefish, the Box Canyon fish passage facility, will once again allow native salmonid to freely move along the Pend Oreille River. The safe passage of these fish has created the opportunity for future generations to see these fish in their natural habitat and has ensured that as staples to Kalispell culture, the environment, and recreation, the fish will continue to thrive.
Created in the spirit of growth and restoration, the newest addition to the Box Canyon Dam marks a historic change in reminding us it is never too late to reverse the damages of the past and create a better future.