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Cushman Hydro Project


North Fork of the Skokomish River
Thanks for all who attended our informational public meeting about current projects associated with the Cushman Hydroelectric Project on July 17 Mason County Fire Protection District #18 building. 

View a few handouts from the meeting:
Question and Answer handouts: 

Learn About:

Email cushmanfeedback@cityoftacoma.org for more information. 

Fish and Wildlife Programs

New fish passage facilities
Tacoma Power's new innovative fish passage system is under construction at the Cushman Hydroelectric Project. Here's how it will work:


Adult fish passage
 
Adult fish migrating up the North Fork of the Skokomish River will approach the fish collector at the base of Cushman No. 2 Dam. The fish, attracted by flowing water, will enter through the slotted fish entrance. The water will be routed from the turbines in the new powerhouse up through a screened floor of the fish trap.

Once in the trap, fish will be moved into a transport hopper and lifted to the top of the dam on a tram. There a new fish handling system will be used to separate, count and mark (as necessary) the fish. We will transport the fish to their final destination upstream of the two Cushman dams.

Fish-friendly adult fish trap: Fish will enter through the slot on the lower left of the diagram. They will be attracted by the water discharged from 2 turbines. (Arrows show direction of water flow.)
 
adultfishtrapdiagram_500x449.jpg
 

Juvenile fish passage

For a viable program and to help smolts around the dams, Tacoma Power:
  • is building a new floating fish collection facility in Lake Cushman to collect smolts ready to migrate to the ocean
  • will release collected smolts in the North Fork at the base of Cushman No. 2 to continue their migration
As young fish begin their downstream migration to the ocean, they will be captured in Lake Cushman with a large floating fish collection facility called a floating surface collector.

We will transport the juvenile fish by truck to the top of Cushman No. 2 Dam and place them in a transport hopper. The fish will be gently lowered on the tram to the bottom of the dam and released into the North Fork Skokomish River to continue their journey to the Pacific Ocean.

Hatcheries

Tacoma Power is construting two new hatcheries as part of the Cushman Hydro Project license. The team that helped guide the design included representatives of:
  • Tacoma Power
  • Skokomish Tribe
  • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Sockeye Hatchery

Tacoma Power's sockeye hatchery will be located adjacent to Skokomish Park at Potlach on Hood Canal. Once the hatchery is operational, it will raise two million sockeye each year.

The fry will be released in Lake Cushman, and smolts will be collected and released into the lower North Fork Skokomish River. Returning adult sockeye will eventually be collected at the base of Cushman No. 2 Dam.

Hatchery construction is planned to be complete in 2015.


Hatchery at Lake Kokanee

The hatchery located at Lake Kokanee will raise:
  • 375,000 spring Chinook fingerlings and yearlings
  • up to 35,000 coho smolts
  • up to 15,000 steelhead smolts
 

Wildlife Programs

Protecting wildlife is also an important part of the Cushman Hydro Project.

  • Wildlife lands total more than 2,700 acres
  • Support elk, deer, eagles, osprey, wood ducks and other wildlife
Tacoma Power installed 3 nesting platforms for osprey in the Cushman Hydro Project area. Two are located on poles at either end of Lake Cushman, and one rests on a tree at Lake Kokanee. We've also installed wood duck boxes and bat roosting boxes in the area.

We are planning installation of:

  • Elk forage fields
  • Tree thinning for healtheri forests
  • Snag creation for cavity-dependent species