The mid-Columbia tributaries that steelhead love to call home often have critically low flows in summer and fall, due to water diversions for agriculture. Partners in the basin have made huge strides forward to protect in-stream flows in key steelhead streams by improving water and land management, purchasing and leasing water rights, and finding alternate water sources for farmers.
Flows in the Yakima River and its major tributaries are managed as part of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Yakima Project. During the past 30 years, irrigators and the Bureau have made significant improvements in how river flows are managed. Major new improvements are planned as part of the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan.