Tacoma Power honored for Cushman Dam fish passage operation

The National Hydropower Association has named Tacoma Power a recipient of an Outstanding Stewards of America Award for Operational Excellence for its work at the Cushman Dam North Fork Powerhouse and Fish Facility.

Working in partnership with the Skokomish Indian Tribe and natural resource agencies, Tacoma Power designed a unique system for using water discharged from turbines to attract migrating adult fish into a collector. The new fish collection and transportation facility re-opens fish passage on the North Fork Skokomish River in Mason County, which has been blocked since the two Cushman dams were built in the late 1920s. According to Tacoma Power officials, the result is clean, renewable energy for 1,700 Northwest homes while supporting upstream and downstream fish passage for coho, spring chinook, steelhead, and sockeye salmon.

Tacoma Power’s efforts to re-establish the endangered salmon and steelhead populations upstream of their projects while increasing clean, reliable hydropower generation are the definition of good water stewardship,” said National Hydropower Association Executive Director Linda Church Ciocci.