Cracked dam modified to handle migrating fish

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Modifications on the cracked Wanapum Dam will allow migrating salmon to pass through the structure starting this week on their journey to spawning grounds.

The Grant County Public Utility District said Tuesday that it had extended fish ladders, making them functional even after water was lowered by 26 feet behind the dam to prevent the crack from getting worse.

Spokesman Tom Stredwick says the utility spent $1.5 million to extend fish ladders so salmon can pass through the 8,600-foot wide dam on the Columbia River.

Divers discovered a 65-foot crack across part of Wanapum Dam's concrete spillway in February.

In addition, the utility this week is starting a program to trap migrating salmon, place them in a tanker truck and drive them around Wanapum Dam.