Promoters of Wildlife & Environmental Resources (POWER) will disband

 


We would like to thank all the volunteers who have helped with all our projects over the past 32 years; you are the ones that made the projects a success. Thank you.

Due to the lack of someone to manage the fish pens, the board of directors has decided to disband POWER. February 28 was the last day to apply for an ALEA (Aquatic Land Enhancement Account) grant to fund the fish pens. The fish pens will be removed from Banks Lake this spring, along with the log boom and the docks. WDFW (Washington State Dept. of Fish & Wildlife) will remove the fish pens and store in their facility in Ephrata. The log boom and docks will be removed by Coulee Playland for their use as needed. It is with regret after 32 years that all our programs are not continued.

POWER was started by Reg Morgan and Bill Brashears in 1987 with the fish pens to augment the fishery in Banks Lake. The original name was Project Fish, run under the Grand Coulee Dam Chamber. Funding was totally donations by jars in businesses for people to donate money to the tune of $9,500 to build four 20-foot pens. In 1991, the name was changed to POWER as a nonprofit state organization.


Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

The first fish were received in April 1987, with 50,000 rainbow trout. The net pen operation was so successful the WDFW asked POWER to increase the production of fish to 150,000 twice a year, and WDFW furnished the new 30-foot pens in 2004. POWER installed docks and ramps to accommodate the new system. Close to 300,000 catchable-size fish had been released each year into Banks Lake by 2018; that is 3.9 million, not counting what was released before we went to the 30-foot pens.

Some of the other projects POWER accomplished are as follows:

• In 1991, we built 60 small bird feeders and 13 large feeders for feeding game birds for winter survival. We fed Quail, Chukars, Pheasants, and Hungarian Partridge in Grant, Douglas, Okanagan & Lincoln counties with as much as 17,000 pounds of feed in one winter.

• In 1997, we started the lakeshore and clandestine garbage cleanup project with lakeshore cleanup of about five miles of shoreline per year. Some years we had as much as 14,000 pounds of garbage with 41 people helping. This project was supported by WDFW, BOR & WDPR (Washington Dept. of Parks & Recreation).

• In 1998, POWER purchased 530 Chukars and released them along Banks and Rufus Woods Lake. This was not successful because of predators. In 2000, we tried it again by purchasing 680 more mature Chukars in August. Within a year, almost all were gone for the same reason. This project was supported by BOR Grants.

• In 2002, we started trapping Quail and relocating them along Banks Lake and Washington Flats in cooperation with the WDFW, using their traps and transport boxes, trapping as many as 550 a year, and some were taken out of the area by WDFW.

• In 1999, we purchased 19,000 Channel Catfish and released them into Osborn Bay; the year before we purchased 19,000 channel catfish and tried to raise them in the fish pens without success. This project was a grant from BOR.

Carl Russell

 

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