The Fall Chinook Acclimation Project, commonly called "FCAP", began in 1996. Funding to sponsor the three fall Chinook acclimation sites initially came from the Hatfield Congressional Amendment. Today annual operating expenses are provided by the Bonneville Power Mitigation for hydrosystem impacts. Nez Perce Tribal Fisheries is contracted to operate and maintain three facilities, Captain John Rapids, Pittsburgh Landing and Big Canyon. Captain John Rapids and Pittsburgh Landing facilities are located on the Snake River, and Big Canyon is located on the Clearwater River. Operations occur between February and June each year. Annual releases are 450,000 yearling smolts and upwards of 1.5 million sub-yearling smolts annually.
FCAP releases have increased adult fall Chinook returns above Lower Granite Dam to more than 15,000 for the last 4 years with a high of 41,815 in 2010. Redd counts in the Clearwater River exceeded 1,000 last fall. This is a marked change from only 13 redds in 1987. Adult returns were so encouraging that in 2008 co-managers opened a fishery in the Snake River - something that had not occurred in over 30 years.
In 2011, FCAP released 483,340 yearling smolts and 1,438,910 sub-yearling smolts into the Snake and Clearwater Rivers. The project also outplanted 300,000 spring Chinook parr into the upper Selway River.
Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon Monitoring & Evaluation Project