GRANT COUNTY — Modifications on the cracked Wanapum Dam will allow migrating salmon to pass through the structure starting this week on their spring migration to spawning grounds, the Grant County Public Utility District said.

The utility extended fish ladders to be functional even after water was lowered behind the dam to keep the crack from worsening.

Spokesman Tom Stredwick said the utility extended fish ladders by 18 feet so salmon can pass through the 8,600-foot-wide dam on the Columbia River.

“These are different conditions, but … not outside the norm,” he said.

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