Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Redden rips latest salmon plan

From an article in The Oregonian:

In a blunt letter to attorneys who will appear in his Portland courtroom Wednesday in a landmark salmon lawsuit, U.S. District Judge James A. Redden signaled that the government is close to fumbling its last chance to help fish hammered by federal hydroelectric dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers.

Make your voice heard at GiveADamForSalmon.org.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Switch for Salmon

TU is launching a new campaign to get electricity customers in the PAC NW to save energy and pledge to do it for salmon recovery. The idea is that if you do the following, you reduce your household energy consumption 14%:

  • Switch out just three-quarters of my light bulbs to compact fluorescents: save 5%
  • Switch to running only full loads in the dryer: save 2%
  • Switch off lights when not in use: save 3%
  • Switch to air drying half my washed clothing: save 3%
  • Switch to running only full loads in the dishwasher: save 1%

    From the site: Even if you've already made these changes, and many of you already do much more, it's important you let us know so we can demonstrate to the federal dam operators that consumers recognize the ties between power use and fish, and we're willing to change our power habits to help bring our salmon and steelhead back.

    Sign the pledge.

  • Monday, October 29, 2007

    BLM WOPR hurts trout and salmon fishing

    Bottom line: The Bureau of Land Management's plan to increase logging in Western Oregon (Western Oregon Plan Revision: WOPR) will hurt trout and salmon populations in our state, which are already in decline. From today's Register-Guard:

    The plan would shrink by 57 percent the tree buffers along rivers and streams that provide shade, bank stability and downed wood in the water, which create good habitat for fish.

    Please read this very balanced piece by Susan Palmer on how the WOPR will impact the financial situations of rural Oregon counties and the biodiversity of our region.

    Wednesday, October 17, 2007

    Eugene TU Chapter puts the hurt on Umpqua Coho

    While this doensn't necessarily qualify as coldwater fisheries restoration... TU 678 members boated a few of the Umpqua River's hatchery coho this year. Good to eat and good for you!


    Dan the man

    Upmqua River Coho

    Umpqua Coho Trip

    Umpqua Coho Trip

    The fish were biting early in the morning between Elkton and Sawyer Rapid. If you want to read about catching them on the fly, check out Upstream In Oregon.

    Thursday, October 11, 2007

    Dates set for upcoming Trout Unlimited Chapter 678 outings

    Last night TU 678 representatives had the October meeting. We met with Jeff DeVore of the McKenzie Fly Fishers to talk about how the two groups can work more closely together and possibly do some joint trips in the coming months.

    Karl Mueller outlined some of the problems facing salmonids if the proposed BLM WOPR is passed. An outline of how the Western Oregon Plan Revision will impact our fisheries will be in an upcoming Newsletter.

    Upcoming outings for TU 678 include:
    November 24-25: Elk and Sixes River for Fall Chinook. Last year's Bounty:
    King salmon

    We also have a trip scheduled for the Siletz River, March 1-2. If you're interested in either of these trips, email us.

    Sunday, September 09, 2007

    Eugene Trout Unlimited chapter tackles barbed wire on Steens wilderness

    Trout Unlimited McKenzie River and Upper-Willamette Chapter 678 tackled barbed wire removal in the Steens Wilderness recently. Volunteers Karl Mueller and Matt Stansberry teamed up with Oregon-Washington TU Field Coordinator and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers Chair Mike Beagle and BLM employee Laura Dowlan to pull over 1500 feet of barbed wire. The project will help open up large parcels of elk and pronghorn habitat, previously intersected by the fence. In fact, during the project, a herd of 50-60 elk moved through an area that had previously been fenced in.

    Steens Mountain Oregon

    Steens Mountain Oregon

    Steens Mountain Oregon

    Steens Mountain Oregon

    Steens Mountain Oregon

    Steens Mountain Oregon

    During the off-hours, TU 678 volunteers fished the headwaters of the Blitzen River, easily catching 50 native redband rainbow trout, the biggest fish measuring around 14-inches. We plan to put together a TU 678 backpacking trip to the Steens next summer to fish from the headwaters to Blitzen Crossing. If you're interested in this trip or other upcoming events, please email Matt.

    For full details of the trip, check out the Upstream in Oregon blog.

    Tuesday, July 24, 2007

    Oregon fishing and climate change

    Last weekend, TU 678 attended a training session put on by the National Wildlife Federation and NW Steelheaders. The event was aimed at training Oregon hunters and anglers to give presentations on climate change. Check out Upstream In Oregon for the full report. Here is the segment on coldwater fisheries:

    Global Warming is causing more rain in the Cascades (less snow). Because of that extra liquid precipitation, the average snow pack has been shrinking by 30-60% since the 1950s. The Cascades are the lifeblood of our coldwater streams in the Pacific Northwest. On Mt. Hood, Sandy Glacier (source of the world-class steelhead fishery, Sandy River) has decreased by 50% in the last 50 years.

    Steelhead and salmon need cold, reliable flows to survive — fish that are already fighting extinction from extensive dam systems. The hydro system is not going away in the foreseeable future. Climate change is going to be an accelerant on all of the problems these fish already face.

    Recent average August/Sept Columbia River temperatures were 68-71F. In coldwater species, 70F increases fish stress. 75F is lethal. According to the IPCC, stream water will increase in temp 2.2-4.9 F, making 25-38% of coldwater habitat unsuitable

    Monday, June 25, 2007

    Call Representative DeFazio in support of SEAPA

    From the desk of Karl Mueller: This weekend TU 678 members assisted our coalition partner Save Our Wild Salmon to gather over 100 signatures urging Bob Lohn, Director of NOAA Fisheries to consider breaching the four lower Snake River dams in the Columbia River Bi-op. TU and Save Our Wild Salmon believe that this is the only way to recover Snake River ESA listed Chinook and Steelhead. On the Snake River, Coho have already gone extinct as have Sockeye and Chinook are barely hanging on. From historic numbers of about 1.5 million fish to the 1960's average of 100,000 fish to a current ten year average of 9,500 wild chinook the trendline that emerges is clear and convincing.

    Save Our Wild Salmon

    Save Our Wild Salmon

    Save Our Wild Salmon

    TU also supports House Bill 1507 known as The Salmon Economic Analysis Planning Act (SEAPA). That bill would fund a study to consider the economic impacts removal of the four lower Snake River Dams. Peter DeFazio, has been working behind the scenes to kill this bill. We are desperate to get 30 calls in the Rep DeFazio urging him to support SEAPA. The calls can be short, such as 'My name is, my address is, please support SEAPA. Thank you.' Please take this action.

    Rep. DeFazio's phone number is: 541-465-6732

    DeFazio's stated opposition is:

    1. He does not support the assumption of the act, that dismantling the Columbia Hydrosystem is the only way to recover ESA listed Chinook and Steelhead.

    The fact is that the act is a studies bill and make no such assumption.

    Furthermore, it is directed specifically at the four lower Snake River dams and not the 'Columbia Hydrosystem.'

    2. Peter believes we have to consider the economic impacts of dam removal.

    The bill is called the Salmon Economic Analysis and Planning Act. Enough said.

    3. We cannot easily make up for the lost power.

    Noboday has said that it will be easy, only that it is necessary.

    Furthermore, rebuilding the infrastructure will create scores of new jobs.

    Here is a link to yesterday's Register-Guard Op-ed.

    Monday, June 18, 2007

    Willamette River Streambank Restoration

    Trout Unlimited McKenzie Upper-Willamette Chapter 678 and Metro Planning have recently partnered to adopt a degraded stretch of streambank along the Willamette River. Historically, the river bank habitat consisted on cottonwood , ash, aspen, fir and cedar as well as numerous smaller species; currently, the section is a blackberry thicket.

    The adopted stretch is somwhat steep making mechanical vegetation managment impossible so members of OR Trout, TU Chapter 678 and employees of Metro Planning have been removing the blackberries by hand. Following blackberry removal, native species will be planted and watered in the hope that they establish themselves and provide enhanced habitat value and streamside shade.

    All TU members are invited to participate in this enhancement project. Bring yourselves,leather gloves, and some longsleeves. Until further notice, work parties are every Tuesday at 5:30 pm. The strembank section that we are working on is in the Whilamut Natural area of Alton Baker Park.

    To reach the site, park at Alton Baker Park or the Community Garden and follow the bikepath upstream. The site is right off the bikepath between the Autzen Footbridge and the Knickerbocker Footbridge (the Knickerbocker footbridge is the foot/ bike crossing just downstream of the I-5 Bridge). The enhancement area is right off the bike path.

    This project is right in your backyard and demonstrates TU's commitment to riparian enhancement. We'd love to see you there!

    Wednesday, May 02, 2007

    McKenzie River spring trip

    Sunday, April 22 -- Trout Unlimited Chapter 678 hit the McKenzie River just east of Springfield Oregon. We were hoping to find some PIT tagged wild trout, but managed to only catch some small cutthroats without tags. Lots of March Browns on the water though. Here are some pics:

    From MattStansberry

    From MattStansberry

    From MattStansberry

    From MattStansberry

    Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    March Brown McKenzie River trip photos

    Last weekend, Trout Unlimited Chapter 678 out of Eugene, Oregon headed to the McKenzie River to chase wild trout and the prolific March Brown hatch. It was also a good excuse to bring out the PIT (passive integrated responder) tag readers and see if any of ODFW's tagged wild trout made it down to the lower McKenzie. We launched at Hayden Bridge and rode down to Armitage, stopping along the way at likely hot spots. We didn't see a ton of action, but it was a great day on the water. Look for more March Browns to be coming up soon -- and more trips from Trout Unlimited McKenzie Upper Willamette Chapter 678.

    From MattStansberry

    From MattStansberry

    From MattStansberry

    From MattStansberry

    From MattStansberry

    From MattStansberry

    Monday, March 12, 2007

    Alton Baker Canoe Canal project, plus March Browns

    We will have our March 14 meeting at EWEB at 7:00 pm and Ed Fredette will give a talk titled "The Alton Baker Canoe Canal - The History and Restoration Potential"

    We will also discuss our March 18 McKenzie PIT tag trip. March browns baby!

    Saturday, March 10, 2007

    Northwest Fly Tyer Expo: TU in the field

    TU Chapter 678 was on hand at the Northwest Fly Tyer expo in Albany, OR this weekend to recruit new members and educate attendees about how to make their conservation dollars go farther in Oregon.

    Many of the people that came by the booth were already TU members, but were not aware of Chapter 678's role in Bull Trout habitat restoration or the fishing trips we have planned for 2007. We also promoted members to sign up through their local chapter, keeping a larger percentage of the chapter dues right here in Oregon.

    By signing up with the local chapter, $14 of the membership dues stays right here. Talk to your chapter representatives when it's time to renew about how you can do more for your state.

    Check out Oregon Outdoor Journal for more coverage of the event, and the gallery of Oregon Fly patterns.

    Saturday, February 24, 2007

    Trout Unlimited banquet funds trout and salmon protection in Oregon

    The Trout Unlimited Banquet held Feb. 11 at Territorial Vinyards winery was a huge success. Volunteers raised money to fund local Trout Unlimited projects in the coming year. Members voiced opinions on what direction the chapter should take in 2007. The consensus was that Chapter 678 should organize more trips, both habitat restoration and fishing.

    The Eugene Chapter of Trout Unlimited plans to participate in more riparian habitat restoration and monitoring of the Swift Creek project with USFS and ODFW. The Chapter will also be hosting several fly fishing trips in the coming months, including a March Brown trip on the McKenzie and several Cascades High Lakes trips.

    Look for an events calendar in the coming weeks, in the mail or at a fly shop near you!

    Wednesday, January 31, 2007

    Klamath Dams coming down?

    This news comes courtesy of Teh Wind Knot: the U.S. federal government has ordered utility giant PacifiCorp to modify four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River to allow passage for salmon.

    From today's Washington Post article: Since modifying the aging dams would cost an estimated $300 million, removing them has suddenly become a much more plausible -- and considerably cheaper -- option.

    For more info, check out the Klamath Restoration Council.

    Also, here is a link to the official Trout Unlimited response.

    In the meantime, I'm taking advice from the Trout Underground and popping a celebratory beer.

    Thursday, January 18, 2007

    Email Congressman DeFazio to protect the Elk River

    From TU's Oregon Director Mike Beagle:

    Next week, Trout Unlimited and local Elk River grassroots conservationists will meet with Congressman Peter DeFazio's staff in Eugene requesting that he introduce legislation to protect the Copper-Salmon region as Wilderness. We'd appreciate it if you could take a few moments to email or fax the Congressman and tell him that the time is now to introduce legislation to protect one of the best salmon and steelhead fisheries in the west. There are very few intact watersheds remaining on the Pacific Coast that produce these big, wild ocean-running fish. See attached sportsmen's coalition letter.
    From MattStansberry

    Some talking points:
    Please identify yourself as a TU member and avid angler, sportsman or woman. TU's McKenzie Chapter is part of the this conservation-minded sportsmen's proposal. Now, with a new Congress in session, there is a great opportunity to introduce a Copper-Salmon Wilderness bill that can gain the support of the House and Senate. The Elk River is on of the healthiest salmon and steelhead fisheries on the Pacific Coast. Great habitat is the reason why. The old growth forests of Port Orford cedar and Douglas fir that exist in the Copper-Salmon proposal lands act as a natural filter which benefits fish, wildlife and people. With recent commercial fishing restrictions on the Pacific Coast, it makes sense to defend the economic viability of the region by protecting habitat. Oregon State University scientists believe that the upper Elk River is one of the best spawning and rearing streams on the Pacific Coast. Congressman DeFazio has stated in the past that he is supportive of protecting this gem. Now is the time to protect this land in his district.

    Please send a fax of email with the following heading and address

    The Honorable Peter DeFazio
    Eugene Office
    405 East 8th Ave. #2030
    Eugene, OR 97401

    FAX 541-465-6458

    Click on the link to send your email to Congressman DeFazio.

    Saturday, January 13, 2007

    Swift Creek restoration update from USFS

    Corey Lewellen, fisheries biologist with the U.S. Forest Service came to the Trout Ulimited Chapter 678 meeting in Eugene, OR this week to update members on progress on the Swift Creek restoration project for bull trout habitat.

    Trout Unlimited, USFS and ODFW have teamed up to build bull trout spawning habitat in the Willamette watershed. Swift Creek, a tributary of the Willamette River above Hills Creek would be an ideal location, but the river is steep and fast, so jamming the river with logs provides blockage that will lead to a less steep, winding riverbed and help in the recruitment of gravel which is important for spawning trout.

    According to Lewellen, the USFS has accumulated 600-700 logs so far to jam up Swift Creek. He also reported that in 2005 a screw-trap on the Willamette captured 12 sexually mature bull trout, and in 2006 USFS recorded six additional adults. He also said USFS had recorded 15 sub adults and several hundred juveniles. These fish were transported from the McKenzie River stocks as fry.

    Here are some photos from the restoration.

    From MattStansberry

    From MattStansberry

    P.S. Keep an eye out for Trout Unlimited Chapter 678 upcoming events around Eugene.