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.