Jack Creek dam being removed

July 23, 2014
Jack Creek dam being removed

The Deschutes National Forest, private land owners and a conservation group are working together to restore fish passage for bull trout and redband trout on Jack Creek, a tributary to the Metolius River.

The Sisters Ranger District, the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council and the Lundgren family are partnering to remove an irrigation dam and diversion ditch to improve juvenile and adult passage for bull trout, a threatened species, according to a release from the Deschutes National Forest. The work started Monday.

The dam and ditch removal is expected to take a week. A dispersed recreation site adjacent to the dam will be closed to the public during that time.

Water for irrigation will be pumped downstream off National Forest land, and the existing dam at the Forest Road 1230 crossing will not be needed, according to the release.

The Metolius River is a stronghold for bull trout in Oregon, and this project will restore access to important spawning habitats upstream of the dam, according to the Forest Service. Delays in migration of spawning adults make them vulnerable and can reduce their survival. Juvenile passage to 2 miles of habitat upstream also will be restored.

Contact: Mike Riehle, Sisters Ranger District, 541-549-7702.

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