ODFW staff urges denial of Ochoco's Bowman Dam fish passage waiver request

October 3, 2020
ODFW staff urges denial of Ochoco's Bowman Dam fish passage waiver request

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission staff is recommending the panel reject a request by Ochoco Irrigation District for a waiver of fish passage requirements for its planned hydroelectric project at Bowman Dam.

The commission meets via Zoom call to discuss that and other topics next Friday at 8 am.

Find the meeting agenda at https://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/20/10_Oct/index.asp

The meeting will be livestreamed via ODFWs YouTube page; watch the livestream at https://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/

To testify on one of the agenda topics via Zoom, please register no later than 48 hours in advance (by Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 8 a.m.) by submitting this form online https://odfw.wufoo.com/forms/commission-meeting-witness-registration/

During Friday’s meeting, the commission will consider a fish passage waiver requested by the Ochoco Irrigation District at its proposed hydroelectric project, to be located on Bowman Dam, near Prineville on the Crooked River.

New hydroelectric projects require that fish passage and other fish and wildlife concerns are addressed. Fish passage waivers may be granted provided the requester undertakes other projects to provide a net benefit to fish.

In this case, ODFW staff are recommending the commission not approve the, saying the proposed mitigation does not provide a greater benefit to native migratory fish species than fish passage would. For more details on the proposal and staff analysis and recommendation, see Exhibit C.

In other action, the commission will consider making changes to the rules for Wildlife Control Operators which would add wild turkeys to the list of species these private businesses can address.

Turkeys can cause damage and be a nuisance in urban and suburban areas. Under the proposed rules, WCOs would be able to address wild turkey complaints under certain constraints.

For example, WCOs would be able to remove turkeys causing property damage or being aggressive and salvage the meat for donation, or potentially release turkeys to ODFW-approved locations.

During the director’s report at the beginning of the meeting, the commission will be briefed on monitoring and management of wild steelhead on the Oregon coast, the Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Program and wildlife connectivity issues in the state. No public testimony is taken during this portion of the meeting.

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