Whychus Creek Dam removal to open fish habitat

September 2, 2014
Whychus Creek Dam removal to open fish habitat

SISTERS, Ore. - Representatives from local non-profits, public agencies and Pine Meadow Ranch will initiate and celebrate the removal of the last remaining concrete dam on Whychus Creek near Sisters next Monday.

A small ceremony will mark the beginning of the dam removal process. Once the dam is removed, 13 miles of spawning and rearing habitat for Chinook salmon, steelhead and resident trout will be restored in Whychus Creek.

The dam removal is one part of a long?term, multifaceted effort to restore the historic native fisheries in the creek.

Other components of the effort include restoring 2.5 miles of stream channel near the dam, putting one cubic foot per second (CFS) of permanent streamflow into the creek, and upgrading Pine Meadow Ranch’s irrigation system to reduce water usage.

The Upper Deschutes Watershed Council, Deschutes National Forest, Deschutes River Conservancy and Pine Meadow Ranch are all participating in the fisheries restoration efforts.

The project’s total cost is estimated to be $2 million, with funding coming from the Deschutes National Forest, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Pelton Round?Butte Fund, the National Fish and Wildlife Fund’s Columbia Basin Water Transactions Program, Reser Family Foundation, the National Forest Foundation, and Patagonia.

For more information contact Mike Riehle at the Sisters Ranger District, 541-549-7702, or Mathias Perle, Upper Deschutes Watershed Council, 541-382-6103 ext 37.

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