Updates

Thanks for Joining Us at DamNation Screenings in Portland & Ashland!

DamNation LogoOn June 5th, Patagonia showed the award winning documentary DamNation at their Portland store in the EcoTrust Building. WaterWatch was there with a presentation on our latest dam removal efforts for Rogue River salmon and steelhead! And on June 9th, WaterWatch, Rogue Riverkeeper, The Native Fish Society, and Southern Oregon University’s ECOS program presented DamNation at SOU’s Music Recital Hall. Our own dam-buster emeritus and board member Bob Hunter gave a pre-film talk on past and current projects to Free the Rogue. Thanks for your support!

WaterWatch on Instagram!

Photo by Nate Koenigsknecht

Photo by Nate Koenigsknecht

Follow us on Instagram as we share images of WaterWatch in action, and the amazing rivers and streams we work to protect.

A Look at Local Climate Change

Executive Director John DeVoe discusses local climate change impacts for Oregon rivers, salmon, and steelhead with KGW News.

Report Charts Path to More Secure Water Supply for Klamath Refuges

Parched Lower Klamath NWR, Sept. 20, 2013

Parched Lower Klamath NWR, Sept. 20, 2013

WaterWatch released a detailed report providing analysis of several legal options available to secure significantly improved water supplies for Lower Klamath and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuges. In recent years, both of these Klamath Basin wildlife refuges have suffered chronic water shortages and catastrophic waterfowl disease outbreaks, sparked by lack of water. If implemented, the report recommendations could prevent future bird die-offs and restore essential wildlife habitat. The report makes clear that the Klamath Basin adjudication has provided both these refuges with senior water rights that could be used now to support wetlands, even during drought. In time, the adjudication will progress enough to allow water transfers to achieve additional improvements for wetland water supply on both refuges. WaterWatch has forwarded the report to Interior Secretary Jewell and urged her to implement the report’s recommendations as soon as possible.

Going to Court for Klamath Wildlife

The Klamath refuges provide habitat for 1 to 2 million migrating waterfowl each year.

The Klamath refuges provide habitat for 1 to 2 million migrating waterfowl each year.

WaterWatch joined Audubon Society of Portland and Oregon Wild today to ask a federal court to compel the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to produce a much-needed and long-overdue Comprehensive Conservation Plan for the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The Klamath Refuges contain some of the most important bird habitat in the United States, but now regularly face devastating water shortages. The plan, required bylaw, is now 18 months past the federally-mandated deadline. Read WaterWatch’s comments on the CCP process here. Read the lawsuit announcement here.

Spring 2014 Newsletter

Nate with a nice fishOur Spring 2014 newsletter is out! Check out our most recent work here!

Victory for the McKenzie River!

McKenzie River by Doug Heiken

McKenzie River by Doug Heiken

The Oregon Water Resources Department has denied the Willamette Water Company’s attempt to profit through speculation on Oregon’s waters. WaterWatch commends the department on their decision to deny the permit. The final order protects the treasured McKenzie River from an unlawful attempt to lock up a huge amount of water for later sale. This is great news for the McKenzie River and the fish and communities that depend on the river. We will be reviewing the 80-page order and taking any appropriate next steps. Read the final order here.

Working to Remove Two of Oregon’s Top Ten Fish Barriers

Fielder Dam on Evans Creek

Fielder Dam on Evans Creek

In a major development for the Rogue Basin’s prized salmon and steelhead runs, WaterWatch has succeeded in securing removal agreements for Fielder and Wimer dams on Evans Creek! An important spawning tributary of the Rogue River, Evans Creek supports fall chinook salmon, coho salmon, summer and winter steelhead, cutthroat trout, suckers, and lamprey. Above these dams, approximately 19 miles of habitat is available for fall chinook production, 60 miles for coho salmon production, and 70 miles for steelhead production. WaterWatch is now working in partnership with ODFW, Geos Institute, American Rivers, River Design Group, and others to secure funding to remove these dams by 2015. Help us move this worthy project forward without delay! Learn more about the Evans Creek removals in this Mail Tribune article, or visit our “Free the Rogue” campaign webpage.

Dam Removal a Boon for Rogue River Salmon

The removal of Gold Ray and Savage Rapids dams on the Rogue River is doing what biologists hoped it would – creating more spawning opportunities for salmon. Read the latest Mail Tribune article on the salmon resurgence, and learn about WaterWatch’s leading role one of the most successful dam removal and river restoration efforts undertaken in the United States.

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