Central Oregon Daily$6.6 million coming to Deschutes River projects to improve habitat

$6.6 million coming to Deschutes River projects to improve habitat

.6 million coming to Deschutes River projects to improve habitat

Deschutes River

The U.S. Department of Interior on Tuesday announced $6.5 million coming to projects on the Deschutes River, aimed at helping at-risk species and provide safe passage for fish.

The Deschutes River Conservancy will receive $651,542 to 鈥渃omplete the study and design of habitat restoration projects that will benefit the Oregon spotted frog, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and the native Redband trout designated by the state as a sensitive species, on the Deschutes River.鈥

The North Unit Irrigation District is receiving $5,965,809 to 鈥渞eplace the existing, rotary drum fish screens with upgraded, flat plate screens and a traveling screen cleaning system at the Bend Headworks, located at the district鈥檚 main canal intake on the mainstem of the Deschutes River.鈥

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鈥淪uper high flows in the summer, super low flows in the winter have really degraded the river channel and disconnected it from its floodplains. So this work will design projects that will be just the first step in a long plan to do a lot of habitat restoration projects up there,鈥 said Kate Fitzpatrick with the Deschutes River Conservancy.

The awards are part of the $51 million going to 18 projects in the U.S.

Grants were also given to three Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife projects. Here are the full descriptions of the awards for Oregon:

Deschutes River Conservancy, Restoring Upper Deschutes River Aquatic Habitat for Oregon Spotted Frog and Other Native Species (Task A: Study and Design)

Reclamation Funding: $651,542

The Deschutes River Conservancy (DRC), in partnership with the Deschutes Basin Board of Control (DBBC), will complete the study and design of habitat restoration projects that will benefit the Oregon spotted frog, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and the native Redband trout designated by the state as a sensitive species, on the Deschutes River in central Oregon. Habitat for these species has been degraded in this section of the Upper Deschutes River between the Wickiup Reservoir and the City of Bend, which includes Reclamation鈥檚 Deschutes Project, through the storage and release of water for irrigation. The DRC and DBBC will conduct site studies and analysis to prioritize projects to restore the stream channel through regrading the riverbanks and reconnecting the active channel to its floodplains to allow flows to inundate wetlands and riparian areas adjacent to the river channels, providing habitat for the Oregon Spotted Frog and improving in-stream habitat.

North Unit Irrigation District, Fish Screen Replacement at Bend Headworks (Task B: Construction)

Reclamation Funding: $5,965,809

North Unit Irrigation District will replace the existing, rotary drum fish screens with upgraded, flat plate screens and a traveling screen cleaning system at the Bend Headworks, located at the district鈥檚 main canal intake on the mainstem of the Deschutes River, in Bend, Oregon. The Deschutes River is home to brown and rainbow trout, the rare brook trout, whitefish, and transient fingerling coho and kokanee from Wickiup Reservoir, a Bureau of Reclamation Project. The design of the new screens will slow the approach velocity, shrink the mesh size of the screen, and provide a safe path for fish to the fish ladder.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Restoring Ecosystem Function and Fish Habitat in the Hood River聽Watershed聽(Task A: Study and Design)

Reclamation Funding: $500,000

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Hood River聽Watershed聽Group will complete the study and design of five stream restoration projects across the East Fork Hood River, Neal Creek, and Baldwin Creek sub-watersheds in north-central Oregon. Funding will be used to develop 100 percent designs to remove two fish passage barriers and restore at least 3.5 miles of fish habitat, which will improve wetland function, increase stream complexity, restore riparian habitat, and connect the floodplain to the main channel. The projects will advance the recovery of Endangered Species Act listed Lower-Columbia River Salmon and steelhead.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Reconnecting Fish Passage to Recover Oregon Coast Coho in the Nehalem and Tillamook聽Watersheds (Task B: Construction)

Reclamation Funding: $3,000,000

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and local partners will complete a suite of high-priority fish passage and habitat restoration actions in the Lower Nehalem聽Watershed, in coastal, Northwest Oregon. The project will include the removal of 4 dams and culverts and will replace 5 tide gates, which are fish passage barriers that also restrict floodplain connectivity with two muted tidal regulator gates, which will result in 22 miles of coho spawning and rearing habitat reconnected and 381 acres of floodplain wetlands reconnected.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Restoring Habitat Connectivity for Lower Columbia River Salmonids in the North Fork Klaskanine River聽Watershed聽(Task B: Construction)

Reclamation Funding: $3,175,089

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will restore fish passage in the North Fork Klaskanine River by providing fish passage at the Ogee Dam. The project builds upon progress made in previous phases of a聽watershed-scale effort, that included the removal of one dam and installation of a fish passage structure at a second dam upstream of the proposed project location at Ogee Dam. Once installed, the fish passage feature at Ogee Dam will provide access to 12 full miles of critical spawning and rearing habitat in the upper reaches of the North Fork Klaskanine River for the benefit of ESA-listed coho salmon. The project will also benefit several non-listed, but culturally significant species, including coastal cutthroat trout, Pacific lamprey, and Western brook lamprey.

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