By Joe Ferguson – June 23, 2022
Fish Creek/Copeland Creek Aquatic Restoration
Steamboaters has sent a letter of support to Umpqua National Forest endorsing the proposed Aquatic Restoration project on Fish Creek and Copeland Creek.
In both of these drainages, the projects will commence a couple of miles above the River, and include placement of boulders and logs in the stream and may include bank stabilization in some areas. The project is identified as aimed at anadromous fish, and will clearly benefit steelhead in Copeland Creek. It’s unclear how much of the project area on Fish Creek is accessible to salmon or steelhead, but as Bob Nichols, UNF’s Fisheries Program Manager points out, improving the health of the creek and riparian area will benefit downstream areas as aquatic invertebrates and increased amounts of wood eventually wash downstream.
Steamboaters offered to help with monitoring, both in gathering baseline data and in ongoing evaluation of the benefits, either on-the-ground surveys or with funding, particularly on Copeland Creek.
ODFW’s Proposed Fish & Wildlife Agreement with the Coquille Tribe
ODFW has adopted an agreement with the Coquille tribe implementing Oregon’s treaty obligations relating to fish and wildlife management and the tribe’s rights to harvest in their traditional area. (www.dfw.state.or.us/tribal_relations/docs/Coquille_Agreement.pdf).
The draft still leaves many of the details to be worked out, but appears to grant extensive hunting, fishing, and harvest rights; the area includes all of Lane, Douglas, Coos, Curry, and Jackson Counties (map of the area is on page 24 of the draft).
Hatchery System Impacts Analysis
On May 24 ProPublica and OPB produced an in-depth report on the failure of hatcheries to provide anadromous fish to replace the lost production from dams and habitat degradation. The report focuses on the Columbia River but also discusses the problem from a larger perspective.