2018 Fisheries Workshop – Opal Springs

5 Rip Rap 2Last week was the annual Pelton Round Butte Fisheries Workshop.  Once again, it was an information filled conference with presentations covering a wide range of fisheries issues encompassing the entire Deschutes Basin.  I am going to spend a few weeks digging into some of the presentations, I have many follow up questions for some of the presenters, but there were a few topics that are quick and easy to report on, like Opal Springs fish passage.Construction on the new fish ladder is now underway.  It is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2019.  That appears to be a conservative target completion date, but with all the delays that this project has seen over the years I will be happy the scheduled date.  Here is the presentation from the workshop.  It has a lot of details that require some background knowledge to appreciate but also includes pictures of work now in progress.  Once complete, over one hundred miles of spawning habitat will be available to returning to anadromous fish.  In addition, there will also be bidirectional movement for resident species like redband trout, mountain whitefish, and bull trout.

BTW, one of the organizations listed in the acknowledgements is OpalSpringsPassage.org.  This was a project of mine under the auspices of the Association of NW Steelheaders.  I took the site offline late last year when the funding was finalized in order to concentrate on this blog.  I want to thank NW Steelheaders for all the help  provided with that project.   OpalSpringsPassage.org was credited as the key information resource used in the funding effort.  Among other things, potential funding organizations could clearly see the dam and charts and other data of anadromous fish being blocked over multiple years.

One issue solved, many, many more remaining…