Fish Passage Working Group

The Rogue Basin Partnership’s Fish Passage Working Group’s mission is to address high priority fish passage projects on the Rogue River’s tributary streams. Several high profile dams have been removed from the mainstem Rogue River, however, more than 600 known fish passage barriers exist on tributary streams. These remaining barriers pose stress to juveniles seeking two years. We bring expertise to: listen to landowner needs and concerns, develop win-win water diversion alternatives, secure project funding, implement projects on-time and give attention to project details every step of the way.

Working Group members collaborate to best leverage each organization’s strengths to develop and implement fish passage projects that maintain existing active water rights by upgrading irrigation infrastructure. The number of barriers, almost entirely privately owned, requires a strategic approach across multiple watersheds where barrier removal partners collaborate to address priority barriers in priority watersheds. Opportunities to return water to instream to benefit aquatic species are explored for projects where water savings can be realized. The Working Group collaborates with local, state and federal natural resource agencies on identifying and prioritizing project opportunities, identify funding sources and developing project permits. Members also receive technical assistance from agency partners.

The Rogue River is a cornerstone of southwest Oregon, representing thousands of years of history, woven into local cultures. When we remove these obstructions, we take the first step in restoring and improving fish habitats, supporting healthy fish populations.

Due to the significant overlap in projects, member organizations and permitting needs, in 2017 the Fish Passage Working Group incorporated with the RBP Water Rights and Aquatic Habitat Restoration Working Groups. Working Group members include Applegate Partnership & Watershed Council, Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians, Illinois Valley Soil & Water Conservation District, Illinois Valley Watershed Council, Rogue River Watershed Council, The Freshwater Trust, Trout Unlimited and WaterWatch of Oregon. Meetings are held bi-monthly, on the third Thursday of the month from 10 to noon at the Rogue River Watershed Council office in Central Point. Meetings are open to anyone interested in improving fish passage conditions in the Rogue Basin.

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