Conservation Links: O&C Logging, Sandy Hatchery update

The North Umpqua is in the news, as a 14-member panel appointed by Governor John Kitzhaber grapples with how to manage logging on western Oregon’s 2.4 million acres of Oregon and California Railroad Revested (O&C) Lands. National Geographic was on the North Umpqua this fall and visited Frank Moore, who produced this video on logging’s impact on watersheds in the 1970s (recently posted by the Native Fish Society).

Pass Creek from Native Fish Society on Vimeo.

Earlier this month, the Sandy River Hatchery won federal approval. In its 88-page biological opinion and ruling, NMFS concluded that the Sandy Hatchery’s operations would not jeopardize listed species of salmon and steelhead or their habitat. But it attached four major conditions, including:

– A limit of 100 to 400 on the number of wild salmon and steelhead it can collect for hatchery breeding and up to 2,750 wild Spring chinook it can trap and handle at weirs;

– Limiting the fish stray rate into tributaries and spawning grounds to 5 percent for hatchery summer steelhead and 10 percent for hatchery winter steelhead and other hatchery salmon.

– Ensuring that within 21 days of their release, hatchery fish make up no more than 10 percent of all juvenile fish in the lower Sandy River, allowing wild fish to compete for shelter and food.

– Yearly monitoring to see if the temporary tributary weirs cause more than a 20 percent change in spawning distribution above and below the structures.

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