salmon

Water Released to Protect Salmon

salmonKLAMATH BASIN, Ore. — The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is increasing water flows in the Klamath River to fight a parasite attacking salmon.

Officials say the increases from Iron Gate Dam near Hornbrook, California started Saturday and will run 10 days. They say this will prevent water from being released from Upper Klamath Lake, which is home to endangered sucker fish and the primary reservoir of a federal irrigation project.

The bureau is trying to prevent a repeat of 2002, when the parasite killed tens of thousands of salmon during a drought.

NOAA Says Pot Growers Threaten Salmon

salmonOREGON — Federal biologists say the marijuana industry is harming salmon. NOAA says pot growers in California and Oregon illegally suck water from creeks where Coho salmon live and it’s a key threat to the species.

Biologists say the growers are also spreading fertilizer and pesticides in the salmon streams. NOAA says it’s issuing a recovery plan that calls for officials to get a better handle on the amount of water taken out of the streams.

Man Cited for Illegally Catching Fish

Photo Courtesy of Oregon State Police

Photo Courtesy of Oregon State Police

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife troopers cited an Astoria man on several commercial fish-related charges after seizing illegally caught fish.

OSP seized 748 pounds of illegally caught Chinook salmon and a 1,200 foot gillnet used to catch the fish.

Around 10:30 p.m. Friday, the troopers checked a boat belonging to Duffy Duncan, 66, of Astoria. While checking to ensure he was gillnetting in compliance with rules and regulations, the troopers determined his net mesh size was illegal and he was in possession of 44 Chinook salmon caught in the unlawful net.

Duncan was issued citations for commercial fishing prohibited method and 44 counts of the unlawful take/possession of commercially caught salmon.

The seized salmon was delivered to a wholesale fish dealer and sold at the going rate of $2 per pound. The proceeds will go to the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife.

Young Salmon Taxied Downstream

fish taxi 2
fish taxi

Near BLUE RIVER, Ore. — Young salmon on the McKenzie River are getting a free ride downstream that could help more of them survive.

Their taxi? A $5 million portable floating fish collector.

This is the first of its kind in the Willamette Basin. It pulls water in with juvenile spring Chinook salmon in it, traps them inside and moves them downstream, past some of the larger dams.

Biologist Greg Taylor with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it should reduce mortality rates of baby salmon by about 50 percent.

“The collector collects the fish and that allows us to count them, document them, tag them, learn things about them. But ultimately the goal is to safely transport them below the dam so that they survive,” Taylor said.

After two years, the device will be evaluated. Taylor says the goal is to have a sustainable run of fish produced above Cougar Dam, and this is a piece of that puzzle.

Rotary 4th Annual Wine and Salmon Festival

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rotary_wine_salmon_festival_web_slideEugene’s Southtowne Rotary invites the community to its 4th Annual Wine and Salmon Festival to be held on Friday, March 8th at the Eugene Hilton. Former University of Oregon President David Frohnmayer will be the honorary chair for the evening.  “Help Kids in Need – Give Rotary a Hand” is the theme for this year’s fundraising event, and all proceeds will go to the club’s numerous projects that help kids. The festival begins at 6 PM with wine tasting and a silent auction, followed by a salmon dinner and oral auction. Single dinner admission is $60, and tables are available from $500. The oral auction will be led by Sid Voorhees.

Master of Ceremonies will be Matt Templeman, News Director, KMTR TV.

There will be two special appeals, one to sponsor 250 non-perishable food boxes at Bethel and Fairfield Schools.  The boxes will be distributed to families with young children in the Head Start program.

The second appeal will be for StoveTeam International. Smoke from open cooking fires kills eight times as many children as malaria. StoveTeam replaces these open fires with clean, safe, locally produced Ecocina cookstoves.  In the past five years StoveTeam has helped start seven cookstove factories. The new stoves from these factories have cut dangerous carbon emissions by 70% and wood usage by 50%. StoveTeam has changed the lives of over 260,000 individuals in Central America and Mexico.

You can make dinner reservations for the Wine and Salmon Festival online at www.southtownerotary.org/buy-tickets.

For more information contact: Grace Widdicombe, Southtowne Rotary
Phone: 541-554-4633 (cell)
Email:[email protected] or [email protected]southtownerotary.org

Groups call for buffer zones in pesticide use

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Aerial spraying of pesticides, or “crop dusting,” is a practice dating back to 1906.

Several public advocacy groups held a rally today against pesticides at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza during the Saturday Market. Pitchfork Rebellion, an anti-pesticide group from the Triangle Lake area organized “Occupy This! Rally for Pesticide Justice and Jobs!” The event called for banning aerial spraying of pesticides near homes and schools, creating a buffer zone to protect people’s health.

The rally began with a performance by local reggae/jam band Sol Seed, followed by a spoken word protest performance calling for a “pure organic Oregon.”

Then “Day,” a resident of the Triangle Lake area, took to the stage. Day is one of several residents of Triangle Lake who has been documented to have the pesticides 2,4-D and atrazine in his urine. 2,4-D, or 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, is a major ingredient in Agent Orange, one of the chemicals used by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfare program during the Vietnam War. A professional analysis of four public streams near Day’s and other residents’ homes found these pesticides in all of the streams.

Several environmental groups held a rally today against pesticides at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza during the Saturday Market.

Day said,

“We’re just a bunch of hillbillies from Triangle Lake tired of getting hit by pesticides everyday.”

Studies by numerous organizations, from the EPA to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to public universities, have documented the effects of human consumption of pesticides. Pesticides can cause damage to the human nervous system, reproductive system and other organs, developmental and behavioral abnormalities, disruption of hormone function as well as immune dysfunction.

Day introduced Roy Key, a professional forester of over 40 years. Key said he was there to talk about the dangers of pesticide poisoning in Lane County.

“I’ve been in the forest business for 40 years. I’ve managed forests without herbicides or pesticides. You don’t need those substances to manage the forest.”

Key compared pesticide use to his experience in the Vietnam War.

“It’s just like Agent Orange all over again. But here in Lane County.”

Key called on attendees to tell Oregon governor John Kitzhaber to stop the use of pesticides in the state near homes and schools.

Day, a resident of Triangle Lake, has been documented to have the pesticides 2,4-D and atrazine in his urine. A professional analysis of four public streams near Day’s and other residents’ homes found these and other pesticides in all of the streams.

Oregon already has a buffer zone to protect waterways and salmon species. Streamside protection rules for non-federal forest land in Oregon were adopted in 1994. All private, state and local government forest landowners or operators conducting pesticide operations near streams, lakes or wetlands must comply with these rules. In November 2011, a federal judge upheld buffer zones for pesticide use near streams and rivers. Dow Chemical Company, a leader in specialty chemicals based in Michigan, filed a lawsuit seeking to undo the Oregon rules, saying that they were too restrictive. The restrictions ban the ground spraying of three agricultural insecticides within 500 feet of waterways with salmon. They also ban aerial spraying within 1000 feet of said waterways.

While Oregon has a buffer zone for pesticide use near water, it has not adopted a buffer zone near human activity. The Oregon Department of Forestry says,

“Currently, there are no regulations in Oregon requiring a buffer zone for aerial application of herbicides near specific structures or facilities, including schools.”

There are, nonetheless, safety requirements in how pesticides are used, both in residential and forested situations:

“While pesticide use in a residential setting must abide by pesticide label safety requirements, forestry applications must follow those requirements plus additional regulations spelled out in the Oregon Forest Practices Act.”

Pesticide companies, such as Dow Chemical, argue that their products abide by these safety requirements. Concerning 2,4-D, the substance found in Triangle Lake residents, Dow Chemical has said the following:

“2,4-D is available for use in U.S. crop production today because EPA has determined, after evaluating all human health and safety considerations – including the concerns expressed by activists – that current uses (including currently authorized uses on corn) pose ‘a reasonable certainty of no harm.’ This EPA conclusion was reached only after the Agency had considered all relevant data…This regulatory conclusion is supported by mainstream health and safety experts who have thoroughly evaluated the product.”

The application of pesticides has had a long and controversial history. Dr. Patricia Muir, Professor at Oregon State University’s Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, says that, following World War 2,

Ingrid Edstrom, nurse practitioner at Eugene’s Infrared Breast Thermography LLC, spoke of the link between pesticides and breast cancer. “Oregon has the second highest breast cancer rate per capita in the nation,” she added.

“Chemical pesticides have become the most important consciously-applied form of pest management.”

The Oregon Department of Forestry explains this popularity according to pesticides’ cost-effectiveness:

“Many landowners see herbicides as the most cost-effective means of achieving their reforestation goals following logging or fire, or for converting neglected brush land to forests.”

The first important pesticide was DDT (otherwise known as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane). Muir says,

“DDT was discovered in 1939 by a Swiss chemist Paul Muller. In its early days, it was hailed as a miracle…It was inexpensive and easy to apply. It was so effective at killing pests and thus boosting crop yields and was so inexpensive to make that its use quickly spread over the globe. In 1948, Muller was awarded the Nobel Prize for its discovery.”

As years went by, however, DDT was labeled both directly and indirectly toxic to many organisms. Most disturbingly, as Muir explains, DDT

“showed up in human breast milk at remarkably high concentrations — so high that the milk couldn’t legally be sold through interstate commerce if it were cow’s milk! [DDT] is the most widespread contaminant in human milk around the world.”

While DDT was banned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1972, other pesticides are commonly used in Oregon. The last year in which Oregon has data compiled for pesticide use is 2008. That year it was reported that 280,001 pounds of pesticides (chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion) were used in the state.

A rally attendee protests 2,4-D, one of the pesticides found in streams near Triangle Lake.

The groups that rallied today are hoping to change how those hundreds of thousands of pounds of pesticides are administered. They asked all attendees to fill out postcards to Governor Kitzhaber to ask for expanding pesticide buffer zones to include not just fish, but people.

Christina Hubbard, the Project Director of Forest Web, also spoke at the rally. Forest Web is a grassroots conservation organization based in Cottage Grove. Hubbard said,

“Forest Web stands in solidarity with these groups. I’ve personally been working with Day since 2007. A lot of these pople have had major clinical studies done on their urine and it is documented that they have pesticide poisoning.”

Hubbard says this rally’s message is not particularly radical.

“Really what this is about is creating a reasonable buffer zone for aerial spraying. This is common sense, to protect homes and schools.”

For more information about Oregon’s use of pesticides in agriculture, go to the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s website at http://oregon.gov/ODA/PEST/. For more information about Oregon’s use of them in forestry, go to the Oregon Department of Forestry’s website at http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/privateforests/pesticides.shtml. Websites for the groups involved in the rally are: Pitchfork Rebellion, http://pitchforkrebellion.com/; STOP, http://stop-oregon.org/; Forest Web, http://www.forestweb-cg.org/.

November 21 – Morning Headlines

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Fall Creek Lake to be emptied down to the original stream bed to help out juvenile salmon.

Headlines

  • Car Crash Sends Passengers to Hospital
    A two-car accident near Valley River Center sent multiple people to the hospital.
    The head-on crash happened Saturday night around 10 o’clock, on the Valley River Drive overpass leading to VRC. Both cars suffered severe damage. W…
  • Police dog finds suspect in attic insulation
    Police late Friday night used their newest dog, Tjenco, to help find and arrest a Springfield man on a charge of attempted burglary, police said Saturday evening. At 10:15 p.m. on Friday, a resident called police to report a person had …
  • Memorial for Colby Casto held on Monday
    A memorial is planned for Today to honor a 12-year Cascade Middle School student who took his own life last week.
  • Christmas comes early: Springfield family receives new home
    A Springfield woman and her two boys received a new home from Habitat for Humanity on Sunday.
  • Corps will lower Fall Creek Lake water level to help juvenile salmon
    Fall Creek Lake’s water level will be very, very low this winter. So low, in fact, that the only water might be in the drainage’s original streambed. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to lower the reservoir’s water level to about 680 feet ab…
  • Eugene rethinking wall-sitting policy
    Eugene police said they will sharply cut back on — but not necessarily stop — citing people for sitting on walls in public places, following dismissal of another police ticket against a person for sitting on a low stone wall in the downtown Park Bl…
  • Jabari Brown leaves men’s basketball program
    Jabari Brown, a heralded five-star recruit from Oakland, Calif., left the men’s basketball program permanently on Sunday, according to a report by Oregon radio. The decision was announced immediately before Oregon’s game against Southeast M…
  • Oregon volleyball upsets No. 3 Cal, No. 5 Stanford
    The suddenly well-oiled Oregon volleyball machine took its act on the road last weekend and toppled two more top-five teams in the process. After stunning then-No. 1 UCLA last Friday, the No. 15 Ducks beat No. 3 Cal (25-6, 15-6 Pac-12) and No. 5 Stan…

Tim Chuey Weather:

Wet and windy, particularly at the coast, are the watch words for the next couple of days.

High: 52
Low: 42
Rain: 60%

Advisories:  A HIGH WIND WARNING IS IN EFFECT FROM 3 AM UNTIL NOON  TODAY NEAR THE BEACHES AND HEADLANDS FOR THE NORTH AND CENTRAL OREGON COAST.  A HIGH WIND WATCH IS IN EFFECT FROM THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON FOR THE NORTH AND CENTRAL OREGON COAST. A HIGH WIND WATCH IS IN EFFECT FROM THIS EVENING THROUGH LATE TUESDAY NIGHT FOR NORTHERN AND EASTERN KLAMATH COUNTY, CENTRAL, EASTERN, AND WESTERN LAKE COUNTY.

Weak, short lived high pressure dried us out a bit. A strong upper air trough of low pressure (“U” shape in the jet stream will be rolling through Oregon keeping the moisture level up. A frontal system moved southward on the California coast spinning some moisture northward, but not reaching us. Another frontal system will push southward into Oregon bringing colder air south producing falling temperatures and falling snow levels as the next cold front sweeps through just in time for Thanksgiving which will be wet and there may be some new snow in the mountains for the skiers (Hoodoo and Willamette Pass ski areas are hoping to open the season this Friday as long as they get enough additional snow.

Forecast for the Southern and lower Mid Willamette Valley including Eugene-Springfield and Albany-Corvallis: Mostly cloudy with rain (0.25 in. of rain possible) today, rain tonight (0.50 in. of rain possible) and breezy (wind S: 15-25 mph), rain (0.40 in. of rain possible) likely (60%) Tuesday and windy (wind S: 15-25 mph), rain (0.50 in. of rain possible) Tuesday night and windy (wind: S 20-30 mph gusts to 50 mph), then rain Wednesday and Wednesday night highs 47-52 cooling to near 46 Wednesday lows 42-45 cooling to 37 Wednesday night. Mostly cloudy with rain likely (60%) Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) and Thursday night, cloudy with a good (50%) chance of rain Friday through Saturday, then rain likely (60%) Saturday night and Sunday highs 47-53 cooling to 49 Sunday lows 38-42. (seasonal averages high 50 low 37)

Because weather forecasting is a combination of science, intuition, and timing there can be no absolute guarantees that individual forecasts will be 100% accurate. Nature is in a constant state of flux and sudden unexpected weather events can happen.

Keep Current on the Weather: timchueyweather4u.com

October 28 – Morning Headlines

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Headlines

  • Wyden, DeFazio pursuing county-funding measures
    Oregon’s Congressional delegation is working on a two-pronged approach to funding Lane County and other counties in Oregon with vast areas of federal forest land that the counties can’t tax: Renew a long-standing but chronically threatened payments…
  • Recognize this tag? Call police
    Springfield Police have received reports of at least six incidents of graffiti at six different churches this week.
  • UO Administrators Strike Bargain with “Occupy Eugene”
    After less than a day of occupying the quad on the University of Oregon campus, protesters who had arrived early on Thursday agreed Thursday evening to a temporary relocation at a site owned by the university.   According to UO spokesman Phi…
  • Trees Come Down for Salmon Restoration
    For decades, state biologists thought the best way to manage Oregon rivers was to keep them free of wood fiber.  But that resulted in a shrinking of the salmon population.   So now the idea is to drop and pull down the trees to provide the …
  • Police beef up Halloween patrols
    Watch out for the folks dressed as cops this weekend and Monday. They’re likely to be the real thing. The Halloween weekend will bring extra officers onto the streets of Eugene, Springfield and much of Lane County as police gear up for what has becom…
  • New Eugene bankruptcy judge appointed
    A longtime Portland bankruptcy lawyer has been appointed as a U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge at the Eugene federal courthouse. Thomas Renn, 52, was apppointed Wednesday to fill the local judgeship vacancy when Bankruptcy judge Albert E. Radcliffe died sud…
  • Kilcullen to be added to Oregon law enforcement memorial
    A Eugene police officer shot and killed during a traffic stop in April 2011 and a Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputy killed in a shootout with a gang of masked men in 1882 will have their names added to the Oregon Fallen Law Enforcement Officers Memor…
  • Eugene woman puts together unique homelessness art exhibit
    A unique art exhibit spotlighting homelessness in Lane County will go on display in Eugene this coming weekend, as Eugene artist Amy Bowers displays her collection of found signs used…
  • UO Breaks Ground on New Soccer and Lacrosse Facility
    Construction around Autzen Stadium has been going on for months now, but it’s worth it for the soccer and lacrosse teams.   The new stadium is being built south of PK Park.   The 12,000-sqaure-foot stadium will be ready for play o…

Tim Chuey Weather:

It looks like you’ll need the rain gear for the Friday night High School Football games tonight in Western Oregon.

A reminder: Standard Time returns at 2 AM Sunday November 6th not this weekend.

High: 60
Low: 38
Rain: 60%-90%

The jet stream shows a trough of low pressure (“U” shape on yellow line) bringing clouds and rain back. An area of high pressure (“Arch” shape on yellow line) will clear us out a bit Saturday, but a large upper level low (the next “U” shape on the yellow line) will take over along with a frontal system Sunday that will bring back more chances of rain to the Pacific Northwest.

Forecast for the Southern and lower Mid Willamette Valley including Eugene-Springfield and Albany-Corvallis: Patchy AM fog, mostly cloudy with rain becoming likely (60%) by this afternoon (0.10 in. of rain possible), cloudy with evening rain, a good (50%) chance of showers late tonight (0.10 in. of rain possible), mostly cloudy with a slight (20%) chance of showers Saturday AM, partly cloudy Saturday afternoon and night, a mix of clouds and sun Sunday AM, becoming mostly cloudy with a (40%) chance of rain Sunday afternoon, then a good (50%) chance of showers Sunday night highs 58-60 lows 45-38 warming to 42 Sunday night. A mix of clouds and sun Monday, partly cloudy Monday night through Wednesday, partly cloudy with a slight (20%) chance of rain Wednesday night, then a mix of clouds and sun with a (30%) chance of rain Thursday  highs 58-54 lows 37-45. (seasonal averages high 59 low 40)

Because weather forecasting is a combination of science, intuition, and timing there can be no absolute guarantees that individual forecasts will be 100% accurate. Nature is in a constant state of flux and sudden unexpected weather events can happen.

Keep Current on the Weather: timchueyweather4u.com

Trees Come Down for Salmon Restoration

For decades, state biologists thought the best way to manage Oregon rivers was to keep them free of wood fiber.  But that resulted in a shrinking of the salmon population.

 

So now the idea is to drop and pull down the trees to provide the fish with a more natural habitat.

 

“What we’re trying to do with this project is enhance the rearing habitat for young Chinook salmon and enhance spawning habitat for salmon as well,” said McKenzie Watershed Council Projects Coordinator Jared Weybright.

 

To do that they have spent two weeks cutting down trees on a side channel of the McKenzie River.

 

The trees will create a natural log jam so salmon have a place to rest, take cover and reproduce away from the rapid current of the McKenzie.

 

Back in the 1960s, conservation efforts required cleaning Oregon’s rivers of any debris, but then the Coho salmon population dropped dramatically.  So ecologists realized what they were doing was all wrong.

 

“For the last 20 years the government primarily and OWEB has been going back and replacing that wood,” said Mark Villers with Blue Ridge Timber, Inc.

 

To create a stable log dam they need trees large enough to anchor it in place, a root system to weather any storm and the right equipment to bring it down.

 

“We have a large wench trunk about 100 feet away and we’re going to pull and pull until it tips over,” Villers said.

 

Restoration projects like this are the future, so the river keepers hope the public can learn to let go of the past.

 

“They see it as a safety hazard for boating and there are various obstacles to overcome, but wood is what creates fish habitat.  It’s what’s going to restore these rivers,” said fisheries biologist Kate Meyer.

 

Come mid-November, helicopter crews will come and drop about 200 pretty large pieces of wood along the McKenzie River in order to jam up the river for young salmon to spawn.

Crews Restoring Salmon Habitat in McKenzie River

LANE COUNTY, Ore. — The McKenzie River Ranger District worked to improve salmon habitat this week in the McKenzie River Trail area.

 

Crews used cables to pull trees into the side channels to create areas for the Chinook salmon to spawn.

 

“Some people may not understand why trees are being pulled down,” said Ray Rivera, Fish Biologist for the McKenzie River Ranger District. “But because we have lost so much of the Chinook salmon’s required habitat, this is what we are doing to bring it back.”

 

The trail was blocked from the trailhead to Paradise campground.