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Concurrent Sessions B: Reproduction Efforts on the Upper Deschutes River - The Deschutes Partnership – A Collaborative Approach to Restoration

The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation (Tribes), the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), and Portland General Electric (PGE) are leading a multi-agency effort to restore wild steelhead, chinook salmon and sockeye salmon runs to the upper Deschutes River basin. These runs have been absent since the mid-1960’s, when efforts to pass fish downstream at the recently-constructed Pelton-Round Butte dam complex were deemed a failure and abandoned. PGE and the Tribes have restored fish passage through their Pelton-Round Butte hydroelectric project by constructing a new intake tower and fish collection facility at Round Buttedam. With fish passage in place at Pelton-Round Butte, the focus has now moved to providing suitable habitat and secure fish passage in the 226 miles of tributary reaches where reintroduced salmon and steelhead will spawn and rear. The specific reintroduction areas include the Crooked River and its tributaries; the Deschutes River to Big Falls, including Whychus Creek; and the Metolius River and its tributaries. The Deschutes Partnership aims to restore the high-quality habitat necessary to support self-sustaining runs of salmon and steelhead in the reintroduction reaches. Guided by a collaborative restoration plan each organization within this partnership fills a specific niche based on their expertise and capacity: Stream habitat restoration, Land conservation, Stream flow restoration, Fish passage and screening, Community engagement and education, Monitoring and evaluation: Our collective organizations have been engaged in this work to various degrees since 1998, but created a formal, focused partnership in 2005. Brad Nye will provide an overview of the Deschutes Partnership including its creation, the challenges it was designed to overcome, and why it is effective. Mathias Perle will provide detail on individual programs within the Partnership in a subsequent presentation.