Tuesday, June 27, 2017
SALEM, Ore.—The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking public comment on a request to forego fish screening at a new point of diversion on White River, a tributary of the Deschutes River in Wasco County. Comments are due by July 11, 2017.
The water user on White River applied for a point of diversion transfer to their water right through the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD application #T-10555) in 2008. This transfer requested approval to relocate the point of diversion downstream where water would be diverted through the use of a pump.
OWRD approved the Transfer Application in 2009 with a requirement that the applicant install and operate a fish screen at the diversion. OWRD specified, “Prior to diverting water, the water user shall install a fish screening and/or bypass device, as appropriate, at the new point of diversion consistent with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (ODFW) design and construction standards.”
The applicant has applied to ODFW’s Fish Screening Task Force to be excused from compliance....with the screening requirement.
White River originates on Mount Hood and flows east to its confluence with the Deschutes River near Maupin, Ore. The new point of diversion is located upstream of White River Falls, which creates a natural barrier to upstream migration of fish such as salmon and steelhead. However, the White River above the Falls is home to other native migratory fish including mountain whitefish and a unique strain of resident redband trout. Over 50 miles of fish habitat exist above White River Falls.
The water user has requested to be excused from compliance by the Fish Screening Task Force when it meets July 13, 2017 at the ODFW Enterprise District Office, 65495 Alder Slope Road, Enterprise, Ore.
Members of the public can send written comments to Alan Ritchey, Fish Screening and Passage Program Manager, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr SE, Salem, OR, 97302, email Alan.D.Ritchey@state.or.us, or by calling (503) 947-6229. Comments need to be received by July 11, 2017