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ODFW seeks comments on a request to forego fish screening on Lake County creek

February 11, 201

Salem, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking public comment on a request to forego fish screening on a point of diversion on Muddy Creek, a tributary of Goose Lake in Lake County. Comments are due by Feb. 26, 2014.

The water user on Muddy Creek applied for a water right through the Oregon Water Resources Department (application #S-87775) in December 2011. OWRD issued the water right permit (S-54800) in February 2013 with a requirement that the applicant provide screening at the diversion. The applicant has applied to ODFW’s Fish Screening Task Force to be excused from compliance with the screening requirement.

Muddy Creek originates west of Lakeview on the Fremont-Winema National Forest. Historically, the creek flowed unimpeded into Cottonwood Creek and then to Goose Lake. The applicant’s dam has impounded Muddy Creek since 1961, forming Muddy Creek Reservoir (locally known as Juniper Reservoir). The point of diversion for the water right permit is at the outlet of the dam.

In issuing the water permit, OWRD specified “The permittee shall install, maintain, and operate fish screening and by-pass devices consistent with current Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) standards.”

ODFW has completed surveys that show fish presence above and below Muddy Creek Reservoir, said Pete Baki, ODFW Fish Screening Program coordinator. In 1979 ODFW first sampled the reservoir in and captured eight redband trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) (four larger than 17 inches), 1,147 speckled dace, and one pit roach. The Department also documented redband trout and larval lamprey ammocoetes above and below the reservoir in Muddy Creek in 2007. The larval lamprey were likely Goose Lake lamprey (Entosphenus sp.) and Pit-Klamath lamprey (Entosphenus lethophagus) – both endemic to the basin.

The water user may be excused from compliance by the Fish Screening Task Force when it meets Feb. 28, 2014 at the ODFW Headquarters, 4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, Salem, OR 97302-1142.

Members of the public can send written comments to or request additional information from Pete Baki, Statewide Fish Screening Coordinator at the address listed above, email pete.a.baki@state.or.us, or by calling (503) 947-6217. Comments need to be received by Feb. 26, 2014.

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Contact:

Pete Baki (503) 947-6217
Jessica Sall (503) 947-6023

 
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