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Fish PassageTask Force

The Fish Passage Task Force advises the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Fish and Wildlife Commission on matters related to fish passage. These matters include, but are not limited to, rulemaking to implement statutes, funding and special conditions for passage projects, and exemptions and waivers. The nine Task Force members are chosen by the ODFW Director to represent one of three groups. Task Force member’s terms last for four years. Each Task Force member is eligible for two terms. Current Task Force members and their terms are:

Stuart Myers Portland Fishing and Conservation May 2011
Denise Hoffert Albany Fishing and Conservation October 2018
Terry Turner Gladstone Fishing and Conservation September 2017
Willie Tiffany Portland Water Users May 2011
Richard Burke O’Brien John Day Water Users January 2013
Mark Kujala Warrenton Water Users September 2017
Zak Toledo Salem Public-At-Large September 2017
William Cunningham Bend Public-At-Large November 2015
Ken Bierly Salem Public-At-Large November 2015

Fishing and Conservation Groups

Stuart Myers, is a consultant aquatic eologist with a private natural resource firm.  He has been involved in many programs and projects representing a variety of clients that have a fish conservation focus. His specific work experience related to fish passage issues involves working with several municipalities, counties, state agencies, public and private utilities, and other entities to assist them with fish passage and habitat improvement actions. He is an avid angler and can be found pursuing steelhead, salmon, and trout on a number of Oregon streams during his free time.

Denise Hoffert is the owner of an environmental consulting firm.  Denise has extensive experience implementing the state’s fish passage policy, particularly as it relates to dam removal projects.  She brings a unique perspective having worked for American Rivers and various watershed councils in Oregon.  Ms. Hoffert has built many partnerships with non-profits, state and federal agencies and has an excellent track record of delivering grant funds to many restoration projects in Oregon. 

Terry Turner, is an active member and Oregon Council Chair of Trout Unlimited (TU).  Most recently, as the TU Executive Committee Leader, he played a pivotal role leading the Salmon Super Hwy Fish Passage Restoration Project in Oregon’s North Coast.  He is no stranger to large-scale collaborative fish passage and community infrastructure improvement projects and will represent fishing and conservation interests well.  He has volunteered with ODFW for many years participating on numerous volunteer projects and is been an active agency advocate and proponent.

Water User Groups

Willie Tiffany, a native Oregonian, and is the Government Affairs Director for the Oregon Refuse and Recycling Association. Over his career, Willie has represented Oregon cities on water supply and development issues. He has also worked specifically for the Joint Water commission which provides water to over 400,000 Washington County citizens. While representing cities, Willie worked on the legislation establishing the Fish Passage Task Force.

Richard Burke O’Brien recently retired from his position as Public Works Director and Parks Land Manager for Morrow County, Oregon. Burke is a native Oregonian who grew up in Baker and Wallowa Counties. As the Public Works Director he has gained extensive experience and a keen understanding of transportation issues, particularly culverts and bridges. Burke’s interests in habitat restoration and experience on over 50 projects as Land Manager for Morrow County Parks System will provide valuable perspective to the Task Force.

Mark Kujala, is the owner of Skipanon Brand Seafoods. He lives along the Skipanon River and comes from a “fishing family” where the sustainability of harvestable salmon on the Lower Columbia River is integral to his business. He supports recreational and commercial angling interests as his business caters to these user groups. Mark is supportive of habitat restoration but also advocates for a transparent process for future projects to ensure a balanced approach for both environment and economic success.”


Zak Toledo, has over 20-years of experience in natural resource management. He has an advanced degree from Oregon State University and served in the Oregon Army National Guard. As a regulatory policy analyst and aquatic ecologist for a large consulting firm he has worked throughout the state. He has extensive experience in streamlined programmatic environmental permitting strategies ranging from fluvial performance, water quality, and fish passage. He has worked with and represented diverse stakeholder teams and brings a focused collaborative perspective and approach to integrating disparate policies and regulations for the benefit of effective natural resource management.

William Cunningham, is an avid fisherman and conservationist who has both pursued and actively worked to protect migratory fish in Oregon, California, and Idaho. He is retired after working thirty years as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of California representing California Fish and Game and other California natural resource agencies. He worked as legal counsel for the California Fish and Game Commission for over six years, and helped draft statewide regulations for protection of California migratory fish species including provisions specifically designed to enhance fish passage.

Ken Bierly, is a promoter of wetland and waterway health. Mr. Bierly was the Wetlands Program Director for the Department of State Lands form 1983 to 1996, the Governor’s Watershed Enhancement Board Program Manager on Governor Kitzhaber’s staff from 1996-1999, and the Deputy Director of the Watershed Enhancement Board from 1999 until his retirement in 2013. In these roles he drafted administrative rules on wetland permitting, provided administrative enforcement for wetland and waterways laws, oversaw the development of the Oregon Watershed Assessment Guide, and performed a variety of other duties associated with protecting Oregon’s waterways, including testifying to both state and federal legislative committees.

Meeting Schedule, Agenda and Minutes (pdfs)
2019 Meetings Location Agenda (pdf) Minutes (pdf)
February 15, 2019 Salem Agenda Minutes
June 7-8, 2019 John Day Agenda  
October 18, 2019 Salem    

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