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Oregon releases plan to help Upper Willamette chinook and steelhead
August 5, 2011



The Willamette River at West Linn. The Upper Willamette Recovery and Conservation plan outlines actions to restore salmon and steelhead populations in the Willamette River and several subbasins. ODFW photo. Download High Res. Image.
- ODFW photo-

SALEM, Ore. -- The State of Oregon today released a conservation plan for Upper Willamette chinook salmon and steelhead, fish that have been protected under the Endangered Species Act since 1999.

The plan calls for actions to restore natural production of spring Chinook salmon and winter steelhead in the Willamette River and its subbasins. In addition to habitat and hatchery improvements, this includes substantive efforts to reintroduce Chinook and steelhead into habitat above dams in the North and South Santiam, McKenzie and Middle Fork Willamette rivers.

According to Dave Jepsen, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife conservation plan specialist, credit for the plan goes to a number of agencies, individuals and organizations.

“We developed this plan with the help of a very diverse group of stakeholders, all of whom are passionate about restoring salmon and steelhead populations,” he said. Stakeholders include government agencies, watershed and environmental groups, native tribes and others.

Adopted today by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, the plan will serve as a state conservation plan under ODFW’s Native Fish Conservation Policy.  Once it is approved by NOAA and posted in the Federal Register, administrative steps that will occur later this month, the plan will also serve as a federal recovery plan, which is required for all species listed under ESA.

The plan lays out a roadmap for individuals and public and private entities to improve conditions for these listed species. The goal of all conservation and recovery plans is to bring about naturally self-sustaining fish populations that no longer need federal protection under the ESA.

According to Jepsen, the most important part of this plan will be the implementation.

“Implementation will have to be about more than just a single agency doing the right thing,” he said. “Putting this plan into place will require the cooperation and volunteer efforts of individual Oregonians, state, local, federal and tribal agencies and private industry.”

The final plan will be available on-line at:




Dave Jepsen (541) 757-5148
Jessica Sall (503)947-6023

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