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EWEB Releases More Water To McKenzie River To Protect Salmon

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Eugene Water & Electric Board
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 Salmon are heading up the McKenzie River early this year, and that’s motivated Eugene Water and Electric Board to divert more water to the river to enable their migration.

  

Thursday, EWEB decided to reduce the amount of water it diverts to the Walterville Powerhouse by 10 percent. This will help spring Chinook swimming upriver to spawn. It also improves conditions for recreation. EWEB spokesman Joe Harwood said they’d already decided to make the adjustment, but had to act sooner because we’ve had such a dry April and May.

“We started hearing from some of our partners like Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife and some of the McKenzie River Guides that they were already seeing the adult Spring Chinook Salmon have already arrived at the McKenzie River which is 3-4 weeks early,” Harwood said.

He said even though snowpack was above normal this year, stream flows are below median. This is the third year EWEB has voluntarily decreased the amount of water it diverts to the Walterville powerhouse.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.
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