BEND, OR -- Oregon's Fish Passage Task Force meets in Bend today. The group gathers together quarterly to advise on fish passage policies and issues, to help fish better connect with habitats where they can thrive.
Greg Apke, with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, tells KBND they'll also examine local dams. "The sites we're going to be visiting near Bend include the North Unit Dam, Mirror Pond Dam and the Colorado Street Fish Passage Project. And, on Saturday, we'll be visiting Opal Springs Dam as well as the Pelton Round Butte Dam facility." He says obstructions can sometimes prohibit fish from getting to important waterways. "For example, the Oregon Department of Transportation who owns thousands of culverts that are impeding fish passage. The cost associated with fixing a magnitude that large is millions, if not billions of dollars."
They'll also get a progress report. "As an overview, I think we're doing great. We've got a long way to go. We have made marked improvements throughout the state in addressing fish passage barriers, but one of our primary limitations is funding, as is always the case. While we've done great things to date, we have a lot of things yet to do," Apke says.
The public is welcome to attend the meeting at the Holiday Inn Express from 8-2 p.m. Friday. A question and answer session will begin at 1 p.m.