McKenzie River

Salmon at CougarBLUE RIVER: Hatchery raised male spring Chinook are far less fit than their natural counterparts. That’s the conclusion of a report on the trap and haul operation at the 518-foot tall Cougar Dam on the South Fork of the McKenzie River. In addition, researchers found that overall, natural origin females return as larger adults, giving them a spawning advantage in the wild.
The trap and haul operation, which began in 2010, traps both hatchery and wild spring Chinook salmon. They are then trucked above the dam and released into the river. The work aims to reintroduce salmon to habitat lost during the dam’s construction 50 years ago.
Spring Chinook salmon in the upper Willamette River are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. Overall, they’ve lost 32 percent of their historical habitat in the Willamette River system due to dams. About 25 miles of their range in the McKenzie River was lost, according to the report published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.

Excerpts from the September 3, 2015 Sheriff’s Reports


Aug. 19: 3:01 pm: Accident – 42000 block, Holden Creek Lane. Report of a red Town & Country mini van “teetering on an embankment, being held up by a tree.” Unknown how high the embankment is. A female is trapped. Medics are en route. 15:12: OSP & Fire are on the scene.

Parade tractorIt will be “Fair Day” on September 12th.  The Walterville Grange plans to be “Shake Waddle and Roll” for this year’s annual Walterville Community Fair.   The Walterville Waddle 5K run/walk will start off the day at 8 a.m.  Fair entries of canning, baking, sewing, arts/crafts, produce, flowers, or other items should be brought to the hall by 9 a.m.  Judging of entries starts at 9:30 a.m.  
Flag raising by local Scouts will be at 10 a.m., followed by the parade at 11 a.m. with a tractor show and shine. Kids games will begin after the parade.

Our high school volleyball and football teams have been hard at work the last two weeks in preparation for the start of the season. Both teams competed in jamborees last week and showed signs of what should be a great season for both squads.
I look forward to seeing you all at our upcoming home contests.
Neil Barrett
McKenzie High School
Athletic Director

Silver Creek LandingThe Lane County Parks draft master plan has been released for public comment. Over the next several months, the county’s staff will be gathering written comments and conducting public open houses in preparation for formal hearings with the Parks Advisory Committee, Planning Commission, and ultimately the Board of County Commissioners. Included in the review are a half dozen parks – from Armitage to the Jennie B. Harris Wayside, as well as a dozen boat landings.
One of the largest is the 32-acre Hendricks Bridge Park between Cedar Flat and Walterville. Planned changes include the replacement and realignment of the existing boat ramp and expanding the parking lot.



Excerpts from the August 27, 2015 Sheriff’s Reports

Aug. 13: 1:33 am: Suspicious Vehicle – 87000 block, Dowdy Lane. Involved is a late 90’s dark colored hatchback with no plate lights. Complainant passed the vehicle that followed him to his house & sat outside for 5 minutes, then left.

Goose ProjectA document outlining plans for the Goose Project has been released by the Willamette National Forest. The draft record of decision and final environmental impact statement affects 17,932 acres along Highways 126 and 242, near the community of McKenzie Bridge.
District Ranger Terry Baker noted the Goose project was designed to provide a sustainable supply of timber products, reduce hazardous fuels, and “Actively manage stands to improve stand conditions, diversity, density, and structure.”





Blue-green algae poses threat to recreation and drinking water

Walterville PondA report from Oregon State University concludes that blooms of blue-green algae (or toxic cyanobacteria) are a poorly monitored and underappreciated risk to recreational and drinking water quality in the United States. It  may also  be a growing global health threat.
Contributing to the concern are rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels. Many rivers have been dammed worldwide, and wastewater nutrients or agricultural fertilizers in various situations can cause problems in rivers, lakes and reservoirs.
No testing for cyanobacteria is mandated by state or federal drinking water regulators, according to the OSU scientists, nor is reporting required of disease outbreaks associated with algal blooms. But changes in climate and land use, and even increasing toxicity of the bacteria themselves, may force greater attention to this issue in the future, the researchers said.

Vets with boatBy Ada Weeks
Perched on a large rock at the Silver Creek Landing, I sat photographing drift boats that came close enough to capture on camera, waiting for my mystery ride to the other side of the river. My assignment was to interview a group of US military veterans during their first McKenzie River fishing trip. Having grown up as a Navy braåç, I knew this would be special.

When a drift boat skillfully came close enough for me to see the fishermen wearing US Army tee shirts, I knew “my ship had come in.” Indeed, with military precision, my boat transport was right on time. Marine veteran, and elite river guide, Greg White, invited me to hop in for the short ride across the McKenzie to the chosen lunch spot.

River guide Buzz Kleven, also a US Army and Marine veteran, was busy setting up the site, complete with table, chairs, cookware, and the largest cast iron frying pan I had ever seen. The military vet fishermen, who had tours of duty in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Germany, piled out of the drift boats, and settled in to watch the guides prepare lunch.


McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: Purchase copies online at: Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.