Prior to the arrival of Europeans it is estimated that more than a million salmon and steelhead returned to spawn in Oregon's rivers and streams in the Upper Willamette Basin. Over the course of the last two centuries, the combined effect of fish harvest, hatchery fish, hydropower, and habitat alterations have led to drastic declines in these populations. Today Upper Willamette River Chinook salmon and steelhead are listed as either threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The Upper Willamette River Conservation and Recovery Plan for Salmon and Steelhead (Plan) was released in August of 2011. It is designed to guide implementation of actions needed to conserve and recover these Chinook salmon and steelhead species in the Upper Willamette River above Willamette Falls. The Plan provides an informed, strategic, and voluntary approach to recovery that is based on science, supported by stakeholders, and built on existing efforts and new proposed actions.
Below are links to other important plans and information underlying the Recovery Plan.
- Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Upper Willamette River Conservation and Recovery Plan for Chinook Salmon and Steelhead: Executive Summary
- Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Recovery Plan site.
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries, Willamette/Lower Columbia ESA Salmon Recovery Domain.
- Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) Program.
- McKenzie River - Cougar Dam - The Register Guard 2010
- A Manmade Solution To Salmon - The Oregonian 2008
- Rivers that Define the Willamette (Water Quality) - The Oregonian 2009
- Spring Chinook are Running for Their Lives (North Santiam) - Statesman Journal 2010