November 2016 Fishhawk Lake Project Solutions Summary Report
Overview Summary: The following briefly describe the work in-progress and our current efforts towards the Goals of the Fishhawk Lake Reserve and Community since the August membership meeting.
Lake Monitoring Results: Our lake monitoring volunteers have retrieved the water sampling devices (hobo’s) that have been collecting water temperature, dissolved oxygen and other water chemistry readings and are processing the findings. This work effort has been instrumental in demonstrating the water quality and downstream effect to the environmental agencies involved with the lake, Fishhawk Creek and our flood control/fish ladder program. These members anticipate summarizing the results for the past three years into a comprehensive lake water monitoring report.
Community Outreach: Since the August membership meeting, the FLPS committee has reached out to the property owners along Fishhawk Creek, both upstream and downstream. The purpose of this outreach is to inform and provide this community with progress information on the Fishhawk Lake activities and the engineering work in progress. It has also hosted two community outreach meetings at the Community Lodge to also provide information on the FLRC planned activities. These stakeholders are considered part of the Fishhawk Lake community and we have a commitment to keep them informed. Additional outreach to Columbia and Clatsop Counties, and towns of Vernonia, Birkenfeld, Mist, and Clatskanie are in progress.
Engineering Phase 1 Progress and Regulatory Review Meeting: Engineering work on Phase 1 was completed with a regulatory meeting held September 9 to review and confirm the ‘Riser Gate Memorandum’ and the ‘Design Criteria’ for fish passage. With the accomplishment of Phase 1 engineering work, Phase 2 can begin for the specific fish ladder design criteria and additional water flow and downstream stream effects for permit and riser gate water release operations and control. Phase 2 is on hold at this time pending funding.
Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) grant application: The Technical assistance grant submitted in April 2016 was not successful and FLRC was not awarded a grant for partial funding of the engineering work. A second OWEB grant application was prepared and submitted in October. This application addressed the concerns and items listed by the OWEB grant review committee and further expanded the benefits and goals of the FLPS solution and ecological enhancement to the Fishhawk watershed. The work efforts of the FLPS volunteers and the lake monitoring program were instrumental in providing substantiating data, reports and outcomes for the proposed engineering and construction. Results of this application will not be known until February 2017.
Nehalem Coho Strategic Action Plan addressed: This is a special task force that focuses on the development and subsequent execution activities for the high priority watershed across the State of Oregon. Fishhawk Lake and Fishhawk Creek is a vital sub-watershed of the Nehalem River Watershed and is listed as a high priority in this watershed. FLPS was asked to present its program and engineering work, along with the projected outcomes and goals for the fish ladder enhancement and ecological enhancement downstream. More than fifteen (15) state, local, municipal, environmental, soil & water districts, NOAA and ODFW participants were in attendance, hosted by the Upper Nehalem Watershed Council. Jeff Busch addressed the gathering through a presentation of accomplishments, goals and expected outcomes for the proposed engineering and construction efforts. With this meeting, FLRC has raised its visibility in NW Oregon and across the many agency and regulatory groups that oversee these environmental and wild salmon programs.
FLPS Financing/Funding Campaign: With the unknowns and large number of competing applications for a shrinking funding source, the FLPS committee is in the midst of planning its financing and infrastructure funding strategies. This work effort will consist of specific outreach to timber companies, ecological foundations and other potential sources for grant and gift funding applications. One piece of this strategy is to utilize the Fishhawk Lake Ecological Foundation, a non-profit foundation specifically established for the purpose of enhancing the Fishhawk Lake environment. FLPS has arranged with the foundation to establish a campaign for donations, specifically ‘earmarked’ for engineering and construction of the FLPS solution. A special membership email blast is scheduled for the week of November 14th.
Salmon Run: The fall 2016 salmon run is on and the FLPS team is actively capturing as much video and still photography that it can so as to produce its own videos that can be used for its financing and education outreach programs. It also anticipates posting a selection of this work effort on the Fishhawk website. Below is just a few of the returns that have been observed.