June 2017 Council Meeting Minutes


McKenzie Watershed Council

June 8, 2017

McKenzie Fire & Rescue Training Center

Leaburg, OR


PRESENT: Council Partners: Carol Ach (Resident Partner), Kurt Cox (Resident Partner), Nate Day (McKenzie Schools), Arlene Dietz (Rice Family Farms), Daniel Dietz (McKenzie River Trust), Chad Helms (Army Corps of Engineers), Randy Hledik (Wildish), Dave Kretzing (Resident Partner), Mike McDowell (Resident Partner), Ralph Perkins (Upper Willamette SWCD), Joe Pishioneri (City of Springfield), Maryanne Reiter (Weyerhaeuser), Will Rutherford (Alternate for Andy McWilliams), Emily Semple (Eugene City Council), Mark Stephen (BLM),

Staff: Jared Weybright, Justin Demeter


VISITORS: Libby Morrison (Wildish), Stephanie Lawless (SPS Teacher), Kioko Kozaki (SPS student), Ian Kerr (SPS student), Alex Brown (SPS student), Cliff Richardson (MHS Teacher), Angela Johnson (MHS student), Cassidy Campbell (MHS student), Owen Rudisill (MHS student), Hailey Farless (MHS student), Daniel Quirk (MHS student)., Chance Hamiow (MHS student)., Silas Kress (MHS student)., James Rimmer (MHS student).


ABSENT: Council Partners Diane Albino (Mohawk Watershed Partnership), Bob Bumstead (McKenzie Flyfishers), , Rod Fosback (Northwest Steelheaders), Andy McWilliams (Resident Partner), Steve Mealey (McKenzie River Guides), Keir Miller (Lane County), Karl Morgenstern (EWEB), Steve Raymen (Resident Partner), Suzanne Schindler (McKenzie River Ranger District), Mark Schulze (HJ Andrews), Wade Stampe (Resident Partner), Nancy Toth (EWEB), Jeff Ziller (ODFW) and Sue Zeni (Resident Partner). Staff: Larry Six, Amanda Gilbert, Jenifer Weber


PROXIES: Dave Kretzing for Mark Schulze, Chad Helms for Wade Stampe, Kurt Cox for Bob Bumstead, Maryanne Reiter for Brian Brazil and Sue Zeni.




The proposed agenda was approved as written, all partners showing consensus level 3.




There were no public comments.




Stephanie Lawless introduced herself as the coordinator of the Springfield Public School’s Water Energy Learning Lab (WELL) and introduced 3 students who worked on two separate independent study projects.


Ian Kerr and Alex Brown, freshman and senior at Springfield High School and members of the SHS Stream Habitat Survey Team, presented an analysis of two large wood placement methods completed at US Forest Service-owned McKenzie Bridge Campground and the McKenzie River Trust-owned Berggren Watershed Conservation Area. Ian and Alex explained the habitat benefits that large wood within aquatic system provides and summarized the two different approaches to large wood placement at the two project sites. They explained their methods and stated that they spent two days in the field collecting data. Their results showed that while large wood was more likely to remain stable at the McKenzie Bridge Campground site where whole trees were added at “key” pieces of large wood. Ian stated that they observed a greater amount of habitat diversity (pools, complex cover and riffles) at the USFS site. Large wood did not move out of the project area at either site. Their conclusion was that key pieces of large wood are important for the short-term, and presumably long-term stability of large wood augmentation projects. Emily Semple asked a question about habitat diversity. Mike McDowell asked LWM collecting additional gravel and natural occurring wood. Arlene Dietz asked about differences in hydrology of the two sites.


Kioko Kozaki, introduced herself as a Springfield High School student and a member of the SPS Water Quality Team. She described her study of water quality in the Springfield Mill Race. The Mill Race is a 3.5 mile long channel through south Springfield, fed from the Middle Fork Willamette River near Clearwater Park. The canal was hand dug in 1852 to supply water to mills and farms. Recent restoration efforts have removed a mill pond, remaindered the channel and planted native trees and shrubs. Kioko’s water quality study looked at 4 sites that were closely correlated to monitoring sites maintained by SHS students over the course of a 3-year study in the early 2000’s. Her study was only done over the course of 6 months during the 2016-17 school year, but will be continued over the next couple years by other WELL Water Quality teams. She listed the parameters that she tested for and outlined her findings. She noted that one site, MR3 at the 28th Street Bridge, had consistently high nitrate and bacteria levels. Other parameters such as dissolved oxygen were improved throughout the study area. Arlene asked about how the averages were done. Joe Pishioneri asked about conclusions about water quality improving over time, specifically if the Mill Race is suitable for salmonids and if she had any idea on the source of nitrates at MR3? Mike asked if there was a collection site above the Mill Race – on the Mid Fork? Will asked where in the stream where the samples collected? Ralph Perkins asked if there has been any comparison between stream volumes between the two years? Libby Morrison asked if this was historically a salmon bearing stream?


Justin Demeter introduced the McKenzie High School Water Quality team and MHS teacher Cliff Richardson. He gave a brief overview of the program with MHS and their project this year which explored water quality conditions at 8 sites in the upper and middle McKenzie river sub-basin. Sample sites were; Clear Lake, Deer Creek, Horse Creek, Carmen-Smith Spawning Channel, South Fork McKenzie, Elk Creek, Blue River (two locations), and the McKenzie River pond.

After Daniel Quirk gave an introduction of the team and structure of the classes, the remaining MHS students then presented their results.

  • Temperature: Owen Rudisill gave an overview of why temperature is important to water quality and fish. Temperature results from the study were good with no obvious problem areas identified.
  • Dissolved Oxygen: Hailey Farless discussed what D.O. is, how it fluctuates, why it’s important, and what acceptable ranges for salmonids are. The McKenzie River pond sample site was the only site that had low readings.
  • Turbidity: Hunter Sullivan defined turbidity, as well as the acceptable ranges. Turbidity results were good with no observed results outside of accepted ranges.
  • Conductivity: Silas Kress defined conductivity and the acceptable ranges. Again, study results were within normal ranges.
  • pH: Silas Kress also defined pH, and its acceptable ranges. All study results were within normal ranges.
  • Ammonia: Angela Johnson talked about ammonia as a natural substance produced by bacteria, but also explained that if found at a high enough level it can be toxic to fish. Results were found to be within acceptable ranges.
  • Nitrates: Chanse Hamlow described how nitrates are essential to plant growth, but can cause complications in excess. He also reported that all results were within acceptable ranges.
  • Nitrites: Chanse Hamlow also explained how sewage, fertilizers, harm to humans/critters can contribute to high levels of nitrites. Results were low and within acceptable ranges.
  • Cassidy Campbell discussed phosphates in the environment as naturally occurring, and necessary for plant growth. She also stated that excess amounts can cause complications for humans. All test were reported to be within acceptable ranges, less data collected on one day. She explained that testing equipment may be the cause of the high readings.
  • James Rimmer expressed thanks and appreciation to the council for providing the opportunity to participate in the WATERS program. He also stated that it has influenced his career decisions. He then opened the floor for questions from the audience.


Randy asked to describe methods, and students described the equipment used. Mike asked how DO was measured. Kurt asked what do you think happened with the questionable data, and students responded that they thought it was either human error and/or equipment failure. Justin stated that much of the equipment was borrowed from WELL Project and thanked Stephanie for her help. Emily stated that education is a big part of what the MWC does and thanked the students for the reports and coming to present.

Mike asked how the available resources have changed for this project. Cliff responded that MHS has really limited resources, and that it is extremely valuable to have the support from the MWC to make the living laboratory workable. Mike asked what equipment would be great to have. Justin said that bacteria testing equipment would be at the top of the wish list. Kurt said that it is nice to see the program evolving and moving into WQ testing. Ralph said that it is great to see increased numbers and thanked the students for presenting. Public speaking is a really important skill and you have taken the first step.





Nate Day: Thanks to MWC for supporting McKenzie High School students

Mike McDowell: I just returned from a trip to the UK, and a good portion of Scotland, England look similar to the NW. They appear to take great care of their rivers and agricultural lands.

Danial Dietz: June 24th is Walk The Land Day at Green Island. The public is invited to hike around Green Island. We hope to see you there.

Chad Helms: The first spring Chinook showed up at Cougar Trap and Haul facility this week. An adult bull trout was also transported above the dam this week. A total of 165 wild spring Chinook salmon and 31 hatchery Chinook have been count over Leaburg Dam so far this spring.

Maryanne Reiter: As a hydrologist who spends a fair amount time in the field collecting samples, I would like to say thanks to the students for working hard and doing a nice job.

Emily Semple: City of Eugene getting ready to approve their transportation plan which can have multiple indirect impacts to the river.

Randy Hledik: This will be my last meeting, and I would like to say thank you to the MWC for allowing me to represent the sand and gravel industry since 2010. The local sand and gravel companies got together after the 1996 flood to better understand how they could protect both the river and their operations. Through this process, the companies began working with the MWC in what has proven to be a very productive relationship. During this time I worked with Council partners on a Confluence Steering Committee that has been very productive as well. This partnership will help complete a biological evaluation of the confluence that has been very useful for the industry and help partners better understand the McKenzie-Willamette confluence area. Wildish recently worked with the McKenzie River Trust at Green Island, which turned out to be a great project for Wildish and the operators really enjoy it. Coupled with the sale at Mid Fork/Coast Fork confluence. I’d like to introduce Libby Morrison who will be taking my place on the Council. She was recently hired at Wildish and has an extensive environmental and geography educational background.

Jared Weybright: On behalf of Council Partners and Staff we would like to say thank you for your many years of service to the Council. We have appreciated your active participation and quick wit. I have personally appreciated all the additional help you have provided with both restoration and outreach projects in and around the confluence. We thank you and look forward to working with Libby.

Kurt Cox: Stated that he is also stepping down from the MWC. Appreciates the forum that allows a higher level of respect for other people. He and his family are selling their home and will be travelling North and South America.

Jared Weybright: Said that this is a surprise and that Kurt will be sorely missed. He has served on numerous committees with the Council for many years including the Executive Committee/Alliance Board, the Lane County Salmon Stewards, and has numerous hours volunteering at Salmon Watch. We deeply appreciate all that you have done for the Council and wish you well with your travels.



Justin Demeter reported that after a successful Restoration Olympics classes with middle school restoration teams had concluded for the academic year. Winning teams from the Olympics were as follows; Honorable mention- Briggs Middle School, third place- Agnes Stewart Middle School I, second place- Coburg Community Charter School II, and first place- Thurston Middle School. Justin then thanked the council and participating partners for their efforts in making the event a success. He went on the report that the last class with high school students for the year would take place the following day, and that students were going snorkeling as part of a fish identification lesson. Justin also stated that parents and students from Coburg Community Charter School would be participating in a tour provided by McKenzie River Trust during their ‘Walk the Land’ event on the 24th of June, and expressed his thanks to MRT for the opportunity. In closing, Justin then talked about the upcoming Salmon Watch season, mentioning that 15 classes have been scheduled with 6 more pending date confirmations. He also encouraged council members to begin signing up for volunteer educator positions as the events have been set up on the Salmon Watch website, and are ready to be filled.



Jared Weybright reported for Jenifer Weber. Jennifer was in a car accident last night and is alright, but at home for a couple of days. She has been continuing to work with 3-4 residential landowners on Naturescaping designs in association with the Pure Waters Partners (PWP) program. This work is largely fee-for-service with a small portion underwritten by EWEB. She is also completing work on an OWEB Small Grant for riparian restoration work at a site just upstream from Vida and overseeing a good deal of maintenance work taking place on the BWCA property.


Jared reporting that Council staff is starting to work on PWP planning again, in partnership with EWEB, the Upper Willamette SWCD and other partners. The intent is to start targeted outreach to several priority areas this summer. Jared stated that he gave a short public testimony to the EWEB Board of Commissioners on Tuesday thanking them for their support over the years and in support of the Drinking Water Source Protection Program. The Board seems very supportive of the work that the Council and the McKenzie River Trust (Joe Moll also gave public comment) were doing and appreciated the update. Jared said that he has been helping the UO Environmental Leadership Program team wrap up their project for the year and the undergraduate team will be giving their final presentation next week. He has also be prepping for the OWEB Review Team site visit to the South Fork on June 20th. The expectation is that there will be a large amount of reviewers attending since it is a very large funding request.




Consensus approval as presented (all partners present showing “3’s”).




Jared stated that Council staff is suggesting a summer tour focused on the nearly–completed Deer Creek Floodplain Enhancement Project and the proposed Lower South Fork McKenzie River Floodplain Enhancement Project. With drive time both sites could be seen during a 5-6 hour tour. He suggested either the traditional second Thursday of August or a later August date in case folks preferred that. Arlene suggested keeping the traditional date. There was consensus approval among Council partners present for a tour of Deer Creek and the South Fork McKenzie River on August 10th. Staff will follow-up with tour details and schedules.