The Rogue River basin is scattered with obsolete dams, water diversions, and fish-blocking culverts. And for nearly 4 decades, WaterWatch has been doing something about it. They were instrumental in the taking down of major dams on the Rogue like Savage Rapids, Gold Ray, and Gold Hill. They have also worked with local partners, agencies, and landowners to remove smaller fish passage barriers and improve in-stream flows of cold water so critical to migrating salmon and steelhead. This month FCO members have an opportunity to be instrumental in removing one such fish barrier – Lovelace Dam on Slate Creek. Slate Creek is a tributary of the Applegate River and historically supported healthy habitat for anadromous species including Coho and Pacific lamprey. But the low head dam blocks migration of lamprey due to the sharp 90 degree angle at the head of the dam. It also impairs migration of salmon and steelhead.
Your Flyfisher Foundation has selected WaterWatch and its proposal to remove Lovelace Dam as the recipient of this month’s Keith Hansen Memorial Paddle Raise. All the funds from Keith’s namesake paddle raise will go to help WaterWatch get this dam out of Slate Creek. Through this campaign and others happening on the Rogue and it’s tributaries in the next few years, FCO members have the chance of making a real difference for wild fish in the basin. Please raise your virtual paddle for wild fish of the Rogue this month. As Keith would say, “If you love fishing, you have got to give back to the resource!” Let’s make Lovelace Dam history and more free flowing waters a reality for the future!