In This Edition
Bend Source Article
Groundwater Comments
Fish Return to Welter Creek
Upper Rogue River Survey
Auction Tickets Rollout

Dear Friend,

Happy Friday! Welcome to Currents, WaterWatch of Oregon's biweekly email digest and round-up of news, media, and related programs. Have a great weekend as we say goodbye to May and welcome June, and this just in — the Oregon Senate has confirmed Ivan Gall as the new director of the Oregon Water Resources Department. We'll have more to share soon. In the meantime, here's what's new:


WaterWatch Executive Director on Need for Groundwater Rules
Pick up the May 29th issue of The Source Weekly in Bend and Central Oregon this weekend for an article featuring WaterWatch executive director Neil Brandt on newly-proposed Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) groundwater allocation rules that, if enacted, will finally begin to rein in the state's decades-long pattern of over-issuing pumping rights, and end the practice of "defaulting to yes" when the state lacks the data to determine whether it has already over-appropriated groundwater in a particular location.

Written Groundwater Remarks Due to OWRD by June 14th
Along with a sincere word of thanks to WaterWatch members and supporters who attended, spoke, or submitted comments at one of the four OWRD public meetings this spring on the agency's proposed groundwater allocation rule revisions, a reminder to submit your written comments in support of the proposed rules to OWRD by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 14th. The easiest way to do so is via email, but if you're mailing a letter be sure your comments are received — not just postmarked — by Friday, June 14th. Details at

Goodbye Welter Creek Dams  Hello Fish!
In 2021, WaterWatch removed two dams that for 80 years blocked native fish from accessing the cold, clear waters of Welter Creek in the Applegate subbasin of the Rogue River. Since then, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) biologists have conducted periodic surveys of this heavily forested creek near Wilderville, and this week documented fish for the first time in the habitat above the uppermost dam site. WaterWatch's Jim McCarthy discussed the larger project that led to this restoration win for fish in this short video.

State Agencies Survey Upper Rogue River Jet Boat Use
It goes without saying the Rogue River is one of the state's premiere outdoor destinations, as well as one of the West's great rivers, running through some of the most biodiverse areas of the lower 48 states. Four state agencies with varying levels of oversight on the Rogue River are seeking input from Jackson County residents on jet boat use on a stretch of the upper Rogue, and you can express your thoughts at the survey link here. One of our allied conservation organizations has also shared this video for additional information on the matter.

Annual WaterWatch Auction Tickets to Go On Sale in June
WaterWatch's 22nd Annual Celebration of Oregon Rivers auction event returns to the World Forestry Center in Portland on Saturday, Oct. 5th, for our biggest fundraising event of the year — and tickets are due to go on sale in June with an early bird option for best value. You won't want to miss this year's celebration as we head into our 40th year as an organization, and while we're still putting auction packages together it's not too early to make your sponsorship commitment to our event. Contact executive director Neil Brandt today.

Groundwater story photo by Tommy Hough, Blossom Bar (Rogue) photo by Jim McCarthy, Welter Creek cutthroat photo courtesy of ODFW. Celebration of Oregon Rivers and Currents graphics by Monet Hampson.

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