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Fifteenmile Watershed Council
   2325 River Road Suite 3 The Dalles, OR 97058 Phone: (541)296-6178 x102 Watershed Coordinator Abbie Forrest abigail.forrest@or.nacdnet.net
Meetings are held quarterly on the 1st Tuesday of the Month.
Next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday
November 6th, 2018
@ the Barlow Ranger Station in Dufur
Fifteenmile WC Action Plan
2017/2018 Meeting Minutes
Fifteenmile Creek Watershed is a 373 square mile (238,720 acre) drainage area mostly in northern Wasco County with some headwaters in Hood River County. The City of Dufur, in the center of the watershed, encompasses 730 acres.

Fifteenmile Creek and tributaries: Eightmile, Fivemile, and Ramsey Creeks originate in the Mt. Hood National Forest and flow northeasterly, discharging into the Columbia River just downstream of The Dalles Dam. In the rainshadow of the Cascades, the watershed receives most of its rain in the winter with an occasional summer thunderstorm. Rainfall averages are 27 inches in the west grading to 12 inches in the east. It is home to the eastern-most run of wild winter steelhead in the Columbia Basin. Land use is primarily forestry and recreation in the westernmost 10 miles with dryland wheat and range in the remainder. Agriculture is about 72% of the land base.

The Fifteenmile Watershed Council was formed on March 19, 1997. The Council meets every other month. Meetings, regularly attended by many landowners, agencies, and partners, are focused mainly on managing irrigation needs with fish needs. The spirit of cooperation that exists within the council is extraordinary and one of mutual respect for each other needs. NOAA fisheries, tribes, and Oregon Dept of Fish and Wildlife, have their mandates to protect fish and oversee the health of the creek, US Forest Service where the creek originates and the farmers who have the need to irrigate to raise food crops, have come together to find ways to manage the watershed in order to see that all needs are met.
The FAST program was produced back in 2014 as a pilot program where landowners volunteer to leave their water instream instead of pumping, when stream temperatures are predicted to be over the threshold that is deadly to steelhead. There is an alert system which is sent out to irrigators warning them a stream temperature alert is in place. If the irrigators choose to turn off their irrigation during the alert, the FAST program offers compensation for the sacrifice of their crop, to help protect the endangered species.
The deadline for instream lease contracting for the 2018 season has passed. If you are interested in the FAST Program, please contact Tatiana.
Financial compensation is available to irrigators in the program who temporarily lease part or all of their water rights for instream use. Irrigator compensation is based on three factors:
1) the type of lease (split season vs. full Season);
2) the total volume/acreage of water rights leased;
3) the length of the lease term (up to five Years);
Lease prices listed below can differ slightly year to year and is typically based on water right year.

For more information contact Tatiana Taylor at tatiana.taylor@wascoswcd.org or 541-296-6178 ext 117.
Fifteenmile Action to Stabilize Temperatures
Phil Kaser
Bill Hammel
Fifteenmile Managed Underground Storage Feasibility Study
Project Highlights
Water plays a vital role in Fifteenmile agriculture.The Fifteenmile Watershed is known for its dryland and irrigated crops, orchards, vineyards, livestock, pasture, and irrigated hayland. A fish kill on 15Mile in 2009 raised concerns about the future of irrigation in the watershed. High temperatures combined with low waterflows boded ill for both Endangered Species Act listed fish and irrigators. A way needed to be found to balance water rights with Endangered Species Act concerns.

The watershed council has been exploring water storage options that will benefit the irrigators along Fifteenmile as well as the fish that inhabit the stream. The council first looked at an off-channel storage system that was to build a reservoir in one of 3 potential locations that would provide a water system to the irrigators, who would be able to water their crops without pulling directly from the stream. One of the other possible alternatives to building an expense off channel reservoir was to explore underground storage. Anderson Perry, along with GSI and GeoSystems Analysis have been exploring the possibility of a Managed Underground Storage system that would store high flows during the winter in to an aquifer and then access that water during the summer months.

The council recently received the completion report from that study and the results can be found by clicking the link under "Meeting Presentations".

For more information on council projects, click the link in the title
Fifteenmile Watershed Assessment
Pesticide Stewardship Partnership
The Pesticide Stewardship Partnership has been a program the Fifteenmile and The Dalles Watershed Councils have both participated in since its start in 2010.

The goal of the PSP Program is to: monitor for current use pesticides in surface waters from drift and runoff; Identify streams with elevated pesticide concentrations or one that has high numbers of detections; Collaborate to implement voluntary management practices; and Follow up monitoring to determine improvements over time.

There are 9 partnerships in Oregon Watershed and Fifteenmile has two monitoring locations; One at the mouth at Seufert Falls and one near the City of Dufur park . As a result of this program through education and outreach, tours and field days Fifteenmile Watershed has been a success story for the PSP program. Over the last eight years there has been consistent declines in number of detections and concentrations.

For more information or to review previous studies, select any of the dates to the right of the PSP tab in the column to the left.
ODFW Steelhead Monitoring
15mile Storage Feasibility Studies
Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Lamprey