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Project Summary

Project 2007-316-00 - McKenzie Canyon Irrigation Project
Project Number:
McKenzie Canyon Irrigation Project
The Deschutes River Conservancy, Three Sisters Irrigation District, Upper Deschutes Watershed Council and the Deschutes Soil and Water Distirct propose to restore instream habitat and flows in Squaw Creek to benefit ESA listed steelhead and bull trout.
Proponent Orgs:
Deschutes River Conservancy (DRC) (Non-Profit)
Starting FY:
Ending FY:
Province Subbasin %
Columbia Plateau Deschutes 100.00%
Focal Species:
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 100.0%   Resident: 0.0%   Wildlife: 0.0%
BiOp Association:

No photos have been uploaded yet for this Project.

The table content is updated frequently and thus contains more recent information than what was in the original proposal reviewed by ISRP and Council.

Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2007-316-00-NPCC-20090924
Project: 2007-316-00 - McKenzie Canyon Irrigation Project
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Approved Date: 10/23/2006
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: Capital only in first two years; expense only in third year

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2007-316-00-ISRP-20060831
Project: 2007-316-00 - McKenzie Canyon Irrigation Project
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 8/31/2006
Final Round ISRP Date: None
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria
Final Round ISRP Comment:
This is a well-written proposal, tight, detailed, supported with numbers and credible references. Wildlife and (named!) weeds are addressed and local land use pressures and ecological trends are recognized along with socio-economic elements. Identifies the major habitat-related problems within the Squaw Creek basin, including lack of adequate stream flows for fish. Historically, Squaw Creek was a major spawning and rearing area for steelhead and today supports a viable population of redband trout. Increased flows in Squaw Creek could be of particular significance as efforts to reintroduce steelhead above the dam complex continue.

The sponsors need to better justify, in as specific terms as possible, the extent to which the flow increases will improve habitat conditions. Will the proposed flow increase make a significant, or even noticeable, difference to fish, especially in the lower reaches? What reaches will be most affected by the flow increase? What would be the estimated improvement in habitat (e.g., spawning areas or spawning habitat)? Where would the major increase occur and how much? Would new areas be open to spawning and how much? How would juvenile habitat be improved and where would the greatest improvement occur? In the areas where flow would be increased, is the physical habitat otherwise in good condition?

The sponsors state that the flow increase represents 25% of the ODFW minimum flow request. At what location in the basin does this estimate pertain? Greater flow augmentation would make this project more appealing. Beyond focal species, the proposal did not note impacts on species adapted to ditches, such as nesting birds or amphibians, but did suggest vegetation salvage, an interesting, but not likely successful effort to reduce impact on non-focal species. It was nice to see terrestrial species being considered.

The sponsors use the subbasin plan to justify the proposed project as part of a larger, ongoing regional effort. The first phase has been funded by numerous agencies and NGO's. It is related to other streamflow restoration projects in the Deschutes Basin. In this water stressed, rapidly developing region, getting agricultural interests to put half the water saved into conservation rather than reducing over-allocation is a remarkable achievement. The work appears well organized and quite low-cost compared to many projects with less definable deliverables. The sponsors have extensive experience, and obvious cooperation with other agencies. Information transfer is not included, but should be. This model deserves more attention, and data should result, both technical and economic, that would be useful.

The project needs plans for M&E to determine whether the flow increases have been achieved and what impact they have on habitat and fish. Implementation and effectiveness monitoring for this project could be part of the larger M&E program for the Deschutes Basin, but the sponsors need to assure that the larger program expressly addresses their project objectives.
Documentation Links:

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 2007-316-00-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 2007-316-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 10/6/2006
In Lieu Rating: No Problems Exist
Cost Share Rating: None
Comment: Convert open canal to pipe, provide instream flows (no apparent order/decree requiring; no BiOp for BOR?).

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 2007-316-00-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 2007-316-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 2/27/2007
Capital Rating: Does Not Qualify for Capital Funding
Capital Asset Category: None
Comment: None

Project Relationships: None