Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
agreed last week to two contracts allowing the state agency to continue
operating five Corps hatcheries in Oregon which they’ve operated for the most
part since the 1950s.
to the Corps, it will pay ODFW $4.8 million a year to operate the Marion Forks,
South Santiam, McKenzie and Willamette hatcheries, all in the Willamette River
basin under one contract, as well $2.1 million to operate the Cole Rivers
Hatchery on the Rogue River in southern Oregon in a second contract.
contracts were effective September 1 and include services such as fish
production and release, marking and tagging of fish, and fish health services.
two agencies also expect to sign a contract for operations at the Corps’
Bonneville Hatchery by November 1.
will continue to provide many of the same hatchery services that they provided
for decades,” said Andrew Traylor, the Corps’ Portland District hatchery
coordinator. “The contracts outline and define the specific services to operate
the hatcheries and produce the amount of fish necessary to meet our federal
the 1950s, the Corps has paid ODFW to manage hatchery operations and provide
fish production services to meet mitigation requirements for impacts to fish
passage and habitat caused by the Corps’ dams. Historically, ODFW has
concurrently raised both Corps-funded and ODFW-funded fish at the same
hatcheries. Both organizations’ fish contribute to Oregon’s recreational
fisheries, an arrangement that benefits both agencies.
federal and state agencies had been negotiating the contracts since March.
early February the Corps had said it wanted to change its long-standing
cooperative agreement with ODFW at seven hatcheries and instead solicit bids
for hatchery operations and award contracts to the winning bidder. By March it
had said that it instead would negotiate sole source contracts with ODFW.
Corps-owned Oregon hatcheries operated by ODFW are Cole Rivers Hatchery (built
in 1973) on the Rogue River, Bonneville Fish Hatchery at Eagle Creek near
Bonneville Dam (expanded in 1957), Marion Forks Hatchery (1951) on Marion Creek
a tributary of the Santiam River, South Santiam Fish Hatchery (1925),
Willamette Fish Hatchery (rebuilt in 1952) near Oakridge, McKenzie Hatchery
(rebuilt in 1975) and Leaburg Hatchery (1953), mostly a trout hatchery, on the
the hatcheries are operated to mitigate for the loss of trout and anadromous
fish as a result of the construction of Corps dams in Oregon.
contracts will ensure fish production will remain steady for the next few
years,” said Scott Patterson, ODFW Fish Propagation Program manager.
one hatchery that is not currently part of contract negotiations is the Leaburg
Hatchery, according to Bruce McIntosh, ODFW’s deputy fish chief of ODFW’s
will remain operational until the spring of 2018 “as fish are still being grown
to release,” he said. “The Corps is interested in discussing next steps for
Leaburg with us but wants to complete the contracting process first.”
for the Leaburg Hatchery, he said, is the hatchery’s trout program “We
anticipate the Corps will make a decision on who they will fund to do this in
the next couple of weeks.”
trout production by the Corps, also a mitigation action, was done out of the
Leaburg Hatchery (1953) on the Willamette River, but the Corps said it will
remove production of trout from the hatchery and bid it out in an unrestricted
solicitation. Trout production would cease at the hatchery. However, the Corps
says it will continue to meet its trout mitigation goals and will do so through
the solicitation for trout production.
District Corps spokesperson Michelle Helms confirmed this week that the Corps
had yet to make a decision on a Leaburg trout production contract.
to 1990 the Corps had contracts with ODFW, but that practice transitioned to
cooperative agreements in the 1990s. A cooperative agreement is something akin
to a grant that helps an entity fund an activity, whereas a contract is where
the Corps pays a contractor to do work on its behalf to support a Corps
authorization, Helms explained in February.
Acquisitions Regulations say that the most appropriate approach is to go back
to a bidding process and award contracts for hatchery operations.
allows us to meet the requirements of regulations, it will lead to efficiencies
and it also would allow us to be more specific in how the hatcheries are
operated,” Helms had said.
with these administrative changes, the Corps still intends to continue to meet
its “full obligation to all species.” There is not a time limit on mitigating
for fish losses at the dams, she said.
are also Corps-funded mitigation hatcheries in Washington and Idaho, including
Dworshak National Fish Hatchery in Idaho, Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery
on the Columbia River, Ringgold Springs Hatchery on the Yakima River, and the
Little White Salmon Hatchery, all in Washington.
March 10, 2017, “Corps Says Five Oregon Mitigation Hatcheries Could Stay With
ODFW, May Solicit Bids For Two Others,” http://www.cbbulletin.com/438455.aspx
February 10, 2017, “Corps To Bid Out Operations At Seven Corps-Owned Oregon
Hatcheries Now Managed By ODFW, http://www.cbbulletin.com/438309.aspx