The Williams Creek Watershed Council has recently received
an education grant from the Cow Creek Umpqua Indian
Foundation in support of the Williams Elementary School
for raising salmon eggs and youth education at the school.
This project involves the watershed council, students,
and teachers to care for and release juvenile salmon
into the Rogue River. The eggs are donated by Oregon
Department of Fish and Wildlife under a program organized
by fish biologist Chuck Fustish.
Last year the Ashland Food Coop supported this program
with a small grant of $550 to improve the aquarium and
purchase some workbooks for the students to use. This
year the Cow Creek Foundation saw the potential advantages
and interest in this activity and awarded $2500 to expand
the project to include more students and improve the
facilities. Thanks to this new grant, we will be able
to expand the program to include field trips for the
students to see salmon habitat sites and special locations
that raise salmon. We anticipate this will help develop
an understanding of the life cycles of salmon and appreciation
of the efforts that are ongoing to improve habitat for
Since the Williams Creek Watershed Council is actively
involved in working on improving habitat quality in
the streams and rivers of the area, we are uniquely
suited to develop educational programs that display
the process. The Watershed Council has worked hard to
obtain permits and find funding to hire local operators
and workers to develop on-the-ground instream projects
on private land that focuses on the spawning and rearing
areas in the Williams Valley. Various salmon species
utilize the stream network in Williams to lay their
eggs and hatch in the cool waters. We see Chinook salmon,
steelhead, Coho, cutthroat trout, suckers, dace, and
Pacific lamprey within the waters of Williams Valley.
Some of these juvenile salmon remain in the Williams
streams for survival until next year when they move
back to the Pacific Ocean.
This grant will help us develop a way to communicate
the complicated process of the salmon cycle to the students
and community as a whole. We also will be offering other
opportunities for the community to view and experience
the salmon cycles that we championed in our watershed.
As a conservation group, the watershed council brings
money into the area that is spent at local businesses
and suppliers while accomplishing the important work
for long-term salmon survival.
Thanks to the generous funding from Cow Creek, the
Ashland Food Coop, and the Oregon Watershed Enhancement
Board, we are able to continue with this work.
Williams Creek Watershed Council
PO Box 94
Williams, OR 97544