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Press Release-Grant Funding

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 all wildlife.

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


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WCWC
PO Box 94
Williams, OR 97544

541 846 9175



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