Tuesday February 27, 2024


Salmon were documented spawning in McKay Creek near Pendleton Oregon for the first time in 30 years, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced on Feb. 23.

The spawning was made possible by the partial removal of a fish weir, which was placed in the creek by the Bureau of Reclamation in the 1990s because McKay Reservoir Dam operations were drying up sections of the creek. Prior to the 2024 season, salmon and summer steelhead had not spawned above the weir since it was installed.

“That means a fish-passage project started last summer is producing near immediate results as salmon and summer steelhead can now use this habitat to spawn and possibly rear,” the ODFW stated.

The weir project is part of a larger effort to improve fish passage in McKay Creek, which feeds into the Umatilla River. The ODFW currently deems the McKay Reservoir Dam the 11th highest fish passage priority in the state. 

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