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23 N. Coast Hwy


Community Presentations

The first Thursday of each month the MidCoast Watersheds Council hosts a community meeting with a program presented by researchers, professionals and/or project collaborators. On this page you will find information about past presentations and a link to download presentations that we have received permission to post.

Presentations from the Siletz Watershed Council quarterly meeting will also be available here.

October 4th, 2018

Update: The Blob, El Nino, and the Biological Response Across the Northeast Pacific

Laurie Weitkamp

Salmon biologist, NOAA Northwest Fisheries science center

This presentation provides an update on how the Blob and El Niño have changed the ocean and what the biological response to those changes has been, including on salmon and other fish found in our local area.  These impacts are continuing, due to biological lags and invasions of new species such as pyrosomes, commonly called “sea-pickles”. These strange looking creatures can be found in huge numbers and rockfish have been found with these indigestible creatures filling their stomachs.

Laurie Weitkamp has been a Salmon Biologist at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center since 1992.  Her research focuses on the ecology of salmon in estuarine and marine environments, including how physical conditions influence biological processes that are important for survival. This topic includes documenting the impacts of recent anomalous conditions on marine ecosystems across the North Pacific Ocean. 

January 4th, 2018

Fifteen Years of Winter steelhead monitoring

Eric Brown

Project leader, ODFW Coastal and lower columbia winter steelhead monitoring

Unlike most salmon species, the elusive behavior of adult winter steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) makes them extremely difficult to monitor during their primary spawning season (February through May). As a result, until about 20 years ago, managers on the Oregon Coast were often forced to make important decisions without the benefit of reliable information.   Beginning in 1998, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) began development of a new survey and sampling methodology based on redd surveys. In 2003, after five years of method development and calibration, these new methods were employed across the full winter steelhead range in coastal Oregon streams.  This monitoring provides information on the trends and status of distribution, abundance, timing, and hatchery effects for wild adult spawners. This talk will cover the development of this survey methodology will discuss some of the trends and results apparent within the mid-Oregon Coast, 2003 – 2017.

November 2nd, 2017

Quantifying the effects of Intensive Forest Management on biodiversity and ecosystem services, with a focus on pollinators

Matthew Betts and Urs Kormann

Oregon State University

Intensive forest management (IFM) practices are commonly used to increase timber yield. IFM often applies herbicides to reduce competition from non-crop plants, but the effect of such practices on wildlife in general, and pollinators and their pollination service in particular, have received little attention so far. Addressing this question is timely, given the recent, widespread decline of pollinators worldwide, the so called "pollinator crisis”. In this talk, the speakers presented the results from a large-scale experiment in the Oregon Coast range, where they experimentally manipulated the herbicide intensity applied to Douglas Fir stands. They showed how these herbicides affect pollinators and the plants they feed on, and how this translates into plant pollination. Further, the speakers gave a short overview of effects on wildlife in general.

September 7th, 2017

The Siletz Tribe and Climate Change: Adapting and Monitoring Shifting Coastal Resources

Laura Brown, Shellfish Biologist

Confederated tribes of the Siletz indians

Laura talked about the impact of climate change on the Siletz Tribe, and how their group will monitor and adapt to shifts in coastal resources. Part of Laura’s focus has been on restoration of native oyster populations in Yaquina Bay, and she shared information about that project and other work currently being completed by the tribe.

August 3rd, 2017

Monitoring the effects of large wood on stream habitat and salmon populations

Chris Lorion, Assistant Project Manager

Salmonid Life Cycle Monitoring Project

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Mill Creek Restoration and Effectiveness Monitoring project was funded by the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board. It is a collaboration between the MidCoast Watersheds Council, ODFW, Oregon State University, Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality, Weyerhaeuser, Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District and the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians. The restoration work addressed the limiting factors of stream complexity and winter rearing habitat for coho in Mill Creek.  Over 700 large logs wereplaced  in Mill Creek and its tributaries to capture gravel, aggrade the stream bed, create back eddies and provide protection for young fish.   The effectiveness monitoring part of the project, built on the past work of ODFW in this basin.  Mill Creek is one of seven Salmonid Life Cycle Monitoring (LCM) sites managed by ODFW on the central Oregon coast. These sites estimate abundance of salmonids and downstream migrating juvenile salmonids, estimate marine and freshwater survival rates for coho, and evaluate effects of habitat modification on the abundance of juvenile salmonids. Due to the existing monitoring history, there was the opportunity to evaluate effects of large wood placement on stream habitat and fish populations.

June 1st, 2017

Managing Forest Lands for Multiple Resources

Matt Fehrenbacher, Trout mountain forestry

Matt’s presentation focused on managing forest lands for multiple resources and Trout Mountain Forestry's approach to forest management for various owners including family lands, municipalities and lands owned by conservation organizations.  Matt discussed the vanEck Forest, a 7,200 acre private forest located in Lincoln county that is managed under a working forest conservation easement.  The easement establishes restoration and maintenance of native forest structure as the primary ecological goal while continuing to generate revenue for the landowner.  Alternative silvicultural approaches such as selective harvest, various thinning regimes, and harvesting to retain trees of variable sizes are being used to encourage complex forest structure while maintaining the capacity for productive commercial forest management.

May 4, 2017

 Conservation planning for three lampreys of coastal Oregon:  Western Brook Lamprey, Western River Lamprey, and Pacific Lamprey

Ben Clemens, Oregon department of fish and wildlife

Ben Clemens is the Statewide Lamprey Coordinator with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Ben earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Central Michigan University, Master’s degree in Zoology from the University of Guelph, and Doctorate in Fisheries from Oregon State University. Since 2004, Ben has worked on projects related to juvenile Chinook Salmon in the Columbia River estuary, lamprey biology, and led ODFW’s fish ageing laboratory. In his new role as Statewide Lamprey Coordinator, Ben is working on conservation plans for Oregon lampreys, liaising with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on their Pacific Lamprey Conservation Initiative, and is identifying areas needing research, monitoring, and evaluation to help fill information gaps critical to informing conservation planning and actions for Oregon lampreys.

April 6th, 2017

An intimate look at nesting peregrine falcons

Wayne Hoffman, Policy director of mcwc

A pair of Peregrine Falcons began nesting at Yaquina Head in 2012.  This is the most accessible site in a naturalistic setting for observation and photography in the western United States.  Wayne and other local photographers and birders have been documenting these birds ever since.  Wayne described the Peregrine nesting cycle, from courtship to fledgling independence, including incubation, chick feeding behavior, prey selection, and nest defense. He also illustrated social dynamics, including infidelity, mate replacement, and responses to visitors.

March 2nd, 2017

Can we save an ecosystem engineer of Oregon estuaries, the blue mud shrimp, from going extinct?

John Chapman

The native blue mud shrimp has been declining to effective or actual extinction over its range between British Columbia and Morro Bay, California. The decline has been due to an introduced Asian isopod parasite that arrived in the mid-1980s without any of its native Asian hosts. The blue mud shrimp has been the only final host for the parasite in Oregon, leaving it without an alternative host to maintain its populations where blue mud shrimp extinctions occur. However, recent invasions of a co-evolved host species from Asia have added an alternative host as the native mud shrimp have disappeared. In the end, the loss of this native mud shrimp will be as significant to the estuaries as diking or the depletion of marshes and mudflats.

February 2nd, 2017

The National Flood Insurance Program and the Endangered Species Act

Matt SPangler, Department of Land Conservation and Development

Matt’s presentation provided a summary of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) recent Endangered Species Act Biological Opinion (BiOp) on the National Flood Insurance Program in Oregon.  It covered the background on the process leading up to the BiOp, how implementation of the recommendations in the BiOp may affect development and management of floodplains in Oregon communities, and the possible implications for salmon recovery.  

January 5th, 2017

Newport Surfriders foundation, the blue water task force

vince pappalardo

Vince’s presentation focused on the work done by the Newport Surfrider Foundation testing local water quality, cleaning up beaches and shaping local marine policy.  There was an emphasis on the water quality testing work in terms of what is tested, where tests are done, and the current state of water quality at the 5 to 10 sites tested weekly.

December 1st, 2016

Care and Pruning of shore pines

Rennie Ferris, co-chair midcoast watersheds council

Rennie Ferris is the vice-chair of the MidCoast Watersheds Council. He has spent his life working in the nursery and landscape business here in Newport. He started working in local nurseries at age nine, and from 1975 to his retirement in 2010 his work focused on coastal landscaping. His lifelong interest in growing and caring for trees on the coast has included leading plant pruning workshops with the Lincoln County Extension Service for 12 years. He wants to share this expertise with all of you, so everyone can have beautiful, healthy and nicely sculpted tree specimens in their yards.

November 17th, 2016

Update: Pacific Salmon Treaty

Ethan Clemons, Oregon DepT of FIsh and Wildlife

Ethan Clemons, Chinook Manager and Analyst with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife joined our tech team meeting with a very informative update on the Pacific Salmon Treaty. 

October 6, 2016

Forested wetland and spruce swamp restoration on the Oregon Coast

Jake Robinson, Yankee Creek Forestry

Estuaries and wetlands along the Oregon coast have been altered during the past 150 years by diking, draining and conversion to agriculture or development. Over 90% of tidal marshes and swamps have been lost in the process. These areas are vital habitat for countless species and also dampen flood and storm effects, trap sediment, sequester carbon and provide nutrients to lower estuaries and the ocean.

Jake’s presentation focused on an innovative use of forest byproducts in an ecological restoration project, and combining upland forest work with wetland restoration.

september 1st, 2016

What will it really take to restore coho on the coast?

Charley Dewberry

Imagine the days when hundreds of thousands of salmon ran up each of our major rivers to spawn and multiple canning plants lined the lower Alsea, Yaquina and Siletz rivers. This was all without hatchery production, depending on the natural productivity of healthy rivers and ecosystem.  In his talk, Charley will provide background on the history of salmon runs in our area. He will also look forward to assess what it will really take to restore coho on the Oregon Coast.

August 4th, 2016

Protecting water flow in streams for fish

Lisa Brown, Staff Attorney, Oregon Waterwatch

Her talk will provide background on instream flow protection in Oregon and how to improve the state's drought toolbox to protect streamflows and fish.

JULY 19, 2016

Siletz RIver update

John Spangler, District Fish Biologist, OR Dept Fish and Wildlife

JULY 7, 2016



In his talk David will provide background on the objectives and successes of the partnership. He will also lead a discussion with audience members on a range of restoration topics including disease and forest health issues, importance of using regional stock in restoration, climate change and stress on plants, what plants tend to succeed and which tend to fail, and best strategies for dealing with restoring areas with invasive plant species.

June 2nd, 2016

Effects of Changing ocean conditions on survival of oregon's coho and chinook salmon

Bill Peterson

Dr. Peterson’s team has been tracking physical and biological oceanographic conditions off Newport Oregon during oceanographic research cruises.  These cruises have been conducted on a biweekly basis for 21 years.  Information on zooplankton and krill, nutrients, chlorophyll, as well as depth and substrate information are measured.  Having such a long term, continuous data set has allowed the team’s data to now be used to successfully forecast the returns of salmon to the Columbia River and coastal rivers of Oregon and Washington.

The species, size and food density of copepods, the tiny crustaceans that are the chief link in the food chain between the microscopic plants (phytoplankton) and fish, can vary greatly during cold versus warm water (e.g. El Niño or “The Blob”) periods in the ocean.  Warm conditions reduce the productivity of the food chain, and negatively affect the survival and growth of many species of fish, seabirds and mammals. Dr. Peterson will discuss the nature of ocean conditions during cold vs warm periods and how this affects the prey that salmon feed on.  He’ll then show how these data are used to provide forecasts on the number of salmon returning to the Columbia River and to coastal rivers of Oregon.  Dr. Peterson will also discuss with the group how climate variability is affecting our salmon now, and how things might change in the near future.

may 5, 2016

Survival in times of change:

Climate and salmon of the Oregon Coast Range

Rebecca Flitcroft

Native aquatic species are adapted to survive in the range of environmental conditions present in their natural habitats. This adaptation reflects past survival and reproduction by members of the population. In the Pacific Northwest, few species have such diverse behaviors as salmonids. This reflects the complexity of their genetic lineage and allows them to survive in remarkably variable and dynamic stream conditions. One questions scientists are asking is how well salmonids will survive under future climates that may affect their habitats from small headwater streams to salty tidal channels. In this talk, Dr. Flitcroft will discuss the development and adaptation of Pacific salmon to Northwest stream environments, and some of the changes we may expect to see in the future.