We Have a New Staff Member! By Greg McMillan

It is with a great deal of excitement that I am able to announce that starting April 1, 2015, we have a new paid staff member. Andrew Dutterer has been hired as our new Administrative Director.

Andrew Dutterer

                          Andrew Dutterer

We are restructuring the DRA by eliminating the position of Executive Director, previously held by David Moskowitz. Dave will now be our Director of Development and Outreach. This will increase our capacity to do fundraising by freeing Dave from the full responsibilities of administrative management of the organization.

Andrew brings not only a deep love for the lower Deschutes River to his position, but a background and experience in business management. He is also finishing a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science with a focus in collaborative watershed management. Andrew is also a highly skilled fly angler and fly tier. Could we have asked for a more perfect set of qualifications? Yes we could. And Andrew fits those qualifications too. He is driven, a very hard worker, and dedicated to the future of the lower Deschutes River. Add to that his personal charm and we know we have the right person in the right position at the right time.

We want to thank Dave Moskowitz for his efforts as Executive Director. He has, in many ways, been a one-man show for the front office of the DRA during some of our most difficult and formative times. We are delighted to take some of the load off of his shoulders!

If you see either of these guys on the river, shake their hands and tell them thanks. The future of the lower Deschutes River is in no small part riding on their efforts.

2014 Lower Deschutes River Aquatic Insect Hatch Report – by Greg McMillan

2014 Lower Deschutes River Aquatic Insect Hatch Survey Report

Now Available

Our 2014 Lower Deschutes River Aquatic Insect Hatch Survey by Rick Hafele is now available on our website. Rick, with the help of several guides and experienced fly anglers, compiled over 100 hatch observations in this report.

This is a worthwhile read to understand the hatches on the lower Deschutes. It’s also essential reading to understand the changes in aquatic insect populations and their hatch timing.

The single most startling result noted in the survey is the disappearance of the Antocha crane flies. The participants in this survey aren’t the only ones to note the disappearance of the Antochas. Portland General Electric and The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation, owners/operators of the Pelton-Round Butte Dam complex, hired a natural resources consultant to do a biological survey of the lower Deschutes River. That consultant, in their report, has also failed to find evidence of Antocha crane flies.

How important is the loss of a species of insect in the lower Deschutes? If it’s an indicator of river health, the answer is very important. And we believe the Antochas are an indicator of river health.   We believe that the cause of their demise is the algae that now grows in the splash zone on river rock in the lower Deschutes. It’s in the splash zone that adult crane flies lay their eggs.

Deschutes Crane Flies by John Hazel

Deschutes Crane Flies by John Hazel

This algae, new since the switch to surface water withdrawal at Round Butte Dam, is likely the result of a change in nutrients being discharged from the dam. DRA has reported on this in several previous posts.

Antochas did have value to anglers. During the time of their mating, they were sometimes swept off rocks and made available to feeding fish. The astute angler could be very successful if imitating them at these times. But they had a more important role, and that was as part of the larger food chain of the Deschutes River Canyon. That food chain includes (but is not limited to) fish, birds and bats. The loss of Antochas must not be taken lightly.

Photo by Dave Hughes

Antocha Crane Fly

Special thanks to Rick Hafele for his expertise and diligence in creating this important publication. Also, special thanks to the guides and anglers who made this report possible (John Smeraglio, Sam Sickles, Alex Gonsiewski, David Moskowitz, Steve Pribyl, Steve Light, Evan Unti, Rick Trout, and Damien Nurre).

Our Year End Donor Report – Thank you for your Support!

 

2014 End of Year Report

The Deschutes River Alliance is pleased to announce the publication of our first Year End Donor Report.

One purpose of the Year End Report is to note our accomplishments since our inception in August 2013, particularly highlighting our 2014 Science Investigation and Work Plan.  The main purpose is to recognize our donors who generously supported the DRA in our first year.

You can view the report here.

The Report also has a message from DRA Board President Greg McMillan, a description of the scientific foundation for the DRA, our major accomplishments, a summary of our objectives for 2015, and a 2014 financial summary.  There is also a list of DRA donors who contributed to our work in 2013 and 2014 (through early November).

We are extremely grateful for your support in our first year of existence.

Since the publication of this Year End Report, the DRA has received additional support from many individuals whose names may not be on the Report, but are found on our website here.

If you have not donated before, now is a perfect time to support the DRA and our 2015 Science and Advocacy Work!

This is also the final few weeks to join the Founding Circle. The Founding Circle will be a permanent recognition of DRA supporters who donate $1,000 or more before January 1st.

Again, thank you for your support and best wishes for a healthy and productive 2015.

Warmly, and on behalf of the entire Board of Directors,

 

Greg McMillan

Board President

A Special Thanks!

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Some folks talk about supporting conservation and saving our rivers.  Others do something about it.  On the evening of May 13, 2014, the Fly Fishers Club of Oregon really did something about it.  The club made the Deschutes River Alliance the beneficiary of their annual Keith Hansen Memorial Conservation Paddle Raise.  The paddle raise was held after a brief description of what the DRA does, and a touching, stirring description of what the lower Deschutes River meant to the late Dr. Keith Hansen, provided by his wife Lisa Hansen.

KSH and SAB on Deschutes

Lisa made the first paddle raise, a contribution of $1000 to become a Founding Circle Donor, and was quickly followed by others.  The generosity shown by the Fly Fishers Club of Oregon was greatly appreciated by those of us here at the DRA.  The money raised is going towards our science based research program that will continue to define the extent of declines of aquatic insect hatches, dissemination of nuisance algae, and the nature of water quality changes in the lower river.

We want to extend a very heartfelt thanks to the Flyfisher Foundation and the Fly Fishers Club of Oregon for their generosity, which apparently broke all previous records for this event.  We promise to make very good use of their contribution to our efforts.

 

Greg McMillan                                                        David Moskowitz

President                                                                  Executive Director

The DRA and Fiscal Responsibility

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Photo by David Moskowitz

The DRA entered into active fundraising almost six weeks ago.  So a question that I believe any donor would want to ask is, “Where is my contribution going and how will it be spent?”

It’s a very fair and valid question and our donors should know the answer though many of you have already given generously based on your love of the Deschutes and your trust in members of our Board of Directors.

The short answer is that your contributions are primarily going to pay for the scientific investigation plan we have planned for this spring.  The cost will be fairly high, although we are looking for ways to minimize costs.  We estimate the aerial imaging described in the plan could cost as much as $90,000.00.  The instruments we need in order to do continuous water quality monitoring are expensive and we are looking at possibly renting instruments (also not cheap!).  But we are actively seeking grant money to offset expenses.  We are also trying to borrow or cost-share equipment and services.  So we’ll do our best to keep expenses as low as possible without compromising the integrity of the scientific data collection.

We also need funds to pay for our first staff position.  Dave Moskowitz has been kind enough to work for the past six months without pay, or even expense reimbursement.  Without that kind of volunteer effort, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

What we won’t be paying for is office space.  We’ve decided we’d much rather put money into the river than into offices, office furniture, office equipment and utilities like water and electricity.  As you’ve noticed from our fundraising effort, we’ve elected to not use the traditional brochure sent via mail.  This in part is to save costs so that your contributions go to protecting the river.  In other words, we are looking at every means possible to run a very tight fiscal ship.

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Room with a view…Photo by Robert Sheley

Please rest assured that our goal is to see to it that every dollar donated to the DRA will be spent wisely and for the work you want to support.

Thank you for your support!

Greg McMillan,

Board President

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