Since 1951, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has held a certificated water right in Cascade Locks and is authorized to divert up to 10 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water from Little Herman Creek for its Oxbow Springs fish hatchery.
On August 27, 2010, ODFW submitted two applications to the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD). One was a transfer application (T-11108) related to adding points of diversion to ODFW’s existing water right. Those points of diversion are the Middle Spring and the East Spring (part of Oxbow Springs) in Cascade Locks. The second application, for an exchange of water (T-11109), was to trade 0.5 cfs of spring water with the City of Cascade Locks for 0.5 cfs of well water.
On April 12, 2011, ODFW modified its T-11108 transfer application from 10 cfs to 0.5 cfs. ODFW then filed a second transfer application (T-11249) on May 23, 2011, which proposed to add the two points of diversion to the remaining 9.5 cfs of ODFW’s water right. OWRD issued a preliminary determination to approve the transfers on February 27, 2012. Bark and Food & Water Watch filed a protest on this decision on March 29, 2012.