PGE grants more than $2.5 million to support habitat restoration for Oregon’s fish and wildlife

Oct. 10, 2023

Fish and wildlife populations living in the Clackamas and Deschutes River Basins are about to get a boost, thanks to funding from three PGE grant programs.

The Clackamas River Hydroelectric Project Mitigation and Enhancement Fund – often called simply the Clackamas Habitat Fund or Clackamas Mitigation Fund – recently selected five projects to receive a total of more than $2 million. Chosen for their promising benefits for native fish populations in the Clackamas River Basin, where PGE operates the Westside Hydropower Project, the proposed projects will create shadier streams, reduce the presence of invasive species and enhance the quality of habitat within the river and its tributaries.

“All of the organizations selected for funding in 2023 have proven track records of successful project implementation,” said Briana Weatherly, PGE’s hydropower license manager at Westside Hydro. “It is exciting to see the continued commitment and widespread community support for aquatic habitat restoration and enhancement in the basin.”

The North Fork Reservoir Habitat Project was completed in the midst of a pandemic, just weeks before the Riverside Fire swept through the Clackamas River Basin. This project was successful thanks to close collaboration with the Oregon Wildlife Foundation and Bureau of Land Management, with funding from the 2019 cycle of the Clackamas Habitat Fund. These structures provide shade and improve streamflow, and are already being used by spawning fish.

In Central Oregon, alongside the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, the Pelton Round Butte Fund contributed about $370,000 to the Deschutes Land Trust, a nonprofit partner dedicated to land conservation, for the second phase of their Ochoco Preserve restoration project. This multiyear effort, previously awarded by the Pelton Fund in 2021, aims to restore a 185-acre area critical for juvenile Chinook salmon and steelhead. Funds will be used to restore historic floodplains, create side channels where juvenile fish can rest on their journey to the ocean, and build an acclimation pond – an area where juvenile fish are held instream prior to release to adjust to the river’s conditions and imprint on the water’s scent. This process helps fish navigate their way back home as adults.

Restoration efforts at the Ochoco Preserve have increased the sinuosity – or natural curviness – of the stream and added large woody structures that make attractive habitat for migrating fish. (Below) After restoring the stream’s shape, native plants were installed.

“This project is upstream of the Pelton Round Butte Project and supports our long-term fish reintroduction program by helping to achieve a self-sustaining Chinook salmon population and a sustainable salmon harvest,” said Nancy Doran, PGE licensing specialist at Pelton Round Butte.

Both the Clackamas Habitat Fund and Pelton Fund help PGE offset some of the environmental impacts of generating power on Oregon’s river systems, and are included in each hydropower project’s operating license. Another habitat grant program, funded by customers, works a little differently.

The Habitat Support Fund is enabled by PGE Green Future℠ customers who opt to pay an additional monthly fee of $2.50. These contributions are dedicated to the restoration of local fish habitat, with preference given to projects in the Willamette, Sandy and Deschutes River basins. The Nature Conservancy, which administers these grants, selected six projects this year to receive a total of more than $163,000, with a combined impact on approximately 189 miles of river.

“We’re grateful for the PGE Green Future℠ customers who support these habitat restoration projects,” said Kelsey West, PGE grants manager. “Their monthly contributions to the Habitat Support Fund will have a lasting impact on fish, their habitats and the broader ecosystem.”

Together, these contributions will support ongoing environmental partnerships and create healthy habitats for species relying on the river systems where PGE generates power.

One of the projects funded by the PGE Habitat Support Fund helps organizations collect water quality data in the Crooked River Basin – an agricultural area upstream of the Pelton Round Butte Project with a large impact on overall water conditions.

2023 Grant Recipients

Clackamas Habitat Fund:

  • Oregon Wildlife Foundation (two projects)

  • Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District

  • Clackamas River Basin Council (two projects)

Pelton Fund:

  • Deschutes Land Trust

Habitat Support Fund:

  • Clackamas River Basin Council

  • Crooked River Watershed Council

  • Jackson Bottom Wetland Preserve

  • Luckiamute Watershed Council

  • Nestucca, Neskowin, and Sand Lake Watershed Council

  • Upper Deschutes Watershed Council

About Portland General Electric Company
Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) is a fully integrated energy company that generates, transmits and distributes electricity to over 900,000 customers in 51 cities across the state of Oregon. For more than 130 years, Portland General Electric (PGE) has powered the advancement of society, delivering safe, affordable, reliable and increasingly clean energy. To deliver on its strategy and meet state targets, PGE and its approximately 3,000 employees committed to partnering with stakeholders to achieve at least an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from power served to customers by 2030 and 100% reduction by 2040. PGE customers set the standard for prioritizing clean energy with the No. 1 voluntary renewable energy program in the country. Additionally, for the fifth year in a row, PGE was recognized by the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index which highlights companies committed to creating a more equal and inclusive workplace. As a reflection of the company's commitment to the community it serves, in 2022, PGE employees, retirees and the PGE Foundation donated nearly $5.5 million and volunteered more than 18,000 hours with more than 400 nonprofits across Oregon. For more information visit

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