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Fish PassageTask Force

The Fish Passage Task Force advises the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Fish and Wildlife Commission on matters related to fish passage. These matters include, but are not limited to, rulemaking to implement statutes, funding and special conditions for passage projects, and exemptions and waivers. The Task Force reports semi-annually to the Legislature and publicly meets about four times per year. The nine Task Force members are chosen by the ODFW Director to represent one of three groups. Task Force member’s terms last for four years, except that the initial appointments of each interest group were to a three-year, four-year or five-year term in order to establish a staggered system of new appointments for each interest group’s members. Each Task Force member is eligible for two terms. Current Task Force members and their terms are:


Stuart Myers

Portland Fishing and Conservation

May 2011, 1st Term

May 2015
Douglas DeHart Oregon City Fishing and Conservation May 2010, 1st Term May 2014
Harry Rectenwald Astoria Fishing and Conservation April 2009, 2nd Term April 2017

Willie Tiffany

Portland Water Users

May 2011, 1st Term

May 2015
Richard Burke O’Brien John Day Water Users January 2013, 1st Term January 2017
Kim Kambak Prineville Water Users April 2009, 1st Term April 2013
David Heller Portland Public-At-Large February 2013, 2nd Term February 2017

Vera Simonton

Pendleton Public-At-Large

May 2011, 1st Term

May 2015
Dawn Nilson Portland Public-At-Large August 2011, 2nd Term August 2015

Fishing and Conservation Groups

Stuart Myers, resides in Portland and is a consultant fishery biologist with a private natural resource firm.  He has been involved in many projects representing a variety of clients that have a fish conservation focus. His specific work experience related to fish passage issues involves working with several municipalities, counties, Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), and other entities to assist them with fish passage improvement actions.

Douglas DeHart, a retired career fishery biologist with extensive knowledge and experience with fish screening and fish passage in the Northwest. He has worked closely with fish conservation groups and with state and federal fish passage and screening programs throughout his career. His retirement from government service has provided him with an opportunity to become more actively involved in volunteer and citizen participation activities.

Harry Rectenwald, has worked as a professional aquatic biologist for more than 30-years with California Game and Fish as well as more recent experience with the Columbia River Estuary Study Team (CREST) where he has exposure and experience with fish passage assessments, stream restoration and mitigation projects, as well as monitoring of habitat enhancement projects. Mr. Rectenwald also served as vice president of the Rainland Fly Casters and fishing club in Astoria.  Mr. Rectenwald resides in Astoria, Oregon.

Water User Groups

Willie Tiffany, a native Oregonian, resides in Portland Oregon and is employed by the City of Hillsboro’s Water Department, which represents ~ 400,000 water users.  He serves as the Intergovernmental Relations Manager with this public utility which owns a dam, a contract in another dam, and a water intake structure for a water treatment facility. He is well versed in the many issues associated with fish passage and water user.

Richard Burke O’Brien is the Public Works Director and Parks Land Manager for Morrow County, Oregon.  Burke is a native Oregonian who grew up in Baker and Wallowa Counties.  As the Public Works Director he has gained extensive experience and a keen understanding of transportation issues, particularly culverts and bridges.  Burke’s interests in habitat restoration and experience on over 50 projects as Land Manager for Morrow County Parks System will provide valuable perspective to the Task Force.

Kim Kambak, lives in Prineville Oregon, where she is active with the water user and local ranching community.  Mrs. Kambak is a retired school administrator and currently owns and manages a small Poultry/Organic farm.  She is a Crook County Planning Commissioner for the past nine years and is active with the City of Prineville as a citizen advocate on Goal 5 resource mapping and ordinance issues.  She has a history of fisheries volunteer work with ODFW on Crooked and Ochoco Creeks and is a board member and farmer with Prineville Farmers’ Market.  Mrs. Kambak has a strong grasp of the water user issues in eastern Oregon and will represent both the large and small irrigation districts well.


David Heller works as a professional aquatic biologist for more than 30 years and has extensive experience in the assessment, mitigation, and monitoring of fish passage projects in the pacific northwest. Mr. Heller currently is on a special detail for the US Forest Service as the National Transportation Ecologist with a focus on fish passage issues. He has represented the Forest Service in the Pacific Northwest Region in a wide range of fish passage and watershed restoration activities. He as played a key role in developing and managing the Forest Service’s fish passage program, where he has actively been involved in the development and implementation of policies and strategies to protect and restore fish habitat. Mr. Heller resides in Portland, Oregon.

Vera Simonton, a lifelong resident of Oregon has been a strong advocate for caring for and preserving Oregon’s natural resources She comes from a farming family background in the Pendleton and Hermiston areas and has exposure to many water use and fish passage issues. Her previous experience and opportunities while serving as Chair for the DOGAMI Board of Directors for 8-years, suits her well for her new role on the FPTF.

Dawn Nilson is a Senior Natural Resources Planner/Scientist for the consulting firm AMEC Earth and Environmental, in Portland. Dawn has 26 years of experience in environmental and natural resource planning and impact assessment, primarily for projects involving streams and reservoirs. Her extensive involvement in larger projects and multiple regulatory processes will help provide insight to ODFW as the State's fish passage policies and requirements evolve in relation to other regulatory entities.

Meeting Schedule, Agenda & Minutes (pdfs)
2015 Meetings Location Agenda Minutes

February 27, 2015

Salem Agenda (pdf)  
July 24-25, 2015
November 20, 2015 Salem    

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