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Salmon Super Highway

April 22, 2024 | 7-9pm

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Science Pub Hillsboro: Salmon Super Highway

This event is sold out. We will be selling an additional 50 tickets at the door starting at 6:30 to allow individuals with pre-purchased tickets to find their seats.

With Leah Tai, Hydrologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Apr 22, 7-9PM | Doors @ 6PM | Advance tickets recommended; $5 suggested donation

Salmon are always on the run. Traveling thousands of miles over the duration of their lives. In Oregon’s Tillamook- Nestucca watershed, the fish make their travels along many rivers, streams, and tributaries, swimming from their natal streams deep inland out to the ocean and back again. They travel along the interconnected waterways like a car on a highway.  But over the last 60 years that highway has become increasingly disconnected by barriers threatening fish populations, ecosystems, recreation, and industry.

Fish passage is the ability of fish or other aquatic species to move through an aquatic system among all habitats necessary to complete their life cycle. When rivers are fragmented by dams, culverts, or other diversions, they can become congested. These aquatic barriers have the same effect as roadblocks on a busy highway. Traffic backs up, people get stranded, and emergency services stall out.  But fish can’t simply take a detour when their swimways are blocked. Instead, they become separated from their breeding grounds, cut off from food sources, or trapped in unsafe waters.

The Salmon SuperHwy is an unprecedented effort address fish passage barriers in the Tillamook and Nestucca Bay watersheds in Oregon’s North Coast. This work is restoring access to almost 180 miles of blocked habitat throughout six major salmon & steelhead rivers. Using a strategic, scaled approach to maximize benefits and minimize costs, a unique, community partnership has been working for over a decade. The initiative is reconnecting historic habitat, reducing chronic flooding, improving recreation opportunities and stimulating the local economy, both now and for the future.

Leah Tai is a hydrologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service focusing on surface water, ecosystem restoration, fish passage, and wildfire response. Her primary duties include providing technical assistance and project management on stream restoration projects, hydraulic modeling to inform concept designs for landscape restoration, and developing monitoring strategies for instream work, including dam removal, aquatic organism passage and floodplain reconnection. Leah received her M.S. in Water Resource Engineering at Oregon State University in 2015. She spent 5 years with the Forest Service on the Oregon Coast focusing on the Salmon SuperHwy strategic fish barrier removal initiative. She now works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, based in Bend, OR to promote conservation and restoration rooted in process based design and integrated partnerships. In her free time, she enjoys running, rafting and skiing with her two children, dog and fellow water-nerd partner, Joe.

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Questions? Email sciencepub@omsi.edu
Ticketing questions call 503.797.4000 x0

Frequently Asked Questions

Are tickets required?

To guarantee a seat at this event, we recommend you purchase your ticket in advance. Please show your ticket at the check-in table in front of the theater upon arrival.

We will always have tickets available at the door. They are first-come, first-served and admission will remain a suggested donation.

Will food and drink be available for purchase?

At Hillsboro Downtown Station, the indoor bar will remain open, as will all food carts until 8:00pm – after which time 3-5 carts will remain available. 

Do I have to pay for parking?

Both paid and free parking are available. There are parking stalls behind Umpqua Bank at 310 SE Washington Street (less than 1 block to the Downtown Station), at the city’s employee lot at 2nd and Washington Street (less than 2 blocks to the Downtown Station), at the Washington County parking structure (less than 3 blocks to the Downtown Station), and at 1st and Washington Street (there are 114 spaces on the 2nd level). Street parking is available as well.

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