Statement on Damage Claims Filed Over Winchester Dam Repairs

The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians’ Tribal Board of Directors issued a statement Wednesday regarding a recently filed lawsuit over repairs at Winchester Dam:

Regarding the $27.6 million lawsuit filed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife against the Winchester Water Control District for recent repairs on Winchester Dam, the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians is expressing hope for justice for the estimated half a million dead Pacific lamprey in the North Umpqua River, and hope for improved regulations that will protect our native fish species from such devastation in the future.

Pacific lamprey are an important component of the cultural lifeways of the Cow Creek Umpqua people, who have been stewards of the North and South Umpqua rivers since time immemorial.

The Cow Creek Umpqua Tribe believes that protection of fish, lamprey and other native species to the area is of the utmost importance, and that impacts to those sensitive populations can have a wide range of harmful effects.

For media inquiries, please contact Communications and Marketing Director Lindsay Campman at (541) 529-9159 or

Additional links:

ODFW: Recovery of damages claim for unlawful killing of wildlife filed against the Winchester Water Control District and its contractors – October 6, 2023

Statement from Cow Creek Umpqua Tribe on Winchester Dam – August 16, 2023

Acting Forest Supervisor Jake Winn of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians Chairman Carla Keene, October 18, 2023.