Creel survey outlines McKenzie angling trends
Volunteers were busy along a five-mile stretch of the McKenzie River in 2010, using an electrofishing boat to count fish from Hendricks Bridge to Bellinger Landing.
SPRINGFIELD: The Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife stocks more hatchery rainbow trout into the McKenzie River than into any other stream in Oregon (amounting to more than 131,000 trout in 2010).
To gain more understanding of what sort of anglers are drawn to the area, ODFW conducted an angler creel survey in 2009 and 2010.
The survey area covered the upper McKenzie River from Leaburg Dam to Trail Bridge Dam, and on the South Fork McKenzie River from its mouth to Cougar Dam (for a total of 47 river miles).
In an November 2nd report to Fish Restoration and Enhancement Board in Springfield biologists reported on some of the survey’s findings.
In the upper McKenzie stretch, anglers voiced support for maintaining or increasing hatchery trout releases; were in favor of planting fewer, but larger, hatchery trout; and wanted to be able to use bait when fishing.
Along the lower McKenzie River the survey revealed the majority of river boat anglers use flies or lures in an area with limited bank access. While ODFW eliminated stocking in a five-mile reach, hatchery numbers in the river were maintained. Members of the restoration and enhancement board were told about a volunteer project initiated in 2010 to utilize an electrofishing boat in the Hendricks Bridge to Bellinger Landing reach where stocking had ceased. The results showed the area provided important habitat with an excellent native trout production potential.
A new study now underway employs the radio tagging of 20 rainbow trout that were released in this year. Researchers will follow their movements in the waterways, through next year’s spawning season and into the fall and winter of 2013.