angling

Sourcing of McKenzie fish has changed

Cat fish planting

 

 

 

 

 

LEABURG: People wondering about angling in the McKenzie River next year will have an opportunity to ask questions next Friday at a town hall meeting sponsored by the McKenzie River Chamber of Commerce. On the agenda will be potential changes related to a decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to defund and close the Leaburg Trout Hatchery.
The Leaburg Hatchery was built in 1953 to mitigate for the loss of trout production and habitat due to the construction of Cougar and Blue River Dams in the McKenzie Basin and operation of the Corps Willamette River Basin Projects. That mitigation involved 277,000 pounds of trout.

Private fish farm’s bid was $575,000 more than ODFW’s

Desert Hatchery

 

 

 

 

A private central Oregon trout farm received a $1.3 million annual contract to grow trout that eventually will be planted in the Willamette River basin. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded the contract September 15 to Desert Springs Trout Farm in Summer Lake.
Previously, the trout had been produced at the Leaburg Hatchery on the McKenzie River. Owned by the Corps, but operated by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the hatchery produced rainbow and cutthroat trout, as well as summer steelhead, as mitigation for losses due to Willamette River basin dams. Trout production at the Leaburg Hatchery is being phased out by the end of next year.
Corps officials said it had determined that trout mitigation could be done through a supply contract, such as those recently signed with ODFW, and that it does not need to operate a hatchery to acquire fish.

“Young adventurers” laid groundwork for tourism

Hand up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VIDA: “About 1914 something kind of magical happened,” according to Randy Dersham, president of the McKenzie River Drift Boat Museum. The magic came about when log trucks replaced river drives as the most economical way of getting timber to sawmills combined with the creation of a graded road that drew recreationists up from Eugene who wanted to fish a pristine river.
“The young men that were log drivers in the homesteads around here at the time started to guide around 1920,” Randy told the gathering at last Saturday’s Eugene Symphony fundraiser.
The young entrepreneurs soon found the “Old Scow” design used to corral heavy logs wasn’t all that maneuverable when it came to avoiding rocks and rapids in fast water.
Credited with the first major advance in boat design was John West who opted for a wider craft that could seat two people side-by-side. Built out of fairly thick 3/4 inch boards and weighing around 500 lbs. It wasn’t a lightweight, except in comparison to the “Old Scows.”

Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife helicopters stocking high lakes

Trout Heli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More than 350,000 fingerling trout are splashing down in hundreds of high mountain lakes across the Cascade Range from Mt. Hood to Klamath Falls this week, as the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife readies the waters along the Pacific Coast Trail for hikers, anglers, fly fishermen and backpackers. “Oregon is the only state that I know of that has such a robust high mountain fish stocking program,” said project leader Erik Moberly, ODFW fish biologist from Bend.

Summer forecasts are very low

Steelhead release

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facing some of the lowest steelhead returns on record, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has already curtailed steelhead fishing seasons throughout the Columbia River basin by adopting rolling season closures, reduced bag limits, and a night angling closure for all species.
Additionally, ODFW is asking anglers to further help the region’s steelhead by taking more care when the fish are out of the water.
“Positive voluntary efforts may reduce the necessity for future mandatory regulations,” said Tucker Jones, ODFW’s manager of Ocean Salmon and Columbia River fisheries. “If a person happens to intercept a wild steelhead, or any steelhead during a retention closure period for that matter, it is imperative that they do their utmost to ensure its survival by using best handling practices.”

Contract negotiations for hatchery operations in Oregon are going into overtime. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will extend its cooperative agreements with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) for up to 120 days, as the agencies continue negotiating contracts for the Corps’ fish hatchery services in the Columbia, Willamette and Rogue river basins. The current agreements, entered into in 2012, expire June 30, 2017.

Claim hatchery fish harm wild stocks

Lower Deschutes Steelhead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McKenzie River: All hatchery rainbow trout released into the McKenzie River are marked with an adipose fin clip and anglers must release all non fin-clipped (wild) trout in the mainstem river. The lower 11 miles of the McKenzie River below the Hayden Bridge - and the McKenzie River upstream from Forest Glen Boat Ramp at Blue River - are restricted to angling with lures and flies only, and all trout must be released.

Salmon at CougarBLUE RIVER: Hatchery raised male spring Chinook are far less fit than their natural counterparts. That’s the conclusion of a report on the trap and haul operation at the 518-foot tall Cougar Dam on the South Fork of the McKenzie River. In addition, researchers found that overall, natural origin females return as larger adults, giving them a spawning advantage in the wild.
The trap and haul operation, which began in 2010, traps both hatchery and wild spring Chinook salmon. They are then trucked above the dam and released into the river. The work aims to reintroduce salmon to habitat lost during the dam’s construction 50 years ago.
Spring Chinook salmon in the upper Willamette River are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. Overall, they’ve lost 32 percent of their historical habitat in the Willamette River system due to dams. About 25 miles of their range in the McKenzie River was lost, according to the report published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.

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McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.