The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and other organizations throughout the state, continue to improve boating and angling in Oregon lakes, rivers and streams. Here are a few highlights of recent and ongoing improvements in the Eastern part of the state:
Deschutes Watershed District
Camp Sherman – Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is creating a new pond in Camp Sherman at a former fish hatchery site. It will be a half-acre in size and stocked with rainbow trout, said STEP Biologist Jen Luke. Planned improvements include a parking lot, fencing and a restroom. The pond, which should open about spring 2018, will be designated as a fishing site for youths 17 and younger. It will be open from late May through Oct. 1 each year. ODFW will use the site in winter to acclimate young salmon.
John Day Watershed District
7th Street Pond – Fishing is good at this John Day pond since Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife drained it last March and restocked it with rainbow trout in the later spring, said District Fish Biologist Trevor Watson. Previously water quality was poor both because of sediment disrupted by sucker fish and a build-up of aquatic vegetation. ODFW will restock trout again this spring.
Klamath Watershed District
Sprague River – An ongoing project is restoring flood plain connectivity, reducing erosion and improving habitat for fish and wildlife, said Bill Tinniswood, acting district fish biologist. It also is creating recreational opportunities for people on the Sprague River, including improved fishing for Redband trout. Klamath Lake Land Trust purchased the property, a former cattle ranch near the towns of Beatty and Sprague River, in 2012. Since then, the group has removed levies, planted nearly 20,000 riparian plants and reseeded with native grasses, said Crystal McMahon, executive director for Klamath Lake Land Trust. The public can call the land trust to get access to the property at 541-884-1053.
Mid-Columbia Watershed District
Deschutes River – A new boat ramp completed in late 2014 provides trout, steelhead and Chinook salmon fishing opportunities for boaters along the Deschutes River at the Macks Canyon recreation site. Its new location prevents the deposit of sediment that was a problem at the previous site, said Rod French, district fish biologist. The Bureau of Land Management and Oregon State Marine Board project also included the improvement of restrooms and a parking area.
Hood River – Hood River County opened the Punchbowl Falls Nature Park in summer 2016, making the site – long used by the public for hiking, swimming and fishing – officially a public place. Contributions from Western Rivers Conservancy and an Oregon State Parks grant helped make the project possible. The site, near the town of Dee, is a very popular location for anglers fishing for spring Chinook salmon and steelhead, said District Fish Biologist Rod French. A variety of improvements are planned, including trails.
Wallowa Watershed District
Kinney Lake – Previously only open between Memorial Day weekend and late October, Kinney Lake near Joseph is now open year-round. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife stocked the lake with 1,000 rainbow trout in late September to provide both an ice fishery and spring fishing in the lake, said Kyle Bratcher, assistant district fish biologist. In addition, non-motorized water craft is now allowed on the lake.