Fish get gift of a healthy habitat

Christmas Trees help fish

Did you know Christmas trees could help fish? Douglas County students learned this when they volunteered through their class with the Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program.

Watch how trees benefit salmon habitat in this video made by The (Coos Bay) World:

Consider including fish on your Christmas gift list this year. Check with your local STEP biologist to see if you, too, can volunteer to improve fish habitat close to you.

Find your local STEP biologist here:



Image: Flickr / Erin Stevenson O’ConnorCC-BY-SA

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STEP project offers lifecycle lessons

Fish Eggs LifecycleODFW’s Fish Eggs to Fry program gives kids from kindergarten through high school lessons about fish biology and lifecycle in a fun, hands-on way. The Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program project, which lets students raise and observe salmon, steelhead and trout eggs until they reach the fry stage brings science lessons to life.

Read more about the 23-year-old program on the Travel Oregon website:

Find out how you can get involved as a volunteer, or by bringing the program to your classroom on ODFW’s Fish Eggs to Fry page:

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Restoration improves fishing in Central Oregon

Restoration Improves FishingFishing’s good at North Twin Lake, thanks to an ODFW focus on restoring fishing for the community. In Fall 2015, ODFW treated North Twin Lake with rotenone to remove illegally introduced brown bullhead catfish. This was made possible thanks to Restoration & Enhancement funding, which provided $330,000 to the fishing turnaround efforts.

Read more about the fish and efforts to improve the lake, which stays open to anglers throughout the year, in The (Bend) Bulletin:


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Test program could lead to bigger fish in high lakes

Test program could lead to bigger fishWhen anglers head to northeastern Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness, they may soon catch bigger fish.

That is the hoped-for outcome of an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife test case in which larger rainbow trout were dropped into the high lakes with the goal of improving survival of the stocked fish.

The smaller stocked trout, usually 2.5 inches long, can succumb to predation, frigid temperatures and injuries caused by the drop.

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Efforts limit invaders in Diamond Lake

Invaders harm trout

ODFW stocked Diamond Lake with two types of predator fish to eat tui chub and golden shiners, which have historically deteriorated water quality and harmed populations of rainbow trout.

Restoration & Enhancement dollars have been instrumental in ongoing monitoring efforts, as well as paying for some of the treatments that have helped remove illegally introduced fish.

Read more about the most recent efforts in The Oregonian:


Image: Wikimedia Commons / Matthew Tyree / Public Domain

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Southern Oregon salmon spawning on view

Spawning Coho SalmonNow is the time for a unique wildlife viewing opportunity in southern Oregon. Watch fall Chinook salmon spawn during this peak season in local rivers. This will continue through about mid-December.

It’s important to practice good wildlife viewing etiquette. ODFW recommends:

  • Watch from a short distance without disturbing fish or walking on redds (nests.)
  • Bring binoculars for a better view.
  • Wait a few days after a rainstorm for better visibility.

The following locations all offer excellent viewing.
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Willamette Valley Projects Improve Fishing Opportunities

KokaneeThe 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 Willamette Valley:

Mid-Willamette Watershed District
Detroit Reservoir– Nonprofit angling group Kokanee Power of Oregon is spearheading a project that began releasing larger fingerling Kokanee in the fall with the hope of improving fishing in Detroit Reservoir, said Elise Kelley, a District Fish Biologist for the ODFW. “We will release fish about four or five inches long in the fall over the next few years,” Kelley said, “rather than two to three inches in the summer.” Kokanee Power of Oregon is funding this initial pilot program and will survey anglers with “catch cards,” in order to help with assessing whether the new, larger kokanee are contributing to the fishery.
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Rhoades Pond Volunteers Keep Fishery Strong

Chinook SalmonEvery year in late summer, volunteers release approximately 100,000 Chinook salmon into the Nestucca River in Tillamook County.

They are the result of months of care and feeding by volunteers from the Nestucca Anglers, as well as investment in the past several years – using Restoration & Enhancement dollars – to restore and improve the facility where they’re raised and prepared for release.

Rhoades Pond is an important part of ensuring a local fishery for commercial and sports fishermen, even in leaner years for wild fish, said Ron Rehn, STEP biologist for the North Coast Watershed District.

“It provides an insurance back up should the fishery be restricted,” Rehn said, and adds to the overall fishery even in good years.
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North Coast Volunteer Remembered for Dedication

Dave Booth's steelheadWhen fishermen catch trophy class winter steelhead along Oregon’s coastal rivers, they have volunteers to thank.

Broodstock programs for the fish are successful because of people like Dave Booth, an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife volunteer who died this past February.

Booth, who lived in Beaver, was a longtime salmon and steelhead angler, and important to the program capturing wild steelhead on the Nestucca River. He accepted a leadership role as a volunteer to make it possible for bank anglers on the Nestucca to capture wild steelhead and get them to the Cedar Creek Hatchery.
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R&E Funds Make Great Improvements to Access and Facilities for Oregon Anglers (Part 1 of 3)

R&E funds access and facilitiesAt Cheadle Lake Recreational Area east of Lebanon, anglers, walkers and kayakers each enjoy the great outdoors at an expansive park not far from town.

Halfway across the state, children catch their very first rainbow trout at Prineville Youth Fishing Pond.

Meanwhile, visitors to the north coast can spend the day at Lake Lytle in Rockaway Beach, where a new fishing dock provides more space for people to fish.

These projects are just a few of the many dozens of improvements made using Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Restoration & Enhancement program dollars in the past several years. Each of them were accomplished under the umbrella of the 25-year Recreational Angling Enhancement Plan meant to make fishing a more pleasurable, convenient and successful experience for anglers throughout the state.
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