Eastern Oregon Fishing Access Improvements

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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.
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STEP Volunteers provide over $2M in annual economic impact

STEP ReportAcross Oregon and throughout the year, Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program volunteers helped one of our state’s most important natural resources thrive.

STEP volunteers have a tremendous economic impact, with their efforts provide an equivalent of $2,261,000 each year. From October 2015 through September 2016, nearly 4,000 adults and 1,062 young volunteers contributed to STEP and helped the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reach its fish management goals. Continue Reading →

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Bucket biology and its impact on Oregon’s fisheries (Part 3)

Paulina Lake - bucket biology effects on fisheries

When a trio of warm-water fishing groups joined together a handful of years ago to educate the public about illegal introductions of fish, it wasn’t just to help those who fish for largemouth bass, crappie, yellow perch or species that thrive in certain climates.

It was to help improve – and prevent problems in – fisheries throughout Oregon.

For many decades, and in all types of waterbodies statewide, carefully managed fisheries have battled the troublesome effects of illegal introduction of a huge variety of fish that don’t belong there.

They range from blue chub at Paulina Lake in Central Oregon to brown bullhead catfish at Howard Prairie Reservoir in Jackson County and Tui chub in Diamond Lake near Roseburg. Continue Reading →

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Volunteers lead fish propagation renewal programs

Letz Creek - fish propagation renewal programs

Every year, volunteers at the Letz Creek Fish Rearing Facility near Lorane, the Munsel Creek Coho Salmon Program in Florence, and Depoe Bay Salmon Enhancement Commission Coho supplementation program give their time to spawn fish, incubate eggs and set these salmon and steelhead free.

Their work may provide a better catch in local rivers and other waterways.

“These efforts also ripple through these communities in other ways, including through programs in local schools and watershed clean-up efforts,” said Christine Clapp, Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program biologist for the Mid-Coast District of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Continue Reading →

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Fish Eggs to Fry program teaches kids throughout Oregon about fish biology and life cycles

Oregon Fish Eggs to Fry

When an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife volunteer or employee walks into a sixth-grade classroom with a small blue cooler, the students watch with wide-eyed attention to see what will happen next.

In the weeks ahead, the students will take daily temperature readings and calculate how long it will be until the fish are mature. They will learn about the life history of fish as they observe the eggs hatching and transforming into “sac fry” before becoming tiny salmon. Soon, the students will take a field trip to a local creek, stream or river to learn about habitat and set these one-inch fish free.

The Fish Eggs to Fry program gives students in classrooms from kindergarten through high school a way to observe the biology of salmon, steelhead or trout first-hand and participate in the life cycle in a hands-on way. It brings to life and reinforces what they’re learning in their lessons. The project also lends itself to a broad variety of additional subject areas, including math, chemistry, writing and art. Continue Reading →

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North Oregon Coast district infrastructure improvements

ADA Platform - north oregon coast watershed enhancements

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 improvements in the Northwest part of the state in recent months:

North Coast Watershed District

Nehalem River – In May, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife completed a boat ramp improvement project at the Pittsburg Boat Launch located on the upper Nehalem River north of Vernonia. “A contractor excavated accumulated silt and added gravel on the ramp down to the launch, making the ramp much more accessible for boaters who fish for cutthroat trout and winter steelhead,” said Robert Bradley, district fish biologist. Continue Reading →

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Bucket biology and its impact on Oregon’s fisheries (Part 2)

Bucket Biology

At Howard Prairie reservoir in Southern Oregon, there once was a robust rainbow trout fishery.

“They grew really well and the trout fishery absolutely thrived,” said District Fish Biologist Dan Van Dyke, about the 350,000 rainbow trout released into the reservoir each spring.

Then, about 2005, fishing in the reservoir, located just 18 miles east of Ashland, crashed.

The culprit was the illegal introduction of a surprisingly large list of invader fish: golden shiners, brown bullhead, black crappie, and both largemouth and smallmouth bass.

It’s a story that’s been repeated throughout Oregon for decades, when carefully managed fisheries of native or stocked fish are greatly damaged because of illegal introductions.

In these cases, individuals dump leftover live bait, possibly not realizing the harm. Others purposely add a different breed of fish in an attempt to alter the fishing grounds. Some also abandon fish and other sea life from a home aquarium or school project.

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Meet the Bio: Tom Rumreich

Tom RumreichWhen Tom Rumreich was hired by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, it was five days after he graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in fisheries science.

“Ever since I was 15 years old when I decided I wanted to be a fish biologist, I wanted to do something positive for fisheries resources,” Rumreich said.

And, in this career, as a Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program biologist, Rumreich said he’s had many opportunities to do exactly that. Continue Reading →

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Coos Umpqua Propagational Renewal

Eel Lake - umpqua propagational renewalEvery year on a Saturday in June, more than 250 children in the Reedsport area get to experience the thrill of fishing for themselves.

At the Eel Tenmile STEP Association’s fishing clinic, the kids also learn knot tying, fish identification, water safety, and how to cast with spinning rods and fly rods. The reward at the end is fishing for their own rainbow trout from a net pen attached to the dock at Eel Lake.

The objective is to teach kids practical skills and the lesson that fishing can be a fun hobby, one they can do throughout their lives. Continue Reading →

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