You can help out in a variety of ways, from data collection and management to habitat restoration or education.
Volunteers help determine the status of fish populations and the condition of stream and lake habitats through a variety of survey projects. Surveys can be part of annual efforts to track a population trend within a basin or determine the potential impacts of proposed land use activities.
Surveys provide information about the quality of fish habitat in streams, determine the species present, fish abundance, fish distribution, and the amount of spawning activity in a stream system. They document migration barriers caused by poorly functioning culverts, measure stream flows, monitor water temperatures, and follow habitat changes over time with photographs.
Once needs are identified, habitat restoration projects can be designed to address needs. Volunteers can assist with all phases of habitat restoration. These include help with funding, site selection, project design, construction and placement, equipment donation and operation, photo monitoring and report writing.
In those waters where natural production does not meet fish management needs, STEP volunteers may be asked to help with fish culture efforts. Volunteers can assist ODFW personnel with broodstock collection, egg incubation, and fish rearing activities. The work may take place at an ODFW facility or at a volunteer-operated site that complements public hatcheries.
Storm Drain Marking is a program to educate citizens about the ecological hazards of dumping household chemicals into storm drains.
Many fish management tasks provide opportunities for volunteer involvement. Some volunteers may snorkel a clear mountain stream in search of an endangered native trout or perhaps others enjoy entering data at a computer terminal. Still other volunteers might try fish salvage, fin clipping, fish stocking, or equipment maintenance. Volunteers also suggest projects like streamside planting, identifying fish passage barriers, and acquiring access for anglers.
Contact the nearest STEP Biologist to learn more about the needs in your area. Sign up today as a STEP volunteer.
STEP Program Coordinator
3406 Cherry Avenue N.E.
Salem, OR 97303-4924
(541) 757-4186 Ext. 251
(541) 726-2539 Ext. 26
(541) 265-8306 x253