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News Releases - Archive

2007

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2007
 

Anglers encouraged to harvest hatchery fall chinook

Date:

September 17, 2007

Contact:

Laura Jackson or Meghan Collins (541) 440-3353
Fax: (541) 673-0372

ROSEBURG – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife encourages anglers to take advantage now of the fall chinook fishery in the Umpqua River near Roseburg.

According to acting District Fish Biologist Laura Jackson, some hatchery chinook should be holding downstream of the Calapooya in the mainstem Umqpua River. These fish, released in the Calapooya as pre-smolts in 2004 by the Umpqua Fishermen’s Association, will linger in the area until enough rainfall allows them to enter the Calapooya to spawn.

According to Jackson, the chinook should be accessible to anglers from the Umpqua, Mack Brown, and James Wood boat ramps.

“We would really like people to try to harvest hatchery fish,” Jackson said. “These fish were raised by the Umpqua Fisherman’s Association for harvest augmentation and are coded wire tagged. We’re asking anglers to return the heads of hatchery fish to ODFW so we can collect data from the tags.”

Jackson said these adipose fin-clipped fall chinook have coded wire tags in the snout. Having anglers return the snouts of the hatchery chinook will help ODFW estimate the survival rates and how much the fish contribute to the local recreational harvest.

“The Umpqua Fishermen’s Association’s fall chinook program is geared toward improving fishing opportunities in the mainstem Umpqua. We’re really targeting the Calapooya area,” Jackson said.

Jackson also hopes to have volunteer creel surveyors canvass the area to gather information and collect snouts from marked chinook.

The river is currently open to fall chinook fishing with a limit of two adult fish per day, twenty per year. There is no yearly limit on the number of adipose fin-clipped chinook harvested as long as the appropriate number of Hatchery Harvest Tags have been purchased to record the catch.

People can return the heads of the adipose fin-clipped fall chinook they harvest to the ODFW Roseburg office, 4192 N. Umpqua Highway. Bags and labels are provided in a barrel near the entryway.

 

The mission of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is to protect and enhance Oregon's fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations. The agency consists of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, a commission-appointed director and a statewide staff of approximately 950 permanent employees. Headquartered in Salem, ODFW has regional offices in Clackamas, Roseburg, Bend, and La Grande with ten district offices located throughout the state. For additional information, please visit www.dfw.state.or.us.

ODFW to stock Diamond Lake this week

     Date: April 23 , 2007
     Contact :

Jim Muck (541) 440-3353
Fax: (503) 673-0372  

Roseburg, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has good news for anglers: Diamond Lake will be stocked in time for the high lakes trout opener on Saturday, Apr. 28.

“We’re excited that anglers have the opportunity to take a historic fishing trip to Diamond Lake this weekend,” said Umpqua Fish District Biologist Jim Muck. “The ice is breaking up, and the water quality has improved to the point we can stock 6,000 healthy rainbow trout.”

The legal-sized Cape Cod rainbow trout from Klamath Falls Hatchery will be released into Diamond Lake later this week. This is the first load of 80,000 catchable and trophy-sized trout ODFW will stock in the lake this spring.

The catchable-sized trout range from eight to 12 inches and include a mix of 2,000 predacious trout. Later this spring, ODFW also will stock 100,000 Klamath Falls fingerlings and 2,000 trophy-sized trout being raised at Rock Creek Hatchery.

This historic trout stocking marks a new beginning for Diamond Lake’s fishery.

Last September, ODFW successfully treated Diamond Lake with rotenone, a naturally-derived pesticide to rid the lake of an estimated 98 million tui chub. The chub destroyed the lake’s water quality and recreational fishery.

Fishing is expected to improve and stocking will gradually increase as the lake heals. Water quality also should improve each year, although algae blooms may occur this summer and in 2008. ODFW, Forest Service and ODEQ will continue to monitor Diamond Lake’s water quality and fishery.

ODFW also is working with the Forest Service, ODEQ and the Oregon State Marine Board to develop educational materials on invasive species prevention and provide a boat washing station at Diamond Lake. Invasive species include the tui chub and non-native aquatic weeds and animals such as the zebra mussel and New Zealand mud snail.

Anglers and swimmers are asked to clean their equipment, such as boots, waders, scuba gear, and beach toys in hot water or with a high pressure washer before entering Diamond Lake. Boaters are asked to empty bilge water and live wells away from the lake, then clean, disinfect and dry them. People should also make sure their boat and trailer are free of live fish, fish eggs, aquatic weeds and animals, and mud.

Remember, it is illegal to use live fish for bait.

For more information, check the ODFW Diamond Lake website at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/diamond_lake/index.asp

Attention Media: You are invited to witness this historic stocking event at Diamond Lake on Thursday, Apr. 26 at 11 a.m. at the North Boat Ramp.

The mission of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is to protect and enhance Oregon's fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations. The agency consists of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, a commission-appointed director and a statewide staff of approximately 950 permanent employees. Headquartered in Salem, ODFW has regional offices in Clackamas, Roseburg, Bend, and La Grande with ten district offices located throughout the state. For additional information, please visit www.dfw.state.or.us.

MaxDepth Aquatics, Inc. awarded Diamond Lake monitoring contract
Date: January 2, 2007
Contact:

Meghan Collins or Mari Brick (541) 440-3353
Fax: (541) 673-0372

ROSEBURG – Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials announced today the agency has awarded a monitoring contract to MaxDepth Aquatics, Inc. of Bend, Oregon to oversee monitoring of Diamond Lake throughout the year.

Joseph Eilers, principal scientist for this project and owner of MaxDepth Aquatics, and a team of engineers and scientists will monitor water quality and document recovery of zooplankton and bottom-dwelling organisms that will support the future trout fishery. A hydrodynamic model that was used to explore water movements in and out of Diamond Lake will be expanded to provide a more complete view of the workings of the lake.

The monitoring of Diamond Lake is in response to a September 2006 rotenone treatment that ridded the lake of 98 million tui chub that destroyed the recreational fishery and degraded water quality.

Eilers has studied and monitored Diamond Lake since 1996 and will oversee a team of engineers and scientists including Dr. Kellie Vache, University of Giessen; Dr. Jacob Kann of Aquatic Ecosystems Sciences; and Dr. Allan Vogel, ZP Taxonomic Services.

 “We’re going to expand the hydrodynamic model to include water chemistry, plants, bottom-dwelling organisms and fisheries, and develop a more complete understanding of the recovery process in Diamond Lake,” Eilers said. “We’re looking forward to working with ODFW’s fish biologists to develop tools that will help them manage the fisheries in Diamond Lake and in lakes throughout Oregon.”

According to Mari Brick, Diamond Lake restoration biologist, monitoring Diamond Lake is critical to the restoration project’s success.

“Tracking the lake’s water quality and insect population, along with other environmental and biological indicators, will help fishery managers determine future fish stocking levels,” Brick said. “Monitoring is key to ensuring we have a healthy lake and provide a good trout fishery for future generations of anglers. ODFW’s monitoring partnership developed in cooperation with the Umpqua National Forest and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is important to all recreational activities at Diamond Lake.”

Brick emphasized that all visitors to Diamond Lake can help ensure its integrity by not releasing live fish into the lake or using live fish for bait. Boaters can help by emptying their bilge water and checking their boats and trailers for invasive species before launching.

MaxDepth’s contract work is expected to begin this month and will continue throughout the year. ODFW will monitor the lake’s health and fish species composition for years to come.

ODFW plans to stock Diamond Lake with rainbow trout in spring 2007. For more information on the restoration project, check the agency’s website at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/diamond_lake/index.asp

2006
 
ODFW to sell excess boats, trailers and motors on eBay
Date: December 27, 2006
Contact:

Dan Knoll (503) 947-6023 : David Loomis (541) 440-3353 ext. 224

Fax: (503) 947-6009

ROSEBURG, Ore —Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is selling the first of seven custom-made boats this week on eBay, an online auction and shopping website.

The minimum bid is $20,000. Funds raised will help cover continued costs of the Diamond Lake project, including water quality monitoring, fish stocking, and education materials.

Pictures of the boats will be posted weekly over the next two months at the following link: www.ebay.com. The first boat auction will begin Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006 at 10:00 a.m.

The boats were custom made to carry heavy loads of rotenone and used for just a few hours during the Sept. 2006 rotenone treatment of Diamond Lake. They are 2007 model 10’ x 24’ heavy duty aluminum pontoon work boat by Hydrotech Manufacturing of Medford. The outboard motors are 2006 Mercury 90 horsepower 4-stroke ELEPT with electronic fuel injection, power trim/tilt and a 14’ x 11’ 3B AL prop. The trailers are a dual-axle and all steel construction custom manufactured for ODFW by TDF Services in White City, Ore.

The boats have a maximum capacity of 20 people, a maximum speed of 24 mph, navigational lights and a powder-coated aluminum console.

ODFW originally paid $23,800 for each of these boats that were designed for and used to safely apply rotenone, an effective pesticide derived from plant roots that successfully removed an estimated 98 million invasive tui chub from Diamond Lake. The boat is available for viewing during business hours at ODFW’s Roseburg office, 4192 N. Umpqua Hwy, and on the ODFW website http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/diamond_lake/index.asp

For more information, regarding the boats or for scheduling a viewing, contact Umpqua Watershed Manager David Loomis 541-440-3353 ext. 224 or Diamond Lake Restoration Project Biologist Mari Brick 541-440-3353 ext. 234.

For more information regarding the purchasing process, contact Bob LaDuke with Department of Administrative Services Surplus Property at (971) 218-0700.

Water Released from Diamond Lake

Date: November 30, 2006
Contact:

Meghan Collins 541/440-3353 or Cheryl Walters 541/957-3270

Roseburg, or – November 30, 2006 – Canal headgates at Diamond Lake have been opened, officials with the Umpqua National Forest announced today.

The headgates allow 10 cubic feet per second of water to flow through a concrete pipe into Lake Creek and through the North Umpqua River system.

Once the lake’s water level rises several more feet, water also will flow into Lake Creek through a weir recently restored by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

ODFW treated Diamond Lake with rotenone in mid-September to rid it of millions of invasive tui chub and restore its water quality. The canal headgates had been closed to prevent any rotenone-treated water from entering Lake Creek.

ODFW previously announced in late October that testing of lake water confirmed that rotenone dissipated to non-detectable levels. Additional testing has confirmed that lake-bottom sediments are also free of rotenone.
Forest Service officials have also lifted a health advisory in place since October 6th with additional tests confirming reduced levels of blue-green algae that can produce toxins harmful to humans and animals.

Diamond Lake will refill naturally through rainfall and snowmelt, and should be at its normal level by late spring 2007 when ODFW will stock it with fingerling and catchable-sized rainbow trout. In the spring, the Forest Service will also render the outlet pipe into Lake Creek inoperable.

The Umpqua National Forest, ODFW, Oregon Dept of Environmental Quality, and other agencies and individuals will continue to monitor water quality, fishery, presence of invasive species and flora and fauna recovery around Diamond Lake.


Diamond Lake Restoration Project Update
Date: October 6, 2006
Contact:

Cheryl Walters, 541/957-3270 or 430-2370, Umpqua National Forest
Meghan Collins 541/440-3353 x 252, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife


Contents

A successful rotenone treatment
The future trout fishery
Long-term project monitoring
Tui chub reintroduction prevention plan
Thank you!

As the autumn season gears up for winter, the Diamond Lake Restoration Project is winding down. A successful rotenone treatment in September is the culmination of years of effort and collaboration with ODFW, the Umpqua National Forest, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and other agencies in the Diamond Lake Working Group.

A successful rotenone treatment
The future is bright once again for Diamond Lake, the “Gem of the Cascades,” and ODFW and partners are looking ahead to clean, productive waters and a healthy trout fishery.

Diamond Lake was successfully treated with rotenone in mid-September to rid it of the invasive tui chub, thereby restoring its water quality and recreational fishery. All fish in the lake were killed with very few trout seen among the millions of chub.

The successful treatment was the culmination of years of effort and collaboration between ODFW, the Umpqua National Forest, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and other agencies in the Diamond Lake Working Group. State Representative Susan Morgan kicked off this effort in 2002.

Levels of active rotenone remaining in the lake were tracked via weekly water samples. Also, after waiting a few weeks, biologists placed sentinel trout into the lake in live carts and verified the fish remained alive and healthy in the lake. Water samples taken Oct. 16 showed rotenone levels below two parts per billion, the amount necessary to deem any remaining rotenone has no biological relevance to the lake or water flowing downstream.

The Umpqua National Forest may begin releasing Diamond Lake’s water down Lake Creek in mid-November. The lake’s water level will rise naturally this winter and spring with rain and snowmelt.
The future trout fishery
Anglers can once again fish Diamond Lake next spring when ODFW stocks it with fingerling, catchable-sized, and put-and-take rainbow trout. Some of the larger-sized trout will be a predacious variety to help minimize the danger posed by any tui chub or other small fish that may be illegally introduced into the lake.

The amount of fingerling trout released will gradually increase over the next few years, depending on the lake’s health. There currently are no plans to stock the lake with put-and-take (12-inch) trout beyond 2008. Biologists expect the lake’s bug population to rebound quickly, allowing fingerling trout to grow fast and provide anglers with lots of fun and plenty of fish stories.

Long-term project monitoring
Diamond Lake will be monitored for years to come by biologists with ODFW, the Umpqua National Forest, and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

These agencies will monitor water quality in Diamond and Lemolo lakes and the North Umpqua River and check fish species composition in Diamond Lake. Population levels of phytoplankton, zooplankton, benthic invertebrates, flora and fauna in and around Diamond Lake also will be monitored.

For more information on the monitoring plan, check Appendix BB of the Diamond Lake Restoration Project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement. You can access it via the Umpqua National Forest’s website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/umpqua/projects/projectdocs/diamondlkresto/index.shtml

Tui chub reintroduction prevention plan
Keeping tui chub – and other invasive species such as zebra mussels and noxious weeds – out of Diamond Lake is an important aspect of the restoration project.

ODFW and the Umpqua National Forest are working together to create signs and interpretive brochures documenting the economical and ecological devastation caused by tui chub for the past 15 years. We also are working together to establish boat cleaning and inspection stations at Diamond Lake.

You can help by NOT transporting or using live fish for bait. It IS the law and it is NOT good for the environment or the fishery. Workers at the Diamond Lake Resort Marina can set you up with the proper bait for rainbow trout fishing. Boaters can help by emptying their bilge water and checking their boats for invasive species before they launch into the lake.

Thank you!
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Umpqua National Forest thank the many public and private partners and employees who made the restoration project successful. A new legacy of trout fishing and crystal clear waters at Diamond Lake is right around the corner.

ODFW begins Diamond Lake restoration
Date: September 14, 2006
Contact:

Meg Kenagy (503) 947-6021
Michelle Dennehy (503) 947-6020
Fax: (503) 947-6009

DIAMOND LAKE -Today, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff are applying rotenone to Diamond Lake , a high-mountain lake in southwestern Oregon , to kill the invasive tui chub that have drastically degraded water quality and destroyed one of the state's most popular fisheries.

The tui chub, a species of minnow, are native to the Klamath Basin but not to Diamond Lake . They were likely brought to the lake by anglers as live bait, which is illegal in Oregon 's freshwater fisheries. Since the fish were discovered in the lake in the 1990s, they have rapidly proliferated, impacting water quality and upsetting the lake's ecosystem.

"We are pleased to be actively working on restoring Diamond Lake's water quality," said Steve Denney , ODFW southwest regional manager. "It will take one or two days to get the rotenone into the lake. We have a well-trained crew on the ground and are confident the plan we have in place is 100 percent safe and effective."

Rotenone, a plant substance, has been approved as a fish toxicant by the Environmental Protection Agency. At the concentrations used to kill fish, rotenone is not toxic to humans, other mammals and birds. It completely breaks down in the environment and will not be detectable within weeks of treatment.

"This is an important day for Oregonians. The recovery of Diamond Lake is good news for the boaters, anglers and vacationers who come to the lake year after year to enjoy the beauty of the area," said State Representative Susan Morgan. "It is also critically important to the economy of Douglas County ."

ODFW, Umpqua National Forest , Douglas County and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality conducted extensive public meetings and an environmental impact study before the current course of action was decided upon. It is supported by the Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation and numerous clubs, organizations, businesses and individuals.

In spring 2007, ODFW will stock Diamond Lake with about 75,000 catchable trout and 75,000 fingerlings.


Diamond Lake Recreation Area closed during lake restoration effort
Date: September 13, 2006
Contact:

Cheryl Walters, 541/957-3270 or 430-2370, Umpqua National Forest
Meg Kenagy, 503/341-8512, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

ROSEBURG, OR – September 12, 2006 – Forest Service officials have closed the recreation area around Diamond Lake effective Tuesday, September 12, in preparation for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife crews to apply rotenone to the lake to remove the invasive tui chub that have degraded the lake’s water quality and devastated the recreational fishery. The lake may reopen as early as Friday, September 15, at noon. The area closed is bordered by highways 230 and 138 on the east and south, and by a line 300 feet beyond the Forest Service Road that parallels the lake on the north and west.

While Diamond Lake is closed for treatment, visitors are encouraged to recreate at one of the many locations on the Umpqua National Forest such as Lemolo Lake, campgrounds along the North Umpqua River, South Umpqua Falls, and several of the sparkling waterfalls near Cottage Grove. Visit the Umpqua National Forest website and click on Recreational Activities for more information.

Diamond Lake is a high-use recreation area important to the economy of southern Oregon. The 3,041-acre lake has been managed as a recreational trout fishery since 1910. Tui chub, a non-native minnow species, were likely introduced into the lake by anglers in the mid-1940s and rapidly overpopulated the lake. In 1954, the Oregon Game Commission treated Diamond Lake with rotenone to eradicate the chub. The lake was restocked with trout following the treatment and a thriving fishery was maintained for several decades. As a result of this experience, the former Oregon Game Commission made it illegal to use live fish for bait in the state of Oregon.

However, in 1992, tui chub were again discovered in Diamond Lake and have since overpopulated the lake for a second time. The estimated 90 million chub have reduced the food supply for trout in Diamond Lake to the extent that the lake is not capable of supporting a quality recreational fishery. They have also negatively affected water quality by upsetting the aquatic food chain, sometimes causing the blue-green algae, Anabaena flos-aquae, to bloom to unacceptable levels. These negative impacts on the lake’s water quality ― as well as on the recreational fishery ― prompted local, state and federal agencies to cooperatively develop a restoration plan for the lake.

For more information visit the Umpqua National Forest website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/umpqua/ and the ODFW website at www.dfw.state.or.us.

 

Call for volunteers to clean up Diamond Lake shoreline Sept. 2

Date: August 18, 2006
Contact:

Tom Rumreich (541) 888-5515
Meg Kenagy (503) 947-6021
Fax: (503) 947-6009

SALEM – The public is invited to join the Diamond Lake Ranger District of the Umpqua National Forest, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, SOLV, Diamond Lake Lodge, Boy Scouts of America, Douglas County, Les Schwab Tire Centers and other organizations in a shoreline cleanup of Diamond Lake Saturday, Sept. 2, 2006, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or until completion. Volunteers of all ages are welcome and participants are invited to a free picnic after the cleanup. Participants should meet at Diamond Lake Lodge, which is located at the north end of the lake.

Volunteers will have a unique opportunity to walk on the lake bed, which has been exposed by an eight-foot water draw down in preparation for a September treatment by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to remove invasive tui chub and restore water quality to the lake. In addition to trash and litter, expanses of Mount Mazama ash, abandoned fishing gear and other artifacts are visible for the first time since the lake’s last draw down more than 50 years ago.

“We are pleased to be working on the cleanup of Diamond Lake; it is truly one of Oregon’s gems. We hope Oregonians will come out and support this effort and give something back to our great state,” said Bev Ardueser, SOLV Project Oregon and Beach Cleanup Coordinator.

For more information about the cleanup, contact Tom Rumreich, ODFW, at (541) 888-5515. For more information about camping or recreation at Diamond Lake, contact Megan Perkins, Public Affairs Specialist, Umpqua National Forest, (541) 957-3227.

 

Rogue/Umpqua RAC fuels Diamond Lake restoration project with grant to ODFW
Date: August 7, 2006
Contact:

Steve Denney (541) 440-3353
Meg Kenagy (503) 947-6021
Fax: (503) 947-6009

SALEM - At its July meeting, the Rogue/Umpqua Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) awarded $276,000 to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to fuel the Diamond Lake Restoration Project.

This brings the total amount the Rogue/Umpqua RAC has awarded for Diamond Lake projects to just over a million dollars. ODFW will use the funds to improve the water quality of Diamond Lake, which has been significantly degraded by a proliferation of invasive tui chub. In September, the lake will be treated with rotenone to remove the destructive fish and restore the lake's ecology.

"Thanks to the grant, we are within striking distance of our fundraising goal of $5.5 million," said Steve Denney, ODFW Southwest Region Manager. "This commitment by the RAC provides us with needed resources and underscores the importance of Diamond Lake to Oregon, both environmentally and economically."

Diamond Lake has been a popular recreation destination for Oregonians for generations. Anglers alone traditionally spend a total of 100,000 angler-days a year at Diamond Lake, generating $3.5 million annually for state and local economies.

Rogue/Umpqua RAC grants are made through the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 designed, in part, for special projects on federal lands that benefit fish and wildlife habitat.

Leading the multi-year Diamond Lake restoration project are ODFW, Umpqua National Forest, Douglas County and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Information on the restoration project can be accessed from the front page of the ODFW Website, www.dfw.state.or.us.

 

Free Fishing Weekend events are slated around the Umpqua
Date: June 5, 2006
Contact:

Laura Jackson or Meghan Collins (541) 440-3353

Fax: (541) 673-0372

ROSEBURG – Free Fishing Weekend is just around the corner with several local events scheduled for area kids. No license is required for anyone who wants to fish June 10 and 11, however all regulations still apply.

Douglas County events are listed below.

Herbert’s Pond, Canyonville – On Saturday, June 10 ODFW and local sponsors are hosting an event from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. for kids 16 and younger. Included are free hot dogs, chips and soda, various prizes, and a drawing for two Umpqua Bank savings bonds. The pond is located just outside Canyonville on the Tiller-Trail Highway.

Lake Marie, Umpqua Lighthouse State Park – An event is scheduled for Sunday, June 11, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. that features a casting contest with prizes. Kids can borrow rods and munch on free hot dogs and soda.

Diamond Lake Resort – The Resort is hosting a Free Fishing Derby on Saturday, June 10, from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. for kids 17 and younger. Trophies will be awarded in three age groups and the Resort will provide free hot dogs, Pepsi, and Umpqua Dairy ice cream to all derby participants. Call 800-733-7593 ext 227 for a registration form, or register at the Marina on the morning of June 10.

Cooper Creek Reservoir – An event is scheduled for Saturday, June 10, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. for kids. The event features a kiddie fishing pond for ages 4 and under, kids casting contest, and hourly door prizes. Free hot dogs are provided.

 

Big fish are biting at Diamond Lake
Date: May 23, 2006
Contact:

Meghan Collins or Dave Loomis (541) 440-3353

Fax: (541) 673-0372

ROSEBURG – Lunker rainbow trout are biting throughout the day at Diamond Lake, and with the higher harvest limit, fishing should be excellent this holiday weekend.

On May 13, state fishery officials raised the trout limit at Diamond Lake to 20 fish per day, two daily limits in possession and no size restrictions to encourage anglers to catch as many fish as possible before an intensive netting operation begins in mid-July. The netting will target thousands of pounds of larger tui chub, as well as any remaining trout, in preparation for the department’s September treatment of the lake to remove the invasive chub population and restore the lake’s water quality.

ODFW creel surveys since May 13 show a promising spring fishery. According to Dave Loomis, the Diamond Lake Restoration Project Incident Commander, six harvest limits have been checked in at the docks by ODFW personnel in the last two weeks along with many catches of 15 fish per person per day.

“We’ve seen about 50 fish over 18 inches harvested so far, and several three to four pounders,” Loomis said. “People are having good luck fishing the south end of the lake and the deeper waters on the north end.”

Loomis said bait fishing and trolling with lures is working the best. He also reminds anglers that fishing is prohibited within 200 feet of the weir and that they still need an angling license to fish during this season.

 

Trout harvest limits will increase at Diamond Lake
Date: April 26, 2006
Contact:

Meghan Collins or Dave Loomis (541) 440-3353

Fax: (503) 947-6009

ROSEBURG – The harvest limit for trout at Diamond Lake will increase next month to encourage anglers to catch as many fish as possible before an intensive netting operation begins in mid-July, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials announced today. The netting will target thousands of pounds of larger tui chub, as well as any remaining trout, in preparation for the department’s September rotenone treatment of the lake.

Beginning May 13, anglers may harvest 20 trout per day with two daily limits in possession and no size restrictions. All fishing at Diamond Lake will be closed from Sept. 5 – Oct. 31.

“We really want anglers to help with this special fishing mission by catching as many trout as possible,” said Dave Loomis, Incident Commander for the Diamond Lake Restoration Project. “This will be a bonus angling opportunity with several large trout available to be harvested.”

ODFW is releasing 20,000 catchable-sized trout once the lake is ice-free in mid-May and another 4,000 prior to Free Fishing Weekend on June 10-11. With this limited stocking and holdover trout from last year, Loomis expects about 40,000 catchable fish will be available to anglers this year.

ODFW recommends people stay off the lake until it thaws because the ice is unstable. Once the ice melts, bank and boat fishing will be available. However boat access will be limited because some of the boat launches will be dry. The U.S. Forest Service may lengthen one or two of the docks to provide public boat access.

With the lake level lowered in preparation for treatment, the canal and weir at the north end of the lake are visible, and anglers are reminded that fishing is prohibited within 200 feet of the weir. ODFW also reminds anglers that they still need an angling license to fish during this season.

The large-scale fish netting operation is scheduled to begin in mid-July to remove as many fish as possible before the September treatment. The operation will be conducted only during weekdays on different sections of the lake, so impacts to anglers should be minimal.


Diamond Lake fish stocking will occur in mid-May
Date: April 12, 2006
Contact:

Meghan Collins (541) 440-3353

Fax: (541) 673-0372

ROSEBURG - A scheduled stocking of rainbow trout for the spring trout opener at Diamond Lake likely will be delayed until the lake's ice melts in mid-May, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today.

"For a typical winter weather pattern at Diamond Lake, which we've had this year, the ice usually isn't off the lake until about mid-May," said Dave Loomis, ODFW's Incident Commander for the Diamond Lake Restoration Project. "We'll stock about 20,000 trout once the ice breaks off and another 4,000 for Free Fishing Weekend in early June."

The Umpqua National Forest and ODFW currently are lowering the lake's water level in preparation for a September rotenone treatment to rid the lake of unwanted tui chub. Because the lake's water level is unstable, the agencies recommend keeping off the lake's surface while ice is still on.

"Our number one priority is public safety, and right now the ice is unstable and cracking, so it's very dangerous, and we advise the public to keep off," said John Ouimet, Diamond Lake District Ranger. "However, once the ice starts to break up, come on up, the fishing should be good."

Ouimet also said once ice is off, lake access will be limited because some of the boat launches will be dry. The Forest Service will lengthen one or two of the docks to provide public boat access. Bank fishing also is available.

When spring trout fishing resumes at the lake, the lake level will be lower, exposing the drainage canal, head gates, and weir. ODFW reminds anglers it is illegal to fish within 200 feet of a weir. The catch limit of five trout per day, two daily limits in possession remains in effect.

In September, ODFW will treat the lake with rotenone, a fish toxicant, to rid the lake of an estimated 98 million tui chub. The chub were illegally introduced to the lake and have taken over the stocked rainbow trout's food source, causing both the fishery and water quality to decline. Diamond Lake was closed for portions of three summers due to health hazards from poor water quality.

For more information, check the website at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/diamond_lake/index.asp


2005
Diamond Lake Canal Reconstruction On Target -- Release of Water to Begin Late November
     Date: November 4, 2005
     Contact:

Susan Johnson, 541/957-3227   
Public Affairs

Roseburg, OR – November 4, 2005 – The contracted work for canal reconstruction at Diamond Lake, as part of the Diamond Lake Restoration Project, is on schedule, and officials from the Umpqua National Forest plan on releasing water by late November.  The existing canal, built in 1954, is being reconstructed to lower the lake’s water level to allow for a rotenone treatment in the fall of 2006.  The treatment will kill tui chub, a small non-native fish which is overpopulating the lake and contributing to poor fishery and decline in water quality.  The goal is to return Diamond Lake a fishable and swimmable lake.

Currently, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is releasing water from Lake Creek weir, which will lower Diamond Lake by about two feet.  After the canal reconstruction is completed, the Forest Service will begin a slow draw down of the lake an additional six feet beginning this fall through the spring of 2006.  

The Forest Service is providing $58,000 from appropriated funds and an additional  $739,000 of Title II funding through the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-203) for the canal reconstruction.  The Forest Service previously funded project planning, including the environmental analysis.  The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will fund the 2006 rotenone application with assistance from Douglas County and other partners.

The U.S. Geological Survey is installing new streamflow monitoring gauges in Lake Creek to regulate water flow to minimize negative effects to water quality, hydropower and fisheries downstream.

For the last several years, Diamond Lake has been plagued with a declining recreational fishery, algae blooms, poor water quality and millions of unwanted tui chub.  It has taken a decade for this problem to develop, and it will take several more years to completely restore the lake. Leading this multi-year project are the Umpqua National Forest, U.S. Forest Service, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. These agencies are being joined in the effort by local businesses, conservation groups, landowner and watershed associations, angling clubs, and many concerned individuals and organizations.

 

Diamond Lake stocked with large fish
     Date: June 27, 2005
     Contact:

Meghan Collins (541) 440-3353

  Fax: (541) 673-0372

ROSEBURG - State fish and wildlife officials today announced nearly 3,000 large rainbow trout will be stocked in Diamond Lake this Wednesday, in anticipation of the July 4 holiday weekend. 

Umpqua Watershed District Manager Dave Loomis said the 12-inch, one-pound fish, from Desert Springs Hatchery, offer great angling and table fare. He noted the fish are not expected to over-winter well, as Diamond Lake's tui chub infestation has depleted the available forage.

 "We're encouraging people to enjoy the lake this summer," Loomis said. "There are just a few of the larger trout left, so we're hoping people will continue to harvest trout in the eight to 12-inch range." The next scheduled stocking is timed for the Labor Day weekend.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Umpqua National Forest will begin draining the lake in October as the first step toward restoring Diamond Lake's water quality and rainbow trout fishery. In July 2006, a commercial fishing company will begin netting fish, and ODFW will apply rotenone in September 2006.

Informal Disposition Meetings Held on Diamond Lake Appeals
     Date: February 18, 2005
     Contact: Kathy Fletcher, 541/957-3220 or Sherri Chambers, 541/496-3532

ROSEBURG, OR – February 18, 2005 – Meetings between Forest Supervisor Jim Caplan and appellants on the Diamond Lake Restoration Project were held on Thursday, February 17, 2005 at the Umpqua National Forest. The purpose of the informal disposition meetings was to try and resolve all or some of the appeal points (concerns), through an informal dialogue with the appellants.

Two appeals were filed on the Diamond Lake Restoration Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) decision. Umpqua Watersheds Inc., Oregon Natural Resources Council, and Cascadia Wildlands Project filed a joint appeal. In addition, Diamond Lake Homeowner, Bernie Kosola filed an appeal with concerns about water supply for homes that depend on wells.

Representatives of Umpqua Watersheds, Inc. and Oregon Natural Resources Council (via telephone) met with Caplan and his staff to discuss potential resolutions to their appeal. No agreements were reached.  According to appeal procedures that govern decisions for projects on National Forest System lands, the appeal and project record will be forwarded to the Pacific Northwest Regional Office of the Forest Service for a formal review. After reviewing the appeal record and written recommendations, Jim Golden, Deputy Regional Forester, and the Appeal Deciding Officer, will make a determination about the appeal in March.

The meeting with Diamond Lake Homeowner, Bernie Kosola, resulted in a successful resolution and withdrawal of the appeal. Mr. Kosola expressed full support for a rotenone treatment at Diamond Lake; however, he was concerned that the lake draw down would leave he and other cabin owners without water to operate toilet facilities. Forest Supervisor Caplan agreed to provide a temporary water supply for cabin owners use if their wells go dry. The Forest Service had already planned to provide bottled drinking water to affected cabin owners. “Resolving an appeal during an informal disposition is rare,” said Caplan, “we were pleased with this outcome.”

For the last several years, Diamond Lake has been plagued with a declining recreational fishery, algae blooms, poor water quality and millions of unwanted tui chub.  The Final Environmental Impact Statement for this project analyzes restoration alternatives to address these escalating problems. Forest Supervisor, Jim Caplan, selected Alternative 5 in his December 20, 2004, Record of Decision. Alternative 5 would use a rotenone treatment to eradicate tui chub from Diamond Lake as a first step toward improving the water quality and recreational fishery at Diamond Lake.

For more information about the Diamond Lake Restoration project, contact Sherri Chambers at 541/496-3532.


2004
 

Jim Caplan Signs Record of Decision for the Diamond Lake Restoration Project

Date:

December 21, 2004

Contact:

Call 800-720-6339 (ODFW) or 503-947-6002

ROSEBURG, OR – After many years of extensive public involvement, in-depth scientific analysis, and unprecedented interagency cooperation, Jim Caplan, Forest Supervisor of the Umpqua National Forest, has made a decision on the Diamond Lake Restoration Project. Caplan’s decision to implement Alternative 5 as described in the Diamond Lake Restoration Project Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is formally documented in his December 20, 2004, Record of Decision (ROD) for the project.

“I believe Alternative 5 is a well balanced approach to restoring Diamond Lake to a fishable, swimable lake,” said Caplan. “I am pleased to have a decision that took into consideration a lot of public comment after an extensive public participation process.”

“The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife supports the decision by the Umpqua National Forest to choose Alternative 5 for the Diamond Lake Restoration Project," said Steve Denney, ODFW Regional Manager. "This has been a long and thorough process that considered the best scientific information as well as public input. We believe the Forest Service made the right decision, and we are excited about moving to the implementation phase of the project."

Under Alternative 5, in cooperation with the Oregon Departments of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and Environmental Quality (ODEQ), the Forest Service proposes canal reconstruction to facilitate a lake draw down, mechanical removal of fish biomass, rotenone application (a fish toxicant) to eradicate tui chub, removal and processing of fish carcasses, restocking of the lake with fish by ODFW, a suite of educational and monitoring activities, and contingency measures for controlling tui chub if they are reintroduced to Diamond Lake in the future.

This decision is subject to a 45-day appeal period, which begins when the ROD is published in the News Review newspaper in Roseburg, Oregon. Only individuals who made substantive comments during the 45-day comment period between Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Final Environmental Impact Statement may appeal.

The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Diamond Lake Restoration Project was distributed to the public on November 30 th, 2004, followed by a two-week public “dialogue period” which ended on December 14 th. The “dialogue period” was designed to give the public a final opportunity to voice lingering concerns or ideas they had for improving the preferred alternative.

According to John Blanchard, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the signing of the document is another milestone in a complicated process. “We are a step closer to solving Diamond Lake’s problems,” said Blanchard. “I would like to personally compliment the USFS team – they were a real positive force, and have gone the extra mile to involve everyone with an interest in the project.”

Plans for implementing Alternative 5 include beginning canal reconstruction in the summer of 2005, draw down of the lake during fall and winter of 2005/2006, and rotenone treatment in the fall of 2006.

Susan Morgan, State Rep., (R-Green), and member of the Diamond Lake Work Group stated, “I am very proud to be a part of the Diamond Lake team. We are an outstanding example of federal, state, and county governments working closely and successfully with the public to do the right thing. I have tremendous respect for the technical work that was done to define the problems, explore solutions, and ensure that the people of this area were at the center of the discussion.” According to Morgan, Alternative 5 is clearly the best way to restore the lake for fishing and swimming while protecting the environmental values that are important to all of us.

Additional copies of the FEIS are available for review at the Umpqua National Forest Supervisor’s Office in Roseburg, Oregon, the Diamond Lake Ranger District in Toketee, Oregon, or the North Umpqua Ranger District in Glide, Oregon. The FEIS is also available on the Internet at www.fs.fed.us/r6/umpqua.

Diamond Lake Restoration Project Final Environmental Impact Statement on its way to the Printers

Date:

Novembert 18, 2004

Contact:

Meghan Collins, 541/440-3353 or Kathy Fletcher, 541/957-3220

“The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Diamond Lake Restoration Project is finished and on its way to the printers,” said Sherri Chambers, Interdisciplinary Team Leader for the project.  “Developing the Environmental Impact Statement has been a long process with a lot of public participation, and members of the Diamond Lake Work Group are pleased to announce that we are finally at this point in the decision making process.”

For the last several years, Diamond Lake has been plagued with a declining recreational fishery, algae blooms, poor water quality and millions of unwanted tui chub.  The Final Environmental Impact Statement for this project analyzes restoration alternatives to address these escalating problems.

Forest Supervisor, Jim Caplan has identified Alternative 5 as his preferred alternative in the FEIS.  He will make a final decision on the project in mid-to-late December.  The preferred alternative, Alternative 5, would use a rotenone treatment to eradicate tui chub from Diamond Lake as a first step toward improving the water quality and recreational fishery at Diamond Lake.

The Forest Service estimates that the FEIS will be back from the printers and ready for distribution to the public by about November 30 and  should be available electronically on the Umpqua National Forest website sometime next week at:  http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/umpqua/

Following distribution of the FEIS, there will be an informal two-week “dialogue period” from approximately December 1 – 14.  During this time interested members of the public may voice any lingering concerns related to the project.  Supervisor Caplan will consider information gathered during the dialogue period when he makes his final alternative selection and documents his decision.

For more information about the Diamond Lake Restoration Project, please contact Sherri Chambers at 541/496-3532.

 

Draft EIS for Diamond Lake Restoration Project Now Available, Public Meetings to Follow

Date:

March 24, 2004

Contact:

Call 800-720-6339 (ODFW) or 503-947-6002

ROSEBURG, OR –After two years of intensive scientific investigation, multi-agency cooperation, and extensive collaboration with the public, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Diamond Lake Restoration project is complete. On March 22, 2004, the Umpqua National Forest began mailing copies of the (DEIS) to interested members of the public, and state and federal agencies. The 45-day public review and comment period for the project begins April 2 and ends May 17, 2004.

The Diamond Lake Working Group, representing multiple local, state, and federal agencies, began meeting in 2002 to develop solutions to address Diamond Lake's declining water quality and recreational fishery. Both declines are attributed to an overpopulation of the lake by tui chub. As lead agency, the Umpqua National Forest assembled an Interdisciplinary Team in April 2003 to research and write the DEIS. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality both served as cooperating agencies in the preparation of the document.

The DEIS examines a No Action alternative, as required under the National Environmental Policy Act, and three action alternatives for improving the water quality and recreational fishery at Diamond Lake. Actions include: canal reconstruction, lake draw down, mechanical fish removal and utilization, a rotenone treatment to eradicate tui chub, fish carcass removal/use, monitoring, education, and fish stocking.

Copies of the DEIS are available for review at the Diamond Lake Ranger District in Toketee, the North Umpqua Ranger District in Glide, or the Forest Supervisor's Office in Roseburg. Copies can also be obtained by calling Sherri Chambers at 541-496-3532 or visiting the website at www.fs.fed.us/r6/umpqua . Appendices are contained in the CD-ROM that accompanies the document, with paper copies available on request.

Umpqua National Forest Supervisor Jim Caplan identified Alternative 3 as the preferred alternative in the draft. Written comments should be addressed to: Diamond Lake Restoration Project Interdisciplinary Team, 18782 North Umpqua Highway, Glide OR 97443. Electronic comments may also be sent to comments-pacificnorthwest-umpqua-diamondlake@fs.fed.us . In order to be considered as a timely comment, the public must review and comment on the Draft EIS by May 17, 2004. Public meetings will be held in Roseburg, Medford, and Eugene in late April to exchange information about the project with interested members of the public.

2003
 

Environmental Impact Statement Officially Underway for Diamond Lake

Date:

April 25, 2003

Contact:

Sherri Chambers, (541) 496-3532

ROSEBURG –The Umpqua National Forest is officially starting the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process for improving the water quality and recreational fishery at Diamond Lake by publishing its Notice of Intent in the Federal Register on Friday, April 25. The Notice of Intent, which describes the actions proposed at this time, gives interested and affected people the opportunity to participate in the environmental analysis and decision-making process.

Failure to address existing problems at Diamond Lake is expected to result in recurring summer algae blooms and lake closures, increased negative downstream water quality impacts, and continued declines in the lake’s ecological health and recreational fishery, and continued negative economic impacts.

Based on the work of a multi-agency Diamond Lake Project Working Group, the Forest Service is proposing to eradicate tui chub from Diamond Lake as an essential step in improving water quality and the recreational fishery. Changes in lake ecology associated with overpopulation of the lake by tui chub are believed to be major contributing factors influencing the development of toxic algae blooms and the declining recreational trout fishery. Actions at this time include drawing down the water level in the lake, using rotenone to kill tui chub, and using ecological indices to determine an appropriate strategy for restocking the lake with fish.

People should send their comments about the proposed action to Jim Caplan, Forest Supervisor, Umpqua National Forest, 2900 NW Stewart Parkway, Roseburg, OR  97470, by May 30, 2003. Public comments are appreciated throughout the analysis process.

The draft EIS is expected to be filed with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and be available for public review by February 2004.  The comment period on the draft EIS will be 45 days from the date the EPA publishes the notice of availability in the Federal Register.  The final EIS is scheduled to be available in May 2004.

For more information about the proposed action or EIS, or to be added to the Diamond Lake mailing list, contact Sherri Chambers, (541) 496-3532 or schambers@fs.fed.us.


2002
 

Diamond Lake Public Forum Set for October 9

Date:

October 01, 2002

ROSEBURG – Diamond Lake, Douglas County's "Gem in the Cascades" is the topic of a public forum in Eugene Wednesday, Oct. 9. The forum is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Lane Community College, Building 17, Rooms 308/309.

"We really want to see Diamond Lake returned to a fishable, swimmable lake," said Oregon Representative Susan Morgan, who is leading the Project Working Group. "We're excited to get out and meet the public, fill them in on what we've learned so far and get their opinions and feedback."

The forum begins at 6:00 p.m. with presentations on water quality, fisheries, economics and recreation at Diamond Lake. Speakers will update the public on current information and discuss possible management options. Attendees then will have the opportunity to talk individually with the speakers and other representatives of the Project Working Group, ask questions and share concerns.

The Project Working Group includes Representative Morgan, the U.S. National Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Oregon Water Resources Department, Oregon Economic and Community Development, and Douglas County. The Eugene meeting culminates a series of four public forums that have been held by the group in southern Oregon during September and October.

 

Diamond Lake Public Forums Set for Medford, Klamath Falls

Date:

Sept. 23, 2002

Contact:

Meghan Collins (541) 440-3353

ROSEBURG – Diamond Lake, Douglas County's "Gem in the Cascades" is the topic of public forums in Medford and Klamath Falls next week.  The forums are 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Medford Red Lion Hotel, 200 N. Riverside Avenue, and Oct. 3 at the Klamath Falls Museum, 1451 Main Street.

"We really want to see Diamond Lake returned to a fishable, swimmable lake," said State Representative Susan Morgan who is leading the Diamond Lake Project Working Group.  "We're excited to get out and meet the public, fill them in on what we've learned so far, and get their opinions and feedback."

The forums begin at 6:00 p.m. with presentations on water quality, fisheries, economics, and recreation at Diamond Lake.  Speakers will update the public on current information and discuss possible management options.  Attendees can then talk individually with the speakers and other representatives of the Project Working Group, ask questions and share concerns.

The Project Working Group includes Representative Morgan, federal agencies of the Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and Environmental Protection Agency, and Oregon state departments of Fish and Wildlife, Environmental Quality, Water Resources, Economic and Community Development, and Douglas County.  The group is holding public meetings around southern Oregon in September and October.  The final meeting is scheduled for Eugene on Oct. 9.

 

Diamond Lake Public Forum Set for September 25

Date:

September 16, 2002

Contact:

Meghan Collins (541) 440-3353

ROSEBURG – Diamond Lake, Douglas County's "Gem in the Cascades" is the topic of a public forum on Sept. 25.  The forum is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Douglas County Library.

The forum begins with a panel of speakers who will discuss issues surrounding Diamond Lake such as water quality, fisheries, economics, and recreation.  The panel will update the public on current information gathered and discuss possible management options.  Attendees can then talk individually with the speakers and other representatives of the Diamond Lake Project Working Group, ask questions and share concerns.

"We really want to see Diamond Lake returned to a fishable, swimmable lake," said State Representative Susan Morgan who is leading the Project Working Group.  "We're excited to get out and meet the public, fill them in on what we've learned so far and get their opinions and feedback."

The Project Working Group is holding a series of public meetings around southern Oregon in September and October.  The next meeting is scheduled for Medford on Oct. 2 followed by Klamath Falls Oct. 3 and finally Eugene on Oct. 9.  For more information, contact Sherri Chambers at 541/496-3532.

The Project Working Group includes representatives from the Umpqua National Forest, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality, Oregon Water Resources Dept, Oregon Economic and Community Development Dept., Douglas County, and Representative Morgan.

 

Mapping and Fish Assessment Study Occurring Next Week at Diamond Lake

Date:

August 23, 2002

ROSEBURG – A new map of Diamond Lake is being created next week to better define the depth and volume of water in the lake. A fish assessment study will also provide Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists with more accurate information on fish distribution and total biomass in the lake. This information is important in ongoing discussions about returning Diamond Lake to a fishable, swimmable lake.

Mapping and fish netting in the lake are taking place next week. A media day is scheduled for Aug. 28.

The current map of Diamond Lake is based on a 1946 Oregon Fish Commission map created with outdated lead-line technology and inadequate measurements. Lead-line technology relies on the mapper's ability to feel when the lead weight hits the lake bottom. Because Diamond Lake has very soft sediment, it's likely the original map shows more water volume than is actually in the lake.

This mapping effort will result in a high-quality digital map that can be used to calculate

water depth and volume relationships, called hypsography. The new map will be based on more than 100,000 electronic soundings, which will precisely define depth and general sediment characteristics of Diamond Lake. The fisheries hydroacoustic work will provide estimates of fish biomass by size class. The map should be available to the public later this year.

Professional hydrologist Joseph Eilers and Dr. Chad Gubala are leading the mapping effort. The $30,000 project cost is funded by a grant from the Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation.

Collaborative discussions and data gathering research are ongoing activities for the Diamond Lake Project Working Group, a team of several state and federal agency representatives and Douglas County that is working with State Representative Susan Morgan to explore potential short-term and long-term solutions to Diamond Lake issues. The group identified updated mapping and a need to better estimate fish numbers and distribution as a data gap in their ongoing study of the lake.

The Diamond Lake Project Working Group includes representatives from ODFW, Umpqua National Forest, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Oregon Water Resources Department, Oregon Economic and Community Development Department, Douglas County, and State Representative Susan Morgan.

More information.

To be added to the Diamond Lake mailing list, contact Representative Susan Morgan at PO Box 2223, Myrtle Creek OR 97457 or email morgan.rep@state.or.us.

ATTENTION MEDIA: Dave Loomis (ODFW), John Ouimet (Umpqua National Forest), Chad Gubala and Joe Eilers will be available to the media from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the boat docks, Diamond Lake Resort Marina, Aug. 28. Because the mapping effort is so intense and cannot be easily interrupted, this time has been set aside specifically to address questions from the media.

 

Spring Chinook to be Stocked in Diamond Lake

Date:

May 7, 2002

ROSEBURG – History will be in the making on May 17 when the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks hatchery spring chinook in Diamond Lake. These 24,000 legal-sized fish are part of an experimental stocking program designed to provide a fishery for the lake that has been overrun with tui chub.

"In the ocean, spring chinook aggressively pursue small fish like herring and sardines, so we hope they will swim after tui chub in the same way," says ODFW district fish biologist Dave Loomis. "We chose to stock the springers for this predatory behavior and hope they think the lake is a small ocean with lots of small fish to eat."

According to Loomis, one of the goals of the experimental stocking program is to find a fish that will actively prey on chub so the return rate to the angler is higher than the past few years with rainbow trout stocking. "We know the lake has plenty of chub, and these salmon can't eat every last one to solve the problem long-term, but it's important to explore other opportunities for Diamond Lake anglers right now."

Diamond Lake has been a premier rainbow trout fishery since ODFW began stocking in 1910. No other trout species has been stocked in the lake's history. Tui chub were introduced in the early 1940s when anglers used them as live bait to catch large rainbow. The chub were eradicated by the fish toxicant rotenone in 1954 as the trout fishery collapsed from the impacts of these fish. As a result of the devastation at Diamond Lake, the former Oregon Game Commission made it illegal to use live fish for bait in the state of Oregon. However, chub were used illegally as live bait in the 1990s and have exploded to a population in the millions. The trout fishery has since declined, and along with it, the water quality of the lake.

Loomis and other biologists will be studying the spring chinook to determine how efficient they are at feeding on tui chub. "We really don't know how these landlocked chinook are going to fare in the lake, what their growth and overall survival rates will be," Loomis said, "and we need to know what we'll get in terms of a fishery. Diet studies will begin later this summer, continue into fall, then resume again the following two summers.

The spring chinook have been raised at Rock Creek Hatchery since October 2000 and will be released into Diamond Lake as 18-month-old smolts at a cost of $1.25 per fish. The salmon are eight to 10 inches and weigh about a pound each. Landlocked salmon are considered trout, so the bag limit is five fish per day, one of which can be over 20 inches.

Some of the fish will mature this fall and try to spawn in the lake, while most will mature the following two years. Ocean-going spring chinook average 15 to 20 pounds when they return to Oregon's rivers. Loomis predicts these landlocked salmon could grow to over 20 inches and weigh five to 10 pounds at maturity in a few years. The quality of the meat may also differ since the Diamond Lake chinook will have a much different diet than the ocean-going salmon.

Although ODFW biologists will intensively study the fishery, Loomis encourages anglers to catch and keep the spring chinook. "We're really interested to hear from the anglers what they think about catching and enjoying a feast on a lake-reared chinook," he said.

ODFW plans to stock Diamond Lake with 60,000 spring chinook next summer and will seek funding for another 60,000 in the summer Other stocking plans for this summer and fall include 20,000 trophy-sized rainbow trout, 26,000 legal-sized rainbows, and 50,000 fingerling rainbows.

Attention Media: If you would like to film the spring chinook being loaded at Rock Creek Hatchery or stocked in Diamond Lake, please contact Meghan Collins at 541/440- 3353 or cell 541/530-1877 or Rock Creek Hatchery at 541/496-3484.

Stocking is scheduled to take place mid-morning on May 17. More exact times should be known by May 16.

 

Editorial Guest Opinion - A Diamond is Forever

Diamond Lake has a special place in the hearts of all Oregonians. Many of us have great memories of this famous lake. The amazing thrill of landing your first fish; getting a hands-on biology lesson while cleaning your catch; taking a late afternoon swim to work up an appetite for that fish dinner; and watching the sun set while the frying pan is sizzling on the Coleman. Our histories are interwoven with stories of expeditions to Diamond Lake and all the wonderful experiences, learning, and enrichment that takes place when families share recreation together.

We cannot ignore the fact that Diamond Lake has undergone some changes in the past ten years. Tui chub have over-populated the lake. As a result, the rainbow trout are starving, and the algae balance in the lake has changed dramatically. The blue-green algae that bloomed last year and again this year is a health hazard to both people and animals.

To do nothing will keep the lake on a path where it will fill up with dead algae and become increasing hostile to fish as the blooming algae takes the available oxygen from the water.

To do nothing will take away forever one of the best opportunities we have for families to share and pass on the values of our Oregon life style. We will lose a piece of our heritage.

To me, doing nothing is clearly unacceptable. But, what to do is not so clear.

There are a great many government agencies that oversee a complex body of regulations that will govern any action taken on the lake. Our federal partners are the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency. On the state level, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Department of Environmental Quality, the Economic and Community Development Department, and the Water Resources Department could all have a regulatory role in a solution to Diamond Lake. On the local level, Douglas County has an important role to play.

Several months ago, I asked these agencies to join together, in a work group, to seek a solution to the health and recreation problems at the lake. In the course of our discussions, we have found a great deal more common ground than differences. We have hosted a symposium of experts in water quality, fisheries issues, and economics; collected a detailed body of information; and got valuable science-based recommendations to return the lake to a swimmable, fishable condition. We are working our way through an assessment of permitting requirements and a thick tangle of regulations.

As a result of this process, we have recently identified a data gap. We hope to fill that gap with a study at the lake while the Anabaena is blooming. The study will allow us to explore the relationship between water temperature and the toxic algae bloom, and the feasibility of using an aeration treatment on a larger scale. The results of the experiment will be added to a body of reasonable, science-based information we are trying to build. This information will be used as a basis for a discussion on treatment options. We are hoping that each of you who care about Diamond Lake will be part of the discussion.

The Work Group is currently developing a public involvement process to pass this information on to you, so that we can work together to restore Diamond Lake to a swimmable, fishable lake. If this process seems painfully slow to you, please consider the complexities, both biological and regulatory, that we must work through. If you feel that we are moving too quickly and without due thought, please recognize that the lake’s, and our families’ clocks are ticking.

Please join us in finding a path through this.

More information

To be added to the Diamond Lake mailing list, drop a card to Susan Morgan at P.O. Box 2223, Myrtle Creek, 97457, or email morgan.rep@state.or.us


 

Editorial Guest Opinion - Agencies Work to Restore Diamond Lake

Date:

August 5, 2002

Contact:

Dave Ehrhardt, Editorial Editor Rogue River Press

A new step in restoring Diamond Lake is underway with an experimental study being conducted next week. The study deals specifically with a species of blue-green algae (Anabaena flos-aquae), public health issues, and lake closures.

This species of blue-green algae causes toxic blooms that degrade water quality and can affect public health. Last summer, Diamond Lake was closed for three weeks because of a toxic bloom, and it is currently closed to swimming and water skiing.

The lake isn't meeting state water quality standards. It isn't meeting the recreational and economic expectations of Oregonians. We are concerned that the lake might someday become choked with algae in the summer months and no longer support fish or quality recreation uses. We know the public cares about these problems, and we do, too.

Lake conditions are created by many factors, including temperature, wind, available nutrients, and the presence of fish. Before we propose any corrective actions, we want to know more about how the lake and the species that live in it function. This fall and winter, we plan to present the information we have to Oregonians and seek their ideas about how to deal with Diamond Lake's condition. We want to be responsive to the ideas, interests, and concerns of everyone who cares about Diamond Lake.

State Representative Susan Morgan, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Oregon Water Resources Department, Oregon Economic and Community Development Department, and Douglas County are all cooperating on this experimental study. These agencies have the authority and responsibility to protect public health, improve water quality, and provide for recreational uses at Diamond Lake.

The planned experiment will take place inside a temporary structure, called a limnocorral, in an area of Diamond Lake. The limnocorral is a circular tube of clear plastic sheeting that looks like a Slinky toy with floats on the surface and weights anchoring the bottom. It will create a circular column of water ten feet in diameter to study. A compressor drives air to the bottom of the limnocorral to keep the water column moving. A boat will be anchored next to the column to house the generator and compressor.

The experiment has several objectives: 1) to increase physical "mixing" in the lake and create a less favorable environment for the blue-green algae; 2) to increase conditions for growth of competitive algae; 3) to discover whether the experiment causes too much disturbance to the lake bottom which could deplete oxygen available to trout; and 4) to study whether this would be a viable method to treat the entire lake.

For the experiment to be most informative, algae levels must remain high in the lake. Preparations are made to install the device Aug. 12. However, if algae levels decline prior to then, the study will consist of testing the bottom disturbance associated with aeration. The enclosure study in some form would then take place in summer 2003.

This is just one technique available to deal with high amounts of toxin-producing algae, but one we think is worth further study. Representative Morgan and the agencies involved in this study and in the future of the lake are concerned with Diamond Lake's water quality issues. Public health and safety is important to us.

We believe that by working together and combining our knowledge and expertise with that of independent scientists, we will better understand the complex web that creates Diamond Lake's ecology and find a solution that works.

We invite the public's questions and comments on this experimental study. James Caplan, Umpqua National Forest Supervisor, 541/672-6601 and Steve Denney, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Southwest Regional Manager, 541/440-3353.

 

2001
 

Diamond Lake EIS Process Ends Without Decision

Date:

September 17, 2001

Contact:

Jerry Novotny (503) 231-6128

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has officially terminated the Environmental Impact Statement process it began two years ago to review a proposal from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to treat Diamond Lake with the fish toxicant rotenone.

State fish and wildlife officials sent the Service a letter on August 30, 2001, saying the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission had directed them to withdraw the proposal. State fish and wildlife officials had discussed using rotenone at Diamond Lake since 1996, when they realized the lake’s popular trout fishery had been destroyed by an overpopulation of tui chub. The tui chub out-competed the stocked rainbow trout for the limited food base.

The Service was required to do an EIS because the state proposed to finance the tui chub control project with money from the Service’s Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration program, supported by taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat fuel sold nationwide. All Federal Aid projects must go through reviews required by the National Environmental Policy Act, which includes the EIS process, the most complicated of the reviews.

“When we started this EIS we had no idea that the obstacles were apparently so insurmountable,” said Jerry Novotny, a Federal Aid representative for the Service. “But the process worked. Some may not agree, but without the EIS process, some of the issues that arose likely would not have been considered.”

The state’s plans for the lake were affected by a combination of issues, including: the effects of nutrient-laden lake discharges on downstream water quality; impacts on Lake Creek from pumping water out of Diamond Lake; effects on listed species in the Umpqua River watershed; consistency with the objectives of the Northwest Forest Plan; and cost, estimated to be $3 million to $4 million.   

State fish and wildlife officials will compile the information gathered thus far in the EIS process and use it to develop future management strategies for Diamond Lake.

Information about Diamond Lake and its future management should be directed to Steve Denny or Dave Loomis of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife office in Roseburg, Oregon, 541-440-3353.

Fall Fishing Opportunities Abound at Diamond Lake

Date:

September 11, 2001

ROSEBURG – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife stocked Diamond Lake today with 2,500 two-pound rainbow trout from Desert Springs Hatchery. The trout were stocked after ODFW biologists determined enough oxygen exists in the lake to support the fish.

The recent algae bloom in the lake is breaking up, and biologists say it's safe to stock these large rainbows. "We sampled the lake last week and found oxygen levels were higher and temperatures were cooler," said Dave Loomis, Umpqua District Fish Biologist. "We'll continue monitoring through October, and will release another 2,500 two-pound trout next week."


 

ODFW Receives Funds to Continue Stocking Fish in Diamond Lake

Date:

July 18, 2001

ROSEBURG – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has been given funds from the Oregon Legislature to continue stocking fish and conducting experiments on Diamond Lake fisheries. The lake's ecology has been compromised since the early 1990s when tui chub were illegally introduced, probably as live bait fish. Millions of chub now populate the lake, drastically reducing survival and growth of rainbow trout by out-competing them for depleted zooplankton and insect populations.

The Oregon Legislature gave ODFW $200,000 in General Fund dollars to be used in conjunction with $25,000 that was remaining in the Freshwater Program from the 1999-01 biennium. ODFW has been directed to use these funds to purchase and stock large rainbow trout in Diamond Lake , experiment with stocking other fish species, and document and compile all existing data and analysis associated with development of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

In the spring of 1999, ODFW began developing the EIS with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the U.S. Forest Service (FS). ODFW proposed to use federal Sport Fish Restoration dollars to help fund a solution to the Diamond Lake tui chub problem. A final EIS will not be issued at this time.

"ODFW's preferred alternative in the draft stages of the EIS was to rotenone Diamond Lake to eradicate chub, which would recover the trout fishery and health of the

lake," said Dave Loomis, Roseburg district fish biologist. "While working on the EIS, we discovered a high probability of conflict with existing laws and policies, including the Clean Water Act. These conflicts made it unlikely that the proposed action could be implemented."

Through evaluations done by ODFW, the USFWS, and the FS, the agencies concluded that increased nutrient levels occurring in and downstream of the lake would be further degraded in the short-term by nearly any alternative, including the "no action," and therefore, not comply with some federal and state laws. The team also found that the "area of concern" for project alternatives was much larger than anticipated.

"Even though we didn't make a final decision, it was a process of discovery," said Jerry Novotny, Federal Aid Staff Biologist, USFWS. "We explored options the public voiced, including experimenting with removing tui chub mechanically, and evaluated a lot of data on the lake, surrounding area, and its ecology. We realized the project was very complex from the start, and the USFWS and ODFW wanted to make sure the process matched the extent of the environmental issues and the public's interest in this lake."

To maintain fishery levels seen in 2000 and 2001 from ODFW's aggressive stocking plan, the legislature directed the agency to purchase 30,000 trophy-sized rainbow trout from private hatcheries. The lake will also receive releases of spring chinook, other rainbow trout stocks and/or brown trout as an experiment for 2002. "We'll start to take a look at which species and sizes of fish can survive and effectively compete with tui chub," Loomis said, "and evaluate whether a different stocking program should be continued in 2003."

Because of this new direction, ODFW managers will ask the Fish and Wildlife Commission to temporarily suspend the management objectives of Diamond Lake while an experimental fishery is established and evaluated. Currently, ODFW's goal is to provide 100,000 days of angling opportunity and a harvest of 270,000 rainbow trout annually. These goals cannot be met with tui chub in the lake.

 

2000
 

Tui chub removal experiment at Diamon Lake July 19

Date:

July 10, 2000

ROSEBURG – Members of the media are invited to spend a day at Diamond Lake observing the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and commercial fishermen experiment with different methods of mechanically removing tui chub.  Several local legislators also were invited to this event.
          
We will meet at Diamond Lake Resort (Lodge building) at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, July 19, and board pontoon boats to see the operations up close.  Be prepared for Cascade Mountain weather, and remember to bring bug repellent and sunscreen.  Because we need an accurate count to reserve boats, you must RSVP to Meghan Collins by close of business on Monday, July 17 at 541/440-3353.  Plan to spend a half-day at the lake.

ODFW, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Forest Service have been working on a Draft Environmental Impact Statement to address the loss of Diamond Lake's rainbow trout fishery. The fishery has declined since the illegal introduction of tui chub into the lake in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Tui chub now number in the millions. More information

 

 
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