BEND, Ore — Deschutes basin fish managers, including the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, are helping to meet conservation goals and seeking to provide future opportunities for anglers to catch summer steelhead in central Oregon rivers.
On May 12, summer steelhead fry will be released to initiate reintroduction of summer steelhead in Whychus Creek. Approximately 175,000 fry will be placed in Whychus Creek from the confluence of the Deschutes River upstream to Indian Ford Creek.
Initial goals of the release are to assist with test and verification studies associated with the re-licensing of the Pelton Round Butte Hydroelectric Project with long-term goals to meet conservation objectives for summer steelhead and provide future angling opportunities. Releasing summer steelhead will contribute to conservation and recovery for native fish in the Deschutes River sub-basin and provide additional fish for sport, commercial, and tribal fisheries.
“We are cautiously optimistic we can successfully reintroduce anadromous species into the upper basin,” said District Fish Biologist Steve Marx. “It will require management oversight and a number of generations for fish to adapt their life history to the unique characteristics of the upper basin.”
In December 2003, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted Oregon Administrative Rules that direct the department to restore anadromous fish, including Mid-Columbia summer steelhead, into portions of their historic range upstream from the Pelton-Round Butte Hydroelectric Project. Specific areas targeted for reintroduction include the Metolius River and tributaries, Deschutes River from Lake Billy Chinook upstream to Big Falls, Whychus Creek, and the Crooked River and tributaries upstream to Bowman and Ochoco Dams.
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.
please visit www.dfw.state.or.us.