CLACKAMAS – As part of a summer steelhead study in the Clackamas River beginning mid July, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Oregon State University want to inform anglers to release any radio-tagged fish caught in the Clackamas River and to report the tag number to the ODFW Clackamas Office. Tagged fish will be present in the lower Clackamas River, downstream of River Mill Dam.
Approximately 80 hatchery steelhead will be implanted with radio-tags for this study. Radio-tagged fish can be identified by an antenna trailing from the abdomen, and a plastic tag inserted just below the dorsal fin on the back of the fish. The plastic tag carries a unique number to identify each fish. The department reminds anglers it is against the law for anyone to retain a radio-tagged fish in this river, and these fish must be released unharmed. In addition, these fish have been anesthetized for surgery to implant the radio tags and are not fit for human consumption. Anyone who catches one of the tagged steelhead is asked to record the number printed on the plastic tag, without removing the tag from the fish, and notify ODFW of the date and location where the fish was caught and released by calling the Clackamas Office any time at (971) 673-6000. All reports of tagged fish will provide important information for the study.
“We’re very grateful to our Oregon anglers and their support for projects like this,” says Todd Alsbury, ODFW North Willamette District Fish Biologist. “The knowledge we will gain from this project will help us manage hatchery summer steelhead to increase benefit to anglers while minimizing potential risk to native steelhead populations.”
During the summer and fall of 2007, the location and behavior of the tagged steelhead will be tracked. The small radio transmitting tag will send a signal that will be recorded by one of several stationary and portable receivers along the river. The information recorded will measure the behavior and movements by telling officials where and when the fish are moving, as well as the type of habitat they prefer. This joint research project involves the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Oregon State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, and the Oregon Hatchery Research Center.