|A wild McKenzie River trout that has been marked with a Floy tag. Biologists at ODFW want to hear from anglers who catch these tagged fish.
Eugene, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is looking for help from anglers in a population study of wild trout in the McKenzie River.
Volunteers and ODFW biologists are trying to measure the size of wild rainbow and cutthroat trout populations in the lower McKenzie River. Biologists also want to know how native trout populations will respond now that hatchery rainbow trout will no longer be stocked in the 5-mile section of the river between Hendricks Bridge and Bellinger Boat Landing.
“Many McKenzie river anglers have been concerned about the impact hatchery fish are having on native trout populations,” said Jeff Ziller, ODFW fish biologist in Springfield. “We’re trying to collect enough data to determine the extent of what that impact has been.”
Ziller asks anglers to be on the look out for trout sporting a colorful Floy tag – a plastic tag inserted near the dorsal fin. Anglers who catch a wild trout with one of these tags should record the number printed on the Floy Tag, the date, and a good description of where the fish was caught. Anglers should not remove tags from fish. Anglers are asked to call the Springfield Field Office at (541) 726-3515 with this information.
Volunteer anglers have been tagging wild trout in the section of the McKenzie River from Hendricks Bridge to Bellinger Boat Landing since early March. Wild trout landed by these trained anglers have been tagged and released unharmed.
“In addition to obtaining an accurate population estimate, we hope to describe patterns of fish movement in the McKenzie River based on where tagged fish are caught by anglers,” Ziller said.
Funding for equipment used in this project was donated through the Trout Unlimited Upper Willamette Chapter from a grant from the Flyfishers Club of Oregon.