ROSEBURG – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is conducting the final year of a research project on Coquille River winter steelhead and is looking for help from the public.
For $212, an individual or group can sponsor a winter steelhead which helps fund the research project.
“We capture and radio tag both wild and hatchery winter steelhead in the Coquille River,” said Gary Vonderohe, Assistant District Fish Biologist in Charleston. “This lets us compare movement of both hatchery and wild fish. We find out where the wild fish are spawning and document the number of hatchery fish using those spawning beds.”
Winter steelhead biological and physical data is also collected and spawning surveys help determine the steelhead population in the Coquille River basin.
“It’s an easy and fun way for anyone to get involved in fish research or for teachers to bring science and math into the classroom,” says Vonderohe. “The sponsor can name the fish, and we send them progress reports.”
Vonderohe’s goal is to tag 50 fish.
The project is funded by ODFW and a 2008 Restoration and Enhancement Board grant.
ODFW reminds anglers it is illegal to harvest a radio-tagged fish in southern Oregon. Signs to assist anglers with identification of radio-tagged fish will be posted at popular fishing sites along the Coquille River.
Groups or individuals who want to sponsor a fish should contact Vonderohe at the ODFW Charleston Field Office, 541-888-5515.