ROSEBURG, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Forest Service continue their partnership to monitor Diamond Lake and educate its users on the perils of invasive fish. ODFW treated the lake in 2006 to rid it of an estimated 95 million invasive tui chub.
Boat inspections and washing
Keeping invasive fish and aquatic animals and weeds out of Diamond Lake begins with lake users, many of whom are boaters out to catch trout. Before visiting Diamond Lake, boaters and anglers should drain, clean and dry their gear – boats, live wells, bilges, trailers, waders, tackle or anything that has been in the water – and repeat the process before they put in at another lake.
The Forest Service and ODFW are stepping up efforts this year to keep dirty boats – or ones with illegal live bait fish – from entering the lake.
During weekday mornings, ODFW employees will be at Diamond Lake boat ramps to survey boaters and ensure their boats do not have live bait fish and aquatic weeds. Boaters will be asked several questions including where and when they last boated and whether their boat has been washed since then. Umpqua National Forest staff and an ODFW creel surveyor will cover the boat ramps and surveys on weekends.
The Oregon State Marine Board has trained Forest Service, ODFW and Diamond Lake Resort employees in boat inspection and washing techniques. If warranted, agency or resort employees may ask boaters to clean their boat at a washing station set up at the Forest Service’s Diamond Lake Visitors Center before entering the lake. The station was purchased and is operated through cooperation between the Oregon State Marine Board, Umpqua National Forest, Douglas County Parks and Public Works Departments and Marine Patrol, the Joe Merchep Foundation and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Other invasive species prevention outreach
Since 2006, an invasive species committee has been educating lake users on invasive species prevention. The committee includes the Oregon State Marine Board, ODFW, the Forest Service, Oregon Department of Environment Quality, Douglas County, and Oregon State Police.
Over the previous two summers, employees and volunteers contacted more than 6,300 campers and anglers and conducted boater surveys. Interpretive signs and brochures were produced and public relations “blitz weekends” were conducted at the lake. In addition, a condition was added to Diamond Lake tournament permits that participants must launch clean boats.
Using live bait fish is illegal in Oregon’s fresh waters, and Oregon State Police is increasing patrols this summer. The public can report anyone using live bait fish in Diamond Lake to the Oregon State Police at 541-440-3334. Get as much information as possible, including a description of the person(s), boat, vehicle, date, and time of day.
Golden shiner update
During routine fish species monitoring in 2008, ODFW found golden shiners in Diamond Lake and removed 639 through electro-fishing. In a cooperative agreement, the Willamette National Forest has loaned ODFW an e-fishing boat this summer. The partnership allowed biologists to get an early start to a golden shiner removal program that will continue through early August. ODFW crews are e-fishing four nights per week to remove as many shiners as possible. All shiners will then be measured and checked for reproductive condition.
The Oregon State Police is currently investigating how shiners were introduced into the lake. Those found last year, along with samples of shiners from nearby Howard Prairie Reservoir and bait shops in Northern California are being examined by a fisheries professor at Oregon State University. Otolith (ear) marks on the fish can help determine where they originated. Once finalized and assessed by ODFW, results will be made public.
Post-treatment monitoring activities
The Forest Service has contracted with Portland State University to monitor zooplankton, phytoplankton, chlorophyll a, nutrients, dissolved oxygen, pH and water clarity. ODFW will monitor benthic macro-invertebrates or “bug” abundance, conduct creel surveys, a fish stomach contents study, amphibian surveys and check trout growth rates along with condition factors. An ODFW fish trap installed at the lake’s outlet will monitor whether any of the various types of rainbow trout stocks are out-migrating to Lake Creek. USGS gages show real-time lake level and outflow and can be viewed here.
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.