This week, Trout Unlimited, The Caddis Fly Shop, The Native Fish Society and a host of volunteers and concerned anglers sent out postcards, asking influential Oregonians to reach out to ODFW in favor of wild fish management on the McKenzie River. We have lots of postcards still at the shop if you’d like to take the time to fill some out. The cards are currently going to 25 individuals, postage paid and addressed. The Native Fish Society is using its bulk non-profit mailing code, so we are collecting them in batches and sending them to the Native Fish Society to mail. We will be having another post-card signing party in the near future, so stay tuned.
Here is a video of local anglers, talking about why they came out last week to fill out post cards:
In related news, Trout Unlimited McKenzie-Upper Willamette chapter secured $5,000 to fund a five-year population study of the newly non-stocked section of McKenzie River. The study will begin next month, and will be administered by ODFW and the McKenzie Fly Fishers. The funds came from our Portland supporters and benefactors, the Flyfisher’s Club of Oregon.
You can show your gratitude for this amazing funding by helping us fill a fly box for the FCO auction in May. TU’s Cris Abbot is currently staining a wooden box, with a steelhead fly etched on the glass cover by our friend Kathy McCartney. It will look similar to the box below. If you’d like to help fill this fly box for the FCO’s auction, please drop them off at the Caddis Fly with an envelop labeled “FCO auction fly box”.
Williams is a strong supporter of our efforts to eliminate or reduce regular trout stocking in the McKenzie:
“My biggest concerns relate to impacts on the native species, including the native McKenzie River redband/rainbow, bull trout, and other native fishes. As you know there are numerous issues concerning impacts of the stocked trout, including erosion of the native trout genome, domestication of the native species, competition with natives, and the potential for introduced diseases and parasites that often accompany hatchery fish.
In addition to the biological and ecological issues, I simply do not believe that stocked trout send the right ethical message to the angling community and larger interested public. That is, we should value the native species and the river experience rather than trying to ensure fish for the creel. We do not know for sure how the fishery would fare without stocking, and with more conservation and management for the native species, but I can’t imagine that in the long run it would be poorer and perhaps even better than depending upon stocked fish.
This is not to say that stocked trout are inappropriate in all situations, because there are many areas, especially in lakes and reservoirs, where the ecological impacts are minimal and recreational opportunities from natives are severely limited or nonexistent. Of course, not all natural lakes should be stocked either. So, the context is important and the context for the McKenzie is a diverse native fish community that deserves improved stewardship.”
Jack E. Williams, Ph.D.
Action: Increase hatchery production to meet growing needs. Developing new fisheries or expanding existing ones may require more hatchery fish for stocking….
Timeline: This effort is ongoing. The Department hatchery system continually seeks to provide the species and size of fish needed and improve operations. Plans to increase trout production will be implemented if funding becomes available.
Budget: The estimated cost to increase trout production is $400,000…
Following are the OARs governing the operation of ODFW. Anyone else seeing something just jump off the page at them?
635-500-0120 Objectives of Trout Management
The Department shall proceed with programs and other efforts to achieve the following statewide objectives, consistent with
applicable law, agency policy and rule, and recognized funding priorities for the agency. The Statewide Trout Plan will
provide specific guidance for the production, harvest and management of trout statewide, consistent with the following
(1) Maintain the genetic diversity and integrity of wild trout stocks throughout Oregon:
(a) Strategy 1 — Identify wild trout stocks in the state;
(b) Strategy 2 — Minimize the adverse effects of hatchery trout on biological characteristics, genetic fitness, and production of
(c) Strategy 3 — Establish priorities for the protection of stocks of wild trout in the state;
(d) Strategy 4 — Evaluate the effectiveness of trout management programs in providing the populations of wild trout necessary
to meet the desires of the public;
(e) Strategy 5 — Update statewide physical and biological surveys of wild trout waters under a standard sampling program.
(2) Protect, restore, and enhance trout habitat:
(a) Strategy 1 — Continue to strongly advocate habitat protection with land and water management agencies and private
(b) Strategy 2 — Identify irreplaceable habitat that supports stocks of wild trout and seek stringent protection of that habitat;
(c) Strategy 3 — Develop an index with land management agencies for monitoring habitat changes;
(d) Strategy 4 — Restore and enhance trout habitat and evaluate the effectiveness of enhancement projects.
(3) Provide a diversity of trout angling opportunities:
(a) Strategy 1 — Determine the desires and needs of anglers;
(b) Strategy 2 — Use management alternatives for classifying wild trout waters to provide diverse fisheries;
(c) Strategy 3 — Conduct an inventory of public access presently available to trout waters in the state.
(4) Determine the statewide management needs for hatchery trout:
(a) Strategy 1 — Summarize information on the current hatchery program and determine necessary changes;
(b) Strategy 2 — Conduct studies to investigate methods to improve the hatchery trout program (e.g., migration behavior of
yearling trout, resistance to disease, sterilization, competition, etc.); (c) Strategy 3 — Decrease dependency on hatchery trout for trout management;
(d) Strategy 4 — Evaluate the effectiveness of hatchery trout management programs in meeting the desires of the public.
(5) Enhance the public awareness of Oregon’s trout resources:
(a) Strategy 1 — Promote values of Oregon’s wild trout resources;
(b) Strategy 2 — Increase the involvement of the STEP program in the enhancement of trout;
Dept. of Fish and Wildlife_635_500
http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/rules/OARS_600/OAR_635/635_500.html[10/30/2009 11:14:28 PM]
(c) Strategy 3 — Publicize Oregon’s trout management program through the ODFW Office of Public Affairs.
If you did not make the meeting, but would like to make a comment, please send comments to:
ODFW Staff and ISFAC members
Rhine Messmer: Rhine.T.Messmer@state.or.us
Ed Bowles: Ed.Bowles@state.or.us
Laura Tesler: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Ziller: email@example.com
Art Israelson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Bumstead: email@example.com
Jeff Devore: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shahab Farzanegan: email@example.com
Terry Shrader: firstname.lastname@example.org