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Grande Rhonde Steelhead

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Brad                   05-Aug-06  

Subject: Grande Rhonde Steelhead
From: Brad
Email: brad.smith@state.or.us
Date: 05-Aug-06

The ODFW’s Grande Ronde Watershed staff is again planning to collect hatchery summer steelhead broodstock this October. We will collect broodstock via hook and line (almost the same as fishing) from the Grande Ronde River in the area around Troy. ODFW employees, other agency folks and members of the public are invited to participate. Meals will be provided, but volunteers are expected to provide their own angling gear, camping equipment and transportation.

This adult collection is the initial phase of a project designed to determine if progeny of early returning hatchery steelhead return earlier to the Grande Ronde and stray at a lower rate into lower Columbia tributaries. If project fish respond as expected we should reduce program impacts to lower Columbia River steelhead populations and increase the proportion of adult steelhead available to anglers in the Snake and Grande Ronde rivers in the fall. Collection is planned for the weeks of October 9 and 16. The operation will be based out of ODFW’s Griz Flat (Mill Bar) property just across the Wenaha from downtown Troy. Base camp set-up will begin Monday morning each week. Check-in, orientation and collection will start then and run through Friday morning. Anglers will be required to participate in an orientation and to keep associated field notes. Collection will occur between Bogan's Oasis in Washington and Wildcat Creek in Oregon. Camping sites and sanitary facilities are available at Griz Flat. A continental breakfast (coffee, juice, fruit, cereal, doughnut, etc.), lunch and dinner will be provided from Monday noon through Friday noon. We will provide bait and have some basic gear available if someone runs low.

Steelhead collected will be placed into plastic tubes for holding, tagged, and then transported each day to Wallowa Hatchery. They will be held through the fall and winter at the Hatchery until spawning in the spring. Previous efforts resulted in collection of 105, 108 and 115 adult steelhead in 2003, 2004 and 2005, respectively. A high percentage of fish collected survived to spawning. Spawning resulted in approximately 200,000 fertilized eggs each year. Progeny are reared at Irrigon Hatchery and the first releases of this new hatchery group were made from Wallowa Hatchery in April 2005 and the first one-salt returns are expected this year. If you are interested in participating this year and can be there for a day or all week, contact either Bill Knox or me at (541) 426-3279 or e-mail us at brad.smith@state.or.us or bill.knox@state.or.us, so we can get you on the list.

Brad Smith

District Fish Biologist Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Enterprise, OR 97828

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