ODFW Studies Crooked River Redband Trout and Mountain Whitefish

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Biologists from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will sample the Crooked River below Bowman Dam for redband trout and mountain whitefish beginning Monday, June 14 through Thursday, June 17.

Biologists will be electrofishing the river between Big Bend and Cobble Rock campgrounds. Electrofishing uses an electric current to stun the fish so biologists can net them to record the size, condition and abundance of both redband trout and mountain whitefish. The fish are then released unharmed.

“Fishing will be adversely affected in this area during the four days of sampling, but anglers can expect the good fishing to return by Saturday, June 19,” said Mike Harrington, ODFW fish biologist. “Fishing in the lower five miles of the Wild and Scenic section of the river won’t be affected at all.

A study being conducted by Oregon State University is in its final stages and sampling will be less intense this year, Harrington said,  Last year’s population estimates show increased numbers of redband trout in the river, which is supported by angler reports of “great fishing,” he added.

ODFW began sampling the Crooked River in 1989 in order to track the long-term health of the redband trout population.  During the sampling fish are tagged with a numbered floy tag protruding from the back and then released.  Anglers who later catch a trout or whitefish with a floy tag are encouraged to release the fish after recording the tag number, fish length and location caught.  Anglers can send the information to ODFW at (541) 447-5111 ext. 24 or michael.r.harrington@state.or.us.  The information will then be used to track fish growth and movements.

Anglers can also expect to encounter an ODFW creel surveyor on the portion of the Crooked River directly below Bowman Dam this summer.  According to Harrington, the creel is designed to compare the population estimates gathered by biologists with the success rate of anglers trying to catch fish. Anglers will be asked about the number of fish caught, species, average size and fin clips.  This information, paired with biological data being collected by ODFW and Oregon State University, will help to improve management of the Crooked River fishery.

source: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife