Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to conduct trout survey on Crooked River

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ODFW biologists use an electric current to stun fish in the Crooked River so they can be netted, measured and weighed. Photo courtesy of ODFW.PRINEVILLE, Ore. – Biologists from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will sample the Crooked River below Bowman Dam for redband trout and mountain whitefish from Monday, June 22 through Friday, June 26.

Biologists will be electrofishing the river between Big Bend and Cobble Rock campgrounds and between Lower Palisades and Greenwood campgrounds. During the sampling, fish will be stunned and netted so biologists can record the size, condition and abundance of both redband trout and mountain whitefish. Fishing is likely to be adversely affected in those portions of the river being sampled.

Trout populations in the Crooked River have declined significantly in recent years, prompting ODFW to intensify its monitoring, and to partner with Oregon State University researchers to identify the cause.

“Our most recent population assessments show that redband numbers are up from their lowest point in 2006 and whitefish numbers declined between 2007 and 2008,” said Mike Harrington, ODFW fish biologist. “We expect the results of the OSU research in 2010, which should provide some explanation of the factors driving Crooked River redband populations.”

ODFW began sampling the Crooked River in 1989 in order to track the long-term health of the redband trout population. 

During sampling, fish will be 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 [dot] r [dot] harrington [at] state [dot] or [dot] us.  The information will then be used to track fish growth and movements.