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 18 through Friday, June 22.
Biologists will be electrofishing the river between the Big Bend and Cobble Rock 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. The fish are then released unharmed. Fishing is likely to be adversely affected in the portion of the river being sampled but the remainder of the river will be unaffected.
According to Tim Porter, ODFW fish biologist in Prineville, the agency samples the river every year in order to track the long-term health of the redband tout population. The population estimate is expressed as the number of fish 8-inches or larger per river mile.
“In 2011 we estimated 1,221 trout per mile,” he said. “That was down a little from the previous two years but still a very healthy number.”
The number of whitefish per mile was estimated at 3,389.
During sampling, fish will be tagged with a numbered tag protruding from the back and then released. Anglers who later catch a trout or whitefish with a tag are encouraged to release the fish after recording the tag color and number, fish length and location caught. Anglers can report the information to ODFW at (541) 447-5111 ext. 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The information will then be used to track fish growth and movements.