By Kaylin Krashesky
NEAR PROSPECT, Ore. — Workers with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife are out splashing in the river, looking to collect data on trout habitats. The past couple weeks, Assistant Hydropower Mitigation Biologist Justin Miles has put on his boots and headed out to the Upper Rogue River every day.
“So mainly we’re trying to gain trout life history information on the Upper Rogue because there isn’t a lot of data up here,” Miles says.
He’s checking one of multiple ODFW trout emergence traps, which lie over the Redd, which is where fish lay their eggs. Once he collects the trout fry, he puts a few in a jar and sends them off to OSU for identification under a microscope.
ODFW has emergence traps places throughout the Upper Rogue River. They are hoping to learn more about when trout are spawning and which streams the fish are using at which times of the year.
“These fry will emerge out of the gravel and then they kind of get swept down this long tube down here into the live well, then we end up coming by every couple days and collect information,” explains Miles.
ODFW will continue checking the emergence traps each day until two weeks after the last fry emerges. Pacific Corp is funding this three-year-long study on the fish. The company renewed its 30-year license for a hydroelectric dam nearby- and wants to know what impacts it has on the nearby habitat.
This is the last year in this project; ODFW hopes to get information on when trout spawn and hope to see how they can restore the river. ODFW is hoping to also use this study to learn more about restoration projects needed on the Upper Rogue.