NEAR LAKE CREEK, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and the Rogue Valley Coastal Conservation Association (RVCCA) heaved hundreds of steelhead salmon carcasses into Little Butte Creek on Friday. “We’re putting them back in the streams, as nature has done forever,” said volunteer Larry Butts.
Chuck Fustish is a biologist with ODFW. He says the carcasses provide food for crayfish and little insects that live in the stream. Then those populations grow and the fish eat them. Fustish says it strengthens them to go to the ocean.
ODFW works with the Department of Environmental Quality to find the most starved areas of Southern Oregon waterways. Volunteers will sling several fish into one portion of the approved area and then move on to a new area of the same stream.
For two weeks before they plopped back into the water, they froze at -10 degrees to get rid of any potential parasites.
If you’d like to help out, ODFW and CCA are always looking for volunteers. Click here for more information.