Conservation plays a big part in our club’s dedication to the community.
Click HERE to learn more about CFF members’ contribution to the 2017 Mill Race Fish Sampling. (April 26th Summary) Or, scroll beyond the image gallery to read the summary.
CFF Members help with the fish sampling at Mill Race in Springfield.
Summary of Results (March 13th – April 24th, 2017) by
Katherine Nordholm, Fisheries Biologist, (541) 726-3515 ext. 28
Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program (STEP)
In a span of just over six weeks volunteers from Cascade Family Flyfishers have captured 11 different species of fish and 121 total! Below is a table that breaks down the fish captured by species and trap location. The non-native fish are highlighted with red text.
|Species||Species Code||28th Street Trap||Booth Kelly Trap||Total|
It’s interesting to notice how the species of fish captured differs between the two trap locations. Many more redside shiner were captured at 28th street than at Booth Kelly, and more rainbow were captured at Booth Kelly. There have been many more rainbow trout caught than cutthroat trout, and all of the cutthroat have been captured at the 28th street trap. These differences could be due to the habitat characteristics in the streams where we placed the traps or the differences in the way we have the traps placed at each location.
Your group also captured one hatchery Chinook salmon! The Chinook created quite a lot of excitement around the office. The salmon was probably a recent release from Willamette hatchery on its way to the ocean. Knowing that Chinook will use the Mill Race to rear, even for a short time, is great. That knowledge will help inform the direction of our habitat improvement projects in the area.
We’ve tagged 22 fish with Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags. The majority of the rainbow, all of the cutthroat, and the Chinook have been tagged. Each fish with a PIT tag is individually identifiable if it is detected or recaptured later in its life cycle. All researchers on the Columbia River and tributaries add information about the fish they tag, detect, or recapture into a Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission database called PITAGIS. More information about PITAGIS can be found online at http://www.psmfc.org/program/pit-tag-information-systems-ptagis.
We entered the fish we tagged into the PITAGIS database. Now we can search the database to determine if any of those fish are detected in the future. None have been detected yet, but we will be checking back regularly.
Below is the breakdown of the fish we have tagged so far (we are calling all of the rainbow trout steelhead for the purpose of the PITAGIS database). Detection of these fish in the future will let us know where fish are migrating to after using the Springfield Mill Race, if any of the fish are making it downstream to Willamette Falls, and hopefully which fish survive to come back as adults.
Our Tagging Recaps
When we recapture PIT tagged fish in our traps, we can determine how long they are staying in the system and calculate growth rates for them. Over the course of this project four PIT tagged fish were recaptured in the traps, and two were recaptured twice.
3DD.003BD5988B (We named Trese because she was there the day we tagged it).
Trese is a rainbow trout tagged on March 16th at the Booth Kelly trap; she was captured again on April 14th at the same location. There were 29 days between captures where she grew from 179 mm to 200 mm (7 inches to 7.9 inches). There must be some good food out there because that is a growth rate of 0.72 mm per day. Believe it or not, that is some fast growth for a fish!
A smallish cutthroat (133 mm or just over 5 inches) was captured on April 5th at the 28th Street Bridge and was captured again two days later but hadn’t shown any appreciable growth. L
A rainbow trout at the Booth Kelly traps was captured on March 24th, when it was 185 mm long (7.25 inches). It was captured again 8 days later at 194 mm (7.6 inches) and then AGAIN 4 days after that at 193 mm. This fish probably did not shrink (although it is possible) – the general acceptable fork length variation among observers is ~3 mm. Overall, this fish enjoyed some pretty fast growth too, averaging 0.67mm per day.
This fish was captured the first day we ever checked the traps! It was caught on March 13th at the Booth Kelly trap when it was 184 mm long (7.2 inches), 14 days later it was captured there again but had only grown 2 mm. It must like the area because Katherine, Jim, and Al captured it again last Saturday, which means it has been hanging around the same area for 40 days! On April 22nd it was 190mm (7.5 inches). This trout is enjoying some slow but steady growth; putting on 0.15 mm a day.
- You’ve checked the trap 24 times
- There have only been three sunny days
- About 30 people have helped out with the project to-date, and 22 people have signed up using the signup.com website
- We still haven’t found our missing 28th street trap
- You’ve caught some interesting non-fish species in the traps. These include crawfish, bullfrogs, and bullfrog tadpoles.
- One person described the bullfrog tadpoles as “obese pollywogs, ” and I literally laughed out loud in my office as I was entering the data
- I’m enjoying reading the comments you leave on the datasheets. You guys are especially descriptive when it comes to the lovely weather we are enjoying this spring. For example apparently last Saturday the weather was “Sunny, cloudy, with threat of doom clouds on the hilltops, and windy.” I remember that day.