Summer Steelhead in Sisters? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Summer Steelhead in Sisters?

05-14-2007, 11:48 AM
According to _The Oregonian_, summer steelhead are being reintroduced into Whychus Creek, a Deschutes tributary entering above the Pelton/Round Butte dam complex.

Some 175,000 fry were stocked; the plan being for the fry to mature in the creek for two years, descend into the Lake Billy Chinook reservoir; be collected there in an elaborate trap; and from there put into the lower Deschutes. Any adults returning will be reversed processed into Billy Chinook and hopefully find their way back to Whychus Creek. The first of these adults are expected in 2011.

Whychus Creek flows through the town of Sisters and northward to join the Billy Chinook reservoir. The creek was formerly known as Squaw Creek, and is still shown as that on older maps. The last salmon and steelhead run in the creek was in the early 1960's, before the gates were closed on the PGE project dams.

Spring Chinook salmon fry will be stocked in February 2008.

The steelhead project is a cooperative venture between the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

I don't know what strain of steelhead is being used for the introduction. Prior to the completion of the dams, the Metolius strain of summer steelhead was predominantly the 1+ salt Deschutes Type A fish. The Metolious was also the primiere source for Spring Chinook on the Deschutes system. I guess Whychus must have produced similar fish.

See _The Oregonian_ article:

Whychus Creek has been abused for generations and until recently ran dry in the summer. It's wonderful to see that the patient work of the those involved in the restoration of this stream has come to the point where this reintroduction is feasible.

-- Eric

05-14-2007, 12:53 PM
This is good news! I heard some 2 or 3 years ago that there was a plan being developed to bring back the steelhead and spring chinook into the Metolius and it is great to see that it has come to fruition. Now if only Pelton had never been built.....

Mark Vegwert
05-14-2007, 09:57 PM
Aren't they going to introduce some gizmo to the reservoir to try to create a current so the smolts don't get lost?

05-14-2007, 11:25 PM
"Gizmo" is right. Here's the quote from _The Oregonian_:

"But that passage depends on an untested technology -- a 270-foot, fish-slurping tower meant to help fish find their way past dams that have blocked their route downstream for four decades."

Wow! The mind doth boggle.

-- Eric

05-15-2007, 02:31 PM
Before I left Prineville two years ago there was a meeting where they said they were going to re introduce Steelhead into the Metolius , Crooked river, and the upper Deschutes. This planned planting may be the first of many to come. I guess the main thing is the passage of the downstream smolts. In the past they were lost in Lake Billy Chinook, and or Pelton. I guess the idea is to route them around Pelton in a chute from Billy Chinookdumping them into the Deschutes below Pelton. Interesting plan . Sure hope it works.