Rogue River: If you're going to screw it up do it with gusto. - Fly Fishing Forum
Pacific Northwest Sea Run Forum No such thing as rainbow trout, only landlocked steelhead

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Old 04-25-2002, 07:02 AM
fredaevans fredaevans is offline
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Location: Rogue River
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Rogue River: If you're going to screw it up do it with gusto.

Long article in this morning paper (you can get full details tomorrow at on what may end up being a massive fish kill of juv. salmon and steelhead on the upper Rogue.

In my ongoing thread about fish counts, water flows, etc., I'd noted the US Army Cors of Engineers controls the water flow coming out of Lost Creek Lake/Dam. Due to the fast run off of snow filling the lake the Corp had increased the flow from about 1200 cfs to 1500 then in a matter of days kicked it up to 3000.

Too much water issue goes away and they turned off the tap ..... In one day ..... and left thousands of smolt trapped in areas they couldn't/can't escape in back waters, temporary ponds created by the high water etc. By regulation ODFW has long recommended (an earlier fish kill of this nature in the early 1980's taught them what happens if the flow is cut too quickly) a slow change in outflows as would happen naturally in a stream.

Regs state "dam releases in the spring not drop faster than 150 cfs and not more than 750 cfs per day" to allow the fish time to adjust to the dropping water flows. In one day they cut the flows more than twice this amount.

A survey of less than 1% of the river effected found a few already dead smolt and several thousand more were found in land locked pools.

Why the screw up? "Corps spokeswoman Dawn Edwards blamed the mistake on a failure to give the project's new regultor, Mike Posovich, the ODFW recommendations in the agency's official water flow manuals when he took over from Russ Davidson about three months ago." As they say in the Navy: "Someone always fails to get the word."

Answer to the now what: They'll either have to kick the flow back up to allow the juv's access back to the main river or get a zillion volunteers with dip nets to trap/transport the fish back to the main river.

As the old cartoon character Pogo was want to say: "We has met the enemy, and they is us."

Last edited by fredaevans; 04-25-2002 at 07:07 AM.
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Old 04-25-2002, 08:38 AM
tovah tovah is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: rogue river
Posts: 1
Unhappy rogue river flow

The flow really dropped last week. On Tuesday the outflow was 6600 and by Saturday it was around 1500. It definitely shut the steelies mouths. I was very interested in seeing the article in the paper this morning because I had not seen them change the flows so rapidly before. Bad planning. It just points out again, that people trying to manage mother nature will never get it right.
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Old 04-25-2002, 09:17 AM
KerryS KerryS is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Skagit system
Posts: 661
When I lived in S.O. we fought that dam and the one on the Applegate for years. Finally the corp managed to shoved 'em down everyones throat. Two of the most worthless damn projects on the west coast. The lost crk. dam took away some the most productive steelhead water on the upper Rogue. Now we see why the sportsmen of yesterday tried to stop them. Sad.
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Old 04-25-2002, 09:20 AM
OC OC is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: I've lost them all but I'm looking for new ones
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Having worked in water quality issues for 20 some years I can tell you that the so called mistake of not getting the right info to the new chief is a common excuse. A life in prison law will end such abuse. There are good guys and bad guys out there. We must identify them, suport those who are trying hard to help and hurt those who are not in every possible way.
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