2013 Year End Report

Conservation Report


Some of this report will likely be repeat information, as Iwill attempt to recapture the entire year.

In February, we were busy planting willows on Lost CreekReservoir, as an ongoing attempt to revitalize that lake.

In April, we made spider blocks and placed them in LostCreek Reservoir. I travelled to Prineville, to attend the Rapid Responseexercise, held at the BLM property. The attendees included federal, state, andcounty employees tasked with conservation. Also in attendance were members ofPortland State University staff that are involved in Invasive Species studies.I was also able to address the Oregon Bass and Panfish Club Board of Directorsduring this trip.

In May, I attended an educational seminar regarding InvasiveSpecies. It included training and equipment on how to survey a lake forinvasive species. I have agreed to be responsible for the ongoing monitoring ofEmigrant Lake. Later in the month, I assisted a survey team from PSU insurveying Emigrant. It was very much like a "on the job" session overtwo days.

In June, we held a "hook and line" gathering ofLargemouth Bass at Hyatt Lake. This was the 7th year of this event, and , whilebeing successful , it yielded less bass than in previous years. We were onlyable to catch 400 bass for transfer to other lakes. In previous years we havebeen able to catch upward of 2700 bass in one day for transfer. We work jointlywith ODFW personnel, and has become a fun, family event. Over the past 7 years,we have transferred in excess of 11,000 bass to Lost Creek, Applegate, DogLake, Bend Pine Nursery, Prineville Youth Pond, and several lakes in theWillamette Valley. Hyatt Lake has been filled with stunted bass that hascrowded out other game species. The bass we are catching now are larger,healthier, and less abundant. This has proven to be a highly successfulexperiment, with other species bouncing back in numbers and size.

There were some interesting legislative items beingintroduced in the federal Congress that I will attempt to capture here.Representative Greg Walden re-introduced the House Bill 2640. This billattempts to maintain the water flow in the Crooked River, while maintaining thewater level in Prineville Reservoir. His bill is even-handed and fair to all.Senator Jeff Merkley has re-introduced the Senate Bill  3483, that, while similar in nature to Rep.Walden's bill, lacks the necessary language to ensure safe water levels ofPrineville. This could conceivably decimate the fine warm water fishery thathas become a destination for clubs and anglers in Oregon. I have written aposition paper for our national staff to use in Washington for attempting toblock Senator Merkley's bill. Currently, Rep. Walden's bill has been passed inthe House, and sent to the Senate. It currently is in committee. SenatorMarkley's bill is in committee, and has not yet been voted in the Senate.National BASS and the Keep America Fishing folks are watching the developmentsclosely.

The matter of Devils Lake grass carp has come before theODFW Commission. The Devils Lake Watershed Improvement District is applying foranother grass carp permit. They have been denied through regular process fourtimes. I travelled to Newport to testify before the Commission against moregrass carp being permitted into the lake. Over the many years that grass carphave been permitted, Devils Lake has become a large basin with minimalvegetation, and no viable warm water fishery. After testifying, I was able tohear some of the conversation, and the Commission is of the opinion that thereare other, more important, issues at Devils Lake that need to be addressedbefore grass carp. The primary problem is lack of proper septic disposal. Thehomes on the lake have been emptying their effluence into the lake for years,and need to address that before any other course of action.

Currently, there is some controversy in the south of Oregonsurrounding Applegate Lake. Applegate is a relatively narrow impoundment, witha maximum speed limit of 10 MPH. There is an application to raise the speedlimit, allowing wakeboard and water ski boats. I will be testifying againstraising the speed limit in front of the Oregon State Marine Board committee.Wake boarders will start erosion problems that will be uncontrollable. I havehad many anglers contacting me regarding this issue. The review meeting is onDec. 16th, in Medford.