Spring Chinook Fry Released at Camp Polk Meadow Preserve

Mar 03, 2010
The Land Trust is taking key steps to make Whychus Creek a stronghold for anadromous fish, assuring their successful reintroduction to the upper Deschutes River Basin.

This week, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, PGE, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and the US Forest Service are releasing over 10,000 spring Chinook salmon fry into Whychus Creek on the Deschutes Land Trust’s Camp Polk Meadow Preserve.  These releases are part of a remarkable effort to reestablish salmon and steelhead runs in Whychus Creek and other area streams.

The historic reintroduction of salmon and steelhead requires protection of existing habitat and restoration of degraded stream reaches.  The Deschutes Land Trust is working in partnership with the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council, the Deschutes River Conservancy and the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board to implement an integrated approach to support the reintroduction of anadromous fish to the Deschutes Basin.

The Land Trust’s role in this partnership includes working cooperatively with private landowners to protect important lands in the Deschutes Basin and restoring these properties to improve fish and wildlife habitat.  A prime example of this is the Land Trust’s multi-year restoration project on Whychus Creek at Camp Polk Meadow Preserve.  Once completed, this project will support the return of native fish to this area by restoring spawning and rearing habitat, improving water quality, and restoring wetland hydrology in the meadow.  

The Land Trust has successfully conserved several large properties along Whychus Creek and is working to purchase another two miles of Whychus Creek, providing essential habitat for the reintroduction of steelhead and Chinook salmon.  The Camp Polk Meadow stream restoration project and acquisition of what will be called Whychus Canyon Preserve, are key steps in creating a salmon and steelhead refuge and making Whychus Creek a stronghold for these fish, assuring their successful reintroduction to the upper Deschutes River Basin.