Welcome back and greetings to new readers of this blog. This installment is a bonus "two-fer." I had planned on a single blog about the release of Chinook into a small stream near my home on Monday. Plans changed when my friend Brent McGregor asked me this afternoon to go ride with him on his "new and improved" snowmobile up to MacKenzie Pass, 8 miles beyond the end of the plowed road, to see of there might be the possibility of a winter sunset. Oh, and there was. So, today's entry is the result of two exceptional photographic days. If you have an aversion to mountain sunset photographs, now's the time to hit your back button.
Since 2004 major stream restoration in the Deschutes River watershed has been in progress to allow the re-introduction of Chinook salmon and steelhead that haven't swum freely in some of these waters for 40 years. Relicensing the dams on the Deschutes, Portland General Electric and tribes had to improve fish habitat, a project begun since 2004. The Deschutes Basin Land Trust has been working to ensure that there will be habitat for the fish for this day and days in the future. Monday, about 10,000 Chinook fry were released in Lake Creek, a tributary to the Metolius and the Deschutes. It was a great and unheralded moment. No media, no fanfare. Several groups led by Oregon Fish and Wildlife trekked through the snow to the streams, measured water temperature, acclimated the fish and then were scooped out of a plastic Ace Hardware bucket and placed gently into quiet sections along the stream bank.
North and South Sister