Saturday, December 30, 2006

Upcoming TU Winter/Spring Events



Map of 500 E 4th Ave
Eugene, OR 97401-2465, US

Trout Unlimited Chapter 678 Fundraiser
Its time again for our fundraiser which will be held on Sunday, February 11th at 3:00pm. This time it will be held at Territorial Vineyards & Wine Company located at 907 West 3rd Avenue (Third and Adams) in downtown Eugene. Wine tasting and hors d’ oeuvre will be served beginning at 3:00pm. We have some really nice donations this year and will be updating our this website with the various items. If you would like to contribute items to the raffle or silent auction please contact Al Avey at (541) 431-0328. Raffle tickets may be purchased at the door for those who plan on attending the event. This is a great opportunity for all our members to get together and help support local activities that contribute to conserve, protect, and restore McKenzie and Upper Willamette trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds (and win some great gifts to boot).

Major contributors to this year’s event include:

The Caddis Fly
The McKenzie Angler
HomeWaters Fly Shop
G.I. Joe's
Territorial Vineyards & Wine Company
The Angler's Book Shelf
Avenue Auto Works
L.L. Bean

Fly Fishing Film Tour
January 16 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at University of Oregon, Ball Room, Eugene OR

The Fly Fishing Film Tour is coming to Eugene! Some of the most innovative fly fishing film makers are touring the country with a 90-minute highlight reel featuring trips to Argentina, Mongolia, New Zealand and more.


Steelhead Fishing Clinic: Our first trip of the new year will be a steelhead trip to one of the coastal rivers (Siuslaw, Siletz, or Alsea). The trip is planned for the latter part of January and the selection of river will depend on how the rivers are fishing and the river conditions. For this trip an 8wt rod is recommended along with egg patterns and streamer flies.

March Brown McKenzie Trip: Our next trips will be on the McKenzie river in late February and March. For these trips we will be assisting ODFW with Pit Tag recovery on the McKenzie River. Wand readers will be used to identify wild trout that have been pit tagged. For this trip 4 to 6 wt. rods are recommended with reels that match along with tippets from 4-6X. Floating lines are recommended along with some strike indicators for nymphing. Fly selection: McKenzie caddis (#12-14), pheasant tails (#14-18), hare’s ears (#10-14), prince nymphs (#12-16), blue winged olive dries (#16-20), parachute adams (#14-20), and of course march browns (#14).

We will be using our this website to update the details of these trips.

Meetings: The monthly meetings are held every second Wednesday of the month at 7:00 pm at EWEB in downtown Eugene in the Training Center overlooking the river.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Trout Unlimited/ODFW High Lakes Survey 2006

TU Chapter 678 members spent a lot of time in the Cascades high lakes last month. The chapter volunteered to help ODFW with trout survey work. The state stocks the remote high lakes with trout each year with a helicopter, but the biologists rely on anglers to keep them posted on how the planted fish are doing.

ODFW had appealed to the fishing community at large to step in, but was getting poor returns. So the chapter stepped in to help ODFW knock some unknown lakes off of its wish-list by hiking in and fishing for trout -- which is my kind of volunteering.
From MattStansberry

Labor Day weekend 2006: The first trip embarked from the Skookum Creek Campground off of the Aufderheide Scenic Byway (FS Road 19). Our crew (Todd and Lauri Mullen, Al Avey, Bill Laroux, and myself) hiked back to the campsite at Lower Erma Bell Lake with packs, rods, waders and float-tubes. After setting up camp, the team descended on Mud Lake, the upper, middle and lower Erma Bells and Otter Lake. All of the lakes had decent fish, aside from the aptly named Mud Lake. Members measured water temperature and clarity -- as well as several feisty trout.

The second trip took place over the last weekend of September. On Friday September 29, the crew of Al Avey, Bill Laroux and myself piled into Bill's truck to get a few more lakes. We picked up Register-Guard outdoors columnist John Rezell on the way.

Rezell wrote a great account of the trip in the Tuesday Oct 10th edition of the paper.

On the first night we hiked back to Helen Lake, a 1/3 mile trip from the Taylor Burn campground, north of the Waldo Lake wilderness. We found many nice trout in Helen Lake, but couldn’t convince any to bite. A giant fish was porpoising right near the bank as we walked back to camp dejected.

The next day we hiked from the campground to Moolack Lake, a 2.2 mile trek down a switch-backed mountain, across the headwaters of the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette and up another ridge to the Moolack Lake Spur trail.
From MattStansberry

When we first laid eyes on Moolack, it looked pretty dead -- still and a little filmy. But we made the trek, so we launched the float tubes into the lake. After a few minutes on the water, Al saw a rise near me and I cast at it. Less then a minute later I’d landed a giant cutthroat trout pushing 17 inches. We proceeded to catch Moolack’s down and deep cutthroats on weighted wooly buggers for the rest of the afternoon, including Bill’s monster 17.5” fish at the end of the day.

The trip back wasn’t as pleasant as the trip in, but we made it, knocking seven lakes off of ODFW’s list for the year. We will be including information on the lakes we’ve surveyed and the lakes that still need to be accounted for on the TU Chapter 678 Web site.

-Matt Stansberry

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

High Lakes Trip Photos

Labor Day weekend 2006: TU Chapter 678 headed out to the Erma Bell lakes region in the Willamette National Forest. Members hiked in to base camp at Lower Erma Bell Lake and proceeded to fish and take notes on other remote lakes in the area, including Upper Erma Bell, Middle Erma Bell, Lower Erma Bell and Otter Lakes. The Chapter will report information including water temperature, vegetation, fish confirmations and other info to ODFW in order to help the state determine how to better manage high lakes stocking efforts. Photos below:

Packing in with float tubes

Al Avey fighting a rainbow in Middle Erma Bell

A high lakes rainbow, around 11 inches long

Base camp at Lower Erma Bell

Lots of vegetation, and big smart trout at Otter Lake

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Erma Bell Trip Details

Hello Chapter 678 TU Members,

Well we are going to try the Erma Bell high lakes fishing trip again. Last time we were snowed out so we alternatively checked out the Swift Creek restoration site instead. This trip will be a hike-in trip led by Todd Mullen and we plan to meet at the Skookum Creek campground at 10:00 am on Saturday September 2nd. There are several lakes we plan to fish, the furthest being about 4 miles from the trail head. Float tubes will increase your odds of catching fish although many fish can be caught by fishing from shore or wading. Waders are recommended along with 3-6 wt rods. The best flies for the lakes are: Wooly Buggers and Doc Spratleys in green, black, and brown size #6-10 and rainbow trout calf tail streamers. For dry flies elk hair caddis, tom thumb's, and comparadun's in brown, green, and tan. Mayfly spinners and pheasant tails work particularly well in the late evening.

For those who decide to stay over night there are several options for camping.

1. You can camp in one of the 9 tent sites at the Skookum Creek Campground trail head. The campground has vault toilets, fire rings, hand pump well water and garbage service. The campground is located adjacent to the common parking area for easy access to cars, ice chests, etc.

2. There are also several remote designated campgrounds located around the various small lakes for the more adventuresome. Wildlife is abundant in many of the remote lakes and sightings of river otters, deer, elk, and pica are common.

The directions to Skookum Creek Campground are as follows:

From Westfir proceed north on Aufderheide Scenic Byway (FS Road 19) for 35 miles to FS Road 1957. Follow FS Road 1957 for 4 miles to Skookum Creek Campground.

If you decide to go you will need to purchase a northwest forest pass [Price: $30 annually] if you don't already have one. They are available at most Forest Service Ranger Stations.

Hope to see you there.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Trout Unlimited Chapter 678: Swift Creek Project Summary

Project Summary

The Upper Willamette River and tributaries were historically major spawning grounds for Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed spring Chinook salmon and bull trout as well as resident rainbow and cutthroat trout. Much of this area became inaccessible in the 1950's due to construction of down stream dams. Unfortunately, a rotenone project in 1960 severely impacted the bull trout population. A major effort was started in the mid 1990’s by the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to reintroduce bull trout fry back to their native habitat. However, reintroduction sites were selected based on rearing habitat. Spawning habitat at these sites was lacking.

The overall goal of this project is to facilitate the formation of a self sustaining population of threatened bull trout back into their native habitat, in addition to providing spawning and rearing habitat for spring Chinook salmon, which will always rely on transfers over the dams.

The conservation goal of this project is to restore spawning gravel and fish habitat back into Swift Creek, the only tributary, above Hills Creek Reservoir, with documented bull trout presence prior to their extirpation. The project partners, USFS, ODFW and TU, will accomplish this by placement of large wood and rock in the stream to create habitat as well as provide and recruit spawning gravel.

The capacity building goal is to get people involved in conservation and help foster more active leaders in the community. To accomplish these goals, members of the McKenzie Upper Willamette Chapter will assist in on the ground restoration efforts, engage in community education, and publicity about our chapter and TU.