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.