We have, unfortunately, had another early start to the Chinook spawning survey effort this year. The hot weather and low stream flows proved too much for some of the Chinook holding in the Middle Fork John Day and we recovered 74 pre-spawn mortalities this month. So, fingers and fins crossed that the hottest days have passed and we find plenty of spawning fish in September. If you are willing and able to help conduct spawning surveys in the John Day basin this summer, there will be many opportunities to join in the effort. As in past years, we will be surveying the Mainstem, Middle Fork, and North Fork of the John Day River beginning in August and continuing through September. If you have not participated in spawning ground surveys, they provide a great opportunity to get your feet wet and your eyes on spawning salmon. We’re happy to let you get your hands on carcasses too, but we won’t complain if recording data is as close to carcass processing as you’d like to get. I’ve attached two Word files including our meeting times/locations and the survey schedule. The second and third weeks of September, when half of the crew is assigned to hike the North Fork Wilderness, is when we will be particularly short-handed. I’ve included the number of and types of surveys for each reach (e.g., index, census, or random). The site names refer to the following stream reaches:
NFJD-Upper: North Fork John Day River starting at the road 73 bridge (near the North Fork Campground) extending upstream to the headwaters
NFJD-Lower: North Fork John Day River starting at Camas Creek extending upstream to Big Creek (wilderness boundary)
Granite: Granite Creek System starting at its confluence with the North Fork John Day River extending up through Clear and Bull Run creeks
Mainstem: John Day River starting at Prairie City extending upstream to Call Creek
Desolation: Desolation Creek starting at the confluence with the North Fork John Day River extending up to its north and south forks
MFJD: Middle Fork John Day River starting at Armstrong Creek extending upstream to Highway 7
It is not necessary for you to have previous survey training, we can pair you up with more experienced surveyors. However, it is necessary that you are able to hike one to three miles over uneven slippery terrain and are prepared for whatever conditions the weather presents. I encourage you to contact me as soon as possible if you are interested in assisting us, or if you have any questions. Please forward this invitation to anyone that might want to help survey.
See you on the stream!
Fish Biologist – Assistant Project Leader
Adult Steelhead and Chinook Monitoring
Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
P.O. Box 9
John Day, OR 97845
Tel: (541) 575-1167 x 325
Fax: (541) 575-0948