Tuesday May 30, 2023


The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has concluded an investigation into a fish kill at Cole Rivers Hatchery, which will affect fish levels at fisheries in the Rogue and Coos rivers. 

“The incident led to the loss of steelhead that contribute to fisheries in the Rogue and Coos River,” the release said. “The loss was caused by human error at ODFW and compounded by infrastructure issues making it difficult to isolate risk.”

This incident will affect the 2024 “half-pounder” fishery and the 2025 adult fishery, the release said, because all of the sac fry in the Rogue summer steelhead have been lost. 

“Some of the lost fishing opportunities in the Rogue will be abated because 82,000 summer steelhead smolts were held back in 2022 and will be released in April 2024,” the release said. “A portion of these fish will return after a short time in the ocean as “half-pounders” and will contribute to the 2024 fishery.”

Catch-and-release is still in effect for wild summer steelhead half-pounders, the release said, with hatchery adults returning from other years making up for some of the lost opportunities in 2025. 

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