Monday May 23, 2022

The News-Review

A Marion County Circuit Court judge has approved a preliminary injunction to temporarily block the permanent ending of the Rock Creek Fish Hatchery summer steelhead program.

Judge Daniel Wren issued the injunction Thursday and, the next day, close to 70,000 summer steelhead smolts were “volitionally released” — allowed to swim from their hatchery’s race way without assistance — Friday.

The smolts were spawned at Cole Rivers Hatchery in Trail from the eggs of adult summer steelhead which survived the 2020 Archie Creek Fire.

The Oregon Fish & Wildlife Commission voted 4-3 to end the Rock Creek program along the North Umpqua River at the end of its monthly meeting held April 22 in Astoria.

Proponents of the program’s demise cited an abundance of hatchery summer steelhead have impacted wild summer steelhead populations within the Umpqua River system, most specifically near historical spawning areas.

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