Oct 14 – Fall 2019 Lava Island Fish Rescue

Call for volunteers to help this Saturday to relocate stranded fish as flows in the river drop for storage season.

Recall that with the wind-down of the growing-season, the irrigation districts of Central Oregon reduce the river flow in the Upper Deschutes from Wickiup Reservoir to Bend to refill the reservoir for the following irrigation season. The Deschutes Basin Board of Control (DBBC) has partnered with the Deschutes River Conservancy, the Deschutes Redbands Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Coalition for the Deschutes and dozens of volunteers from the community to roll up their sleeves in a collaborative fish rescue. The effort involves collecting fish stranded in pools along a side channel of the Deschutes River near Lava Island Falls, disconnected as a result of the low flows, and relocating them to the main river channel.

But we are in need of volunteers! We need you!

If you haven’t yet, Sign up Here!

When: Because of the wet fall, the event is projected to be sooner than first thought. Plan for Monday, October 14th. (Date will be set soon)

What will you be doing: Volunteers can take part in any of the following three tasks, and even switch throughout the day: (1) wade into the pools to help capture fish, (2) hike the buckets of fish from the pools to the river, or (3) help identify and count the fish as they are returned to the main canal of the Deschutes.

What to bring: Bring your waders if you wish to catch or count fish, or bring hiking boots to help with hiking the fish. And bring appropriate clothes for the weather.

Where is it: We meet at the Lava Island Day-use area in Bend (where the road loops, not the trailhead)

We prefer volunteers come for either a morning (9 am-12:30 pm) or afternoon shift (12:30 pm-4 pm). But as always, passion helpers can stay all day or as long as their lunch break will allow. Food, water, coffee, and snacks will be provided.

We will email you again a few days before the event with the final details and an official headcount so we can plan for you.

For more information contact Lisa Windom at lwindom@northunitid.com or call the North Unit Irrigation District Office at (541) 475-3625

FAQ:

What does it mean to have insolated waders? And electrical charge will be put into the water to temporarily stun the fish. Neoprene or thin plastic waders work as long as there are NO HOLES. If you have thin plastic waders, wear sweatpants to add insolation. We will test your waders for safety.

Are there tasks for children? There aren’t many activities for children to do specifically but the activities themselves can interest children. Please note that focus and speed are necessary to transport the fish with as little stress as possible, so saving the fish quickly comes first. The bustle of workers makes it not ideal for children under ~6 years old. But for families interested in teaching their children about fish can visit, watch, see, and even take part in the process BUT read the situation. Take responsibility for keeping your children in a safe space among the collective work.

I’d like to bring my friends, will we be separated? Our volunteer structure is not rigid, by filling out the google form we can gauge the success of the event but you can choose your task to stay with your friends. We will roughly divide up the workers based on your desires, and request moving folks around as needed. You will never be forced to do anything you don’t want to do.