May 22, 2010 – Bend Bulletin – Salmon hatch starts early on Lower Deschutes

This article was published on: 08/30/10 12:00 AM

Salmonfly hatch starts early on Lower Deschutes

Published: May 22. 2010 4:00AM PST

Anglers who want to fish the salmonfly hatch on the Lower Deschutes should get on the river soon.

According to fish biologists, water temperatures are about 2 degrees warmer in the river due to water changes resulting from the project at Round Butte Dam to reintroduce salmon and steelhead into the Upper Deschutes Basin.

This warmer temperature is causing salmonflies to hatch about two weeks earlier than normal this year, and will for years to come, according to Don Ratliff, a fish biologist for Portland General Electric.

“Most of the hatches in the spring will be earlier,” Ratliff said this week. “That will be a new normal from here on out. A
couple weeks earlier is my guess. The hatch is on for most of the lower river.”

Hungry rainbow trout feed on the 3-inch salmonflies, which land on the surface of the water to lay their eggs.

Historically, anglers have flocked to the Lower Deschutes below Warm Springs during the first two weeks of June to takepart in the fishing frenzy triggered by the salmonfly hatch.

Jeff Perrin, owner of the Fly Fisher’s Place in Sisters, said this week that he expects the early hatch to catch many anglers off guard.

“There is going to be a lot of surprised people coming to the Deschutes next month,” Perrin said, “only to find out they
missed the salmonfly hatch.”

—Bulletin staff report

Published Daily in Bend Oregon by Western Communications, Inc. © 2010