2023 fall fish rescue at lava island

Event Date:
October 10, 2023
2023 fall fish rescue at lava island2023 fall fish rescue at lava island
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Calling for volunteers with experience handling fish to help relocate stranded fish as flows in the river drop for storage season.

This year we are expecting to need a fourth day to rescue all the fish stranded in the side channel at Lava Island. Please use the link blow to sign up for a volunteer shift on Tuesday, October 17th, 2023!

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 River Conservancy, with the help of dozens of volunteers from the community, is rolling up its sleeves in a collaborative fish rescue. This 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. Our goal is to save the fish and we invite you to join us to reach that goal.

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When: Because of the dry fall, the event is projected to be sooner than in previous years. Once details are clear they will be announced, please sign up for email and text alerts above to receive updates.

What will you be doing: Volunteers will take part in one of the following three tasks depending on their skills and experience handling fish: (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 channel 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. Bring snacks, water, and appropriate clothes for the weather. Please note: for the safety of volunteers and efficiency, we are not encouraging children 16 and under to come.

What time: The rescue will run from 8 am – 5 pm. There will be three shifts from 8am – 12pm, 9am – 12pm, and 12pm-5pm.

Where is it: Emails with parking details and volunteer directions will be sent out before the event. Directions will outline the bases where volunteers should meet. This rescue will be spread across 3 days, with different teams, goals, and focus areas for each day.
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Meeting location will vary between rescue days!

SATURDAY – First Day – Volunteers Meet at Meadow Camp Day Use Area (See Map Below)

Where to meet: Base 1: Meadow Camp Day Use Area (day-use loop, not the trailhead).

SUNDAY – Second Day – Volunteers Meet at Lava Island (See Map Below)

Where to meet: Base 2: Lava Island Day Use Area (day-use loop, not the trailhead).

MONDAY – Third Day – Volunteers Meet at Lava Island (See Map Below)

Where to meet: Base 2: Lava Island Day Use Area (day-use loop, not the trailhead).

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Lava Island Fish Rescue Location:

The Deschutes River side channel that runs along the west side of Lava Island (and the Deschutes River Trail) becomes disconnected and dry during low winter flows.

Head towards Mt. Bachelor on the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway, depending on the target Volunteer Station (details below), turn left following directions to Meadow Park (Base 1) or directions to Lava Island Day Use (Base 2).

There will be two main bases, as follows:

Base 1: Follow directions to Meadow Day Use Area (located on road FS-4600. 100). On arrival, follow Fish Rescue signage to base one.

Base 2: Lava Island Day Use Area (day-use loop, not the trailhead)

For more information contact us at sross@restorethedeschutes.org