The scoop on Minto Dam fish trap

B

bigfootfish

I just got done talking at length with the manager boss at the Marion Forks Fish Hatchery which oversees all operations at the Minto Dam Fish Trap. Exiting things are going to be happening starting in January plus some exciting things are happening right now. More after while, as I have an appointment I have to keep.

BFF
 
E

eggs

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must be putting in the new hatchery and getting the new dam structure
 
B

bigfootfish

New Minto Dam Fish Trap

New Minto Dam Fish Trap

Yep you're right, eggs. Starting in January the Minto Dam Fish Trap facility will start to be destroyed. Two years later a new fish trap which will automatically trap and move the fish into tankers for transport upstream will be finished. No human hands will really be needed, supposedly. Completely automated and the new trap will work at any river flow conditions. Niagra to Packsaddle will probably be closed to fishing, as explosives will be used during the dimantaling and reconstruction of the new one. The Upper Bennet Dam at Stayton will collect and trap the migrating salmon and steelhead. All excess Summer Steelhead and Wild and Hatchery Spring Chinook will get a FREE PASS at continuing up the North Santiam. That could get interesting if the Minto Dam is gone, as ALL the fish could swim on up to Big Cliff's tailrace, though a good number will spawn downstream at the Cable Car crossing. The Minto Dam facility was closed to public access a few years ago due to dangerous conditions at the Minto Dam. Kayakers who put in right below Big Cliff have tried to go over the Minto Dam itself and they get caught right below the Dam on some kind of projections and held in place by the force of the water and some have almost drowned. So they say. The ODFW leases the sight from the Army Corp of Engineers and the ACE, sighting dangerous boating hazards then qualified for special Federal Funds which will pay for the new improved Minto Dam Trap. Pretty clever thinking on someone's part. A great way to get funding!:D

Furthermore, since 2000, the Marion Forks Hatchery staff has been loading excess Wild Sring Chinook into tankers and dropping them in the North Santiam at the Cooper's Spur
Bridge and in the Brientenbush River up at the Cleator Bend Bridge. Most have had anti-biotics injected into them so they might be unsafe to eat plus most would be too dark to eat anyway. You can still hook 'em and then release them. The Regs don't cover the exact situation of Wild Spring Chinook where they are at, yet. Detroit Lake has a rule that as of every August 15th any fish caught in the reservoir over 24 inches must be released unharmed. Even trout over two feet. This is because enough anglers don't know the difference between Chinook and Rainbows. Salmon and their cousins have black gumlines. Rainbows have white gumlines. It's easy as pie to tell the difference. But the rule is thought to protect any trout that might go upstream to spawn out of Detroit Rez. And rainbows WILL spawn in the fall when the time is right, and Rainbows do need stream environments to spawn in.
As of last Sunday morning the Wild Spring Chinook were at milepost 65 on Hwy. 22. Earlier I was told MP 55, but my source said later it was at MP 65 that they saw all the Chinook.
The hatchery manager, I think his name is Greg, also told me that if you did catch a Wild Springer up there in the Upper North Santiam and tried to tag it that there is no river code for that stretch of water. Of course some anglers would enter the code for the North but if it was the Brientenbush where the salmon was caught then there would be no code for that stream.
Quite an interesting conversation we had. Greg likes to get up at 4 a.m. to go fishing himself, which he laughed as he said this because some people he knows thinks he crazy to get up that early.
I get off work tonight at about 2:30 a.m. and I'm tempted to stay up and hit the water in time to watch the sunrise. Hmmm.:think:


BFF
 
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