The southeastern part of Oregon has amazing fishing. Last summer I spent 10 days driving around that part of the state in my camper with one of my sons, we caught hundreds of trout from a few inches to over 20 inches, and we only came across one other angler the whole time. If you too love that area, or native fish, you should know ODFW is currently working on a conservation plan for the Malheur Basin and could use your help.
The Malheur Lakes Redband Trout Conservation Plan will be presented to the ODFW Commission for approval at their meeting in Baker City on June 7-8. This plan lays out guidelines for the monitoring, recovery, and maintenance of native trout in this part of the state.
Participation in the plan is entirely voluntary. It does not require landowners to take any action and there is no enforcement mechanism. It does provide a framework, however, for landowners, agencies, and watershed councils to work together for the benefit of native fish and the public.
While this is a positive step forward from my perspective, there will undoubtedly be opposition. After all, this is the part of the state where the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge recently took place and where there is distrust of government intrusion into local control of lands and water.
To be approved, the ODFW Commission needs to hear from members of the public who support proactive efforts that will benefit native fish while requiring only voluntary participation of landowners. Please submit your written comments to David.T.Banks@state.or.us by May 13th.