Anglers in Central Oregon will lose an important ally when Brett Hogdson, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife’s Deschutes District Fish Biologist, retires this Friday. You may not know Brett, but his dedication to local fisheries has made your life as an angler better. For many years, Brett managed fish in the Upper Deschutes Basin which includes all the waters that flow into the Metolius, Crooked, and Upper and Middle Deschutes Rivers and all lakes and reservoirs in the Basin.
You can thank Brett at least in part for tui chub removal in Little Lava, East, and Paulina Lakes, brown bullhead catfish removal in North & South Twin Lakes, the use of triploid (sterile) hatchery Cranebows as stock in Crane Prairie, directing the science proving the correlation between gas bubble disease and resulting population declines in the Crooked River with spills over Bowman Dam. The list goes on: bull trout monitoring in Lake Billy Chinook and the Metolius, attempts at restoration of the Upper Crooked River Basin, anadromous fish introduction, fish passage at Opal Springs, calling attention to the Middle Deschutes, etc. Brett was also a strong, constant advocate for fish in endless meetings and negotiations with other state and Federal agencies, irrigation districts, ranchers, landowners, and NGOs, which did not make him a lot of friends.
I have enjoyed being in the field many times with Brett counting redds on the Metolius, performing mark and release studies on the Crooked, backpacking steelhead and chinook fry into the lowermost stretches of the Crooked and Middle Deschutes Rivers, etc.
Like any bureaucracy, ODFW has all types of people. Some join because they truly believe in the mission, and continue to do their best to enhance our fish and wildlife, regardless of obstacles put in their way. Brett is one of those people. His dedication to and passion for what he perceived to be his job sometimes created conflict and limited his advancement, but it benefited the rest of us. Thanks Brett. It has been a pleasure to work with and learn from you. Your departure will leave a huge hole in local institutional memory and concern for Central Oregon. Best wishes and I hope we can go fishing together more often.