First adult chinook returns to Upper Deschutes

Jim Bartlett, Portland General Electric Fish Passage Biologist-Facilities Team Lead passed the following photos from the Round Butte hatchery from late last month:



Read more about the Upper Deschutes watershed fish passage project.

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7 Responses to First adult chinook returns to Upper Deschutes

  1. Rob R says:

    That calls for a major celebration. My house, tonight, bring your vice. Unloading the smoker around 6pm. We’re going to toast the first upriver springer in decades, the sockeyes and steelies that should be close behind, and the long-starved Metolius watershed which is due for some much needed ocean-derived goodness. I can’t think of a better reason to party down!!!

  2. Shane Stewart says:

    Just another broodstock program! No different from the cluster f*** on the north coast.
    Yes the Metolius and Crooked once had wild salmon and steelhead but with the construction of Pelton those days are long gone. Re-establish a run? That is laughable at best. What percentage of hatchery salmonids actually produce returns that will spawn wild? It’s very low isn’t it?
    I can think of a lot better reasons to “party down” and none of it involves broodstock pipe dreams.
    I’m afraid that all this has managed to do is make a lot of hungry bull trout very happy.

  3. Rob R says:

    Shane, it’s sure nice to have you here on the Oregon Flyfishing Blog! Your positive attitude and your deep knowledge of fisheries is truly amazing. I particularly like how you simplify seemingly complex issues like this one. You should be the chief of fisheries!

  4. Chris C says:


    Let’s hear your reasons to party down. Everybody like a party. Well, at least I thought so.

  5. Matt Siegmund says:

    Very cool, it would be awesome if this works, I’m gonna hope for the best.

    Rob, I’m glad you found another reason to party.

  6. j. jones says:

    The wild chinook and steelhead that once resided in our canyons are forever gone, now to be replaced by hatchery stock. The introduction of migrating fish to the upper Deschutes Basin could bring diseases to the currently healthy poplulation of local resident fish. All that said, i think it will be exciting to see large anadromous fish return to these waters. The really interesting thing is that the “Kokanee” in the lake are actually the relatives of the Sockeyes that got stuck in the upper deschutes basin and B. Chinook. Judging by the numbers passing downstream, these sockeyes weren’t landlocked long enough to forget their sea-going nature. Over a hundred thousand sockeye have headed to the ocean. These fish are true wild sockeyes that are genetically programed to these waters. Because of this, I expect a good return of healthy, wild adult sockeye salmon. This is the real legacy here, the return of our original Upper Deschutes Basin Sockeye Salmon run.

  7. j.jones says:

    Update: As of August 20, 2011, 16 wild Sockeye Salmon have made it to the fish collection facility near Pelton Dam.

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