Habitat Improvement Project, No. 25 Public Deposited
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In earlier years, the lower Owyhee River provided excellent trout angling. In recent years, the fishery had declined to one maintained with the annual stocking of legal size hatchery trout on a put and take basis. Stream surveys completed in 1966 indicated the 16 1/2-mile section of the lower river lying between the Owyhee Reservoir dam and the old Owyhee diversion dam in Malheur County, Oregon, would lend itself to periodic rehabilitation and restocking annually with rainbow fingerling. Chemical treatment of this section of river was completed on March 18, 1967. A large population of bridgelip and coarsescale suckers, squawfish, chiselmouth, redside shiner, and carp were reduced. A kill estimated to be in excess of 63,000 fish resulted from the aerial application of 225 gallons of liquid pronox-fish by helicopter. Test fish confined in live boxes along with net sampling indicated an incomplete kill. Failure of the chemical to penetrate the deeper water and rapid detoxification were the primary causes for the incomplete kill. Detoxification at the old diversion dam was necessary to prevent destruction of warm-water game fish below. Rainbow fingerling totaling 97,642 were restocked in mid-April and 5,072 legal size rainbow were planted in late May 1967. Fingerling began entering the catch in August. Angler success was excellent.
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