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CTGR grant money helps Coquille Tribe acquire its own bass-zapping boat

Brian Bull
In this September 2021 photo, Helena Linnell of the Coquille Tribe (seated) and Gary Vanderohe of the ODFW (center) take his agency's electrified boat up the Coquille River to zap and remove invasive bass.

Last year we reported on how the Coquille Tribe was using a special electrified boat from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to remove invasive bass. Now we have an update on how that effort’s being doubled.

Last summer, the ODFW’s Gary Vanderohe explained how his agency’s boat worked, as he took us up the Coquille River to find and zap invasive smallmouth and striped bass.

“We have a generator that’s underneath the seat, and then there’s a box in the steering console that converts the electricity – which is an AC electricity- into a DC electricity , which is a little bit easier on the fish, it just kinda stuns them,” he said.

Bass zapping on the Coquille River

This year, through a $100,000 grant from the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde's Spirit Mountain Fund, the Coquille will soon have their own craft.

Helena Linnell, biological planning and operations manager for the Coquille Tribe, explained why it’s vital to remove bass.

“They’ve been here for over a decade, and they are having decimating effects on salmonids,” said Linnell, adding the bass also endanger other native aquatic species in the area.

The tribe expects to have the boat delivered next year, so they and the ODFW can double-team the invasive bass beginning in 2023.

Copyright @2022, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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