Willamette Valley anglers will be delighted to find an early bonanza of hatchery trout in local waterways. A dam malfunction turns out to be good news for folks who want to go fishing for New Years.
Two of three gates at Leaburg Dam on the McKenzie River are down due to malfunction. That spurred the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to move nearly 10 thousand trout. ODFW's Jeff Ziller says with the dam gates down, there's not enough water available for the Leaburg Hatchery. The agency trucked 93 hundred one-pound trout to other waterways.
Ziller: "We have some great spots to go right now: Junction City Pond, Walter Wirth Pond, up in the Albany area, Dorena, Cottage Grove and Hills Creek Reservoirs all received some very large fish, very nice fish."
ODFW also moved about 230 thousand Chinook Salmon out of its McKenzie Hatchery and is releasing them in the Coast Fork Willamette River. This is early for release of Chinook. Ziller hopes most of them will successfully migrate to the Ocean. Eugene Water and Electric Board is hoping to have the Leaburg Dam gates fixed by mid January.