ODFW releases draft plan to conserve redband trout near Malheur Lake


ODFW is soliciting public comment on a draft plan to protect, conserve, and manage redband trout in the Blitzen and Silvies rivers, Silver Creek and other streams surrounding Malheur and Harney lakes in southeast Oregon.

Redband trout of the Malheur Lakes area are uniquely adapted to the desert conditions of the Great Basin—able to persist through dry years, yet resilient enough to rebound and flourish during wet years, according to Kevin Goodson, ODFW conservation planning coordinator.

The draft Malheur Lakes Redband Trout Conservation Plan assesses the health of the nine separate populations within the area, and identifies those that are likely at a greater risk than others. The draft plan also proposes strategies to help counter those factors that currently limit redband populations—factors that include loss of water quantity, water quality, and habitat quality.

“Our goal will be to work with landowners and other local and federal partners to implement voluntary actions to help improve the health of redband populations,” Goodson said. Other potential partners include watershed councils, soil and water conservation districts and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The draft plan has been under development for a number of years with the involvement of numerous stakeholders and partners. ODFW expects to present it to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission for final approval at the Commission’s June 7-8 meeting in Baker City.

In addition to being able to provide public comment at the Commission meeting, the public can provide in-person feedback about the draft plan to ODFW prior to the Commission meeting.Two public meetings to review the Redband Plan will be held:

  • May 8 at 3:30 p.m. in Salem (Steelhead Conference Room at ODFW Headquarters, 4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE)
  • May 9 at 7 p.m. in Burns (Harney County Community Center, 478 N Broadway Ave.)

Written comments about the draft plan can also be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on May 13 to David.T.Banks@state.or.us or Attn: Redband Plan, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, 4034 Fairview Industrial Drive, Salem, OR 97302.

Find the draft plan and other information at dfw.state.or.us/fish/CRP/malheur_lakes_redband_plan.asp.