SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- An effort to reduce the number of hatchery salmon spawning in the McKenzie River spurs the release of more than 200,000 chinook smolts into the Coast Fork Willamette River.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife plan would attempt to create a recreational fishery between Cottage Grove and Springfield for the first time in more than 30 years.
ODFW plans to release the smolts on March 12, and expects a return of between 1,000 and 2,000 chinook in 2014.
Last year more than 6,000 hatchery spring chinook returned to the McKenzie River.
Many of these fish bypassed the hatchery and spawned in the McKenzie River, which impacted the McKenzie's wild chinook, which are listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.