POLK COUNTY -- The Luckiamute Watershed Council is preparing to conduct its third and fourth rounds of fish counts in the Luckiamute and Little Luckiamute rivers and the creeks that feed into them.
Local residents will be making phone calls to their neighbors beginning May 1 to ask permission to access streams that flow through private lands.
Calls to approximately 245 landowners will seek permission to access creeks and rivers for this summer's and next summer's fish count.
Most of the subject area includes the Falls City and Pedee areas of Polk County and the Kings Valley and Hoskins areas of northern Benton County.
The fish counts are made by scientists and snorkelers who quickly wade or swim into the pools, count the fish and then move upstream. This series of counts (this summer and next) will confirm and expand on the counts made in 2008 and 2009.
Those counts, by scientist Steve Trask, suggest that there are trout, steelhead and young salmon in many of the tributaries of the Luckiamute River. Although numbers are low, the Luckiamute Watershed Council hopes to increase fish populations by encouraging landowners near fish populations to preserve or restore streamside habitat. All restoration activities promoted by the council are voluntary.
Results from the 2009 count will be available to the public this summer, but the 2008 count is available now online at www.luckiamutelwc.org under the "latest publications/rapid bioassessment" buttons.
For more information about the fish count: David Anderson, 503-507-4046; Gail Oberst, 503-871-1242.