Originally Posted by Pinstriper
Isn’t this by design, the new normal ? They said they were going to plant fewer but bigger fish.
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For a very long time we got ODFW "Bows at Hagg Lake. Then when the Corps of Engineers got dinged for not performing "Mitigation" at Willamette System dams not having a fish ladder, USACE took over planting with beautiful Desert Springs Commercial Hatchery fish from east of the Cascades. These were those big, beautiful, fat, pink-meated fish we appreciated so much. Well, something happened (probably the cost of trucking 'em over), and we started getting the usual ODFW dinks again. Several of the loads of these fish came equipped with something a little extra like a stomach full of tapeworms. Thank goodness that source was taken off the supply list.
This last Fall so many folks were fishing Hagg due to little or no salmon being available. The over-winter trout fishery wasn't and isn't much fun due to the lake being completely depleted by anglers desperate for someplace to wet a line. Typically, ODFW remained uninterested in providing a little something extra to Hagg anglers and they have declined to do any plantings until March 2020. Since the last regular bulk planting in 2019 we have received several hundred extra brood trout to make it at least interesting. If they do not need these fish for eggs, they are stocked to eliminate having to feed them until the following season.
Contact with Desert Springs Hatchery reveals the fish being provided for mitigation have declined for most of the legally required plantings in the Willamette Valley. USACE is still providing the fish for other upper valley watersheds, BUT not Hagg Lake. Just like with the Coho, Chinook and Steelhead the paying angler gets the "hose" one more time.
If any of this information has changed since last Fall, I'm sure ifishers will let me know!