The Lethargy of Winter Will Soon Give Way to Spring Fever

Winter is often a time of planning and preparation for summer’s activities.  Especially for native trout enthusiasts—anticipating the summer’s adventures is, in part, what helps us make it through the winter.

Of course, there are at least a few winter adventures that also help keep the fires burning. And the occasional detailed book of fishin’ stories or articles that help with the motivation.  It might be especially inspirational to read by a crackling fire, on a free evening: perhaps a blustery rain or snow descending outside; though we manage to pull this off far too seldom.

Sometimes — the most important things come to pass during the course of the winter . . .

Preparation: Hopefully a new set of tires for the ol’ truck; maybe a new set of brake pads; oil and lube; double check and take extra hoses, fluids, both spares and plenty o’ fix-a-flat.  Funds available for fuel… UG!  Tackle: New line and tippets, fresh flies and fish-getters, new camera batteries, lights, tools, a menagerie of updated electronics and of course, maps.

O yes the maps:  For some of us the planning is almost as enjoyable as the adventure itself. With the advent of Google Earth it has become easy to virtually explore in advance areas of planned investigation or visitation; and via GPS technology we outline our projected steps.

Yet things always change a bit once in the area or on the stream—so flexibility is called for.

Our outings go best when we’ve not only prepared, but when we’ve done a bit of research on not just the target species; but on the potential dangers (whether snakes, biting insects, poison plants and other threats), and on the positive landmarks to enjoy and appreciate.

These occasions are too brief & costly to ignore the prospect of maximizing the experience while the opportunity avails itself.  It’s a very good thing to take time to “smell the roses!”

But then, there are the times we drive all night —for just a few hours on the stream— and then drive all night to get home just in time to get ready for work the next day. (Ug & Ug!)

And then, there is an important new opportunity that has been brought to us this winter:

Every four years a public process is enabled by ODFW; to review and entertain proposals for changes in the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.  This is that year.  For us, and for the native trout enthusiasts and researchers that we’ve been able to communicate with, the general consensus is that some form of “catch and release fishing only,” or similar focused protection for the Alvord phenotypes in ***** Creek, would be optimal—if there is going to be an authentic effort at the prospect of rescuing and restoring these phenotypical Alvords.

Embedded below is a proposal synopsis that’s been submitted to ODFW for consideration.  There is no guarantee that this will make the cut and even be “on the table” for evaluation.  Yet this is a public process—and there will be opportunity for public input on this request.

Please note the email addresses in the embedded proposal, and if you are so inclined please feel free to add positive input & constructive consideration for the ODFW personnel shown.

Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations - Proposed Revision

Our utmost desire for this fledgling remnant of phenotypical Alvord cutthroat trout is the expedient rescue and perpetuation of the remaining trout that display the characteristics of the Alvord cutthroat trout; with the goal to ultimately preserve the trout presenting the phenotypical distinctiveness that represents this remote and rare cutthroat trout species.

May the agencies and entities that have the resources and capabilities to be proactive in behalf of these phenotypical Alvords—that against all odds still exert their presence here—be enabled to work together in what could become the most remarkable and yet uniquely meaningful chapter of cutthroat trout preservation in history…

If we successfully fulfill the process of practically resurrecting an extinct species of trout—it is difficult to imagine a greater victory and a win-win-win-win-win for the States of Oregon and Nevada, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Trout Unlimited, native trout enthusiasts and; especially for the Alvord cutthroat trout — and future generations that will then be able to hold and behold the pure beauty of a trout, no longer relegated to just the pages of history.

As more individuals and agencies become aware of the plight of these rare survivors of the desert—let us all reinvigorate our interest and enthusiasm to keep the spark of hope alive.

As we hear of new news, we’ll plan to keep updates posted.  …There are some “stirrings” in the “background.”  As realities surface, we’ll be sharing those with native trout enthusiasts.


As we note that the days are getting longer, and the pristine wilderness beckons to us once again to explore its isolated ranges and craggy canyons; we ponder once more what we will find in the remote systems that we know and love, and in the secluded habitats that we are yet to explore.  The allurement of native trout is interwoven through all these experiences.

In the meantime — regardless of advancing age, scarcity of funds, time constraints or other challenges; spring is in the air, and it is just a matter of time before the call of the northern Great Basin and Range will be answered; so we may once again adventure outward into the thinly streamed tapestry of the sagebrush carpeted kingdom of the Alvord cutthroat trout.

© KOD 2-2012

About kortumofdiscovery

Kortum of Discovery (a slight play on Lewis & Clark's Corps of Discovery) is a family team that is Affirming the Exceptional Beauty of Nature, one Adventure at a Time. With a focus toward rare and endangered species in the Great Basin and American west: discoveries, unique methodologies, and many “tall tales to tell” are continually being shared around the campfire!
This entry was posted in Fisheries Biology and Genetics, Progress - Reply - Response - Status, The Word is Out. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Lethargy of Winter Will Soon Give Way to Spring Fever

  1. Joe DiSilvestro says:

    I am in favor of the alternate plan for Oregon’s 2013 fishing regulations. This alternative will allow mechanical removal of non-Alvord Phenotypes by angling. Catch and Release angling is likely already practiced and therefore will not add much value to saving the Alvord Phenotypes. This is basically the email that I sent to Shannon Hurn.

    Joe DiSilvestro
    Phoenix, AZ

  2. Thanks Joe, It may be that this option will be a more amicable adjustment for some of the hunters that like to catch their dinner (we’ve chatted with a few hunters angling for cutts for the frying pan). Hopefully we can help participants appreciate the value of saving the Alvords — such that they will agree; and in essence help cull the Lahontan and Humboldt cutts but keep the Alvords intact.

  3. Micah Lauer says:

    I too support the alternate plan. Also, having signage posted along the stream (at road crossings, etc) will help educate anglers about the differenct cutthroat strains present and the importance of keeping the Alvord strain as pure as possible.

    And hello, Joe. It’s been a long time, my friend! I hope all is well down in the desert.

    Micah Lauer
    Boise, Idaho

  4. Micah; Thanks for the note, and for the idea of signage along the stream. (Most of the locals and those familiar with the area drive right past the HQ on the way to their destination.) Appropriate signage at key locations may be very helpful for educating casual fishermen visiting the area and/or hunters out for dinner…

  5. Patrick Sievert says:

    I agree with the second idea. In fact, this summer, I plan to keep a couple of non-Alvord cutthroats out of this creek for my supper.

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