This could be the best tasting “crow” that I’ve ever had to eat!
I’m told that such a heading is a bit strong — that I really don’t have any “crow” to eat. But it may be that if I ever deserved to eat crow then perhaps this would be the time. (Such assessment based on many of the disheartened, doubtful comments that I have made over the years — when it seemed that nothing would be done for the remnant of phenotypical Alvord cutthroat trout still expressing themselves in Guano Creek.)
I’m not saying that we’re out of the woods or that victory has been snatched from the jaws of defeat. But at this juncture it certainly does seem that sincere kudos should go to Shannon Hurn, and to the ODFW team — now working on a plan for preservation of Alvord phenotypes from Guano Creek.
For now, the project document (below) should speak for itself. The project is already so underway that it seems unlikely that any native trout enthusiasts will be “invited to the party” at this time. ODFW has already been on the system, looking to identify the best phenotypical Alvord cutthroat trout specimens for transportation to the Klamath hatchery facility (most likely, three spawning pairs for the facility).
There may be opportunity for native trout enthusiasts to contribute, going forward, as ODFW seeks to identify optimal stream habitat to establish a phenotypical remnant of alvordensis in SE Oregon.
(The choices for optimal streams are few; so there may be calls for additional support, as there may be need for riparian improvement, grunt work required to prepare the system, and to get the trout into the desired optimal locations.)
The amazingly good news is that ODFW does have a plan underway and is seeking to preserve the phenotype of the Alvord cutthroat trout – based on the remnant of trout that express Alvord characteristics in Guano Creek!
Please help further the cause, by taking up pen (or keyboard) and writing Shannon a note of thanks, and also inquiring about any ways that we can be of assistance for her or ODFW during the course of this project. Please give encouragement and show appreciation:
Shannon M. Hurn
District Fish Biologist
Malheur Watershed District
237 Highway 20 South, P.O. Box 8
Hines, OR 97738
There will surely be much more to come; but all things considered, this is certainly the best news that we’ve had in years of hoping (and petitioning) for this to come to pass!
It would seem to us (based on considerable time on the creek, evaluating the trout), that Shannon is taking a sound logical approach that will hopefully yield trout with exceptional Alvordensis characteristics. Obtaining true optimal phenotypes may well be the most difficult aspect of her job and this project; and she’s working on that aspect of the project, essentially, as this post is being posted.
We were informed, at the very beginning of our awareness and fledgling efforts toward increasing interest and concern about the plight of this remnant of phenotypical Alvord cutthroat trout – that the wheels of government turn slowly; and that it would take time for the powers that be to be enabled to move forward and be of assistance to these trout.
Perhaps, this is a remarkable lesson in life – about the need and value of both patience, and persistence, in all of our endeavors.
© KOD April 2013