We heard from Shannon Hurn today that the Guano Creek fish at the hatchery have finally started growing — and have shot up to an average of 100 mm. We also were informed that Shannon will be leaving the Fisheries Biologist position in SE Oregon – to take a watershed management position on the north coast, starting next month.
She has bequeathed the Guano-Alvord Phenotype management plan and instructions to the new biologist that will be taking the position in Hines. This biologist will determine which fishless stream is most preferable to transplant phenotypes into, how long to watch and wait in order to verify that the transfer is viable, and if/when to move more Alvord phenotypes (Alvord-like) into the currently fishless stream – providing that the transplant is successful.
Currently, there is not a plan for further propagation of Guano Creek trout. The thought process at this point, is that we’ve been quite fortunate to still have as many as up-to eighty juveniles survive from the spawning last spring. According to the management strategy, these will be reared to adult/sub-adult status, and then be evaluated by their appearance…
Now that they have finally started to grow, it seems possible that they could be ready as early as this fall—or at the latest, next spring. If they carry the Alvord appearance, they will be transplanted into a fishless stream in the Alvord Basin. Last year’s evaluation showed there are two positive candidate streams to consider. In the future, more Alvord-like trout could be transplanted from Guano Creek to the new stream if it successfully supports trout.
Embedded below are a few pictures of these precious survivors. They are still a bit silver in appearance, in part perhaps due to the tank environment that they’ve been reared in. We believe that the emerging spotting pattern is very encouraging — though it is still early to know with absolute certainty.
They have also just been moved to a darker environment, which in theory should help with their pigmentation. Perhaps they will show darker hues once they have been in this new darker environment for a month or so.
We encourage all of you to thank Shannon for her efforts in getting this project going. We will do our best to keep native trout enthusiasts apprised of the transition in Hines, and we anticipate that as native trout enthusiasts we will all be a positive encouragement for the new Fisheries Biologist that will fulfill that role in SE Oregon.
Please reach-out to us with any news or information that any of your receive in the “field.”
It seems so clear that a successful propagation and restoration of Alvord phenotypes into the Alvord Basin would be the greatest tribute to Dr. Behnke that any of us could hope for.
© Kortum of Discovery, May 2014