Deschutes River Conservation
By Deschutes Angler Staff
The resource of wild rivers and wild fish that we are so fortunate to experience in Oregon is one that is ever changing. What can we do as anglers to give back to the resource?
Click photos to enlarge
If you take care of your river - it will take care of you!
There are many things that the individual angler can do - some small and simple and some requiring greater commitment. Here are some suggestions for anglers interested in giving back to the resource. These simple conservation ethics are easy for the average angler to live by on every trip to the river:
Catch and release your wild fish quickly and carefully. Keep the fish in the water as much as possible.
Don't drag the fish onto the shore or hold it out of the water for more than a few seconds simply for the sake of a photograph - the fish should always come first.
Leave the river better than you found it. Pick up a small bag of trash on each outing to the river.
"The resource is put in proper perspective, as something of immense value, to be cherished, used respectfully and passed on unimpaired to future generations.
Angling, if it is to persist, can only do so as a sport of high principles, strong ethics and intelligent recognition of the true nature of the resource."
Do not break branches along the river's edge simply because they have impaired your cast.
If you are in an area where fires are allowed, bring your own firewood rather than gathering wood from the river's edge.
Be prepared with a small shovel in case nature calls unexpectedly and suddenly. Walk well away from the rivers edge and away from the footpath and use your shovel to bury your waste.
When camping, always camp near an outhouse or carry a portable toilet with you. This is required by law on many rivers such as the Deschutes.
Camp only in designated campsites that have already been trampled.
There are larger things that we, as fly anglers, can do to give back to the waters that we fish. We can all do our part to support conservation organizations that work towards the betterment of the rivers and the fish. These organizations provide a collective and powerful voice for anglers when it comes to protecting our rivers from development, pollution, and poor management. Native Fish Society, Oregon Trout, Deschutes River Conservancy, and Wild Fish Conservacy are four of the best organizations working towards protecting our rivers and our wild fish here in the northwest.
These non-profit organizations always graciously accept financial contributions, but there are other ways that you get involved without writing out a big check. They have several volunteer opportunities both in the field (spawning redd counts on the rivers, riparian restoration, tree planting, etc) and in their home offices. Most of these organizations hold annual fundraising dinners each spring with live auctions and silent auctions. These events are a great way to meet other fly anglers and to expand one's circle of angling friends. Donate a piece of artwork, antique fly fishing memorabilia, a fine bottle of wine, or even volunteer to help with the fundraising dinner.
If you attend an annual event you will have fun bidding on auction items - it is be a great way to donate money to a non-profit (a tax write-off) and, in addition to knowing that you are doing something important to give back to the resource, you may walk away from the dinner with a new fly rod in your hand. If you are interested in more information about Native Fish Society, Oregon Trout, Deschutes River Conservancy, or Wild Fish Conservacy , please give us a call at our fly shop or check out the links to their website on our River Info page.
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