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Salmon at CougarBLUE RIVER: Hatchery raised male spring Chinook are far less fit than their natural counterparts. That’s the conclusion of a report on the trap and haul operation at the 518-foot tall Cougar Dam on the South Fork of the McKenzie River. In addition, researchers found that overall, natural origin females return as larger adults, giving them a spawning advantage in the wild.
The trap and haul operation, which began in 2010, traps both hatchery and wild spring Chinook salmon. They are then trucked above the dam and released into the river. The work aims to reintroduce salmon to habitat lost during the dam’s construction 50 years ago.
Spring Chinook salmon in the upper Willamette River are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. Overall, they’ve lost 32 percent of their historical habitat in the Willamette River system due to dams. About 25 miles of their range in the McKenzie River was lost, according to the report published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.

Off Beat Oregon History

Chinese druggistBy Finn J.D. John
In the decade or two following the 1849 gold rush, a sort of “bracero” program got started in the western U.S. Chinese laborers — called “coolies” after the Chinese term “ku li,” meaning “muscle strength” — poured across the ocean to the land they called “Gold Mountain,” eager to do the dirty, menial and degrading jobs that were left to be done when all the Euro-Americans were off looking for gold or staking a homestead claim.


Doodles By Barry McWilliams

Gardening Tips

By Denise Ruttan
The Arctic blast that recently chilled much of Oregon might make you worried about your plants.
Ross Penhallegon, a horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service, advises several ways to protect your landscape from frigid conditions.


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McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.