Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ohop Creek Fish Rescue

Sculpin that was collected during fish rescue About 100 years ago, farmers in the Ohop Valley dug a large ditch along the valley wall to contain Ohop Creek, a tributary to the Nisqually River, to develop grazing land for dairy cattle.

On August 11, approximately 30 people from the Nisqually Land Trust, Nisqually Tribe, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Stream Stewards, Washington Conservation Corps and Mason County Conservation District gathered for a fish rescue operation at Ohop Creek near Eatonville, WA.

We restored 1.2 miles of Ohop Creek to its natural condition through a concerted effort from the agencies listed above.

We started collecting fish in the 1/3 of a mile of the ditch using electroshockers, dip nets and seines, then transferring the fish to a large holding tank. Once the fish were collected they were taken to the restored creek where the fish were identified, enumerated, measured and released. We found Coho fry, lamprey, dace, crawfish, sculpins, fresh water mussles, large scale sucker, and some non-native warmwater fish.