Managing Deschutes River fisheries topic of presentation

Managing the Deschutes River fisheries will be the program topic at Wednesday’s meeting of the Olympia chapter of Trout Unlimited.

Giving the presentation will be Larry Phillips, the South Puget Sound district fish biologist for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Running mostly through Thurston County, the Deschutes River was historically inaccessible to upstream migrating fish just above Capitol Lake in Olympia. In the 1950s a series of fish ladders were constructed by the Washington Department of Fisheries to improve the upstream passage.

Since the 1960s, the Department of Fish and Wildlife has operated a fish collection facility just above Tumwater Falls. Currently the department releases about 3.8 million fingerling fall chinook and 100,000 coho fry each year. The releases support treaty and non-treaty commercial and recreational sport fishing throughout Puget Sound. The river also supports abundant coastal cutthroat trout that are managed under catch-and-release regulations.

Phillips graduated with a bachelor of science degree in environmental science from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho, in 1997. In 2004, he earned a master’s of science degree in fisheries from Eastern Washington University.

The Olympia resident has been with the department since 1998. He can be contacted at Larry.Phillips@dfw.wa.gov.

The meeting will start at 7 p.m. at the North Olympia Fire Station, 5046 Boston Harbor Road NE, Olympia. Learn more about the chapter on Facebook.