May 31, 2016 10:50 a.m.
For the first time ever, tiger trout will be swimming in Diamond Lake’s crystal blue waters soon.
Information released by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says that biologists hope these sterile trout prey on any invasive fish once they are large enough next spring. Tiger trout are a hybrid between a female brown trout and a male brook trout.
ODFW District Fish Biologist Greg Huchko says that Diamond Lake will get around 5,000 tiger trout in the six to seven inch size range next week, with another 13,000 fingerlings in a few weeks. ODFW purchased the trout from the Cold Springs Trout Farm, which is a private hatchery in Utah. The purchase was made possible by a grant from the Umpqua Fisheries Enhancement Derby and Sport Fish Restoration.
Huchko says another 300,000 rainbow trout fingerlings will also be stocked next week and should be legal size by this fall. Huchko says that rainbow trout fishing is excellent right now and the fish are biting well.
Tiger trout angling is catch and release only while the rainbow trout limit is five legal sized trout per day with two daily limits in possession and just one trout per day over twenty inches. Eight inches long is the legal size for the rainbow trout.
ODFW treated Diamond Lake with rotenone in 2006, ridding it of an estimated 90 million tui chub, an invasive bait fish that reproduces rapidly. In 2008, biologists discovered golden shiners, another illegally introduced bait fish in the lake. Late last fall, a single tui chub was found during routine monitoring.
ODFW worked with the Umpqua National Forest, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Douglas County to form a joint action plan for managing the lake and its fishery. That plan includes monitoring and a fish stocking strategy.
Greg Huchko felt that tiger trout were the way to go to help deal with issues in the lake. Huchko says that because the fish are sterile there is not a risk to North Umpqua River native fish. Once they are about 14 inches, they should begin to prey on golden shiners and tui chub.
On Wednesday, seasonal employees from ODFW will begin intensive fish species monitoring at Diamond Lake.