Thief Valley Reservoir trout bag limits lifted as water levels decline

Thief Valley Reservoir

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

by OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

LA GRANDE, Ore. – Dry conditions in eastern Oregon and declining water levels in Thief Valley Reservoir have prompted local fish biologists to remove daily catch limits on the reservoir starting Wednesday, Sept. 11.

Thief Valley Reservoir on the Powder River is currently holding significant water, but the storage level is declining at a rate that would have it at dead storage level by late September.  ODFW biologist Tim Bailey says that removing the bag limit now will give anglers a better opportunity to harvest trout that will die later when the reservoir is drained.

“When the water level reaches dead storage, large numbers of trout get trapped in isolated pools,” said Bailey. “Most fish will be stressed in the warm, turbid water and die. Conditions when the reservoir is at dead storage are not conducive to the harvesting of fish,” he added.

From Sept. 11 to Oct. 15, 2019 the daily bag and possession limits for trout are removed with no minimum size. Harvest methods may include hand, dip net or angling.

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