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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

United Cerebral Palsy of Oregon and SW Washington Visits Little White Salmon NFH, New Drano Lake Fishing Platform

Region 1, September 12, 2012
Group photo - United Cerebral Palsy & U.S. Fish & Wildlife employees.
Group photo - United Cerebral Palsy & U.S. Fish & Wildlife employees. - Photo Credit: n/a
Everyone excited to get started with their
fishing day!
Everyone excited to get started with their fishing day! - Photo Credit: n/a
USFWS Deputy Regional Director, Richard Hannan, 
getting the pole all set up for one of our fisherman!
USFWS Deputy Regional Director, Richard Hannan, getting the pole all set up for one of our fisherman! - Photo Credit: n/a

Fishing --and quality fishing opportunities-- should be accessible to all. So should Service facilities. 

That principle motivated Columbia Gorge National Fish Hatchery Complex Manager Speros Doulos and Pacific Region Division of Diversity and Civil Rights Manager Dana Perez to work for five years to create an recently-completed Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - accessible Fishing Platform on Washington's Drano Lake, one of the most popular salmon and steelhead fisheries on the mid-Columbia River.  

On Thursday, August 16, 2012: the Fish Platform got its first official tryout when the Service invited United Cerebral Palsy  of Oregon and Soutwest Washington(UCP)  to fish from the platform and take a tour of nearby Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery. Hatchery staff were also spawning spring Chinook, providing an opportunity to learn how and why hatchery staff raise .4 million fish each year

Over a dozen participants and UCP staff were greeted by Service employees and  split into two groups; one toured the Fish Hatchery and learned about spring Chinook spawning, while the second fished for steelhead, getting tips on casting and lures from Mark Doulos and Chris Hankin. Both are employees at nearby Spring National Creek Hatchery and seasoned anglers.

New Hatchery Manager Casey Risley and Gorge NFH Complex Information and Education Specialist Cheri Anderson provided details about the hatchery's mission and the intricate steps of raising salmon on station for up to 18 months before release or transfer.

The groups took a lunch break and then switched so that everybody would have a chance to use the new fishing platform and also tour the facilities. While Gorge winds made fishing a challenge, adult salmon in the river, juvenile fish in raceways, and connecting with nature proved inspirational enough.

Plans are already in the works for a follow-up UCP visit to the Fishing Platform--and Little White Salmon NFH--next year. Service staff--and hopefully the steelhead bit in Drano Lake--will be waiting.

Contact Info: Robert Purks, 503-872-2804, Robert_Purks@fws.gov