Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) biologists found one little tui chub minnow in mid-October during a fisheries monitoring to ensure the health of native species and eliminate invasive ones in Diamond Lake. Now it is taking action by releasing predacious trout in the lake to prey on tui chubs and ensure that the invasive minnow species does not invade the lake again and waste the $6 million expense dedicated to its elimination back in 2006.

Professors at Oregon State University already positively identified the seven and a half inch long fish to be a four-year-old tui chub, so the race is on to eliminate it before it upsets the Diamond Lake ecosystem again.

"This is extremely frustrating when you consider the amount of time and effort put into the restoration of Diamond Lake by so many," Fish Biologist at the ODFW Umpqua District, Greg Huchko, said.

ODFW is not taking any chances that the tui chub caught in the trap net is a unique incident. ODFW will release 25,000 tiger trout- a brown trout and brook trout hybrid- and 300,000 rainbow trout fingerlings. The tiger trout which will be released are all sterile so there is no risk of it becoming an invasive species, however, ODFW will implement a "catch and release only" on them to maximize the fish's introduction.

"Any tiger trout that may leave or be removed from Diamond Lake are sterile so there is not the risk of these fish species reproducing in the North Umpqua watershed or elsewhere," Umpqua National Forest fish biologist Jason Wilcox said.

Of course, the removal effort will be costly so ODFW plans to raise funds for it at the annual derby banquet and auction which will be held on Jan. 29. A one-night stay at Diamond Lake Resort with free use of two snow mobiles will be given to those who will donate $1,000 for the tui chub removal.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife | Flickr 

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