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High water curtails Union Creek trout stocking

High water in the far upper Rogue River above Lost Creek Lake have curtailed rainbow trout-stocking plans in the Union Creek area, but seven sites did get trout this week in time for Memorial Day weekend.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife planned to stock 2,000 legal-sized trout this week spread out among 11 sites from Prospect to the Union Creek, but that complement was dispersed between seven release sites: Mill Creek campground, River Bridge campground, Woodruff Bridge, Union Creek campground, Farewell Bend campground, Mt. Stella Bridge at the junction of Highway 230 and Forest Service Road 6510, and a pullout along Highway 230 between mileposts 9 and 10.

Some normal release sites remain snowed in, says Dan VanDyke, ODFW's Rogue District fish biologist. Another was behind a locked gate, and flows in Mill Creek at Prospect were so strong that it was not fishable, VanDyke says.

Thanks to a snowpack that was measured at 140 percent of normal, flows in the upper Rogue near Prospect were running this week at 30 percent higher than in 2011, the last heavy snowpack year, VanDyke says.

More trout-stocking sites will be added as the snowpack and runoff diminish, VanDyke says. He expects all the traditional release sites to be stocked weekly by July 4.

Bear Camp Road opens today

The backwoods travel route used by boaters and hikers along the Wild and Scenic Section of the Rogue River is scheduled to open today after contractors hired by the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest finish plowing snow off the one-lane, paved road linking Galice to Agness.

However, travelers can expects delays of up to 20 minutes along Bear Camp Road west of the Bear Camp Overlook as a contractor works to clean ditches and culverts and clear minor slides that annually hamper access along this route.

The highly volatile serpentine soils along the road along the Siskiyou crest makes for regular slides and road washouts.

But this route remains a favorite for Wild Rogue users because it shaves two hours or more off a return route from Agness through Gold Beach and Brookings instead of the straight-shot to Galice near the start of the Wild Rogue float at Grave Creek.

Brookings couple lauded as top campground hosts

A Brookings couple has been recognized by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department as the most outstanding park hosts for 2016.

Bob and Gay Treadwell won the department's Gen Angdahl Award. The Treadwells were among eight nominees for the award. In the last four years, the couple have logged more than 11,500 hours of service at 10 parks, most recently at Alfred A. Loeb State Park along the Chetco River near Brookings.

Host duties include unloading firewood, moving picnic tables, repairing sprinkler heads and cleaning equipment.

The award is named after Gen Angdahl, longtime park host who logged more than 10,000 hours of volunteer service. She died in 1997.

— Reach Mail Tribune reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtfribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.