Fall Fishies in a Lost and Found Spring

Just down the road a bit from Proxy Falls, there’s a meadow where people can pull in to camp. Behind that meadow is a spring, which Anne Jefferson showed us in July of 2013. Anne knows all of the best places in the McKenzie River watershed! Lockwood, B, and I went back on our last visit to the area. This time, we found more than serene and lovely water – we found fishies!

Image shows a bit of blue-green water with a log fallen over it. Fishes are swimming in the clear, shallow, still water.
Fishies in the spring I

Many many fishies!

Same view, with a few more fishies in it.
Fishies in the spring II

Are they trout? I wanna say trout. But I know very little about fish. We used to go fishing at Lake Powell, but the only fish I ever caught were the wee little sunfish that would flock to the boat, knowing I’d give them a salmon egg feast if they’d just bite the hook and tolerate me hauling them up and releasing them. I’m told fish don’t feel a lot of pain. I certainly hope that’s true. Regardless, the little dudes were never deterred, and they’d flock around me for as long as the salmon eggs held out. I think I might have caught a perch or two once, out by Glen Canyon Dam, and maybe something else as a wee youngster, but I’m obviously not an inveterate lover of all things fish and fishing. I can’t identify them for carp. But I do enjoy encountering them, especially when I don’t have to fish for them.

The same scene. Many fish have gathered in the center of the shot.
Fishies in the spring III

You have no idea how long I stood there squeeing and filming. I tried several photos, which as you can see are not the bestest. We always manage to get there near sundown, and the trees block a lot of the light. I decided to try a video instead. I think it turned out rather well, all things considered.

Alas, it’s a bit unstable, but it got a bit blurred when I tried to stabilize, so I suppose we can live with shaky-cam. Hopefully, all of the above are adequate for identification purposes. What kind of fishies do you think our fall fishes in the spring are?

Fall Fishies in a Lost and Found Spring
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7 thoughts on “Fall Fishies in a Lost and Found Spring

  1. 2

    Trout works for me. Too small for returning salmon, I think, although it’s hard to tell the size. 8-12 inches or so? Perhaps a bit less. I suppose juvenile salmon may be a possibility.

  2. 4

    I was gonna say brook trout, because that is what my uncle called the little brown fishies we would catch in small streams in Colorado, but Wikipedia says they are native to the eastern U.S., so it looks like my uncle was misinformed.

  3. 6

    Brown trout maybe. Can’t really tell from those photos. Since I’ve (only a hear ago) moved to southern OR, I’ve discovered the joy of Steelhead. Yummy fish!

    I’ve not actively fished in years, and that was all in the lakes of Az, where almost all of them are stocked.

  4. 7

    They are most definitely salmonids, given the oligotrophic (clear) water and habitat, and the swimming motion. Whether, trout, salmon, or char (like brood trout, or dolly varden), is hard to say from the photos. It is possible that they are returning salmon, given the time of year. Did they look beat up at all? Returning salmon would most likely suffer a number of wounds, some of which would be infected with a white, wooly fungus called Saprolegnia.

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