Foster Creek Field Notes by RR. Miller and R.G. Miller June 25, 1939


Interestingly, Foster Creek is one of the few areas to have native Chewaucan Redband trout.  Perhaps the following field notes explain why.  The Millers “worked about 100 yds above the highway collecting onlySalveleinius f. fortunalis.” The name Salveleinius f. fortunalis is the scientific name for Brook trout or Eastern Brook Trout.  The Brook trout is a char and does not breed with Redband Trout or Rainbow trout.  They may compete for the same habitat, but the native Redband trout were much more suited to living in the Foster Creek waters that empty into the alkaline Summer Lake.  Inadvertently the ranchers or early biologists that stocked Brook trout in Foster Creek may have done the native Redband a favor because hatchery Rainbow trout were not introduced as they were in so many other streams.

Oregon-Foster Creek-west side of Summer Lake-Lake County 13.5 miles SE Summer Lake P.O (Trib Summer Lake).  Water is clear–white-no order.  No vegetation.  Mud–rocks, moderate current.  Width of Creek up to 3 Ft. Depth of capture 6” with Seine net. –RR. Miller and R.G. Miller June 25, 1939. 9-9:30 am.

Worked about 100 yds above the highway collecting only Salveleinius f. fortunalis.  (2)-3 seen.  No chubs.  Creek is very small with rather steep profile.  Well shaded.  Boys say farther up are Rainbow trout as well as the above. Stream does not go dry even in driest summers.  Harvey Creek, farther south, reported as fishless.  This creek not marked on Fremont Nat. Forest map.  Boys say it is larger than Harvey Creek.

The west side of Summer Lake abounds with marshy areas and slough-like ponds fed in most part by small streams coming off of the abrupt Summer Lake Mountains (Rim Rock Mts., Winter Ridge) Extensive green meadows extend out toward the lake all along.  The natives agree that Ana River and area is the place to collect chubs and other fish; none of them know of chubs save in this section. There are unmistakable lake terraces seen intermittently along the foot of the Summer Lake Range which indicate the lake as originally at least 100 ft. higher than the highway.

—The above field notes were provided by the Fish Division of the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology/UMMZ.


** A beautiful trout that exists in its pure form only in one small stream near Summer Lake, Oregon.

This Redband subspecies is more finely spotted than most Redband trout.

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