DAYVILLE - Redband trout in Indian Creek and Peewee Creek will soon be swimming in cooler, higher quality water with the addition of woody debris and streamside fencing. Funding for the project comes from a $20,000 grant from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Fish Restoration and Enhancement Program.

The project includes placing juniper trees and branches along the banks of Indian Creek to control erosion, and fencing two miles of Indian Creek and one-third mile of Peewee Creek to exclude livestock from ecologically sensitive riparian areas. In return for the grant, landowners Bill Tudor and Christine Mueller have agreed to maintain the fence and document fish recovery in the creeks for the next 15 years.

Indian Creek is a tributary of the South Fork John Day River located about 33 miles south of Dayville. Peewee Creek is a tributary of Indian Creek. Both creeks have year-round populations of native redband trout. Trout from the South Fork John Day River also seek refuge in the creeks during the summer when river temperatures become too warm.

In addition to the Fish Restoration and Enhancement Program grant, the landowner is contributing $20,383, the Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation is contributing $17,500 and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is contributing $2,844.

The project is expected to be completed in June 2005.

The Fish Restoration and Enhancement Program was created by the Oregon Legislature in 1989 and is funded by a surcharge on sport and commercial fishing licenses and commercial poundage fees. The program is overseen by a seven-member citizen board that reviews proposals and recommends funding for fish restoration and enhancement projects throughout the state.

For more information on the Fish Restoration and Enhancement Program, visit the department's Web site at www.dfw.state.or.us/ODFWhtml/InfoCntrFish/RnEProgram/R&EHistory.html, or call program staff at (503) 947-6211.

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