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Biologist, volunteers, track trout numbers on Owyhee River

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Dave Banks wades through a section of the Owyhee River recently as he begins a quest to find trout spawning areas. (The Enterprise/Kristine de Leon).

NYSSA – On a cloudy December morning, Dave Banks is in a contemplative state as he steps onto a rock and inspects the swirls of deep eddies along a stretch of the lower Owyhee River just below the dam, south of Nyssa.

The Owyhee River cuts deep canyons through the Owyhee Plateau, an area characterized by gradually sloping terrain, craggy red-rock canyons, arroyos, and basalt butte remnants of extinct volcanoes. Its pristine beauty and trophy catch-and-release brown trout lure anglers from every corner of the planet.

Banks, Malheur Watershed District fish biologist at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife office in Burns, was . . .