Resources 1984 – F. Other Natural Resources 2. Wildlife

Historic Resource Study, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, 1984

V. Geological and Biological Information on Crater Lake Area


F. Other Natural Resources

   2. Wildlife

Crater Lake National Park has a wealth of animal and bird life also. Larger mammals include bear (found in moist areas, such as along Munson and Annie creeks), blacktail deer (in the wet meadows on the west side of the park) and mule deer (on the drier east side), an elk herd that summers in the park, bobcats, coyotes, mountain lions, and red fox. In addition, many smaller animals may be seen, such as pikas, marmots, golden-mantled ground squirrels, chipmunks, and porcupines. No fish of any kind are known to have existed in Crater Lake when it was first discovered by white men. In 1888 William G. Steel carried 600 fingerling rainbow trout in a bucket from the Rogue River to the lake and dumped them in, thirty-seven surviving to become almost certainly the first fish to swim in these waters. Subsequent plantings of rainbow and brown trout and of Kokanee salmon have established a self-perpetuating population. An interesting problem arose in securing enough food for the fish to live on due to the absence of tributary streams. Finally a small freshwater shrimp was found that grew rapidly in the lake environment, and the trout feeding on them soon thrived. Fish also feed on water fleas that live in the lake depths.

More than 120 kinds of birds have been seen in the park, including raptors such as golden eagles, American bald eagles, falcons, ospreys, and horned owls; water fowl; and smaller singers such as the western tanager and the hermit thrush. [22]


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