About Santiam Valley
P. O. Box 1210, Turner, OR 97392
Santiam Valley Ranch is located approximately 5 miles east of I-5, just south of Salem in the triangle of countryside between Turner, Jefferson and Stayton. Thirty-five acres of our 150-acre farm are devoted to fish rearing, wildlife and waterfowl. One hundred acres are leased for cultivation of sweet corn and beans. We also raise sheep for meat, wool and other direct sales of locker lamb. In addition, Santiam Valley Ranch sells rights for duck and goose hunting during winter months.
Nineteen ponds are managed for the production of warm-water fish. Of these, 4 ponds totaling 12.5 acres, are also managed for resting habitat and feed for migratory waterfowl. We have in-pond and tank systems for sorting and holding fish.
Ken showing the ozone and ultra-violet systems. Additionally, we use a biofilter system for holding tanks.
Ken and Andy seining. Notice the depth of the pond is only around 24-inches.
Each order is individually collected, counted and held for pick-up. Processing of your order does not occur until we have received an approved transportation permit for your fish from the Oregon/Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife.
The fish we collect for your order are wild fish. The little fishies have no idea what fish food is about. If you throw fish food into a pond, it basically serves as expensive fertilizer.
If we need to store the fish in holding tanks, we train them to eat prepared fish food or provide other organisms from the ponds. We order our fish food from from Silver Cup, Murray, UT, 800-521-9092. (http://www.silvercup.com/silvercup-home.html)
The pumpkinseed fish are the easiest fish to raise in tanks and readily eat fish feed. For larger bass, we feed them mosquito fish or smaller pumpkinseed or bluegill. Smaller bass are trained to eat floating steelhead feed. For crappie, we feed them mosquito fish. For bluegill, they tend to eat tubifex worms. Channel catfish and bullhead catfish can be easily trained to eat fish feed.
Santiam Valley Ranch is a member of
Santiam Valley Ranch is a member of Oregon Aquaculture Association.
Santiam Valley Ranch has a unique history in the mid-Willamette Valley. It has offered quality duck and goose hunting for half a century. In the 1950-60's, buffalo were raised, hence many locals know the place as "the old buffalo farm". An extensive network of ponds and ditches were constructed in the 1920's and the farm was apparently used by Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife for years as the State's warm-water fish hatchery prior to construction of the state's facility at St. Paul, Oregon.
Today, Santiam Valley Ranch is a family-owned farm. Husband and wife team, Kathy Bridges and Ken Dunder, operate the fish business on a seasonal, part-time basis. They receive help from time to time from four of our six sons -- Luke, Andy, Jake and Nils -- along with our farm "caretaker", Phil Wessel. Phil previously owned a farm in Palmer, Alaska, where he raised potatoes and vegetables and operated three farm stands.
Ken, a Portland State University graduate in chemistry, is owner of Hydrokinetic Systems, Inc., a Salem-based business that designs and builds industrial/agricultural water treatment systems. Recent examples in 2011 include purification of water for central steam plant at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA; removal of BOD from winery waste water system for Ste. Michelle Winery, Woodinville, WA, and purification of incoming raw water for Kimberly Clark, Everett, WA.
Kathy received her Bachelor's
in Zoology and her Master's in Resource Economics from Utah State University,
Logan. She has worked more than 30 years directing non-profit organizations dealing with land-use
(Oregon Coastal Zone Management Association, Newport), farmer's market (Lincoln
County Farmer's Market, Newport), and children with disabilities (Mid-Valley
Children's Guild, Salem, now operated by Easter Seals). In 1991, she received
the Tribute to Outstanding Women from Governor Barbara Roberts for significant
contributions and services. Kathy also served four years as manager for
world-renowned artist, Lorenzo Ghiglieri (www.art-lorenzo.com).
Kathy remains active in non-profit organizations, and currently serves on the Advisory Board for Autism Society of Oregon,
Portland (www.oregonautism.com), serves as Secretary/Treasurer for Oregon
Aquaculture Association, Stayton (www.oregonaquaculture.org) and serves as
Interim President and
Secretary/Treasurer for Northwest Land Conservation Trust.
In addition to operating her farm, Kathy also serves as Executive Director and Trustee for The Bridges Foundation (www.thebridgesfoundation.info)
Photos in this web page cover the lives of our family, growing up here at Santiam Valley Ranch.
You can watch the life of Luke (left, working with US Forest Service in 2009), with photos of him holding large bass for nearly 15 years. He graduated from Oregon State University in Forest Management and currently works for U. S. Geological Survey, studying amphibians in remote wilderness areas throughout Oregon. In the fall, Luke works as a timber cruiser, and in the winter, he serves as a ski instructor for Hoodoo Mountain Resort, Sisters, OR. With Luke's help, most of the fish we gather today are done so with his help, and the help of his friends.
The photos take us back 15 years as we meet Andy (right, conducting sturgeon inventory for Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, 2010) seining fish as a high school teenager. He has since graduated from Oregon State University in Recreational Management and currently works for Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife as a Wetland Habitat Restoration and Enhancement Technician at E. E. Wilson Game Management Area, Monmouth, OR.
Jake (left, seated) also graduated from Oregon State University majoring in Speech Communications and currently works as a Senior Technician for Stream Global Services, Beaverton, OR. Jake continues to share his incredible talent by designing and updating this web page, which gets about 4,000 hits per month!
Jake at Florida Bass Conservation
An expert in landscaping and painting, Nils (left) pitches in by keeping the farm presentable to our customers. If the trees alongside the driveway have been trimmed, or if there is painting of barns in the works, Nils is the guy getting this organized.
Phil (right) mows the lawn constantly, tends to the greenhouse and outdoor garden, helps with lambing and livestock feeding, sprays those dreaded thistles that plaque us each year, and lends an ever-watching eye to keep the farm secure and attractive for all. Phil makes it possible to enjoy each and every day at Santiam Valley Ranch!