Three drivers were arrested or cited on criminal mischief and other charges after mudding" through Spencer Creek and damaging meadows along Oregon's only spawning tributary to the Klamath River. An Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish & Wildlife Division trooper came across the suspects after two pickups became stuck, and a third was trying to free them.
On Friday, March 24, OSP Senior Trooper Paul Randall was patrolling an area of rural Klamath County near Spencer Creek, on the lookout for anglers who may be tempted to fish in closed streams for large spawning rainbow. While patrolling, Randall found a party of four-wheelers who had been "mudding" through the creek and the adjacent area. Large ruts had been cut through the meadows along the creek.
Two drivers’ four-wheel-drive pickups became stuck while mudding through Spencer Creek, and a third got stuck attempting to rescue the other two. All three drivers were cited or arrested on various charges. The Spencer Creek area is the only spawning tributary to the Klamath River in Oregon. OSP photos.
One of the pickups driven by Colin Mitchell Stricklan, 18, from Klamath Falls, was completely stuck in Spencer Creek. Another pickup driven by 19-year old Philip Stockton McDonald of Merrill became partially stuck in the creek as he attempted to pull out the first truck. A third vehicle driven by Aaron Joseph Slikker, 22, of Klamath Falls, came to rescue the other two and caused significant damage to the area’s natural resources in the process by creating several large ruts and holes in the soft soil.
Stricklan was arrested and lodged in Klamath County Jail for first-degree criminal mischief and eight counts of reckless endangering.
McDonald and Slikker were both cited and released for second-degree criminal mischief.
A fourth person identified as 32-year old Rodney Michael Green of Newberg, and part of the group, was found hiding in the woods and taken into custody on outstanding warrants from Coos and Clackamas Counties.
The Spencer Creek area is the only spawning tributary to the Klamath River in Oregon.