New Rules Greet Hunters, Anglers as New Year's Day Dawns

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), January 1, 2008 | Go to article overview
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New Rules Greet Hunters, Anglers as New Year's Day Dawns


Byline: INSIDE THE OUTDOORS By Mike Stahlberg The Register-Guard

Happy New Year! Or, maybe Happy New Rules would be more appropriate for the hunters, anglers and boaters among you.

The arrival of a new year not only means you need new hunting and fishing licenses, but you need to learn about the changes in laws and regulations that inevitably take effect each Jan. 1.

The biggest news in the 2008 Oregon Sport Fishing regulations is that Siltcoos and Tahkenitch lakes have been uprooted from Lane County and moved northward to somewhere in the wilds of Lincoln County.

Both lakes carry a "(Lincoln County)" designation in the bright blue ink the angling synopsis reserves for text that is "new or changed from 2007." That's got to be bad news to folks in the Lane County town of Florence, who've always considered Siltcoos and Tahkenitch to be neighborhood fishing holes.

Having once made a geographic typographical error myself, I won't belabor this one.

The real reason the two lakes are listed in blue ink is because the fall (Oct. 1 -Dec. 31) season on wild coho (with a bag limit of one adult and one jack salmon per day, five per year) is becoming a permanent regulation. For the past several years, it's been a "special" temporary rule, requiring federal and state approval prior to each season.

The 2008 regulations contain another boo-boo that might catch anglers unaware.

The listing for Carmen Reservoir indicates those waters are open April 26-Oct. 31, the standard trout season. However, like almost all reservoirs in the state, Carmen has long been open year-round, and there was no intent or reason to change that, according to Sgt. Tom Hulett of the Oregon State Police.

"It will be changed," Hulett said of the mysteriously mistaken wording.

Perhaps the most significant actual change in the 2008 angling regulations is that "wild" (non-adipose fin-clipped) winter steelhead may no longer by harvested in the Umpqua and North Umpqua Rivers. Previously, anglers could take up to five per year.

Other local angling changes of note include:

The fact that "salmon may be considered part of the kokanee bag limit" is added at Green Peter Lake.

At Cougar, Dexter, Fall Creek, Hills Creek and Lookout Point lakes, "salmon less than 24 inches are considered trout." Those reservoirs are all downstream from areas where salmon have been trucked and allowed to spawn naturally. Some smolts make it past the dams and to the ocean, but those that do not become, in effect, kokanee.

At Detroit Lake all salmon, regardless or size, are now considered part of the trout bag limit.

The trout fishing opportunity on the Middle Fork Willamette River from Lookout Point Lake to Hills Creek Dam has been clarified. Those waters remain catch-and-release only, except anglers may keep up to five adipose-clipped fish per day. The new wording makes it clear that "this area is not stocked" and that any fin-clipped fish originate from stocked areas upstream.

Rogue River salmon angling regulations have undergone extensive revision. Anyone fishing the Rogue should read pages 42-43 of the new synopsis.

A "10 bass per day, no minimum length" bag limit is now in effect at Lake Billy Chinook near Madras. The old limit was five bass per day.

On the Columbia River, new white sturgeon regulations go into effect today.

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