Recently a message from Bill Bakke has been circulating on social media in response to ODFW's proposed changes to the regulations on the Deschutes River. This is a very important issue and one that all users of the river need to be aware of. I have posted Bill's note here with permission and encourage everyone to take a few minutes to email ODFW in opposition of this proposal to introduce an expanded kill fishery on the Deschutes.
The proposed change reads: Page 3. Deschutes River. Open for trout all year, 2 per day, 8 inch minimum length from I-84 Bridge to Pelton Reservoir.
A message from Bill Bakke:ODFW OPENS KILL FISHERY ON DESCHUTES TROUT
ODFW wants you to kill Deschutes redband trout and steelhead smolts. Stocking of hatchery rainbow trout in the lower Deschutes was terminated in 1978 with the intention of managing the the lower 100 miles exclusively for wild trout. Spawning redband trout average 3 to 4 years of age and 12”-13”. These trout can live up to 10 years. In 1984, at my suggestion, the ODFW Commission and chief of the Fishery Division agreed to a 10” to 13” slot regulation that would protect steelhead smolts and the full age structure of Deschutes wild trout. The purpose of this regulation was to prevent anglers from keeping 3 -4 year old juvenile steelhead or high-grading their catch and killing the larger breeding age redbands. With the slot limit in place, most anglers do not fish for trout in the lower Deschutes for consumption, but prefer to practice catch and release regardless.
Now in the name of “simplified” regulations ODFW is proposing to allow a kill fishery on all trout greater than 8-inches (two trout limit per day). Even though the local biologists would prefer a catch and release fishery on trout, their Salem bosses want more license sales and less conservation. This regressive regulation can be stopped if YOU contact ODFW and redirect their misguided and selfish approach to management.
What could be more “simple” than mandatory catch and release of all trout on the lower Deschutes? Tell the Commission that you want a catch and release fishery on trout in the lower Deschutes River so that this unique and diverse population and the exceptional fishery they support can be protected.
Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org