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Camp Water

Camp water is close to home. Here you will find information on stuff happening here in the shop and on our local waters. You'll also find our weekly newsletter feature, Trailer Trash Thursday, a fun collection of fly fishing videos, perfect for a midweek distraction. If you don't get the newsletter, be sure to sign up today!

ODFW Sets Summer Salmon and Steelhead Seasons

Joel La Follette - Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Press release from ODFW


Monday, June 12, 2017

CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Oregon and Washington fishery managers have announced the 2017 summer and fall salmon and steelhead seasons for the Columbia River.

The summer season is similar to last year, except that the daily bag limit on hatchery steelhead has been reduced to one fish due to poor expected hatchery and wild steelhead returns. The season begins this Friday, June 16 with a daily bag limit of two adult salmonids, which may include up to two hatchery Chinook, but no more than one hatchery steelhead. Sockeye may also be retained as part of the adult daily limit. The season is expected to remain open through July 31.

Fishery managers are forecasting a return of 63,100 summer Chinook and 130,700 summer steelhead, and 198,500 sockeye salmon, all lower than last year’s actual returns.

The fall season, which begins Aug. 1, includes the popular Buoy 10 fishery near Astoria and the fall “upriver bright” Chinook season in the mainstem Columbia. Upriver bright Chinook are well known for their larger size and aggressive nature. Fishery managers forecast that 582,600 fall Chinook will enter the river this year, which is down from about 640,000 returning fall Chinook in 2016.

Due to the low projected returns for upriver summer steelhead, additional protective regulations are needed this fall including area-specific steelhead retention closures. The rolling 1-2 month closures start in August and progress upriver following the steelhead return to reduce take of both hatchery and wild fish. These closures affect the mainstem Columbia and the lower reaches of specific tributaries. When retention is allowed, the 1-steelhead bag limit will also remain in effect throughout much of the fall.

Anglers are reminded that Columbia River fisheries are managed to quotas and that regulation changes and in-season modifications can happen quickly, based on actual returns and harvest rates. ODFW recommends that anglers make sure they understand the latest season dates and regulations before venturing out on the water by checking the Columbia River Regulations Update Page online.

Adventures on the Oregon Trout Trail with Bruce Buckmaster

Joel La Follette - Thursday, July 14, 2016

ODFW Commissioner Bruce Buckmaster reports from the Trail this week as he recounts his adventures with publishing icon, Frank Amato. 

It is so easy to settle comfortably on a favorite trout stream and forget that you really have some appealing options. For the intrepid angler, Oregon offers an embarrassment of riches. Fellow traveler, Frank Amato was eager to make a trout loop around Southeast Oregon and who could argue against such a plan? 1250 miles and four rivers later eagerness was rewarded with fond memories. Beginning on the Williamson we missed the height of the fabled Hex hatch, but found plenty of large fish willing to take a sealy bugger on the swing. After an easy drive up the bucolic Sprague, we fished for Great Basin Redband Trout on the Chewaucan River. While there was no evidence of either the wild potato that gave the Chewaucan its name or 30 inch Redbands that once grew in downstream marshes, respectable trout are available in the pine forest west of Paisley.

Heading east we crossed the Hart Mountain Antelope Range stopping only for photos of “fast goats” and a leisurely soak in the hot springs. It had been more than thirty years since Frank had fished the Blitzen River and his excitement was infectious as we pulled into Frenchglen. To be honest we had been warned by the Royal Treatment Newsletter that the mosquitos were voracious. Joel had even issued a personal appeal for our safety when we fished with him on the Williamson. Did we listen? Yes. Did it stop us? No. Should it have? Absolutely! Frank suggested that we could rise early, use rain gear and “deet” soaked Buffs to approximate hazmat attire and venture an outing. We made it for five hours of fishing without either significant blood loss or significant trout. My guess is that every fish in the river is stuffed to the gills with the little vampires. I’ll be back to this gem of a river, but not until I’m sure the mosquito season is over.
 
Being run off the Blitzen was too ignoble an ending for our trip so we headed north and east through the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The infamous Refuge office is still closed but a quick discussion with three USF&W employees convinced us to visit the Malheur River at ODF&W’s Riverside Wildlife Management Area. The river at the WMA is a handful of miles below the Warm Springs Reservoir and is a beautiful tailwater fishery when water levels are ideal.
 
The formula is simple. 1. Bid farewell to your homewater. 2. Enlist a friend skilled in map-reading, history, and fishing (in no particular order). 3. Head out on the Oregon Trout Trail, and 4. Be awed, amazed, and inspired by all that Oregon has to offer!




















ODFW to conduct Trout, Whitefish survey on Crooked River

Joel La Follette - Wednesday, June 01, 2016

ODFW Press Release

June 1, 2016

PRINEVILLE, Ore. – Biologists from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) will sample the Crooked River below Bowman Dam for redband trout and mountain whitefish from Monday, June 13 through Friday, June 17.

Biologists will be electrofishing the river between the Big Bend and Cobble Rock campgrounds. During the sampling, fish will be stunned and netted so biologists can record the size, condition and abundance of both redband trout and mountain whitefish. The fish are then released unharmed. Fishing is likely to be adversely affected in the portion of the river being sampled but the remainder of the river will be unaffected. Due to safety concerns for anglers and the potential adverse effects to the fishing, ODFW requests that anglers avoid this stretch of river while the biologists are sampling.

The population assessment estimates the number of fish greater than or equal to eight inches in length per river mile for redband trout and mountain whitefish. In 2015, the number of redband trout per mile was 2,582 fish per mile while the number of mountain whitefish per mile was 7,467. The average length of all trout collected last year was just over 11 inches long and many anglers are reporting catching trout that are 16 to 18 inches long in 2015.

ODFW began sampling the Crooked River in 1989 in order to track the long-term health of the redband trout population.

Questions regarding this press release should be directed to ODFW

ODFW Requires License at Age 12

Joel La Follette - Wednesday, March 02, 2016
This is a press release from ODFW. Click on the image below to be taken to the ODFW website for additional  press releases. 

ODFW Opens Inspection Stations for Invasives

Joel La Follette - Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Vehicles hauling boats must stop for free inspection

ODFW Press Release

February 22, 2016

SALEM, Ore – Aquatic invasive species watercraft inspection stations open March 1 at the Ashland Port of Entry on northbound I-5 and March 3 at the Ontario rest area on northbound I-84. Watercraft inspection stations in Lakeview, Klamath Falls and Gold Beach open in mid-May.

All vehicles carrying motorized or non-motorized boats, including canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and sailboats must stop. Motorists are alerted to inspection stations by large orange “Boat Inspection Ahead” signs followed by “Inspection Required for All Watercraft.”

“It’s very important that people stop at these stations and get their boats inspected. It’s our first line of defense in keeping aquatic invasive species such as mussels, plants and snails out of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest,” said Rick Boatner, Invasive Species Coordinator.

“Stopping for a watercraft inspection takes just five to 10 minutes in most cases. You’re protecting Northwest waters and preventing yourself from possibly receiving a $110 fine for by-passing a check station,” Boatner said.

Invasives such as zebra and Quagga mussels can be difficult to spot – they range in size from microscopic to up to two inches, and attach themselves to many areas on boats that are hard to see. They can also live as long as 21 days out of water.

New Zealand mud snails are also tiny, just three to six millimeters long and easily attach themselves to boots, waders and fishing gear.

In 2015, ODFW technicians inspected 12,954 watercrafts and intercepted 12 with Quagga or zebra mussels and 270 with other types of aquatic invasives such as Eurasian milfoil and brown mussels.

Watercraft with Quagga or zebra mussels came from Lake Powell, Lake Mead, Lake Havasu, Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, Lake Ontario and the Fox River in Illinois.

“The program is working,” Boatner said. “Everyone who boats needs to make sure their boat is cleaned, drained and dried before putting in at another water body. Anglers should be vigilant about cleaning all their gear.”

###

Contact:
Rick Boatner, 503-947-6308
Meghan Dugan, 541-440-3353


ODFW Pulls Controversial Proposals

Joel La Follette - Thursday, September 03, 2015
The power of the written word shined this week as public opinion on a few of the controversial proposed changes to regulations overwhelmed ODFW with angler input. Both the Deschutes and Metolius won victories of sorts by maintaining the regulations that have helped improve angling on both of these rivers. While some fought to make the Deschutes a catch and release fishery for wild fish, maintaining the current status is at least not a step backward. 

View the revised proposals here.

There is still time to let ODFW know how important our wild fish populations are by letting your voice be heard. Take a minute and request that in future management decisions ODFW continue to focus on protecting and enhancing our wild fish populations. Copy this note and then click the email link to send it. Be sure to voice your personal concerns and sign it.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE
Salem, OR 97302

September 3rd, 2015

Dear ODFW Directors and Commissioners,

In the past ODFW has developed strategies to successfully manage the wild trout populations on the Deschutes, Metolius Rivers and other rivers. When earlier proposed rule changes threaten to undo the progress that has been made anglers spoke up and you listened by pulling those proposals.

I encourage ODFW to continue to prioritize the protection of wild fish on all Oregon rivers. These fish are our future.

Sincerely,
Joel La Follette
Royal Treatment Fly Fishing
West Linn, OR



A message from Bill Bakke

Joel La Follette - Tuesday, August 25, 2015

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 odfw.commission@state.or.us

ODFW Proposes Changes that Endanger Wild Fish

Joel La Follette - Thursday, August 20, 2015
ODFW is currently proposing changes to the State's fishing regulations that, in some cases, could endanger our wild native fish. These changes are being considered in an effort to simplify the current regulations making it easier for anglers to understand the rules, or by adding to the opportunity to catch more fish, thus drawing more anglers to buy fishing licenses. I printed out the proposals and while combining them with a current copy of the fishing regulations I did not come away seeing anything simple about them. What did raise a red flag was the following proposals.


Page 3. Deschutes River. Open for trout all year, 2 per day, 8 inch minimum length from I-84 Bridge to Pelton Reservoir.

The Deschutes has been under a slot limit (10-13 inches) since the 80s and this has improved the survival of spawning age fish, thus improving the population and the size of the fish present. Lowering the size limit puts wild native steelhead at risk for harvest, while removing the slot limit takes larger prime fish out of the gene pool. The Deschutes is currently treated by most anglers as a catch and release Trout stream, even though regulations allow for limited harvest. This provides campers the chance for a stream side fish lunch if they wish, while still leaving prime spawning stock in the river. This proposal is a very bad idea.


Page 4. Metolius River. Open all year. All tributaries closed with the exception of Lake and Spring creeks, artificial flies and lures only.

Did you get that one? First off, the river as been closed in the winter months (Oct. 31-May 23rd) above Allingham bridge to protect Rainbow Trout spawning habitat. The number of successful spawners in this area has increased each year. Opening this section of the river is not necessary and puts at risk a rebounding wild Trout population. Adding conventional tackle (lures) to the mix on the Metolius puts added pressure on this fishery that would impact fish, wildlife and the watershed in general. This river is a State treasure and needs to be protected. Another bad idea.

It should be noted that some of the proposed changes will be good for wild native fish by allowing additional harvest of some invasive species. Please look over the proposed changes and make comment to ODFW. I've included the links below.


Please consider emailing a copy of the letter below to ODFW. Feel free to ad your own colorful remarks and be sure to sign it. Copy the letter and email to ODFW Commission

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE
Salem, OR 97302

August 27, 2015

Dear ODFW Directors and Commissioners,

In the past ODFW has developed strategies to successfully manage the wild trout populations on the Deschutes and Metolius Rivers. Proposed rule changes currently under consideration threaten to undo the progress that has been made over many years protecting wild fish on these rivers.

Please do not throw this progress away. I encourage ODFW to continue to prioritize the protection of wild fish on the Deschutes, Metolius and all Oregon rivers. I stand firmly against currently proposed rule changes.

Sincerely,
Joel La Follette
Royal Treatment Fly Fishing
West Linn, OR









ODFW Press Release:Lower Deschutes River re-opens to afternoon fishing

Joel La Follette - Thursday, August 06, 2015
Aug. 3, 2015

THE DALLES, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has lifted fishing restrictions the lower Deschutes River. Anglers can now fish after 2 p.m. from Macks Canyon to the mouth of the river. The change is effective immediately.

Water temperatures in the lower Deschutes are back to near normal for August, prompting fishery managers to re-open the river to regular fishing hours. The entire lower Deschutes River from the Pelton Dam to the mouth is now open for fishing from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset.

“We typically see water temperatures in the lower Deschutes begin to cool in August,” said Rod French, ODFW fish biologist. “Despite some very warm temperatures in late June and early July, the river is starting to look more normal as we head into August.”

A number of factors contribute to the August cool down, French said, including:

the increasing influence of cold water springs as river levels drop, and
longer nights and cooler nighttime temperatures and the changing angle of the sun increasing shade cast by the steep canyon walls.
Fishery managers will continue to monitor water temperatures in the lower Deschutes and will be prepared to announce subsequent closures, if necessary.

In the meantime, anglers are encouraged to follow the usual precautions when catch-and-release fishing in warm weather:

Fish early in the day when water temperatures are cooler.
Check water temperatures frequently and stop fishing when they reach 70 degrees.
Use barbless hooks so you can release fish quickly.
Keep the fish in the water as you unhook them, and cradle the fish upright until it revives enough to swim away.
The lower Deschutes was included in the July 16 closure of most rivers and streams in the state to fishing for trout, salmon and steelhead after 2 p.m. The closure is to help protect native fish already stressed by low water levels and high water temperatures associated with this year’s drought.

ODFW has also re-opened the upper reaches of two northeast Oregon streams to regular fishing hours: the Imnaha River above Freezeout Creek and the Wenaha River above Crooked Creek.

Both are cold water systems somewhat immune to excessive water temperatures, and were inadvertently included in the statewide restrictions.

These three changes from the early closure are consistent with ODFW’s exemption process, where cool, high elevation streams, spring-fed systems, tail-race fisheries and estuaries are generally exempt from early closures. The Department will continue to monitor conditions across the state and evaluate proposed changes on a case-by-case basis, but anglers can anticipate that the most closures are likely to remain in effect until temperatures cool significantly, generally associated with shorter days, cooler nights and fall rains.

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