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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 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.

    ODFW announces regulations to protect fish

    Joel La Follette - Wednesday, July 22, 2015

    Last Thursday, shortly after the newsletter hit your inbox, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife saw fit to issue a press release regarding new regulations put in place to protect fish during this unusually hot water situation we are currently experiencing. A curtailment of angling after 2:00PM on most Oregon steams went into effect on Saturday, July 18th.  This regulation still provides for angling in the early hours of the day, while protecting fish during the afternoon when temperatures climb. In the weeks leading up to this announcement I had tried to inform my readers about the issue and called for better understanding of the stresses put on salmonids during warm water events.  

    ODFW did well in calling for sweeping changes to fishing hours to protect native fish in some of our most at-risk waters. This move is needed and overdue. The only problem with this press release was how it was interpreted by the press. Perhaps the news  didn't have the ratings grabbing bite needed to pull viewers away from footage of freshly minted baby otters at a zoo in Ottawa. Whatever. Before you could say "news at eleven" words like "most" had morphed into "all" and we were thrust into the middle of a fly fishing zombie apocalypse. 

    Damage control failed to get any response from local press so informed guides, shop owners and anglers took to social media to squelch the rumors. Those level headed individuals actually read the press release beyond the first two paragraphs and understood the issue. Word is slowly spreading across the land and fewer freaked out fly fishers are rolling into the shop. Let me clarify a just few things that seem to be too complicated for the mainstream press. 

    Most of the Deschutes River remains open to angling without any additional time restrictions. The 2:00PM closure effects the last 23.5 miles of the river from Macks Canyon to the mouth. Water temperatures in this section have improved slightly, but still warrant caution from anglers when fishing these waters. If temperatures continue to drop with cool water releases from Pelton Dam combined with more favorable weather, we may see that restriction lifted. It is advisable to still carry a thermometer and curtail fishing when temps exceed 65.  All of the river upstream of Macks Canyon (75+ miles) remains open for normal angling hours. Water temps currently range between 53-62 depending on location and weather. 

    The Metolius, Fall and Crooked rivers remain open for regular angling hours. 

    The North Umpqua does fall under these new regulations and closes for angling at 2:00PM until one hour before sunrise

    All angling for carp, bass, shad, catfish, perch, bullheads, suckers and other non-salmonids, with the exception of sturgeon, remains open in all waters including the Willamette for all normally legal angling hours. This new regulation only effects angling for Trout, Steelhead, Salmon and Sturgeon.

    I am posting the ODFW press release below and highlighting in bold some of the things overlooked by the news folks. Maybe not  as entertaining as freshly minted baby otters, but it's news you can use. 


    Taken from ODFWs press release...


    Thursday, July 16, 2015

    SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has curtailed fishing hours on most of Oregon’s rivers to avoid additional stress on native fish already suffering from high water temperatures and low stream flows from this year’s drought.

    Effective Saturday, July 18, and until further notice, all waterbodies defined as streams in the 2015 Oregon Sportfishing Regulations are closed above tidewater (where applicable) to fishing for trout, salmon, steelhead and sturgeon from 2 p.m. to one hour before sunrise.

    Angling for these species will be prohibited at all times in the Willamette River downstream of Willamette Falls, including the Clackamas River up to the Interstate 205 Bridge, the Multnomah Channel and the Gilbert River. The following sections of the John Day River will also have complete closures: The mainstem of the John Day River above Indian Creek near Prairie City; the Middle Fork of the John Day River above Mosquito Creek near the town of Galena; the North Fork of the John Day River above Desolation Creek and Desolation Creek.

    Some streams will remain open for angling under normal hours because they are less prone to high water temperature risks due to springs, tides, cold water releases from some dams and high elevations.

    Streams that will remain open for angling under normal hours are:

    Northeast Zone:
    The Wallowa River above Sunrise Road; Lostine River above Pole Bridge Campground; Prairie Creek; Hurricane Creek; Spring Creek; and all streams within the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area.


    Southeast Zone:
    The Malheur River and its tributaries; the Owyhee River below the Owyhee Reservoir; and the Blitzen River and its tributaries above Page Springs Weir and Bridge Creek.
    The Klamath River and its tributaries.


    Central Zone:
    The Deschutes River above Macks Canyon; the Metolius River; the Fall River; the Crooked River (from mouth to Bowman Dam); and Tumalo Creek.
    The Hood River and its tributaries and the White River and its tributaries.


    Willamette Zone:
    The McKenzie River and its tributaries; the Middle Fork of the Willamette River below Dexter Dam; the Middle Fork of the Willamette River and its tributaries above Lookout Point Reservoir; and Alton Baker Canoe Canal.
    The mainstem of the South Santiam River below Foster Dam; Quartzville Creek; the North Santiam River above Detroit Lake; and the Breitenbush River.


    Southwest Zone:
    The mainstem Rogue River from Fishers Ferry upstream to William Jess Dam and all tributaries upstream of the William Jess Dam and Lost Creek Reservoir.

    Angling in the mainstem Columbia River and mainstem Snake River is not affected by today’s action, and angling hours in these areas will remain under normal regulations at this time. However, a Columbia River Compact/Joint State hearing is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 16 via teleconference to discuss curtailment of recreational catch-and-release sturgeon fishing upstream of Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River.

    “Earlier this month, we indicated that if these drought conditions continued, we may have to close or restrict some fisheries,” said Mike Gauvin, ODFW’s recreation fisheries manager. “These are difficult, but necessary actions to protect native fish already suffering from extreme drought conditions.”

    “This doesn’t mean that all fishing has to stop.” According to Gauvin, most streams will still be open in the early hours when water temperatures are cool, and there are many great fishing opportunities in lakes, reservoirs for hatchery stocked rainbow trout, warmwater fish like, smallmouth bass or crappie, as well as all of the ocean fisheries.

    “As extreme weather events become more frequent due to climate change, we need to be prepared for the stress these conditions will have on fish, wildlife and their habitats,” Ed Bowles, Fish Division Administrator said. “Planning for the effects of these changing climatic conditions presents a unique challenge for us, yet we are committed to doing our best to enhance resiliency to climate change and avoid significant impacts on our natural resources.”

    ODFW already implemented emergency regulations on several other rivers. In addition, trout stocking schedules and locations have been adjusted and some hatchery fish have been released early as a result of high water temperatures. Elevated water temperatures have led to salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon deaths in several rivers.
    Gauvin encourages the public to report sightings of stranded fish, or other wildlife distressed by drought, to the department and to take precautions when fishing during these drought conditions.

    On days when temperatures soar, anglers can do their part to reduce the stress on fish by adopting the following measures:

    Fish early in day when water temperatures are cooler.
    Use a thermometer to check water temperatures frequently. Stop fishing when temperatures exceed 70 degrees.
    Consider changing locations to high elevation lakes or shaded streams near headwaters. These places are often cooler.
    Use barbless hooks so you can release fish easily without harming them.
    Use the appropriate gear and land fish quickly. The longer the fight, the less likely the fish will survive.
    Keep the fish in the water when you unhook it and cradle the fish upright until it revives enough to swim away.
    Use your judgement. If conditions where you want to fish seem especially severe (low, hot water), consider fishing somewhere else where water conditions are better.
    Check the regulation update pages on the ODFW website before you head out to make sure temporary emergency regulations have not been put in place for the waters you want to fish.
    Gauvin recommends anglers check the weekly Recreation Report on the ODFW website for updates on stocking, water conditions and boating access.


    END OF RELEASE
     

    Deschutes River Alliance Press Release

    Joel La Follette - Wednesday, July 08, 2015

    Press Release
    For Immediate Release: July 6, 2015
    Fish Die of Heat Exposure in Lower Deschutes River
    Numerous sockeye salmon were discovered this past weekend in shallow water along the banks of the lower Deschutes River near Rattlesnake Rapid. The fish, discovered by retired Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife fisheries biologist Steve Pribyl, were suffering from obvious signs of heat stress.
    According to Pribyl, who is also a board member of the Deschutes River Alliance,  the fish were washing ashore on the west bank of the river where he was hiking, so the fish he saw only represented a small portion of a much larger fatal event. In a short distance of the west bank, thirteen fish were seen to be either stressed to near death, or already dead.

    Lower than normal flows and higher than normal daytime temperatures have contributed to high water temperatures (as high as 74+ degrees) in the lower
    river. Portland General Electric and The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation, owners of the Pelton-Round Butte Dam Complex, are continuing current practices at the dams by drawing primarily warm surface water from Lake Billy Chinook, instead of cooler bottom water. The control over temperatures is achieved by using the Selective Water Withdrawal Tower at Round Butte Dam.

    As summer has only now just begun, Deschutes River Alliance members and other experienced users of the river believe that if current dam water release practices continue, fish kills will increase, raising further difficulty for already challenged runs of our salmon and steelhead.

    For further information:
    Visit http://www.deschutesriveralliance.org
    https://deschutesriveralliance.wordpress.com
    Or call:
    Greg McMillan
    President
    Director, Science and Conservation Deschutes River Alliance 541-410-9626
    Steve Pribyl Director
    Deschutes River Alliance 541-980-9710

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