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Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Contact: Anne Pressentin Young (503) 872-5264 x5356
Internet: www.dfw.state.or.us Fax: (503) 872-5700

For Immediate Release Wednesday, June 18, 2003


Upper Willamette Basin Goes to Three Steelhead Bag Limit


PORTLAND - Effective immediately, anglers may retain three hatchery-bred summer steelhead per day through Dec. 14 in the upper Willamette River above Willamette Falls, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today after a review of the run size.


The temporary rule expands the daily limit to include one additional steelhead. Biologists recommended the change after determining the combined hatchery-bred and naturally-produced run size above Willamette Falls should be close to 18,000 fish, which is an above average return. As a result, there will be fish returning in excess of hatchery broodstock requirements and available for harvest.


"Anglers can expect a better than average summer steelhead season this summer, though it won't quite match the outstanding runs we had in 2001 and 2002," said Steve Mamoyac, ODFW fish biologist in Corvallis.


In 2001, 34,000 summer steelhead returned and in 2002, 26,000 returned.


The newly adopted rule allows anglers to retain one additional adipose fin-clipped steelhead within the normal daily bag limit in those areas open to steelhead angling in the mainstem Willamette River above Willamette Falls and its tributaries through Dec. 14, 2003. The permanent daily limit within the Willamette fishing zone is two adipose fin-clipped salmon or steelhead. Fish missing an adipose fin identifies them as hatchery born.


The director of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has the authority to adopt temporary rules in situations where biological data allows expanded recreational opportunities. Temporary rules adopted by the director must be approved by the Commission at the next regular meeting.


This is the third year in a row ODFW has increased the bag limit in the upper Willamette system.


In addition to increasing the catch limit, ODFW will be 'recycling' steelhead that return to hatcheries by trapping and trucking them downstream to provide anglers additional fishing opportunities.


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Information and Education Division
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
(503) 872-5264 ext 5528ODFO
 

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I hope ODFW is right about the run size. It's pretty slow fishing in the Eugene area right now for steelhead. Hopefully something happens here soon and they begin to show up in mass...As of right now it seems pretty crazy to even consider upping the bag limit to three.......

ow
 
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