Emergency Restrictions For The Umpqua River Protect Wild Summer Steelhead

Temporary rule defines dates for fall and spring Chinook angling

June 23, 2015

ROSEBURG, Ore – Effective immediately, an emergency regulation protects wild summer steelhead and a temporary rule better defines fall and spring Chinook angling in the Umpqua River.

Temporary rule – Umpqua River from tips of jetties to confluence of the North and South Umpqua rivers
This temporary rule change was made to allow anglers to begin harvesting fall Chinook earlier to benefit those who may already have reached their limit of spring Chinook. ODFW recognizes that biologically, the fish are classified as fall Chinook beginning July 1, not August 1.

Spring Chinook angling is February 1 – June 30, 2015. Harvest limit is two adult wild Chinook per day, five per year.
Fall Chinook angling is July 1 – December 31, 2015. Harvest limit is two adult wild Chinook per day, 20 per year in combination with all other salmon or steelhead marked on anglers’ tags.
Emergency regulation – Scottsburg Bridge (Hwy. 38) to River Forks Boat Ramp
Today through Oct. 1, 2015, angling is prohibited within 200 feet of all tributaries including no angling in the tributaries themselves from the mouth to 200 feet upstream.

This emergency regulation will protect wild summer steelhead and fall Chinook salmon that hold in and around tributaries looking for colder water. Currently, the Umpqua River has abnormally low flows and higher than normal water temperatures due to drought conditions.

Greg Huchko, Umpqua District fish biologist, says projected low flows and water temperatures often over 75 F will likely continue through the summer.

“The wild steelhead that haven’t made it up to the North Umpqua will stay around those mainstem tributaries until the fall rains come. They’re often easy to spot in shallow water and are more susceptible to illegal snagging. Even fish caught legally and released are stressed and mortality rates are higher in these conditions.” Huchko said.

Tips for hot weather angling

Fish during the cooler early mornings or evenings.
Land your fish quickly to help increase survival rates.
Keep your fish in at least six inches of water while releasing it.
Revive the fish before release. Keep the fish upright facing into the current, and the current is slow, move fish back and forth slowly to help oxygenate the gills.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.
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