ODFW Says It’s Simplifying Oregon Trout, Warmwater Regs

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

For new anglers, Oregon’s complex fishing regulations can be daunting. Even seasoned anglers claim they frequently need a law degree to help them understand what’s allowed and what’s not.

Over the years, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has heard an earful from the fishing community about how its regulations make fishing less fun, and pose a barrier to new anglers getting started. Beginning earlier this year, the agency embarked on a process to try to simplify the state’s trout and warmwater fishing regulations in time for the 2016 seasons.

A COPY OF ODFW'S 2015 FISHING REGS OVERLAY A PREVIOUS YEAR'S. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

A COPY OF ODFW’S 2015 FISHING REGS OVERLAY A PREVIOUS YEAR’S. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

“We’ve looked at every water body across the state, trying to develop common regulations, consistent language, and increased fishing opportunities,” said Mike Gauvin, ODFW recreational fisheries program manager. Because of their popularity and appeal to beginning anglers, the simplification process is beginning with trout and warmwater fisheries, Gauvin added.

Anglers will have a chance to hear about the results of this effort in a series of eight public meetings to be held throughout the state in June and July. Gauvin points out that these meetings are not part of the agency’s traditional public process for soliciting new regulations.

“We’re excited to share with the public the progress we’ve made simplifying fishing regulations,” he said. “There will time during the meetings for questions about some of the changes we’ve made, but we will not be accepting new regulation proposals.”

All meetings will be from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m

  • ·        Eugene, June 9, Lane County Community College, Bldg. 17 Rm. 308, 4000 E 30th Ave., Eugene 97405
  • ·        Medford, June 16, Jackson County Roads & Parks Auditorium, 200 Antelope Way, White City 97503
  • ·        Roseburg, June 17, ODFW District Office, 4192 N Umpqua Way, Roseburg 97470
  • ·        Clackamas, June 18, ODFW District Office, 17330 SE Evelyn, Clackamas 97015
  • ·        Klamath Falls, June 23, OR Institute of Technology, Mt. Bailey Room, 3201 Campus Drive, Klamath Falls 97601
  • ·        Bend, June 29, Central OR Community College, Health Careers Center, Rm. 140, 2600 NW College Way, Bend 97701
  • ·        La Grande, July 1, Island City – City Hall, 10605 Island Ave., Island City 97850
  • ·        Newport, July 6, Hallmark Resort, 744 SE Elizabeth, Newport 97365

Working with local district fish biologists and Oregon State Police officers, the simplification process took aim at the many “special regulations” that applied to individual water bodies across the state. The goal was to reduce the number of special regulations to those with a clearly identified biological or management purpose, and to streamline the remaining regulations into fewer, more consistent categories, Gauvin said.

Examples of some of the changes include:

  • ·        Eliminating the April trout opener and (with a few exceptions) opening those areas to  year-round fishing.
  • ·        Standardizing catch limits for trout.
  • ·        Maintaining consistency in the how the regulations are listed.

“There still will be a few exceptions to the general rules,” Gauvin said, “but they will be far fewer and easier to understand.”

Not only will the rules themselves be simplified, but there will be an easier-to-read format and clearer language in the sport fishing regulations booklet. Beginning in 2016, regulations will be adopted, and new regulation booklets will be printed, every two years instead of every year.

“Trout and warmwater regulations don’t change much from year-to-year, and in-season regulations for salmon are posted on the ODFW website, so we saw an opportunity to save some money and time by printing regulations less often,” Gauvin said.

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