Tag Archives: John Day

24 Free Youth Pheasant Hunts Coming Up In Oregon; Sign-ups Open

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

Youth hunters (age 17 and under) can sign up now for ODFW’s free pheasant hunts happening around the state in September.

MEAGAN JANSEN OF TIGARD WITH A PHEASANT SHE BAGGED AT AN E.E. WILSON WILDLIFE AREA YOUTH PHEASANT HUNT PUT ON BY ODFW. (ODFW)

The events are being held in Central Point, Corvallis, Eugene, Irrigon/Umatilla, John Day, Klamath Falls, La Grande, Madras, Ontario, Portland/Sauvie Island and The Dalles (Tygh Valley). New this year, ODFW has also added a youth pheasant hunt at the new Coquille Valley Wildlife Area in Coquille.

See dates below and register online (see Register for a Class/Youth Upland Hunts) or at an ODFW office that sells licenses. (Registration is not available at license sale agents.) The youth hunter or their parent will need to be logged in to the youth’s account to register online. The deadline to register is the Thursday before the hunt.

ODFW and partners stock pheasants at these special hunts that give youth a head start on regular pheasant seasons, which don’t begin until October. Quail and dove also can be hunted. Volunteers often bring their trained hunting dogs to some events and hunt with participants. Some events begin with a shotgun skills clinic, so participants can practice clay target shooting before hunting.

These events are open only to youth who have passed hunter education. (ODFW has hunter education classes and field days available before the events.) An adult 21 years of age or older must accompany the youth to supervise but may not hunt.

“Youth pheasant hunts are a great chance for young hunters to find early success and put the lessons learned in hunter education classes to work in the field,” says Brandon Harper, ODFW hunter education coordinator.

ODFW stresses safety during the hunts. Both hunter and supervisor must wear a hunter orange hat, eye protection and a hunter orange vest—equipment provided at the clinics by ODFW to anyone who doesn’t have it. Hunters also need to check in and out of the hunt.

RINGNECK PHEASANTS ARE STOCKED BY ODFW AND OTHERS TO ENSURE THE KIDDOS HAVE A CHANCE AT BAGGING A BIRD DURING THE FREE EVENTS. (ODFW)

The hunts are free, though participants need a valid hunting license ($10 for youth 12 and older, free for age 11 and under) to hunt. Youth hunters age 12-17 also need an upland game bird validation ($4). Purchase online  or at a license sales agent or ODFW office that sells licenses. Licenses and validations will not be sold at the events.

While most areas have a hunt both Saturday and Sunday, youth hunters may sign up for only one hunt. They are welcome to hunt stand by on the other day.

See page 26-27 of the Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information, or see myodfw.com/workshops-and-events for the local contact for each hunt. For help signing up, contact Myrna Britton, (503) 947-6028, Myrna.B.Britton@state.or.us

·       Central Point, Denman Wildlife Area, Sept. 14 and Sept. 15.

·       Coquille, Coquille Valley Wildlife Area, Sept. 7 and Sept. 8.

·        Corvallis (near Camp Adair), EE Wilson Wildlife Area, Sept. 21 and Sept. 22.

·        Eugene, Fern Ridge Wildlife Area, Sept. 7 and Sept. 8. Registration not necessary but appreciated.

·        Irrigon Wildlife Area (between Irrigon and Umatilla), Sept. 21 and Sept. 22. Sign up for morning or evening hunt (morning only on Sunday).

·        Klamath Falls, Klamath Wildlife Area, Sept. 14 and Sept. 15. Additional hunt on Oct. 19 when Miller Island Unit open to youth hunters only on a first-come, first-serve basis beginning at 10 a.m. Call 541-883-5732 from more information.

·        John Day Valley, Sept. 14 and Sept. 15.

·        La Grande, Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area, Sept. 14 and Sept. 15. Registration not necessary but appreciated.

·        Madras, private lands, Sept. 14 and Sept. 15.

·        Ontario, Oct. 12 and Oct. 13

·        Portland, Sauvie Island Wildlife Area, Sept. 14 and Sept. 15.

·        Tygh Valley/The Dalles, White River Wildlife Area, Sept. 14 and Sept. 15.

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Wild, Scenic And Fishy

This fall marks the 50th anniversary of the Congressional act that now protects and enhances 3,000 miles of salmon-, steelhead- and trout-bearing rivers in the Northwest.

By Andy Walgamott

While fishing along the banks of Northwest rivers over the years, I’ve always kept an eye out for heart-shaped rocks, but I never found a good one till this past April.

(ANDY WALGAMOTT)

I was on the Sauk, hoping to hook wild winter steelhead after federal overseers finally approved a state season, the first time the Washington Cascades river had been open in spring since 2009. It was a glorious day, and I couldn’t have been happier to be back on the water at that time of year.

John Day River, Central Oregon; 248.6 miles of designated wild, scenic and recreational river. Chinook, steelhead, redband rainbow trout, bull trout, lamprey, smallmouth bass. (BOB WICK, BLM)

As I tried my luck below a riffle, two drift boaters worked a slot above it, and when they pulled their plugs in and headed downstream, I bushwhacked my way upstream to the stretch to hit it with my jigs and spoons.

Lower Klickitat River, Washington; 10.8 miles designated as recreational river. Spring, summer, fall Chinook, coho, summer and winter steelhead, rainbow trout, lamprey. (JASON BROOKS)

That’s when I stumbled onto the big, smooth granite heart. Pegging its base with cobbles, I propped it up on a boulder for a photograph next to one of my favorite rivers.

Grande Ronde River, Oregon; 43.8 miles designated as wild and recreational river. Spring Chinook, coho, summer steelhead, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass. (CASEY CRUM)

THE SAUK’S BRAWNY wild winters eluded me that day, but it was still great to be on several of the 12,754 miles of streams that comprise our National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. This fall marks the 50th anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, created by Congress way back in 1968 and signed into law by President Johnson.

North Umpqua River, Oregon; 33.8 miles designated as recreational river. Spring Chinook, summer steelhead, rainbow trout. (BOB WICK, BLM)

Though coming out of an era of increased environmental concerns – the Clean Air and Wilderness Acts preceded it and it was followed by the Clean Water, Marine Mammal Protection and Endangered Species Acts – it takes a notably less heavy-handed approach in its implementation.

Bruneau River, Idaho; 39.3 miles designated as wild and recreational river. Redband rainbow trout. (BOB WICK, BLM)

The act aims to “(protect) and (enhance) the values that caused [rivers like the Sauk] to be designated” through the “voluntary stewardship by landowners and river users and through regulation and programs of federal, state, local, or tribal governments,” according to Rivers.gov. “It does not prohibit development or give the federal government control over private property.”

Bruneau River, Idaho; 39.3 miles designated as wild and recreational river. Redband rainbow trout. (RANDY KING)

There are wild, scenic and recreational rivers in 40 states, and some of the fishiest in the Northwest are included.

Lochsa River, Idaho; 90-plus miles designated as recreational river. Spring Chinook, summer steelhead, bull, cutthroat and rainbow trout, mountain whitefish. (PAUL ISHII)

In Oregon, there’s all or portions of the Chetco, Crooked and its North Fork, Deschutes, Elk, Grande Ronde, Illinois, Imnaha, John Day, Klamath, McKenzie, Metolius, North Umpqua, Owyhee, Rogue, Smith, Snake and Wenaha, among many, many more.

Crooked River, Oregon; 17.8 miles designated as recreational river. Redband rainbow trout, mountain whitefish. (BOB WICK, BLM)

In fact, Oregon just might have the highest percentage of rivers of any state: 2 percent, 1,916.7 miles, of the Beaver State’s 110,994 river miles are wild and scenic.

Rogue River, Oregon; 84.5 miles designated as wild, scenic and recreational river. Spring and fall Chinook, coho, summer and winter steelhead, coastal cutthroat and rainbow trout, lamprey. (THOMAS O’KEEFE, RIVERS.GOV)

In Idaho, 891 miles, including much of the Salmon and its Middle Fork, the Middle Fork Clearwater, upper St. Joe and Owyhee, and Bruneau are listed.

Owyhee River, Oregon; 120 miles designated as wild in Oregon (continues in Idaho). Redband rainbow trout. THOMAS O’KEEFE, RIVERS.GOV)

In sharp contrast, only 197 stream miles in Washington have been designated – unusual when you consider that it’s the wettest state in the West.

Skagit River, Washington; 158.5 miles of designated scenic and recreational rivers. Spring, summer and fall Chinook, coho, pink salmon, winter steelhead, bull, rainbow and sea-run cutthroat trout. (CHASE GUNNELL)

Where listed rivers occur throughout most of Oregon, the Evergreen State’s are limited to the Cascades and include the upper and lower ends of the White Salmon, the lower 11 miles of the Klickitat, and the Middle Fork Snoqualmie and its tributary, the Pratt.

BUT AT THE northern end of the mountain range is one of Washington’s best watersheds.

I don’t know how many times state district fisheries biologist Brett Barkdull has answered my question about why the Skagit system is so productive for steelhead, Chinook, bull trout and other stocks by pointing to its headwaters.

North Cascades National Park; the Ross Lake National Recreation Area; the Glacier Peak, Henry M. Jackson and Noisy-Diobsud Wildernesses; the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Out of all that protected federal land flows the wild and scenic Sauk, Suiattle, Skagit and Cascade Rivers and Illabot Creek.

It took many more questions of Barkdull to begin to understand that what looks like a mess – all the logjams, braids and big sunbaked cobble bars on the Sauk – is actually a good thing for fish.

They show a river largely unshackled by riprap and dikes, and allowed to meander as it has since for eons, a sign of a healthy river.

That not many people, farms and infrastructure line its banks make that more possible here, but I’d love it if in another 50 years, when the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act turns 100, more than just one-quarter of 1 percent of the nation’s streams are part of the system.

Mollala River, Oregon; 23 miles proposed as wild and scenic river. Spring Chinook, coho, winter steelhead, cutthroat and rainbow trout, lamprey. (BOB WICK, BLM)