Anglers will have a final opportunity to comment on the proposed 2009-2012 angling regulations at the next meeting of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission on Friday, Sept. 19, 2008 in Forest Grove. At that meeting, the Commission will formally adopt or decline to adopt each of the nearly 350 angling regulation changes that were proposed by members of the public or ODFW staff. On that agenda is a proposal to restrict fishing to artificial lures on the McKenzie River.
The Mckenzie River regulations currently require catch and release of all wild trout. This rule was employed to protect the wild trout populations. Through my lifetime of fishing the Mckenzie River, my discussions with Mckenzie River Guides Association members, and other frequent discussions/comments with Mckenzie anglers, populations of native trout in the Mckenzie have not changed a great deal.
The reason for the continued low numbers is due to bait fishing on the Mckenzie. When low water concentrates native fish into the deep pools of the Mckenzie, bait anglers catch them and are unable to release them unharmed. Numbers are low and need further protection. When an angler using bait catches a wild trout on the Mckenzie and the hook is buried in the gullet of the trout, releasing a fish unharmed is virtually impossible.
The Mckenzie is an incredible resource and sustains a great deal of recreation. The proposed no bait regulation will make the Mckenzie an even better resource. I really believe it would make the Mckenzie River much more of a destination than it already is, bringing more dollars to the state in licence sales as well as tourist dollars.
To the argument of limiting opportunities for children and other bank anglers: Stocking the river with 130,000 fish is quite enough, I have literally watched trout eat cigarette butts so catching them without bait is not a problem.
To the argument of the riverside market losing revenue not selling worms: Three fly shops exist in the Mckenzie River vicinity none of them selling worms, the river markets will survive.
A large wild rainbow trout “redside” is considered the prize catch on the Mckenzie River, it is why people fish the river day in and day out. I urge you to protect this fish, make the already catch and release of wild trout regulation really mean something. Please adopt the no bait regulation on the Mckenzie River.
The Caddis Fly Angling Shop
Please attend the commission hearing this Friday at 9am in Washburne Hall at Pacific University, or send ODFW your feedback in an email Rhine.T.Messmer@state.or.us, or call Rhine Messmer (503) 947-6214.