Make the Metolius Catch and Release for all Species


To be honest until long time Metolius river angler Chris Foster informed me that some species on the Metolius could be killed, I thought the river was catch and release for all fish species. Well this is not the case.

Chris is looking for anglers to help him in changing the existing Metolius river regulations that do not protect Mountain Whitefish, Salmon or Steelhead. By writing ODFW commissioners and suggesting to them that the Metolius needs to be Catch and Release for all species you can help.

Chris Foster writes:

The Native Mountain Whitefish is a Native Species in the Metolius River, along with Rainbow Trout and Bull Trout. Under the current rules, Native Mountain Whitefish can be killed since they are NOT PROTECTED by the current Oregon Fishing Regulations. Currently, only Rainbow Trout and Bull Trout are protected and must be released under the current regulations.

There are only about 400-600 total fish per mile in the Metolius River which was formed about 10,000 years ago. The number of those fishing the river has increased exponentially in the last several years putting extreme fishing pressure on The Metolius River.

Native Mountain Whitefish are in the Trout and Salmon Family and DO NOT interfere with Bull Trout or other Trout Species for spawning habitat. They are also a food source for the Endangered Bull Trout. They also provide angling opportunities.

They are NOT Trash Fish and they deserve Protection.

The Change in the 2022 fishing regulations would also protect the returning Salmon and Steelhead returning to the Metolius River that travel through and are trucked from Round Butte Reservoir. The change would also protect those 2,000 Chinook Salmon smolts released into the Metolius River by Black Butte School Students (K-8). The plan is to release that amount each year.

Here is the email: This email goes to all of the commissioners below.

Kathayoon Khalil— Portland
Jill Zarnowitz— Yamhill
Becky Hatfield-Hyde— Paisley (Hopefully she evacuated the terrible fire)
Gregory Wolley— Lake Oswego
Mary Wahl— Langlois
Bob Spelbrink — Siletz
Mark Labhart— Sisters

Here is the ODFW directors info: Curt Melcher’s Office Phone: 503-947-6044.

Here is Chris Foster’s email:

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4 Responses to Make the Metolius Catch and Release for all Species

  1. Stevie Brehm says:

    I applaud anyone who has a passion for protecting native fish. My thanks to you all.

    So I am happy to say that the current regs do protect returning salmon and steelhead. The Metolius is not open for angling for Salmon and Steelhead…the Central Zone Regs say all waters “closed” unless noted under Exceptions.

    As far as white fish…an angler education effort would be a good idea too. If anglers anywhere are intentionally killing and wasting whities, we need to inform them better.

    Thank you, Stevie

  2. Mike Brinkley says:

    I recommend catch and release for all fish on the Metolius. White fish are native to the river and are just as worthy as the trout for complete protection.

  3. Nate fingerson says:

    Admittedly surprising that you can keep whitefish. I can imagine the reaction someone would get if somebody bonked a whitey. Knuckle sammich

  4. robert j percy says:

    I have fished the Metolius for 25 years and it has always been a tough place to catch fish but most times I did nab a few each time. Now it has been years since I have caught more than one fish and many times I get nothing in places I have always had success and others seem to be in the same boat. Are the numbers of native trout dropping?

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