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January 16 column

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:59 am
by Pete Heley
This weekend (January 19th and 20th) marks the seventh annual “Best of the Creek” Steelhead contest for Eel and Tenmile creeks. The contest hours are: Check in or registstration runs from 6 am till noon on both on both Saturday and Sunday. The weigh-in is at the boat ramp in Spin Reel Park (USFS Parking Permit required) and runs from 7 am till 4 pm on Saturday and from 7 am till 3:30 pm on Sunday. The Awards Ceremony starts at 3:30 on Sunday and the entry fee for the two day affair is $15.00.

The easiest way to get registered is to drop by Ringo’s Lakeside Marina to pick up an entry packet prior to the actual contest. For more information, one can call the Marina 541-759-3312 or Mike Mader at 541-759-2414.

Being held in conjunction with the steelhead contest will be the Second Annual Smoked Salmon/Steelhead Competition which will be on Saturday, January 19th - also at Spin Reel Park. Each entrant must submit three samples of their smoked fish on paper plates by moon. Only three entries per family are permitted and all samples are assigned a number and judges from Englund Marine, The Big Show, KCBY and County Commissioner Bob Main will rank the samples. First prize is a Bradley Smoker ($250 value); Second prize is a Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener ($70 value).

Purchasers of 2013 hunting or combination licenses started receiving parking permits in 2012 at no additional cost. Last year’s parking permits were good for the Denman Wildlife Area near Central Point (north of Medford), the E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area near Corvallis, the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area near La Grande, the Sauvies Island WIldlife Area and the Summer Lake Wildlife Area in southeast Oregon. Displaying the parking permit in a clearly visible manner on a vehicle’s dashboard can save someone the normal seven dollar parking fee.

This year, four additional wildlife areas have been added and these are: the Fern Ridge Wildlife Area, the Klamath Wildlife Area just south of Klamath Falls on Upper Klamath Lake, the Phillip W. Schneider Wildlife Area (near Dayville in northeast Oregon) and the White River Wildlife Area near Tygh Valley in northcentral Oregon.

The parking permits are transferrable between vehicles, but each vehicle must have a permit while parked at the wildlife area. So far this year, most people who receive such permits place no value on them, but they should. Obviously, the number of such wildlife areas will continue to grow and it is no fun having to pay seven bucks each time one wants to park in such an area.

In a Salem meeting last Friday, the ODFW adopted a conservation plan to maintain and enhance fall chinook populations in the Rogue Management Unit - even though the recent population levels are more robust than in the past. They also adopted a schedule of damages assessing an average market value per pound for each species of food fish to be used in assessing damages in lawsuits associated with the unlawful taking of food fish.

The Commission also approved two land acquisitions adding 100 acres to the Sauvie Island Wildliofe Area and 310 acres to the Fern Ridge Wildlife Area and they also approved three amendments to the 2013 Big Game Regulations including one which clarifies that hunters who do not report, by the specified deadlline, information regarding their deer and elk hunts will not have to complete a late report in addition to the $25 penalty they will be assessed.

The Commission also adopted the schedule of damages to be used in assessing commercial fishing violations during 2013. Each year, the Commission establishes the average market value per pound for each species of food fish. These values are used to set damages in lawsuits associated with the unlawful taking of food fish. The values are based on the average prices during the previous year as reported by Oregon commercial fish dealers.