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MailTribune.com
  • Halibut anglers back on the water through Saturday

    Season is extended because of unused quota
  • Oregon's halibut anglers are back in the deep water today through Saturday, June 19, under an extension of all-depth fishing days to take advantage of poundage left over in the spring fishery.
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  • Oregon's halibut anglers are back in the deep water today through Saturday, June 19, under an extension of all-depth fishing days to take advantage of poundage left over in the spring fishery.
    Poor spring weather kept halibut boats in port often enough this spring that the catch rate came up short of the 105,908-pound quota when the spring all-depth fishery between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mountain ended June 5.
    Fishery managers added three days to the season, allowing anglers to chase these deep-water denizens past the 40-fathom curve. If catches this week remain light, the next possible open days would be Thursday to Saturday, July 1-3, followed by July 15-17 and July 29-31.
    Open dates will be announced on the National Marine Fisheries Service hot line at 1-800-662-9825 and posted on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Marine Resources Program website at www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP.
    The Central Coast all-depth fishery summer season opens Friday, Aug. 6, and is scheduled to be open every other Friday and Saturday until the region's total spring and summer all-depth quota of 141,265 pounds is reached.
    Waters south of Humbug Mountain to the California border — where angling effort for halibut historically has been light — remain open without a quota.
    Fishing like a thief at southeast Oregon's Thief Valley Reservoir is over for now.
    Heavy spring rains have improved the water outlook at this county reservoir enough that the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has rescinded its liberalization of the trout-fishing limits there.
    Anticipating a summer trout die-off caused by low water levels, ODFW biologists expanded the daily limit to 15 trout of any size to allow anglers a chance at killing these rainbows before nature did.
    In past years when summer die-offs have occurred, agency biologists have waited until lethal conditions were imminent before liberalizing the trout limit there.
    Those actions came under criticism by anglers, who had little opportunity to expand their catches just before the die-off.
    In response, ODFW leaders decided to up the limits in May to give anglers a better shot at capturing as many of these stocked trout as possible.
    Then conditions changed.
    The heavy rains in recent weeks mean the reservoir will likely not reach critically low levels associated with summer trout die-off. So last week ODFW fish managers returned the daily bag limit to five trout to curb overharvest of a good crop of big trout that should provide a good fishery through spring.
    Thief Valley Reservoir is located along the Powder River near Baker City. Fishing rules there are listed in the Southeast Oregon fishing zone in the 2010 statewide angling rules synopsis.
    Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or e-mail mfreeman@mailtribune.com.
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