New sport-fishing regulations note removal of Gold Ray Dam

Oregon's new 2011 sport-fishing regulations booklets hit the streets this week with a new definition of the lower boundary of the upper Rogue River now that Gold Ray Dam has been removed.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has changed the language of the boundary from the dam to the Gold Ray "dam site."

The dam site is recognizable because the concrete abutment for the dam remains imbedded in the river's south bank, so it will serve as a visible deadline, says

Dan VanDyke, the ODFW's Rogue District fish biologist.

The other possibility would have been shifting the deadline to the mouth of Bear Creek upstream of the old site, VanDyke says.

The deadline will continue to be used for the opening and closing of chinook salmon-fishing seasons and for gear restrictions during parts of the summer steelhead fishery in the upper Rogue.

The old fishing deadline meant to keep anglers away from salmon and steelhead entering the dam's fish ladder also has disappeared.

The only other main change in the Rogue Basin for 2011 is that smelt can no longer be fished in estuaries — a statewide change because of the crash in smelt populations.

Also, the opening of trout fishing in high-mountain lakes such as Diamond, Hyatt and Howard Prairie will remain the fourth Saturday in April, and this year that will be April 23.

Hunter rep sought for regional advisory council

State wildlife managers are looking for a hunter representative to serve on the state Access and Habitat Program's Southwest Regional Advisory Council.

Space on the seven-member council, which helps recommend hunter-access and wildlife-habitat projects for funding through the program, is open because rural Central Point resident Bill Leavens has stepped down after eight years on the council.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is looking for someone with experience in hunting, forestry, farming and/or wildlife conservation and lives within the five southwest Oregon counties — Jackson, Josephine, Coos, Curry or Douglas.

The post is all-voluntary and requires attendance at four quarterly meetings where projects seeking funding are reviewed.

Out-of-area members often take part via teleconference calls to curb travel, says Vince Oredson, the ODFW habitat biologist who works with the local council.

The regional council makes recommendations to the statewide Access and Habitat Board, which then makes funding recommendations to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission for approval.

Applications are due by Thursday, Dec. 23, submitted to the ODFW's Central Point office at 1495 E. Gregory Road. Find and download an application at the ODFW's web site at

Each of the six regional advisory councils scattered throughout Oregon have three landowner representatives, three hunter representatives and one public-at-large representative who also serves as the council chair.

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