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MailTribune.com
  • Hunt reporting is now required

  • Oregon hunters who thumb their noses at the state's mandatory reporting of hunting success likely will see that nose tweaked next year, if not their wallets.
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  • Oregon hunters who thumb their noses at the state's mandatory reporting of hunting success likely will see that nose tweaked next year, if not their wallets.
    Oregon officially has joined the rest of the states in the West that attempted voluntary compliance with big-game reporting rules and then added a penalty to get hunters to comply.
    Gov. John Kitzhaber recently signed House Bill 2125, which would allow fines against hunters of up to $25 for not reporting their times and successes in the woods, even if they didn't hunt.
    After asking hunters nicely for the data — and even dangling incentives for doing so — failed miserably since 2008, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife managers sought authorization to levy a fine for not supplying data needed for computer models and tag recommendations.
    The bill technically gave the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission the authority to fine hunters up to $25, which is down from the $50 level in the bill's original language.
    ODFW managers have not settled on how much of a fine to seek. "We're likely to bring something to the commission in October," ODFW Wildlife Division spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy says.
    About half of Oregon's big-game hunters have complied with the reporting requirement this year — far too few to make population data models work, Dennehy says.
    Another change from voluntary to mandatory is already in place for boat owners passing the Oregon Port of Entry along Interstate 5 near Ashland.
    Now anyone hauling a boat past the port when the ODFW boat-inspection crews are there must stop for an invasive species inspection. Anyone towing or hauling a boat ranging from a yacht to a canoe and who fails to stop at an open check station risks a $90 ticket.
    Since last summer, the agency has operated the inspection stations on a voluntary basis as a way of keeping zebra mussels or other invasive species from hitchhiking into Oregon on boats and damaging the environment.
    But last year's effort saw just one in four boats stop for inspections, sparking the move to mandatory inspections. Other states in the West already have such requirements as they try to block introduction of species that could cost millions to eradicate.
    The inspections take 10 to 15 minutes. Boats with invasive species on them must be washed on site.
    Oregon's deep-water halibut fishing is over for the year after anglers gobbled up most of the poundage quota for the summer all-depth season in its first two days.
    Only 11,000 pounds from the nearly 42,000-pound quota for the central coast all-depth fishery remains for anglers fishing from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain near Port Orford, and that's not enough for opening another day or two as planned this month, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
    That extra poundage instead will be shifted to the near-shore fishery for anglers staying east of the 40-fathom curve and in waters less popular and less productive for Pacific halibut.
    While 11,000 pounds isn't enough for an additional all-depth day, it should add several weeks to the near-shore fishery, which generally proceeds at a slower pace," says Lynn Mattes, sport halibut project leader at ODFW's Marine Program in Newport.
    The summer fishery was open Aug. 5-6, when good weather and heavy interest among anglers netted about 31,000 pounds of halibut, according to the ODFW.
    The near-shore fishery south of Humbug Mountain to the California border remains unchanged from these season shifts. That fishery is open without a quota and runs through October.
    As in the all-depth fishery, anglers participating in the reopened near-shore fishery will not be allowed to keep or possess any bottomfish when halibut are onboard the boat.
    The North Umpqua River's Lone Rock boat ramp east of Glide will close Monday for a month while safety improvements are made to the facilities.
    The federal Bureau of Land Management will close the launch as well as the stairs leading to the river while the work is done.
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