The new year brings changes to Oregon's sport-fishing regulations that alter when and where anglers can take to their favorite Southern Oregon waters in 2013 and beyond.
The mainstem Rogue River and its tributaries upstream of Lost Creek Lake now are open to year-round angling as part of a suite of regulation changes adopted last fall by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission.
For decades, those waters upstream of Jackson County's largest reservoir have been part of the regular trout-fishing season that runs from the fourth Saturday in April through Oct. 31. But Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists sought the year-round season to give anglers more opportunities in this picturesque stretch of the far upper Rogue River basin blocked to salmon and steelhead migration by the reservoir.
The area's spring and summer stocking schedules for trout remain unchanged, and the bag limit there remains five trout per day over 8 inches long, with no more than one trout over 20 inches per day.
Farther downstream on the Rogue, all of the regulations that listed the old Gold Ray Dam site as the lower boundary of what constitutes the upper Rogue River have been shifted downstream to the Fishers Ferry Boat Ramp.
Another extension of the angling season will be seen soon at Lemolo Lake in eastern Douglas County. The new season there opens each April 1 and runs through Dec. 31 annually, leaving the lake closed only from January through March.
The extension is a way for the lake's season to more comparably reflect changes at nearby Diamond Lake, which is now a year-round lake.
The old season at Lemolo was the fourth Saturday in April through Oct. 31. During the newly opened periods — April 1 to the fourth Saturday in April and Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 — anglers can keep rainbow trout, but for brown trout, the lake's signature fish, it will be catch-and-release fishing only.
In the Umpqua Basin, the basin-wide daily limit on bass officially increased Tuesday from 10 per day to 15 per day. The basin's smallmouth bass population, which creates a popular summer fishery, are the result of illegal smallmouth stocking in the mainstem Umpqua in the 1970s.
Oregon hunters and anglers who share the shutterbug gene could win one of four $100 gift certificates in an ongoing photo contest sponsored by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The contest is designed to showcase fishing and hunting opportunities in Oregon, and entries will become part of the ODFW photo library to be used in its print, Web and social-media products.
Photos can be submitted through the ODFW Outdoors Facebook page at www.facebook.com/odfwoutdoors?ref=stream. Entries will fall under four categories: youth hunting, youth fishing, family/adult hunting and family/adult fishing.
All entries will be posted on the ODFW Outdoors Facebook page, and viewers will be invited to vote for their favorites. The photos with the most votes in each category will win the gift certificates to Cabelas.
Entries will be accepted through January.
ODFW will announce the winners at the 2013 Northwest Sportsman Show set for Feb. 6-10 in Portland.
Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.