I have a question about how to deal with the new spring chinook salmon deadline on the Rogue River. With the removal of Gold Ray Dam, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife changed the boundary for keeping wild spring chinook salmon to the boat ramp. One of my favorite fishing holes is well below where the dam was but slightly upstream from the ramp. My question is, if I hook a wild spring chinook upstream of the deadline but don't boat it until I am downstream of the dead line, can I keep it?
— JB, Central Point
We see you working it, JB. Hook your wild chinook in the water where you can't keep it, then float past the deadline at Fisher's Ferry boat ramp with the salmon still on the line and net it in the open water.
We at Since You Asked Central asked Senior Trooper Jim Collom from the Oregon State Police's Fish and Wildlife Division about your idea, and he says no-go on that one.
"We've always said you have to hook the fish at or below the deadline for it to count," Collom says. "If it's hooked above the deadline, you have to release it if it's a wild fish."
Maybe it would have been nice had the new deadline put your fishing hole in the legal water for keeping wild chinook because it is so close to it. But Collom says you have to draw the line somewhere.
"If it were allowed no matter where you are on the river, they'd fight the salmon through a bunch of rapids all the way to the deadline to net it," Collom says.