SHADY COVE — A city service club and local fishing guides plan to scour the banks of the Rogue River Saturday as part of the annual Upper Rogue River Cleanup.
Held the first Saturday after the July 31 end to the spring chinook salmon season upstream of Dodge Bridge, the cleanup is more than just collecting discarded monofilament line and beer cans.

“We want to get a lot of that trash out of there, but we really want to educate the public about trash,” says Ed Mayer, president of the Shady Cove Boosters, which joins the Rogue Sportsmen's and Guides Association in arranging the cleanup.

“Some of this stuff you'll never deal with totally,” Mayer says. “But maybe we can put some peer pressure on people to learn that it's not OK to leave litter in the river and leave their monofilament line on the banks.”

Close to 20 driftboats and oarsmen are expected to participate, but more volunteers are needed to help fill the boats with trash during floats. The floats will be broken into sections and assigned to driftboat teams.

Also, members of a local dive shop will have divers cleansing lead, line and other debris from the bottom of heavily fished holes like Casey State Park and the Cove Hole in Shady Cove, just upstream of the Highway 62 bridge.

Volunteers will assemble at 7:30 a.m. at the Shady Cove Park near the boat ramp. Organizers plan a lunch for the volunteers.

Several businesses and governmental agencies partner with the boosters and guides association on the project annually, Mayer says.

Volunteers are urged to contact Mayer at 878-1480 or edwincmayer@gmail.com.

A fledgling chapter of a national waterfowl organization is taking flight Saturday in Medford by hosting its first fundraising banquet.

The Southern Oregon Chapter of Delta Waterfowl will launch with a banquet-auction at the Rogue Regency Inn.

With just a dozen members, chapter leaders hope to garner interest among area waterfowl hunters who share their goals of improving habitat and increasing youth-hunting opportunities locally, particularly at the state-owned Denman Wildlife Area.

Chapter leader Steve DeBerry of Medford says 25 percent of the money the chapter raises will stay local, with the focus on the wildlife area in White City.

“There's a lot of waterfowl on Denman, and a lot of people use it and want to see it maintained,” DeBerry says. “That's our goal as a local chapter.”

Delta Waterfowl is based in Bismarck, N.D., and focuses much of its efforts on protecting and enhancing breeding habitat in northern states and in Canada, including the so-called “potholes” areas.

But the nonprofit organization is starting to make headway in the West. The local chapter began last August when DeBerry collected some like-minded waterfowlers after researching Delta Waterfowl's track record in conservation, he says.

The banquet begins with a 5 p.m. social hour. Dinner is at 7 p.m.
Tickets cost $30 for youth, $45 for a single and $65 for a couple, which includes a year-long membership in the chapter, DeBerry says.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance by telephoning DeBerry at 541-973-9250.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 776-4470, or e-mail mfreeman@mailtribune.com.