The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is looking for volunteers in the Brookings-Harbor area to share their passion for fishing as instructors with the state's Angler Education Program.

The agency is hosting a free training for new instructors from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, at the Harbor Fire Hall, 98069 West Benham Lane, Harbor.

Lunch will be provided. Registration is required by Feb. 6. To register, contact Jenny Ammon at 503-947-6081 or jenny.l.ammon@state.or.us.

The training is open to anyone 18 or older and will cover all elements of the program’s curriculum, including basic fishing skills, stewardship, aquatic resources and water safety.

Participants will also learn about events and other volunteer opportunities in their area.

Ammon says instructor activities can run the gamut from helping local ODFW STEP biologists with classroom egg-incubation programs to teaching fishing techniques in myriad ways from one-on-one sessions to family outings and possibly even angling clinics.

"Folks who are really passionate have the potential to do great things," Ammon says. "When motivation is involved, the sky's the limit."

ODFW seeks 2017 harvest tags

ODFW biologists this week put out their annual plea to get Oregon anglers to turn in their combined 2017 angling tags and/or hatchery salmon/steelhead harvest cards as soon as possible.

They ask for the tags from all license holders, even if they didn't catch any fish in 2017.

The annual tags must be used by salmon and steelhead anglers, who must log when and where they fish and the size of all the fish they keep.

While the tags help fish and wildlife officers make sure anglers don't illegally keep too many fish, the tags also provide important data used to estimate harvest rates necessary to manage some fisheries.

That is even more true for anglers who keep wild salmon and/or steelhead from rivers such as the Rogue, one of a handful of Oregon rivers still allowing the keeping of some wild steelhead.

Returning the cards is not mandatory, but some anglers have collected them over the decades as keepsakes of past fishing seasons. But biologists each year put out the call for these tags.

In past years, about one in every five harvest tags were returned to the agency, but in recent years the return rates have dipped to around 12 percent, ODFW spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy says.

Biologists also use creel-census numbers and other forms of data to plug into computer models, Dennehy says.

"This is one way to get information," Dennehy says. "We don't just rely on this, but we certainly appreciate when people return them."

The call-out includes anglers who buy one-day or multi-day licenses, which also contain slots to log the salmon or steelhead kept.

The tags can be dropped off at most point of sale license outlets, any ODFW office or mailed to ODFW Headquarters, 4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, Salem, OR 97302.

— Reach Mail Tribune reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.