Mountain bike trail taking shape at Prescott Park

Mountain bike trail taking shape at Prescott Park

Medford's Prescott Park is in the midst of its most significant recreation makeover in eight decades as crews carve out mountain-biking trails that riders say will be a new destination for two-wheeled, backwoods cyclists.

Contractors armed with chainsaws and small excavators are creating 6.8 miles of new trails that will run from the top of Roxy Ann Peak to the current parking area at the end of Roxy Ann Drive.

"We've always done road work and small-trail work, but really this is....

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Rainbow $5,000 derby set for Saturday at Diamond Lake

The past 18 years of helping run Black Bird Shopping Center's Rainbow $5,000 trout-fishing derby have taught Toni Young that derby anglers are late to take the bait.

This year's derby is Saturday at Diamond Lake, and about 400 people had signed up at Black Bird by midday Wednesday for Southern Oregon's richest trout-fishing event.

"But that doesn't really mean much," Young says. "Everybody comes in at the last minute. Always have."

Participants can register at Black Bird,...

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Free fishing event set for Hyatt Lake

Oregonians can fish and catch shellfish for free during Free Fishing Weekend Saturday-Sunday, June 4-5.

The weekend will include a local angling event at Hyatt Lake. The Medford District of the Bureau of Land Management and the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest are teaming up for the free Hyatt Lake event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hyatt Lake Campground near The Greensprings.

Fishing rods and tackle will be provided for kids, and plenty of other activities are planned for...

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BLM reopens comments on monument transportation plan

Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument users will have more chances to speak their mind about federal land managers' plans to close or decommission from six to 165 miles of old logging roads within the monument to help preserve the land's biodiversity but retain public access.

The Bureau of Land Management has reopened public comment on its long-awaited draft transportation plan, which grapples with how to address 412 miles of roads that everyone from hunters and birders to wildland...

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Higher water brings more boating obstacles

Boaters in Jackson County lakes are going bump in the day this spring while motoring on reservoirs finally close to full after three years of drought.

In Hyatt and Howard Prairie lakes, boaters have been hitting their engine's lower units on humps and stumps where they're not used to seeing obstructions, according to the Jackson County marine patrol.

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Howard Prairie to host ODFW event

Howard Prairie Resort will host a family fishing event Saturday that will be put on by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to give families a taste of fishing at Howard Prairie reservoir.

The free event will run from 9 a.m. to noon and include several activities focused on learning how to catch Howard Prairie's stocked rainbow trout.

The agency recently stocked 5,725 legal-sized trout and 400 larger trout averaging about two pounds apiece. The lake is also home to...

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Boat-ramp parking pass acceptance now legit

For more than 20 years, upper Rogue River boaters needed to buy only a state or Jackson County parks pass to access all five boat ramps in this stretch, whether they are owned by the state or county.

On Wednesday, that informal arrangement became legal.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and Jackson County signed an agreement to honor each other's parking passes at the upper Rogue boat ramps after years of doing so without any formal agreement in place.

"It's the...

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Chetco 'bubble' season to be split in two

BROOKINGS — A popular recreation season targeting chinook salmon bound for the Chetco River will be halved and split over two October weekends.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission last week reduced the targeted commercial and recreational catch of Chetco-bound chinook amid concerns of low salmon returns there this year.

The recreational season will be Oct. 1-3 and Oct. 8-9 and was passed at the urging of Commissioner Bob Webber so more anglers can fish the weekend...

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South Fork Smith River is a gem

South Fork Smith River is a gem

Big wildlands? Wild and Scenic rivers? Old-growth forests? Remote hiking trails? The Siskiyou Wilderness Area has you covered. In particular, the South Kelsey Trailhead on the South Fork Smith River provides year-round access to adventure and natural wonders.

Long prized for its wild steelhead and considered one of the clearest rivers in California, the South Fork Smith River is largely undiscovered as a hiking destination — particularly upstream of the rustic Buck Creek Shelter....

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Statewide advisory issued against eating bass

State health officials have expanded their advisories against eating sport-caught bass after elevated levels of mercury were confirmed in bass across Oregon.

The Oregon Health Authority has warned people for years to limit their consumption of bass from such lakes as Emigrant and Applegate, but this is the first statewide advisory. It also includes bass caught in streams such as the Umpqua River.

Smallmouth and largemouth bass were the focus of the advisory because they are...

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Bear Creek cleanup targets winter debris

A short stretch of Bear Creek upstream of the McAndrews Road bridge is where Medford shopping carts go to die.

Volunteers during a cleanup effort last spring targeted the most urban stretch of this troubled creek and found more than two dozen shopping carts that settled in the creek bed over the previous winter.

"Most of those shopping carts came out of that one area," says Craig Tuss of the Rogue Valley Council of Governments. "More than 20 came out of that one area. I don't...

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Trilliums love redwoods

Trilliums love redwoods

Early spring is more subdued in the redwood forests than it is in the Rogue Valley, where colorful flowers are popping everywhere you look. In the damp and shady woods, only one wildflower was proliferating when I was there in March — the western white trillium.

But, boy, was it ever. They lined trails in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park like those solar torches everyone has in their garden these days. Each redwood tree seemed to have its own personal trillium blazing beside...

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Ocean chinook season to be shortest in eight years

BROOKINGS — Southern Oregon ports this year will see the shortest recreational chinook salmon season in eight years, but it will keep its much-desired seven-day fishing week under salmon seasons adopted today by the Pacific Fishery Management Council.

The season for recreational anglers fishing out of Brookings, Gold Beach and Port Orford will open May 28 and run uninterrupted through Aug. 7. After four weeks of no fishing, the season will resume Sept. 3-5 for the...

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Wall first solo Bassmasters winner

Jacksonville's Jacob Wall overcame myriad obstacles, including flying solo, to become the first collegiate angler to win a Bassmasters collegiate competition fishing alone when he won the Bassmaster College Series Western Regional tournament Monday in Nevada.

With partner Dalton Taylor sidelined with stomach flu, Wall also overcame early engine troubles to come from behind and win the three-day event at Lake Mead, earning his University of Oregon team a trip to the national...

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Free hike series starts Saturday

Free hike series starts Saturday

The Southern Oregon Land Conservancy has scheduled a series of spring hikes, and a major focus will be a special chunk of land along the Rogue River that the organization is trying to purchase and preserve.

Five of the 13 hikes in the series, including Saturday's kick-off hike, will be at the so-called "Rogue River Preserve," a 352-acre ranch owned by the heirs of former Mail Tribune publisher Robert Ruhl.

The conservancy is in the midst of a $3.5 million capital campaign to buy.....

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Two-rod license expands to Willamette River

Oregon's special license that allows anglers to fish with two rods on lakes and reservoirs will be extended to the Willamette River and its tributaries beginning today under a test on whether it's appropriate for rivers.

If the two-rod experiment works well on the Willamette, it could be extended to coastal rivers such as the Rogue, but Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials say they aren't looking that far ahead yet.

"We're starting on the Willamette, and we're taking.....

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Climb to the craggy crest

Climb to the craggy crest

Travelers along Interstate 5 in far Northern California can't help but notice the Castle Crags, a grouping of towering, jagged granite peaks that rise definitely and dramatically above the forest-lined highway. The Crags have inspired other names. The Wintu Indians called them the Abode of the Devil while Spanish explorers dubbed the region Castle del Diablo, or Castle of the Devil.

Instead of driving past, a group of mostly Rogue Valley hikers, led by Klamath Falls' Hans Kuhr, left...

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More trails coming to Medford's Prescott Park

Work will start this summer on a project to add more hiking, biking, jogging and equestrian trails to Prescott Park, which includes Roxy Ann Peak.

The Medford Parks and Recreation Department secured $75,000 in state funding to add to the $200,000 it has budgeted for major improvements to the park, said Brian Sjothun, director of the department.

Earlier this week, a master plan for the 1,740-acre park was approved by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners. Although the park is.....

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Ice-fishing ends at mountain lakes

Warming weather, rain and mountain runoff has brought an end to the unofficial ice-fishing season at lakes in the south Cascades and Siskiyou mountains.

Rain softened and melted ice at Lake of the Woods, while runoff swelled the lake and cracked the ice as the lake level rose.

"We're definitely done on the lake," says George Gregory, co-owner and manager at Lake of the Woods Resort.

Ditto at Diamond Lake, where snows have shrouded thin ice that has lured a few anglers who...

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Between a rock and a hard place

Between a rock and a hard place

It's been a backdrop for movies, TV programs and commercials, and a favorite subject for painters and photographers. It's also been the setting for novels and music videos — check out country singer Tim McGraw's "Not A Moment Too Soon."

But the Battery Point Lighthouse in far Northern California's Crescent City has served a starring role as a literal beacon of hope for sea vessels since its lights were first lit in December 1856. Although it was decommissioned by the U.S. Coast.....

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October 25, 2015

A perch with a view

October 04, 2015

Outside-in at The Rock

September 25, 2015

2015 Hunting Forecast

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Get Out: Friday, July 3

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