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Angling synopsis contains errors and omissions

Perusing the freshly printed Oregon Angling Synopsis for printing errors once was one of angling's greater participatory sports for January, but the booklets have been virtually error-free since the mid-1990s.

But the string is over.

The synopsis for 2005 have errors and omissions in printed regulations for the Rogue and Columbia rivers, as well as the marine limits for rockfish and lingcod.

In the Rogue River, the synopsis on page 41 omits the open chinook salmon-fishing period of July 15 through Sept. 30 from Hog Creek near Merlin upstream to Gold Ray Dam near Gold Hill.

Also on page 41, there is a misprint in the chinook salmon-fishing season in the upper Rogue from Gold Ray Dam to Cole Rivers Hatchery. The printed version states that the chinook season closes July 14, but fishing actually is open through July.

— On page 90, the length limits for sturgeon was left off the Columbia River from The Dalles Dam up to McNary Dam. The limit is a minimum of 48 inches and a maximum of 60 inches from The Dalles Dam upstream to the Oregon-Washington border.

On page 95, the regulations did not list the limits for lingcod and marine rockfish, including black and blue rockfish.

The lingcod limit is to two fish a day, with a minimum of 24 inches. The marine rockfish aggregate bag limit is eight, down from 10 last year.

These limits were set last month by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission. They did not make the deadline for printing the synopsis, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Anne Pressentin Young says.

While the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife may have botched a few regulations in its angling booklet, it is a far cry from its sister agency to the north.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife earlier this decade sent a list of corrections to one of its regulations books, which contained more than 50 mistakes.

The new regulations also contain several changes to fishing rules in southwest Oregon, including a revision of some angling boundaries on the Rogue River.

The Rogue has been broken into three sections in this year's angling regulations, a move biologists say will help make the rules easier to read and understand.

The boundary for keeping wild winter steelhead over 24 inches long has moved from Whiskey Creek near Rainie Falls upstream to Hog Creek near Merlin. The other sections are Hog Creek to Gold Ray Dam, and Gold Ray Dam to Cole Rivers Hatchery.

Beginning Jan. 1, anglers can keep up to one wild steelhead a day and up to five a year in the Rogue downstream of Hog Creek. From Hog Creek to Cole Rivers Hatchery, one wild steelhead can be kept a day beginning Feb. 1.

On the Illinois River, new regulations are in place that will allow anglers to keep fin-clipped adult steelhead and fin-clipped half-pounder steelhead that stray into the river from the Rogue.

The change allows anglers to keep up to five fin-clipped trout over 8 inches a day, and up to two fin-clipped steelhead larger than 16 inches.

In summer and fall, summer steelhead and half-pounders often head into the lower reaches of the Illinois to escape the Rogue's warm water. Fishing for these steelhead is popular in the Agness area, but past rules required catch-and-release fishing for all steelhead in the Illinois.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 776-4470, or e-mail