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Rockfish limits tightened

Recreational ocean anglers will see their daily catches of blue rockfish cut back, but far less than expected, under new ocean angling limits meant to curb impacts on less-common bottomfish.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission last week set a three-fish limit for blue rockfish caught and kept as part of the seven-fish marine rockfish limit that is dominated in Oregon by catches of black rockfish.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife had recommended cutting to one the number of blue rockfish that can be kept as part of that seven-fish limit.

But the agency, during its Friday meeting in Salem, opted instead to set the limit at three after hearing from concerned anglers who wanted to keep more of the blue rockfish they caught, ODFW Fish Division spokeswoman Jessica Sall says.

The three-fish limit also was enough to entice charterboat operators to move off a school of blue rockfish and focus more on black rockfish, Sall says.

The commission, however, adopted the ODFW recommendation that china, copper and quillback rockfish be dropped from the seven-fish daily limit after federal stock assessments found them to be in relatively low levels.

Those three bottomfish, plus blue rockfish, make up about 5 percent of the annual catch, with black rockfish and lingcod dominating what ocean anglers take home.

The commission also adopted an ODFW recommendation that one canary rockfish a day can be part of the seven-fish limit. Canary rockfish have been strictly a catch-and-release fishery since 2003 because of low stock levels.

Fly-tying classes offered for beginners, experienced tyers

The Southern Oregon Fly Tyers are offering two new classes this winter for beginner and soon-to-be classic fly tyers.

The introduction to fly tying's basic tools will introduce beginners to the art of tying your own flies; the class is set for three Saturdays — Feb. 7, Feb. 14 and April 21. The classes will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Fly-tying tools are are available for loaners, and the only cost is $35 for tying materials. The class is taught by tyers Dave Roberts and Dan Kellogg, and is limited to a dozen participants.

To register, call 541-601-5658.

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