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Waterfowlers will get another banner season

Oregon waterfowlers will enjoy their 18th straight year of the most liberal duck- and goose-hunting seasons available under federal law, with the seasons all starting together in early October.

Thanks to strong migratory and local populations of birds, Oregonians will see a full 107-day duck season. The most liberal goose season possible will overlap most of this year's duck seasons.

The duck season starts Oct. 11 statewide, with Western Oregon and the rest of Zone 1 counties staying open until Oct. 26, then resuming Oct. 29 and running through Jan. 25.

Klamath, Lake and other Oregon counties in Zone 2 will see their early season end Dec. 7. It will then resume three days later on Dec. 10 and run through Jan. 6.

The scaup season in Western Oregon runs Nov. 1 through Jan. 25. In Zone 2, it will run concurrently with the duck season.

The bag limit will remain seven birds, but no more than three scaup during that season, two hen mallards, two pintails, two redheads and one canvasback.

Southwest Oregon's goose season opens Oct. 11 concurrently with duck season, but the first part of the goose season ends here Nov. 30. The goose season will resume here Dec. 8 and close along with the area's duck hunting on Jan. 25.

Goose hunting in Klamath, Lake and Harney counties will open Oct. 11 and run through Dec. 7, then take a break until Jan. 26. The season will run through March 10 for hunters to take advantage of resident goose hunting in late winter.

The daily bag limit is four Canada geese, 10 white-fronted geese and six white geese.

Under federal law, Canada geese include all types of Canada geese, including cackling and Aleutian. White geese are snow and Ross' geese. White-fronted geese are sometimes called specklebellies.

Pheasant, chukar/Hungarian partridge, and Eastern Oregon quail seasons will also open Oct. 11.

The seasons were all adopted Friday by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Chetco River fishing rules loosened

Chinook salmon anglers will be able to return to some popular lower-river holes this fall, but their bag limits will be trimmed under new rules passed Friday by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Chinook angling will be open from Sept. 1 to Nov. 3 upstream  of the power lines at river mile 2.2 — an area closed in recent years during the fall low-water period to protect wild chinook from over-harvest.

Angling in that newly opened area will be restricted to bait or lure fishing with bobbers, and leaders no longer than 36 inches. Fly-fishers will be relegated to a single-point hook and a strike indicator.

The intent is to allow anglers to fish the upper tidewater holes in October, where fall chinook can be abundant, while taking away some of the salmon-snagging techniques that have tarnished the fishery.

The bag limit will drop from two chinook a day to one wild chinook a day as part of a two-chinook daily limit. Also, anglers will be able to keep no more than five wild chinook a season.

The same bag limit will go into effect next year in the nearby Winchuck River, which the commission closed to all chinook angling this year to save as many wild spawners as possible from what is forecast to be a very low run this fall.

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