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Coast parks fire restrictions eased

Campers at Oregon’s coastal state parks can have campfires again, but beach-goers must remain mostly flameless under eased fire restrictions announced Wednesday by the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department.

Campers visiting places such as Harris Beach State Park near Brookings and Bullards Beach State Park near Bandon can have campfires in state-built rings or fire pits after a nearly one-week ban on state parks campfires because of extreme fire danger.

Self-contained propane fire pits with shut-off valves are the only flame source allowed on Oregon beaches, which are public and managed by the parks department. These pits are also allowed at coastal parks and coastal day-use areas.

The flame ban remains in effect elsewhere, including Valley of the Rogue State Park near Gold Hill and Stewart State Park at Lost Creek Lake, where visitors to the day-use area still have to tiptoe around wildfire crews camped there.

The ban applies to campfires or cooking fires using wood or charcoal, as well as propane fire pits. Cooking with propane or other gas stoves with turn-off valves are allowed at inland state parks and day-use areas.

The bans are in effect for a week at a time, and state parks officials revisit them each week.

Visitors planning a trip should check for up-to-date information on campfire status by calling the state parks information line at 1-800-551-6949.

Heat prompts Umpqua fishing restrictions

Hot water in the mainstem Umpqua River has triggered angling closures to protect wild summer steelhead stacked up at the mouths of tributaries.

Anglers will no longer be able to fish within a 200-foot radius of Umpqua tributaries or in the lower 200 feet of the tributaries themselves between Scottsburg Bridge upstream to the River Forks boat ramp, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The closures went into effect Wednesday and will remain in place until October.

The upper stretch of the mainstem Umpqua earlier this week was at 79 degrees, significantly higher than wild summer steelhead bound for the cool waters of the North Umpqua can take.

Typically under these conditions steelhead and fall chinook salmon will congregate in front of cooler tributaries. The angling closure keeps fishing pressure off these stressed steelhead and, later, fall chinook.

A similar closure went into effect during the drought of 2015 and was welcomed with broad public support.

Free clamming seminar Saturday

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is hosting a free seminar Saturday in Charleston for those who want to learn how to crab and clam on the Oregon Coast.

The 90-minute seminar and morning dig is set for 7 a.m. Saturday at the Charleston Marine RV Park, 62302 Kingfisher Road, Charleston.

There are no registration requirements.

The seminar will cover tips on digging clams, cleaning and cooking clams, as well as identification, handling and measuring of clams and crabs.

For more details, call ODFW’s Charleston office at 541-888-5515.

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

Campfires allowed again at Oregon coastal parks.