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Oregon's Pacific halibut quota soars

Oregon’s Pacific halibut anglers will enjoy a summer season with a 25 percent bigger quota for 2019 under seasons set April 19 by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission.

The plump poundage quota comes courtesy of the International Pacific Halibut Commission and allows for a hefty all-depth fishery off central coast ports beginning May 9.

For Southern Oregon, halibut anglers get their accustomed season of May 1 through Oct. 31, with this year’s quota at 11,322 pounds, up 21 percent from last year’s quota of 8,982 pounds for waters south of Humbug Mountain.

The central coast’s combined all-depth quota was set at 239,001 pounds, with 171,103 pounds of it set aside for the popular spring fishery, allowing for five consecutive weeks and three ensuing backups should weather or other factors keep the quota from being filled.

Those all-depth spring dates are May 9-11, May 16-18, May 23-25, May 30-June 1 and June 6-8. The central coast’s summer fishery begins Aug. 2-3 and calls for fishing every-other Friday and Saturday on a quota of 67,898 pounds.

The central coast also has a near-shore quota of 32,591 pounds for those fishing inside the 40-fathom line.

The statewide limit remains one halibut of any length per day and no more than six annually.

East ART work party

The Applegate Trails Association will hold its last work party of the spring Saturday, May 4, to help maintain a portion of the new East Applegate Ridge Trail.

Plans are to meet at 9 a.m. at the trailhead, with work done in time to have a 12:30 p.m. lunch at the trailhead. The ATA provides tools, snacks and lunch.

Volunteers can just show up. No RVSP is required.

The trailhead is at the end of BLM Road 38-2-29.1 off Sterling Creek Road near milepost 4.

Completed in 2017, East ART is one piece of the Applegate Ridge Trail that eventually will link Grants Pass and Ashland via Jacksonville.

East Art is the 6-mile stretch between Sterling Creek and Highway 238. The next planned extension would span from Highway 238 to Jacksonville’s Forest Park.

For more information on the trail and ATA, see www.applegatetrails.org.

Introduction to fly fishing

John MacDiarmid will teach a one-day class for beginners put on by the Rogue Fly Fishers Saturday, May 11.

Attendees will learn everything needed to get started fishing the Rogue River for steelhead and trout. The class will cover wading equipment, rods, reels, lines, leaders and flies. Basic knots will be taught, and there will be a section on entomology, aquatic insects, and the flies that imitate them. The final lesson will be on presenting the fly and casting.

The class will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the clubhouse for Madrone Hill Mobile Home Park, 8401 Old Stage Road.

If you have a rod, reel and line, bring it but do not buy one for the class. They will cover what rod to buy in the class. The club has rods. Let the instructor know if you will need one.

Each year in late May and early June a large stone fly hatch occurs in the upper Rogue River above Shady Cove. The class will cover how to fish this hatch. There is an optional $10 charge to cover the cost of a small book, “The Curtis Creek Manifesto.” There will be a limit of 12 students. To register, email MacDiarmid at johnmmacdiarmid@gmail.com.

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

Paul LeFebvre of Brookings shows off a halibut caught north of Brookings near the Thomas Creek Bridge.