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Rogue flows increase amid hot spell

Water releases from Lost Creek Lake to the upper Rogue River will grow to their highest of the spring beginning Friday to help migrating spring chinook salmon head up the Rogue amid what is expected to be the first triple-digit temperatures of 2021.

At the behest of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began Thursday walking up releases to the Rogue from the 2,150 cubic feet per second.

When the increases end at noon Friday, flows will be at 2,700 cfs out of Lost Creek Lake.

Water is released into the Rogue River from Lost Creek Lake to make room for capturing storm runoff in this file photo.

The intent is to create cooler water temperatures on the Lower Rogue River Canyon amid the hottest air temperatures of the season. Temperatures up to 102 degrees are predicted Tuesday for Medford.

Higher flows are the best way to keep river temperatures in the canyon area, where natural warm-water diseases can break out and decimate spring chinook runs. The last significant die-off came in 1994 amid similar drought conditions.

Volunteer boaters needed for event

The CAST for Kids Foundation is looking for volunteer boaters who can help take special-needs kids fishing in a special event June 26 at Emigrant Lake near Ashland.

CAST stands for Catch a Special Thrill and focuses on taking special-needs kids of all ages and their families fishing in free annual events over the past 30 years.

The event is open to kids ages 6 through 18 with any special need. Volunteers are needed to take members fishing between 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Interested volunteers can register for the event at www.castforkids.org/event/emigrantlake.

At each event, participants receive a free fishing pole, tackle box, event shirt, cap, award plaque, and lunch. A morning of fishing willl be followed by a picnic lunch for all and awards ceremony for the kids. Volunteer boaters will be taking the kids boating. Each child must be accompanied by a parent or guardian on the boat. If boat space allows, additional siblings and family members may be able to g o boating as well. However, only participants and one parent or guardian are guaranteed to go boating at the event.

Ocean bag limit altered

Recreational anglers on the ocean will have to release three more species of rockfish to keep from eclipsing annual harvest quotas.

Beginning Tuesday, recreational anglers at sea must release all the copper, quillback and China rockfish they catch while fishing for black rockfish, lingcod and other bottomfish for the rest of the year.

The change does not impact the aggregate rockfish bag limit of five fish per day, which was lowered from six a day earlier this year because of high ocean effort and catches amid COVID-19 related changes to other forms of recreation.

Ocean effort has soared amid COVID-19 restrictions.

The change does not impact shore and jetty anglers who rarely catch copper, quillback and China rockfish that are normally caught in deep water.

The lingcod limit of two fish per day over 22 inches also has not changed.