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Cascade Lakes Relay plans new date

Cascade Lakes Relay runners race in view of Mount Bachelor. [Photo by The Oregonian/Oregonlive]

This weekend’s Cascade Lakes Relay is its final year for cross-country running and walking in August.

Organizers announced plans to move Central Oregon’s largest annual sporting event to June in 2023 for its 16th year. The move, organizers say, is intended to provide a “safer ... more enjoyable” event with cooler temperatures and reduced likelihood of wildfire smoke.

“In the past five years, we have experienced extreme temperatures, poor — and sometimes unhealthy — air quality, and forest fires that threatened our ability to safely produce CLR the first weekend of August,” said co-founder and chief executive officer Scott Douglass.

“In 2021, the Bootleg Fire caused us to drastically adjust our event only several days prior, and nearly every year we are faced with challenging conditions due to a changing climate,” said Douglass.

Departing Friday from Diamond Lake Resort, teams of 12 runners traverse 216 miles of Oregon’s outback, navigating the Cascade Lake Highway, around Mount Bachelor and finishing Saturday on the banks of the Deschutes River at Bend’s Riverbend Park. The walking portion kicks off from Silver Lake and covers 132 miles.

Over 85% of relay participants travel from outside of Central Oregon for the event. The move in 2023 to June 23-24 coincides with the beginning of the summer and follows Father's Day.

“It’s amazing how an event like this brings families, friends and colleagues together to conquer a difficult race together and have a ton of fun along the way with crazy team themes and creative costumes,” says Douglass.

Since its inception in 2008, Cascade Relays Foundation has contributed over $600,000 to local nonprofits, school groups and community organizations. See cascaderelays.com/cascade-lakes/event-info/

Part of upper Rogue River closes to chinook

The upper Rogue River upstream of Highway 234’s Dodge Bridge is now closed to all chinook salmon fishing, but steelhead fishing remains open there.

The closure, which went into effect Sunday night, is the annual conservation closure to allow wild spring chinook salmon to spawn in the main-stem Rogue.

Chinook fishing downstream of Dodge Bridge remains open through August in the upper Rogue.

Also opening Monday to steelhead anglers was the Hatchery Hole along the Cole Rivers Hatchery dike. That area is closed during the spring chinook season to curb rowdy anglers and illegal snagging that for years plagued the hole during spring chinook season.