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Five rods while ice fishing is the norm

I read in Friday's Oregon Outdoors section that the state of Oregon is about to enact a law that allows anglers to use up to five fishing rods while ice fishing. Seriously? Who needs five rods at once? What's the logic here?

— John F, Medford

Well, John, we at Since You Asked Central aren't much the ice-fishers, but with the triple-digit temperatures we've had the past week, it does seem a bit refreshing to picture ourselves hunched over holes in the ice at Diamond Lake hoping to hook a big rainbow.

But, yes, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission on Friday enacted a handful of new angling regulations for the state beginning in 2018, and one of them indeed adopted the five-rod ice-fishing scenario.

Beginning Jan. 1, anglers who purchase the two-rod validation that allows them to fish with two rods in most standing water bodies can also use up to five rods when ice fishing.

Fish biologists at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife actually suggested it.

"It's us looking to provide additional opportunity for folks," says Mike Gauvin, who is in charge of inland fisheries for the agency.

With not much of an ice-fishing tradition to draw on in Oregon, Gauvin's staff polled more traditional ice-fishing states and found out that five rods is about average and it also mirrors the Idaho rule of five rods, Gauvin says.

With the two-rod license costing $21.50, that equals $4.28 per rod while on the ice. 

While angling with up to five rods, daily trout bag limits will remain the same, usually five trout per day. And all other angling rules apply.

— Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.