SALEM, Ore. — State fishery managers approved a temporary rule change that allows anglers to retain radio-tagged salmon caught in the Umpqua River from Aug. 1 through Dec. 31, 2007.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife managers are asking anglers to return the radio tags to ODFW’s Roseburg office to assist with an ongoing research project on spawning distribution and run timing of fall chinook in the Umpqua River basin.
Oregon sportfishing regulations require release of all radio-tagged salmon and steelhead outside of the Columbia River. However, fishery managers believe allowing anglers to catch and retain a fall chinook will provide valuable research information if tags are returned to ODFW.
Fish biologists are working on a chinook salmon distribution research project by capturing and inserting radio transmitters into the stomachs of adult fall chinook salmon in the Umpqua River. Fish with these radio tags have a whip-like antennae trailing from their mouth, and a colored plastic tag near the dorsal fin.
Biologists will capture chinook salmon at night to minimize impacts to anglers and to have better success in netting these fish. The crews will use illuminated boats on the river and will be highly visible in some areas.
Radio transmitters are expensive and tagged fish will likely be encountered by anglers during fall salmon season. The transmitters have a short battery life but can be re-used if recovered from a harvested fish. Please return the transmitters and include a note about where and when the fish was caught. Send to ODFW, 4192 N. Umpqua Hwy, Roseburg, OR. 97470 or to Brian Riggers, ODFW, 28655 Hwy 34, Corvallis OR 97333. For more information, call Brian at (541) 757-4263 ext. 265
Radio telemetry studies are used to assess the timing and distribution of fall Chinook within the basin. The temporary rule change means that anglers can now return these tags to ODFW without worrying about being ticketed for breaking fishing regulations. If the tag is returned, ODFW officials can provide information on where and when the fish was tagged.