BEND, Ore. -- The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is implementing an emergency regulation change for Lake Billy Chinook that will eliminate the 25-fish bonus bag limit for kokanee. The new regulation, which goes into effect May 1, 2008, limits the daily harvest of kokanee to five fish included in the trout bag limit.
The reduced bag limit is in response to a sharp decline in kokanee populations.
“Our current estimates indicate the kokanee population is less than half of what it was in the 1990s and early 2000s,” said Brett Hodgson, ODFW fish biologist.
The new five-fish bag limit can include any combination of kokanee, rainbow trout and up to one bull trout over 24 inches. Possession consists of two daily limits.
The emergency regulation will continue through October 27, 2008. ODFW is proposing to extend the regulation change through the 2009-2011 angling regulation cycle.
“We think that a limited harvest now will lead to a stronger kokanee population and better angling in the future,” Hodgson said. “The new regulations should also benefit the re-establishment of a sockeye salmon run in the Lake Billy Chinook and Metolius River ecosystem.”
For more information, contact Brett Hodgson, Deschutes District fish biologist at (541) 388-6363.
The mission of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is to protect and enhance Oregon's fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations. Headquartered in Salem, ODFW has regional offices in Clackamas, Roseburg, Bend, and La Grande with ten district offices located throughout the state. For additional information, please visit www.dfw.state.or.us.