March 30, 2017
SALEM -- Effective April 1 through July 31, 2017, anglers who have a two-rod validation will be able to use two rods while fishing in the Willamette River for all species except sturgeon. This includes salmon, steelhead, trout and warmwater species. Anglers fishing for sturgeon may use only one rod.
The new rule applies only to waters already open to fishing and all other Willamette Zone rules and regulations remain in effect. ODFW fishery managers stressed that this rule is temporary – after July 31, rules will revert to those published in the 2017 Sport Fishing Regulations, and use of two rods in the Willamette and its tributaries will no longer be allowed. No decision has been made on the future allowance of two rods in the Willamette beyond 2017, officials said.
Two-rod validations have been available to Oregon anglers for several years. For $21.50, licensed anglers can purchase a validation that allows them to use a second rod in certain locations of the state, primarily ponds and lakes. If you have already purchased a two-rod validation in 2017, it is valid for any waters open to the use of two rods, which now includes the Willamette River and its tributaries. Kids under the age of 12 do not need a validation to use a second rod in these locations.
In the near future, managers will also be considering whether two rods will be allowed in some coastal streams, such as occurred last year.
Because the Willamette spring Chinook fishery is managed under a strict quota and Endangered Species Act limits, ODFW will closely monitor the effect of the Willamette rule change and may make adjustments if necessary.