Saturday, January 07, 2012

Proposal to ODFW for fishing regulation changes

My name is David Kesey and I have been fishing the Owyhee River for about ten years. As anyone knows, who has been fishing the river, we are overdue for some updated regs. on the river.
My goal is to have people post a comment here on my blog including their name, address and phone number. When the final proposal is submitted to ODFW (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife), I will print out your comments from here and include them as letters of support for the proposal.

The following, in substance, is the proposal that will be submitted to ODFW by late Feb. 2012:



If you support these changes please comment and put your name, address and phone number indicating that you support the changes.

Email any questions to

Thanks for your support!


Jon Rombach said...

Closure during spawning season below The Owyhee Lake Dam and bait restrictions as protective measures for the fishery have my full support as reasonable, logical and overdue safeguards for a unique section of river.

Jon Rombach
1005 SE School St.
Enterprise, OR 97828

Fargo K. said...

With the increase of fishing pressure the river is getting, some regulations put into place now will save a lot of headache later. I would really like to see ODFW be proactive instead of reactive with this river.
These regulations seem like common sense to a river like the Owyhee that, if properly managed, could become a real benefit to Eastern Oregon's economy and tourism.

Steve Kish said...

There are a few things that need to be changed to improve the Owyhee River fishery:
1. Single barbless hooks for all
types of fishing.
2. Catch and release for both
Browns and Rainbows.
3. Close the river to fishing
during the spawning process
from mid-October to January
I think these three things would reduce the mortality rate and give the fish some respite from the onslaught of fisherman. This fishery is becoming more popular every year and there needs to be better management in and out of the water.

Steve Kish
Boise, Idaho

Bob Butler said...

The ideal situation would be to clean the browns out of the river and re-establish the rainbows. Then is should be limited to fly fishing only with barbless hooks and a two fish per day limit with a minimum size (12 or 16 inches?)

Eli Parris said...

I have been fishing the River the past 20 years, and the only problem now is the countless number of Idaho fly fisherman walking up and down the river. I use a single barbed hook, with bait and have never had a problem with killing fish. I have no problem with the hook that has to be used, but I don't have the time or money to learn to fly fish the place I have fished the past 20 years. Plus, you don't need to close the river down for spawning, I don't walk through the river, therefore I don't affect the natural habitat of a fish that was planted, that would be the fly fisherman that is affecting the habititat of the planted fish.

true fisher said...

I have been fishing this river since i was in grade school and am now in my thirtys. This river is a great place to go and enjoy the outdoors and a piece of oregon. I dont know about you but when i learned to fish i was about 4 and there is no way a four year old would ever enjoy flyfishing. Fishing with bait is how i have always done it and if you really fish there you know there is no shortage of fish, just an over population of idaho flyfisherman. I also beleive that if you really have been fishing there for ten years you would know that too. Im not sure what davids real reason is behind this but have a fealing it is more then just helping the fish.

Sara Laurance said...

What I would like to know is: Who is asking for these changes? Are they in the best interests of the residents, or are they geared to entice out of the area anglers? Are the authors of this proposal guides or otherwise affiliated with guide services? If so, are they just promoting their own personal agenda? Is it true that brown trout were planted and not native? Do the brown trout endanger the rainbow trout population? Will there be forthcoming informational meetings with ODFW? There are just too many questions for me to show any form of support for this. I need more information.

FISH ON said...

What a wonderful river, and colorful canyon. I love taking my family and enjoying the outdoors and letting the kids fish. I think it's pretty appalling for you to even bring this idea to the table. I think I'll be calling my local ODFW office

Mike Peterson said...


This past summer, I was lucky enough "to go home" and enjoy fishing the river I grew up on with my friends and family. Just like years past, we used spinners and bait, catching and relasing several fish w/ no problem. After learning of this recent proposal, I felt obligated to respond in opposition.

It is clear that this is little more than an attempt to further restrict the river to fly fisherman that have both time and money to burn. The trout population is very healthy from what i experienced (Mr. Kelsey's article fails correlate how bait and treble hook fishing has increased mortality on the river or otherwise adversely impacted the overall fish population). Fish die - it happens unfortunately, regardless of the method of fishing.

And to be clear, to oppose these unnecessary regulations does not mean that I, or others in opposition, don't care about the fish population. Rather, we seek to preserve the Owhyee river as we've known it for years and for our kids to do the same - bait fishing and all. I suggest that Mr. Kelsey and others supporting these proposals (i.e. guides and fly fishermen) put the river's interest, and those who enjoy it, over their own.

Finally, it is clear that the number of Oregon sportsmen has and continues to decline due to increased costs and regulation. Don't give Oregonians, and those of us returning home, another reason not to enjoy the outdoors.

David K. said...

I designed this site to gather and gauge support for the proposal and or see if there were any other ideas out there. With that said I am not going to leave blogs that are negative or personal and have no bearing on the issue. I will leave blogs that have an opposing view because I realize there is always more than one side to an issue.

Bruno Jagelski said...

I oppose elimination of the opportunity to fish with bait. Use of this river should not be reserved for wealthy fly fishermen only. Many children, elderly folks and non-elitists enjoy fishing the Owyhee. They will be excluded if all of the proposed regulations are implemented.

Riverman said...

I think most of you are missing the point. Dave sees the need for new regulations. Bait fishers are not driving from New York (wherever)to fish this river. Its the Flyfishers. Dave sees this and is trying to ensure the quality of the river stays as good or better than its current state. As a responsible Flyfisher he sees the need to close the river during the spawning season. Some people are not responsible enough on their own to stop fishing while they are spawning. This will only make the river habitat healthier for all that use the river. Bait or Fly fisherman.

Hooked said...

I would love to see the proposed regulations put into place. The problem I foresee is that of enforcement. I have been fishing year round on the Owyhee for several years now and I have never, not once, been stopped by a game warden to have my license checked. This past summer I watched in disgust as local migrant workers nailed large, mature browns with treble hooked rapalas and killed and gutted them on the spot. At one point while this was happening, a F&G Warden drove right on by on his way to the reservoir to check boats for invasive species tags - which, according to the local stores selling fishing licenses - is all the F&G wardens really do.
So again, 100% for the proposed regulationa, but regulations without enforcement are worthless.

Isaiah Sarault
Boise, Idaho

Mark Vegwert said...

David: I completely support your proposal. I have fished the O since the mid 60's. Fishing with spinners is great for kids and keeps them excited. Bait fishing is boring and is basically Dad or Grandpa hooking the fish for the kids and then letting them reel in the fish. If you want fish to eat, the reservoir is only a mile or two away and crappie and bass taste a lot better than trout. I like to fish the baetis hatch in October and November and find it easy to avoid spawning fish but also recognize that a certain segment of our society has no ethics or common sense and unfortunately shutting the river down for a couple of months may be the only solution. Keep up the good work.


Benji said...

I agree whole heatedly with these proposed changes. I feel the closure during peek spawning time is especially critical. As the river receives more and more pressure from increased fishermen, we need to take actions to assure the quality of the fishery is maintained.

I fish the river over 100 days a year, and I enjoy having such a high quality fishery so near me to be able to have this opportunity. Let's keep it that way. Thanks for your efforts Dave.

Benji Sorenson

John said...

I support the river closure during fall spawning and limits on number of fish with size restrictions. I fly fish but it may be selfish to restrict usage to artificial fly only.

Ryan thomas said...

No matter what happens its needs to be state and local choice not and out of state flyfishermans choice. We are a community and need to do what is best for ourselves not what is in the best interest of out of staters. Fishing is important to me and the rest of this COMMUNITY. The fact that you are trying to make a change, that in all our minds know it is what YOU want, is very irresponsible. Sorry dave , but i just dont see it.

EO Resident said...

The bottom line is, if you want to fish a "fly fishing only" river with pages of regulations and restrictions, then go to Central or Western Oregon and do it. This part of Oregon has neven been (hopefully never will be) of the purist or elitist mentallity that suffocates the west side of this state. Every local resident has the right to enjoy the fundamentals of fishing and share those experiences with their kids, without waiting until they can properly cast a fly rod.