To: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Commissioners – Michael Finley, Chair; Holly Akenson; Bruce Buckmaster; Jim Bittle; George Wolley; Bob Webber
I’m writing to request the ODFW Commission consider changing the fishing regulations for the Metolius River.
In the past few years, poaching of Bull Trout has become more pervasive on the lower river. Oregon State Police Troopers have been successful apprehending and convicting a few bait and lure fishermen, including one instance of 16 Bull Trout poached in early 2018. But their efforts could be enhanced by changing the whole Metolius River to fly fishing only with catch and release regulations for ALL fish in the river.
I have fished the river for over 45 years. I believe it fishes better today than before 1996 when the river was regularly stocked with trout.
My wife and I have seen remnants of fish kills on the lower river as well as bait containers. I’ve encountered non-fly fishers around the hatchery using spinning rods. And in one case, a drift boat was trying to find a launch site in the Allen Springs campground.
The Metolius River was designated a Wild & Scenic River as part of the Oregon Omnibus Act of 1980, with the management plan written in 1996. It is a beautiful and priceless gem that is fragile and needs additional protection of endangered Bull Trout. We are fortunate to have a strong population of Bull Trout in the cold, clear waters of the Metolius and are able to fish for them. In many rivers, these fish are protected and can’t be targeted.
Please help protect the Metolius River by considering and approving the following regulation changes:
- Fly fishing only for the entire river.
- Catch and release of all species.
- Barbless, single hooks only.
- No bait allowed.
- Eliminate non-toxic weight.
One last change I would like to see is no fishing from a floating device on the Metolius River. With the proliferation of floating devices in Central Oregon, I think it’s only a matter of time before someone launches a pontoon boat (or similar device) and anchors in the middle of the river and begins fishing. The Metolius River is too fragile to allow this type of fishing.
Thank you for your consideration.