Here is an issue near and dear to my heart. It’s a proposal to change the Metolius River to fly fishing only. After reading the following information, I hope you will support changes to Metolius River fishing regulations for 2019.

This picture was taken in early 2018 by Senior Trooper Scott Sogge of the Oregon State Police of 16 illegally poached Bull Trout on the Metolius.

Bull Trout Poaching |

My wife and I have been on the lower river and found empty bait containers as well as guts from fish cleaned in the river. One year I encountered a fisherman with a bucket that had a large dead fish in it. He had a big knife strapped to his leg, but I politely told him the Metolius River was catch and release, even below Bridge 99 (Lower Bridge) and wanted to save him an expensive ticket. I don’t think he cared.

Or the time when I was fishing the Dolly Hole and someone walked downriver with the end of a spinning rod tucked into their coat.

Or the time when I was fishing the Big Eddy across from Allen Springs campground and a couple of younger adults, who had walked through the snow because the roads were closed, were fishing plugs. At least he left when I yelled out to him.

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.

Metolius River Bull Trout |

Chris Foster, who lives in Lake Oswego and has been an Angler Education Volunteer Instructor with ODFW for 32 years, made a brief presentation to our Central Oregon Flyfishers club in May about his attempt to change the Metolius River fishing regulations. I applaud him for his effort and thank him to highlight the ongoing issue and his commitment for change.

Chris’ proposal is circulating for the following changes:

  • Fly fishing only
  • Catch and release of all species
  • Eliminate Non-toxic weight
  • No bait allowed
  • Single, barbless hooks (no treble hooks)

Here is his list of suggested changes for the 2019 Metolius River fishing regulations.

Fishing Regulation Recommended Changes for Metolius River |

Senior Trooper Sogge is asking for help to make enforcement much easier for them. Just change the entire river to fly fishing only. He believes this change will make a major impact on some bad apples who spin fish this river. He states poaching is an ongoing issue for them.

Here is a sample letter to the ODFW Commissioners you could use to make your voice heard.

Sample Letter to ODFW Commissioners |
















And one last change I would like to see in the regulations:

  • No fishing from a floating device

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.

So please help spread the word to change the fishing regulations in 2019.

Make your voice heard to some of the following:

Michael Finley, Chair ODFW
Holly Akenson, Commissioner – Eastern
Bruce Buckmaster, Commissioner District
Jim Bittle, Commissioner District
Gregory Wolley, Commissioner District
Bob Webber, Commissioner District
Mike Gauvin, ODFW Regulations & Program

The Metolius River was designated a Wild and Scenic river in 1996 and all stocking ended that year. It’s a special place. A tough river to catch fish at times, but it can be done. It takes patience and observation.

Thanks…go fish!


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  1. Please do your part to protect the Met! Let’s use all these recent poaching arrests to finally make it all fly-fishing only!

  2. John: Great work. My letter is in. A couple minor changes – The Metolius was designated as a WSR as part of the Oregon Omnibus Act of 1980. We wrote the management plan in 1996. This is the 50th anniversary of the Original WSRs Act, lots of events in the hopper.

    Also, I think MIke Gauvin (who orchestrated the original rule changes two years age) may not be with ODFW any more. I will confirm and get you a corrected name if these is one. Thanx!
    Rod Bonacker

    1. Rod

      Thanks for your comment. I’ll try to incorporate your information into my post. Always like to get my info correct! And let me know what you find out about Mike Gauvin and who should receive our input.


    1. Hi Jack – I don’t know the timeline, but I’d guess if you could complete it in the next 2 – 3 weeks would be good.


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