ROSEBURG, Ore – The North Umpqua River reopens to winter steelhead angling Dec. 1 from the marker below Soda Springs Dam to where the North meets the mainstem Umpqua River near River Forks Park.
All wild winter steelhead in the Umpqua basin must be released unharmed. See the sportfishing regulations for more information.
ODFW closed the North Umpqua River August 10 to all angling to protect wild summer steelhead due to low returns, low flows, and high water temperatures.
Preliminary wild summer steelhead counts as of mid-September show returns are about 10 percent of average, or 350 fish. Counts are determined from Winchester Dam video of migrating fish. Staff monitor summer steelhead using snorkel counts in Steamboat and Canton Creeks which were also low.
Hatchery winter steelhead angling opens as usual Dec. 1 on the South Umpqua River.
Anglers who harvest a hatchery winter steelhead are reminded to return the snout to an ODFW collection barrel for a chance to win a $50 gift card if their fish is coded wire tagged. This is the fourth year of an ongoing study to determine hatchery fish release timing that best benefits anglers.
Hatchery winter steelhead were coded wire tagged in the fall and released in four groups at acclimation sites in Canyonville, each at a different time earlier this year during spring. ODFW scans collected snouts for the tags which contain the release date and group. This information informs which release timing is the most beneficial to anglers, particularly those fishing the South Umpqua River.
Collection barrels are located at popular boat ramps around the Umpqua Basin and in Roseburg at Sportsman’s Warehouse and outside the ODFW office on North Umpqua Highway. Bags for the snouts and tags with date and location of harvest are in the barrels.