Crack Down on Snagging Proposed

Snagging is a problem statewide for salmon and steelhead, but proposed rule changes hope to crack down on the problem areas.

Popular spring salmon holes above HWY 62 are the target
of proposed rule changes for 2013

Every four years the state Fish and Wildlife Commision does a comprehensive review of the sport fishing regulations, and 2013 is when those new regulations will take effect. Currently they are going through a new 5 step process for proposals and review. Here’s the steps for how the New Public Process for 2013 Fishin Regulations will work, and here’s a list of all Proposed Regulations by ODFW & OSP staff.

The hot topic this time around is snagging. Many of the proposals take aim at the activity and will try to make it easier to cite those engaging in it. With these changes, they also hope to redefine snagging which is currently “Hooking or attempting to hook fish other than inside the mouth.” The proposed change would define it as “Taking or attempting to take a fish with a hook and line in any way or manner where the fish is not enticed to voluntarily take the hook(s) in its mouth. Gamefish which are hooked other than inside of its mouth must be released immediately unharmed“.

Another proposal hopes to enact an “Anti-Snagging Rule”. “Except when fishing with a buoyant lure (with no weights added to the line or lure), or trolling from a vessel or floating device, terminal fishing gear is restricted to a lure or bait with one-point hook. Hooks must measure ¾” or less from point to shank, and must be attached to or below the lure or bait. Weights may not be attached below or less than 18″ above the lure or bait.” That means that treble hooks and more than 1 hook would become illegal in areas where the Anit-Snagging Rule is encacted. That also includes treble hooks on spoons and spinners.

One of the most popular fly fishing techniques could become
illegal if proposed regulations pass as currently written.

The Rogue falls into the areas that would be effected by the Anti-Snagging Rule. The times and areas are as follows: April 1st to Sept. 30th from Whiskey Creek to Gold Ray Damsite; April 1st to Aug 31st from Gold Ray Damsite to Dodge Bridge; April 1st to July 31st from Dodge Bridge to Cole Rivers Hatchery.

One oversight of this proposal however, is that it would ban a popular fly fishing technique for summer steelhead. Often times fly fishermen will use a large stone fly nymph with a single egg dropper, but the new regulations would make it illegal to use two hooks. OSP has mentioned that this affect was overlooked, and that nymph fishermen are not part of the problem being addressed.

The commission also proposed a rule to shave off 30 minutes from first legal fishing light above the HWY 62 bridge on the Rogue. Currently anglers are allowed to fish 1 hour before sunrise until 7:00pm during the spring salmon season. Under the proposed rule anglers would only be allowed to fish 30 minutes before sunrise until 8:00pm. The extra hour in the evening would be to offset the loss of fishing time in the morning.

Want to have a say?

The ODFW is currently taking public propossals until Feb 29th. You can find all the information for submitting one here: Process for submitting a proposal.  Public meetings will be held in May and you can find a schedule of times and places here: Schedule of 2012 public meetings.

Tight Lines….

6 thoughts on “Crack Down on Snagging Proposed

  1. As far as that hatchery hole. let people gill net the things! I could care less how people catch those fish as long as their cought! Native salmon, well that’s a different story. Who has been lucky enough to watch Cole River Hatchery load up a native Americans truck with salmon and ice? I have. do you think those fish stayed in Oregon? Nope, straight to a California tribe! Those are fish we paid for! mine and yours licence fees grew those fish. Did any of it go to our community? Nope sold on the fresh market or given away to tribes:(
    A hatchery fish has only one prepuce, that’s our freezer! After all you paid for them.

  2. @Josh – I somewhat agree with you. The biggest issue is that they don’t enforce current regulations which is why it’s become such a problem. OSP has allowed it to get out of control, and more regulations aren’t going to do anything if they aren’t enforced either.

  3. Lake Michigan has a snagging season at the end of the run to help the harbors from filling with dead fish, not as easy on a river with endangered sturgeon and native fish. I don’t mind hatchery fish being snagged, that is harvesting. The other fish being caught and killed illegally is where it bothers me.

  4. As far as Im conserned, they should just make it legal to snag above the 62 bridge…95 or percent hatchery fish and the hatchery only uses a small portion for spawning and give the rest to food banks and wildlife images…even though those fish were funded and created for fisherman. Make it so the first 2 fish you land you must take and leave, or even limit it to one a day…hatchery fish only of course. That would consolidate people who choose to fish that way and keep the rest of the river more tolerable for people that want to fish without the rippers in every hole. the hook issue a joke, any good snagger knows that a large single hook is a better tool to hook and land fish than a treble. Multiple hooks are not an issue as state, it will mess with legit fly anlgers. Bottom line…no matter the laws, someone is going to break em. More enforcement in these areas known for snagging is the answer…make it known by daily enfocement and monitoring and people will get a clue

  5. ODFW has finally really taken a stand that flossing is snagging, and yes they are trying to ban it as well. That’s the main reason for fish having to be hooked inside of the mouth.

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