December 26, 2018 3:50 a.m.
Winter steelhead anglers are being asked to return snouts from hatchery steelhead harvested in the Umpqua River basin.
A release from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said the agency will scan the snouts for coded wire tags in the first of a multi-year research project to improve winter steelhead fishing in the South Umpqua River.
ODFW STEP Biologist Evan Leonetti said anglers can deposit snouts in collection barrels at various boat ramps around Douglas County and at the ODFW office in Roseburg. Bags and tags with date and location of harvest are in the barrels.
Leonetti said fish were coded wire tagged in February and released in March and April from the acclimation sites in Canyonville. Any of those fish returning this steelhead angling season are considered “one salt fish” after spending one year in the ocean.
Leonetti said the agency will use the data collected from anglers and coded wire tags to help determine which releases have better returns for anglers. The fish were all in the four to five-inch range when released in Canyonville.
Leonetti is also asking for volunteers to interview winter steelhead anglers on the North and South Umpqua Rivers. Volunteers can work a very flexible schedule and will be stationed at boat ramps throughout the two basins. Leonetti is also seeking volunteers who can help with the collection of the snouts. Volunteers must provide their own transportation and may be working alone or with a partner. The project runs the length of the winter steelhead season, ending about mid-April.
Those interested should call the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at 464-2185.