Fishing Violations Bring More Patrolsby Joe Rojas-Burke
The Oregonian, August 5, 2003
After an upsurge in salmon fishing violations among sport anglers, Oregon State Police will increase boat patrols on the Oregon coast starting this week.
Officers seized 19 illegally caught salmon in Newport during one week in late July, state police said Monday. Most were wild coho rather than hatchery-produced salmon, which are distinguished by the clipped adipose fin, a small fin between the tail and the dorsal fin on mid spine.
During July, 30 percent to 80 percent of boats checked at Oregon ports had violated at least one angling rule, state police said.
Sport anglers aren't allowed to keep coho caught in the south coast zone from Humbug Mountain to California.
In other areas, anglers may keep hatchery-reared coho. Salmon catches must meet minimum size requirements that vary by species and coastal zone.
Serious violations can bring penalties of as much as $5,000 and a year in jail. Federal and state fishery managers update rules each year to limit recreational and commercial fishing's harm to wild fish listed as threatened or endangered.
"It would be a shame to shut down a fishery just because fishermen can't comply with existing regulations," said Sgt. Jeff Scroup with the Oregon State Police in Astoria.
Authorities have posted information about ocean salmon angling rules and catch rates on the Internet at hmsc.oregonstate.edu/odfw/salmon/index.html.
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