Talk About a Stocking-Stuffer
Statesman Journal, June 8, 2009
LA GRANDE — Officials with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife have released the first of what they hope to be about 200 adult spring Chinook salmon into the Powder River.
The idea is to create a unique fishing opportunity with the surplus hatchery fish.
Fishing actually opened May 30 and runs through Sept. 1, but no fish were available until the past Thursday, when the first 75 were released.
The open area is from Hughes Lane Bridge near Baker City to Mason Dam. The daily bag limit is two Chinook.
If all goes according to plan, more fish will be released this week and next.
The salmon are being released immediately below Mason Dam.
This opportunity has been made possible because of a forecast surplus of spring Chinook returning to Hells Canyon Dam on the Snake River.
Salmon smolts are released at Hells Canyon Dam to provide fishing in the Snake River.
When salmon numbers are predicted to be more than needed for that fishery, some are trapped at Hells Canyon Dam and taken to tributaries to be released.
Officials reminded those planning to pursue those fish to "ask first" before entering private lands, and to check the "2009 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations" for gear restrictions, legal fishing times and other rules.
For more information, call the department's Northeast Region Office in La Grande at (541) 963-2138.
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