Retread steelies in time for the holiday

Rogue River anglers looking for some post-holiday steelhead fishing have already received some leftovers this week they should enjoy.

Another batch of "retread steelhead" are now in the Rogue thanks to excess fish captured at Cole Rivers Hatchery during this week of excess.

Hatchery workers Monday trucked 200 summer steelhead down to Gold Hill, where they were released into the Rogue for anglers to catch.

These fish, up to 10 pounds, all have a circular hole punched in their gill plate. They can be kept as part of a steelheader's daily limit of two adipose fin-clipped steelhead a day on the Rogue.

Cole Rivers assistant manager David Pease says workers there typically try to recycle some steelhead during Thanksgiving week because it is a popular time for angling on the upper Rogue.

Anglers are encouraged to keep legal limits of retreads because releasing a recycled fish can lead to three things happening — and they're all bad.

First, it could run the angling gauntlet successfully and return to the hatchery and become an excess fish again. Second, it could stray onto wild steelhead spawning grounds and interbreed with wild fish. And third, some other angler could catch it, keep it and fill his or her holiday smoker instead of you.

A Rogue Valley native recently earned honors as one of the top shooters in the National Guard.

Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey L. Jones placed 17th overall in a competition that earns its top 50 finishers a coveted Chief's 50 badge during the 40th annual Winston P. Wilson training exercise and marksmanship competition.

Jones was one of more than 400 top marksmen from throughout the country who converged on Camp Robinson in Little Rock, Ark., to determine the best National Guard shooters in the nation. The competition focuses on training that combines marksmanship skills with combat tasks to gauge the overall readiness of National Guard soldiers.

Jones is an avionics technician who represented the Oregon National Guard Bravo team. He is the son of Jeff Jones of Central Point and Ala Jones of Medford.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or e-mail

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