Salmon derby will help amputee

The Grants Pass-based Middle Rogue Steelheaders will hold its 21st annual fishing derby Aug. 27 on the Rogue River with a nod toward helping disabled military veterans get an opportunity to fish for fall chinook salmon. 

This year's derby will feature amputee guide Todd Logan donating his time to take fellow amputee Charles Eden fishing.

Logan has use of a specially crafted Willie Boat driftboat that allows for wheelchair access through the transom. The boat is also built so Logan can row it either while wearing his prosthetic leg or from his wheelchair.

Logan plans to tour the Pacific Northwest taking fellow amputees, including military veterans, on free fishing trips.

Egan has been sponsored by the steelheaders to take part in the derby. He is a Korean War veteran who lost his right leg to diabetes.

The derby, as well as the Thursday dinner-auction at Taprock Event Center in Grants Pass, are the steelheaders' main fundraising efforts for the year.

Money from the derby and dinner-auction help support conservation and riparian reconstruction on the Rogue, Applegate and Illinois rivers and their tributaries. In recent years, some of the club's work has included removal of the Sardine Creek Dam, Little Butte Creek channel reconstruction, a project to mark storm drains in Grants Pass, and contributions to Indian Creek Hatchery, which releases fall chinook smolts in the Rogue Bay.

Thursday's events begin at 5 p.m. with a no-host bar, live and silent auctions and a driftboat auction.

The derby begins at 5 a.m. Saturday at the Josephine County Fairgrounds. Weigh-in begins at noon.

Tickets for both events are available by calling Cole Tidwell, the club's president, at 541-582-0350.

Fire restrictions for Lower Rogue Canyon

Triple-digit weather and tinder-dry conditions have triggered campfire and cooking restrictions for those floating, fishing or hiking the Wild and Scenic Section of the Rogue River.

No campfires will be allowed, and cooking can be done only with commercial stoves that use liquid fuel or propane, and they can only be used in areas cleared of vegetation and below the river's high-water mark through November, according to the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

Also, groups traveling on the river must carry a shovel and a bucket with a capacity of at least one gallon to help combat any potential wildfires that might break out in camp.

Smoking is allowed only on watercraft on the river and on sand and gravel bars that are naturally free of flammable vegetation below the normal high-water mark.

The restrictions are in place from the mouth of Grave Creek to the mouth of Watson Creek, portions of which are managed by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.

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