Seasonal fishing changes on upper Rogue start Sunday

The annual switch to flies-only fishing begins Sunday on the upper Rogue River, but this year it brings a twist that won't make chinook salmon anglers happy.

The new lower boundary for the upper Rogue is Fisher's Ferry boat ramp and not the old Gold Ray Dam site, thus eliminating a popular early-September chinook fishery from the former dam's deadline to the boat ramp.

Chinook fishing normally remained open through September below the dam, offering about a mile of fishable water for fall chinook that's no longer available.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission last year changed the deadline as part of housekeeping rules that followed the dam's 2010 removal.

So it's now no chinook fishing and flies-only for steelhead from the ramp up to Cole Rivers Hatchery. That rule remains in effect until Nov. 1, when the waters from the Shady Cove boat ramp to Fisher's Ferry will open to artificial flies and lures.

Upstream of the Shady Cove ramp remains flies-only through December.

After being closed for a month, the Rogue River Trail between Grave Creek and Agness reopened to hikers Wednesday now that firefighters have a better handle on the nearby Big Windy Complex of fires burning near the river.

The fires have torched more than 24,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management lands just south of the Wild Section of the Rogue. The trail hugs the river's northern bank.

"The fire is not moving much and is staying on the south side of the river," fire spokesman Paul Galloway says. "We feel confident letting folks down the trail."

The trail and the Wild Section of the river closed to the public July 29, three days after lightning strikes ignited several small, remote fires that grew collectively into the Big Windy Complex, named for nearby Big Windy Creek.

The Rogue was reopened to floaters less than two weeks later. The trail on the Rogue's south bank from Grave Creek to Rainie Falls has remained open through the summer, Galloway says.

Bear Camp Road, which bisects the forest between Galice and Agness, is still closed.

The "What's New in 2013-2014" section in the print version of the 2013-14 Oregon Game Bird Regulations has an incorrect limit for canvasback in part of the pamphlet.

The daily bag limit is two and not three as printed on page 6 of the synopsis, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The canvasback daily bag limit is correct on page 16 of the regulations. It has been corrected in the online version of the regulations at

Duck hunting season opens Oct. 5 in Eastern Oregon and Oct. 12 in Western Oregon and the Columbia Basin.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or

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