ODFW mandatory-reporting penalty affects pocketbooks

    Many of the roughly 33,600 Oregon hunters who failed to report their big-game or turkey-hunting successes in 2012 are just now discovering they must pay a $25 penalty before they can get a 2014 hunting license.

    The deadline for hunters to put in their controlled-hunt applications is Thursday night.

    The Oregon Legislature enacted the $25 fine as a way to ensure Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists could collect the data they need from hunters, according to the agency. It's been mandatory to report hunting results for some time, but without the penalties hunters have been lackadaisical about complying.

    ODFW has heavily promoted the mandatory-reporting program to keep hunters from having to pay the penalty. Even so, more than 33,000 hunters failed to report their 2012 data, so they'll have to pay up before buying a 2014 hunting license.

    "People are busy and they forget," says Michelle Dennehy, ODFW's Wildlife Division spokeswoman. "But we don't want their money. We want the data on their hunts."

    In 2012, the first year of mandatory reporting with the penalty, 82 percent of hunters complied, Dennehy says. In 2013, the rate dropped to 80 percent, she says.

    "I haven't heard of any theories as to why," Dennehy says.

    Four local men who reconstituted their U.S. National Rafting Team from 2000 finished second in last weekend's 2014 national whitewater rafting championships on Northern California's Salmon River.

    The team was composed of Medford's Todd Clevenger and Ryan Allred, as well as John Tribble and Scott Eastman of Yreka, Calif.

    The group of late-30s rafters hung up their competition paddles after the 2001 world championships, where they finished fifth.

    They resurrected the team earlier this year to take part in last weekend's races, which included a dozen teams.

    Shady Cove civic leaders will hold a spring chinook salmon-fishing derby June 7 on the upper Rogue River, with boat and bank anglers vying for a $1,000 first-place prize.

    The Shady Cove-Upper Rogue Chamber of Commerce hopes its "Salmon Fever on the Upper Rogue" derby will become an annual event.

    The entry fee is $25 for adults and $15 for kids. Anglers must register by 9 p.m. June 6 to take part.

    Participants may fish from the bank or from boats in any legal fashion between the Hatchery Hole down to the Takelma boat ramp downstream of Shady Cove.

    Weigh-ins will occur throughout the day at the Jackson County Regional Park in Shady Cove, with the final weigh-in at 4 p.m. Prizes will be awarded at 4:30 p.m.

    For weigh-ins, all salmon must be cleaned and gilled. In case of a tie, the fish weighed in first will be declared the winner.

    First place is $1,000, with second place earning $500 and $250 going to the third-place winner. Another 50 prizes will be available for adults and kids.

    Registration can be completed online at shadycoveupperrogue.org or at Sportsman's Warehouse in Medford, all Bi-Mart and Walmart stores in Jackson County and in Shady Cove at the upper Rogue Community Center, Jack's Fishing Hole, Toni McMillan-Arnspiger Insurance and Signs Banners and More.

    The Rogue FlyFishers Association is taking reservations for its annual fundraising banquet and auction set for Saturday, May 17, at the Rogue Regency Ballroom in Medford.

    The banquet is the Medford-based club's main fundraiser for supporting conservation projects, as well as Casting for Recovery, Project Healing Waters and other fly-fishing based projects.

    The silent auction will run from 5:30 to 7 p.m., with dinner from 7 to 8 p.m. and a one-hour verbal auction after dinner.

    Cost is $25 per person.

    The Rogue Regency is at 2300 Biddle Road.

    For menu selections, see the club's website at www.rogueflyfishers.org.

    Reservations and menu selections may be made by email to kclmbr@msn.com or call or text to 541-776-4094.

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

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