Area anglers invited to comment on Foster Lake fishing rules

Alex Paul

Area anglers are invited to comment on proposed regulation changes by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife that would limit fishing on Foster Reservoir to the months of May to October.

Currently, Foster Reservoir is open year-round.

The move is being considered as a protective measure for wild steelhead that are passed over the dam and into the reservoir in search of spawning grounds in Moose Creek, Canyon Creek and the South Santiam main stem.

If the new regulations are approved by the ODFW commission, harvest would be limited to kokanee and adipose-marked trout.

Wayne Hunt, an ODFW biologist, said fishing has been allowed year-round on the reservoir since the early 1980s.

Moving the season opening day to late May would “allow the downstream migration of steelhead smolts through the reservoir without accidental harvest or the mortality associated with being caught and released” according to the ODFW.

Fisheries Biologist Steve Mamoyac said he expects to stock the reservoir with the same number of hatchery produced fish, but said stocking would being in late May, rather than April.

Anglers often accidentally catch steelhead smolt rather than trout, Hunt said.

Hunt added that a six inch steelhead smolt and a six inch trout look much alike, although there are subtle differences, such as coloring.

ODFW will adipose-mark all trout, so anglers can identify fish that can be legally kept.

Hunt said the average female steelhead will produce some 2,500 eggs. Of those, only one percent will survive to become smolt. Approximately 300-350 wild adult steelhead pass over the dam each year.

The public is invited to contact Hunt at 541-757-6925 to learn more about the proposal.

Public testimony will be accepted at the ODFW Commission meeting September 22 at the ODFW headquarters in Portland. The meeting will start at 8 a.m. and is expected to last eight hours.

Comments can be directed to ODFW Commissioners. Their names, addresses and phone numbers are:

John Esler, Portland General Electric, 121 SW Salmon Street, Portland, 97204 541-464-8563 or FAX 503-464-2944.

Donald Denman, Box 1667, Medford, 97501 541-772-6259 or FAX 541-770-6502.

Susan Foster, Ph.D., Box 335, Gresham, 97448 503-665-2076 or FAX 503-667-4535.

John Perry, 24706 Butler Road, Junction City, 97448 541-998-5944 or FAX 541-998-1283.

Jeff Feldner, 1651 Moonshine Park Road, Logsden, 541-444-2460 or FAX 541-444-7454.

Paul McCracken, Tumac Lumber Co., 529 SW Third Avenue, Suite 600, Portland, 97204 503-226-6661 or FAX 503-273-2650.

Henry Lorenzen, Box 218, Pendleton, 541-276-3331 or FAX 541-276-3148.

Public meeting

A public meeting about the proposed rule changes on Foster Lake will be held September 6, from 7-9 p.m., at the Sweet Home High School cafeteria.