Outdoors: Turn in your tag and (maybe) win a drift boat

Anglers who turn in their 2011 combined angling tag before May 18, 2012 could win one of 100 outdoor products, including a complete drift boat package.

ODFW is sponsoring the promotion to try to increase the number of returned tags. Currently, the department estimates, only 20 percent of anglers return their combined tags, which are required to fish for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon and Pacific halibut.

“We get a lot of important harvest information from harvest tags,” said John Seabourne, operations manager for the ODFW Fish Division.

The information is used to determine harvest rates and fishing effort in Oregon’s salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, and halibut fisheries. The information is also posted on the ODFW website where anglers can check the harvest rates from their favorite water bodies.

Anglers who return their tags by the May 18 deadline will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a 16-foot Fish Rite drift boat package or one of 99 name-brand outdoor products from Bi-Mart. ODFW has for several years had a drift boat drawing to encourage tag returns. This year the number of prizes has been increased through a partnership with Bi-Mart. The drawing will be held June 8.

To ensure their name is entered in the drawing, anglers should return completed tags to any ODFW office or mail to ODFW Tag Returns, 3406 Cherry Ave. NE, Salem, OR. 97303. Tags also can be returned to any fishing or hunting license agent.

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The 20th annual Frontier Heritage Fair is being held Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 18-19, at the Lane County Fairgrounds Auditorium, 796 W. 13th Ave., Eugene.

The focus will be pre-1898 America, including the mountain men, Civil War and Old West eras.

Sponsored by the Fort Umpqua Muzzleloaders of Springfield, the event will include artifacts and replicas of the period, on display and for sale, and activities for youngsters, including spinning, basketry, arrow making and a foot-powered wood lathe.

Show times are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $3 for ages 12 and over; kids under 12 is free.