Fishing restrictions on 10 bodies of water in Northeast Oregon have been temporarily lifted effective immediately, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The ODFW announced the relaxed rules, which will impact lakes and ponds in Baker, Union, Umatilla and Wallowa counties, Wednesday.
Under relaxed restrictions, ODFW says there are currently no limits on size, and anglers can harvest fish by hand, dip net or angling. Officials say the temporary fishing rules apply to Kinney Lake in Wallowa County; Peach, Lugar and Boundary ponds in Union County; Keyhole, Granite Meadows, Goldfish, Yellowjacket and Windy Springs ponds in Umatilla County; and Balm Creek Reservoir in Baker County, where restrictions have been lifted since July.
“By relaxing the rules, we hope to give people the opportunity to harvest these fish before we remove them,” said Kyle Bratcher, ODFW fish biologist in Enterprise in the release.
The agency plans to chemically treat the 10 bodies of water this fall to remove unwanted invasive fish species in order to protect trout populations. The temporary regulations will continue until 12:01 A.M., Sept. 26, when a moratorium on fishing will be reinstated as the fish removal processes begin. The fisheries will re-open on Jan. 1, 2015 and will be restocked with trout in the spring, officials said.
“The three-month closure gives us some flexibility in scheduling the treatments, and provides ample time for detoxification,” said Tim Bailey, ODFW fish biologist in La Grande.