Anyone else tired of Oregon's prejudice against bait fishing?

jtreagan
jtreagan
I am becoming weary of the arrogant bigotry Oregon's regulators show toward bait fishing. I have always been a bait fisher, especially enjoying floating a worm into a hole on a small, mountain stream. Now all those streams have been cut off from bait fishing by Oregon's regulators. The only reason I can see is arrogance. They seem to think that fishing with artificials is somehow a cut above bait fishing. They've left a few streams with "exceptions" but all the nice places have been grabbed for the "upper crust" snobs. Fly and lure fishing is a perfectly valid form of the sport, but please tell me why there should there be any limitations at all on what kind of fishing you do? The catch we are allowed to keep is limited, so who cares how you go about catching your fish? All streams should be open to all forms of fishing everywhere in the state.

I'd love to hear someone else weigh in on this.
 
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fish4life
Mortality rate is much higher when using bait.
 
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rogerdodger
rogerdodger
jtreagan said:
I am becoming weary of the arrogant bigotry Oregon's regulators show toward bait fishing. I have always been a bait fisher, especially enjoying floating a worm into a hole on a small, mountain stream. Now all those streams have been cut off from bait fishing by Oregon's regulators. The only reason I can see is arrogance. They seem to think that fishing with artificials is somehow a cut above bait fishing. They've left a few streams with "exceptions" but all the nice places have been grabbed for the "upper crust" snobs. Fly and lure fishing is a perfectly valid form of the sport, but please tell me why there should there be any limitations at all on what kind of fishing you do? The catch we are allowed to keep is limited, so who cares how you go about catching your fish? All streams should be open to all forms of fishing everywhere in the state.

I'd love to hear someone else weigh in on this.

I think the regulations are correct and appropriate, the mortality rate from using bait is significantly higher, it is correctly allowed in lakes where large numbers of hatchery trout are planted and it is correct to ban it in most trout streams, especially those that have populations of native fish.
 
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Irishrover
Irishrover
I fish the ocean a lot and use bait more often than not so I'm not a bait hater by any means. I have wondered about the no bait rules in many river and the answer I got from ODF&W made some sense to me. Many fish swallow bait and the hooks can go deep and the chance of being able to release the fish and have it survive is slim. On the Deschutes for example there is a slot limit on fish. I can't remember the exact size but you can only keep two trout and they must be between 10 and 13 inches. Everything else must be released. If it swallows the bait chances are the fish will die. Flies and lures typically do not make their way deep into the gut.

Quite a few years ago ODF&W made a decision to make lake the put and take fisheries of the state. Their idea was to protect the salmon and steelhead runs, by curtailing the trout fishing in river mainly in Western Oregon. Many folks would catch salmon smolts and believe it to be a trout. To increase the survival rate of the smolts in streams and river ODF&W heavily stocks lakes and some reservoirs and allows bait to be used in those places. A lot of the reasoning for this is a result of the endangered species act. Many of the states salmon and steelhead are either threatened or endangered. If the state did nothing the Feds could come in and just shut the rivers down for fishing.

Fishing politics in Oregon is driven by the ESA and the protection of "wild" salmon and steelhead.

Welcome to the forum.
 
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Aervax
Aervax
@jtreagan
I think its great you brought this subject up. No doubt, lots of fishermen feel the same way. These questions need to be asked, and they need to be answered again and again because the pressures that determine the quality of our fisheries is constantly changing - degradation of spawning grounds, water temperature, impact of commercial fishing, number of sport fishermen keeping or releasing fish, and so on.

Personally, I do a little bit of everything when it comes to how I fish. Powerbait, salmon eggs, worms for planted rainbows. Stinkbaits for catfish. Plugs, spinners and bait for salmon and steelhead. Plastic and plugs for bass. Flies and spinners for wild trout. Whatever method is legal on the water I'm fishing.

In college around 30 years ago I spent 3 months working on a paper analyzing data comparing death rate of trout when caught and released on bait versus flies. I am not a fisheries biologist, and that was thirty years ago, so I am relying on my memory. Though the details may have changed a bit over time, the end results should be close to the same today. Maybe one of you fishery biologists can chime in to correct and update anything I get wrong here.

Most trout caught and released using bait had a mortality rate of 40-60%. If they were throat hooked, bleeding or gut hooked mortality was much higher, sometimes approaching 96%. In those cases if the angler cut the line and did not even attempt to remove the hook survival rate was better. Between the effect of water and the fish's body fluids the hook barb/point dissolved in a matter of days and fell out.

Fly hooked fish death rates ranged from 2-10%. The range had to do with whether the fly fisherman was going barbless or barbed, and whether they were hooked in the throat or corner of the mouth. Fly hooked fish were usually in the corner of the mouth where they could be unhooked with the shortest and least traumatic amount of handling.

Data similar to what I found while researching for that paper combined with what was said in the posts before this one are reasonable explanations for why so many wild fisheries are fly and artificual lure only.

Waters managed for wild fish get fished out with bait faster than they can reproduce naturally. The same thing happens to wild fish if catch and release bait fishing is allowed. The death rate of released fish is higher than the reproduction rate of the few survivors. After a few seasons there would be hardly any fish left to catch. Of the few trout left most tend to be small ones.

Best of luck to you out there and tight lines, no matter what you're using to catch'em!
 
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BrandonBeach
This:

fish4life said:
Mortality rate is much higher when using bait.
 
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bass
bass
D
Don Fischer
Haven't fished for trout in years. Used to go to East lake and Lava Lake with the ex and we'd fish for them with power bait. Not all that big on trout so we threw back everything we could. Deep hooked fish we kept, the rest went back in. I'd read years ago that simply cutting the line and leaving a deep hook in kept the fish from dying. Don't know that it's true so deep hooked and gill damage fish we kept.
 
B
BrandonBeach
Mortality rate for bait c&r is higher. That said, I have had trout swallow a nymph so deep I couldn’t see the fly. A few drys have been deep also. I cut the line and leave the fly with the fish. at least the fish has a chance.

barbless hooks, I believe, make the most difference on getting an “easy release”.

Bb
 
N
newfydog
Aervax said:
@jtreagan
If they were throat hooked, bleeding or gut hooked mortality was much higher, sometimes approaching 96%. In those cases if the angler cut the line and did not even attempt to remove the hook survival rate was better. Between the effect of water and the fish's body fluids the hook barb/point dissolved in a matter of days and fell out.
Do you have any actual data on this? A study done on striped bass in salt water showed the hook dissolution to be far slower than that, and often fatal:


"After 120 days, 78 percent of the hooks remained in the stripers, including fish that died.

In the second test which ran for 60 days, line was clipped at the hook eye. 81 percent of these hooks remained, with retention of hook type ranging from 100 percent for stainless steel to 56 percent for tin."
 
Troutski
Troutski
Great thread, as a angler I'll fish for any fish. I have discussed this issue with ODFW on many occasions and heard the same argument each time about the mortality rates of Fly vs bait. Here is my view, if the idea is to protect the Native fish then they should close the water to all forms of angling. To allow one or two types of angling and not the others is simply not right. We all pay our fees and follow the same rules on the water, it comes down to money... money and money. The fly anglers just have more pull with the law makers and they have a very strong lobby presence during the entire year. No one group should be allowed influence an agency's policy and exclude or single out another group.
This is probable going to start a fire storm....

Chuck
 
rogerdodger
rogerdodger
Troutski said:
Great thread, as a angler I'll fish for any fish. I have discussed this issue with ODFW on many occasions and heard the same argument each time about the mortality rates of Fly vs bait. Here is my view, if the idea is to protect the Native fish then they should close the water to all forms of angling. To allow one or two types of angling and not the others is simply not right. We all pay our fees and follow the same rules on the water, it comes down to money... money and money. The fly anglers just have more pull with the law makers and they have a very strong lobby presence during the entire year. No one group should be allowed influence an agency's policy and exclude or single out another group.
This is probable going to start a fire storm....

Chuck

I would suggest this is a 'bait vs. non-bait' not a 'bait vs. fly' discussion. there are very few 'fly only' areas in the state; lots of 'no bait' areas.

fish almost never swallow a spinner, spoon, plug, or fly. but they sure will take bait in deep enough to suffer a fatal injury.
 
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bass
bass
rogerdodger said:
I would suggest this is a 'bait vs. non-bait' not a 'bait vs. fly' discussion. there are very few 'fly only' areas in the state; lots of 'no bait' areas.

fish almost never swallow a spinner, spoon, plug, or fly. but they sure will take bait in deep enough to suffer a fatal injury.

That is also why soft plastics are considered to be bait in Oregon. Fish swallow them as readily as bait. I hate the rule but it does make sense and is consistent with the intent.
 
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Troutski
Troutski
This is why this site is so important, frank discussions about things we all feel very strongly about.

Chuck
 
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