Oregon fisheries managers recently enacted regulations on a couple popular salmon streams that ban the ever-popular angling “method” of lining to protect fish stocks. On sections of the Trask and Three Rivers, leader length restrictions, as well as some fly and bobber fishing-only regulations will be in place this season.
These gear restrictions are necessary, according to Chris Knutsen, district fish biologist for ODFW’s North Coast Watershed, to discourage the illegal practice of “snagging” or “flossing” fish that concentrate in these areas. Flossing is the practice of drifting line into the gaping mouth of a fish holding in the river current. Large hooks attached to the leader easily hook the fish on the outside of the jaw. ODFW biologists and Oregon State Police have noticed an increase in these illegal fishing practices, which reduces the number of fish available to anglers who are following the rules.
“These snaggers have been aggressive and have displaced legitimate anglers,” said Knutsen. “It is important that we maximize opportunities for law-abiding anglers, and that’s what these gear restrictions are designed to do.”
For more on Oregon’s battle against snagging, click here
For specific changes to the regulations: ODFW
Matthew Milicich says
In June of 2011, I was at the Trask River on the Hatchery Hole fishing with my 12 year old grandson along the cliff portion of the hole. He was using a corkie, legally rigged and hooked 5 Spring Chinook in about 1 hour. Unfortunately he lost them all. He did not snag or floss these fish. In fact, during that week I fished with him, I actually watched some of the idiot inbred locals foul hook 2 salmon while bobber fishing with eggs and sand shrimp and keep the fish!!! I even had one threaten to cut my grandson’s line because it was interrupting his bobber drift. In my younger years I would have introduced this person to the business end of my fist and the bottom of the river but my grandson was there so I let it pass. It is all about enforcement. Just get a veteran Trooper there that knows what a salmon is and what real snagging is and enforce the laws on the books.
The argument that this is sponsored by fly guys is BS. If you read the regs it limits you to a 36 inch leader. You cant “indicator” bobber fish or use a shooting head properly with only a 36 inch leader. One one only be able to swing sink tips with 36″ leaders in order to “flyfish.”
Its not the gear its the fisherman. I’ve foul hooked steelhead and salmon both indicator and shooting head fishing, I’ve also had them bite the fly. The gear and the fish “bite each other equally,” it’s about being an ethical angler. If you read the articles, it says “line bites the fish, fish don’t bite the line.” That’s from the NorCal/SoOr Wardens who despise flyfisherman. They have said it to my face.
The language of enforcement is tricky. Banning “leader” longer than 36″ is useless because the tightliners can still cast a 2 ounce kastmaster to the bottom of the Smith, with a swivel 36″ up, and still rip that lire up into a passing pod of fish. That snagging will not be stopped by 36″ leaders, but a whole lot of legitimate angling will.
The issue is prevalent enforcement.
My point is, as a flyfisherman, when you recognize you’ve incidently foul hooked a fish, you break off your fly, and end the unnecessary extra stressing of a fish you cannot legally keep.
Not all fly fisherman do this, and they give the rest of us a bad name.
Poaching is poaching, regardless of te type of tackle.
You can line a fish, snag a fish, and properly hook a fish through a reaction bite, regardless of leader length or tackle type.
I commend the lure fisherman and plug fisherman around me when they break off a fouled fish. Their $5-$10 lure or plug is WAY more expensive than my fly.
A hook and a line moving through water with kegged up fish will always have improperly hooked fish. Its about the ethics of the individual angler and proper and prevalent enforcement, impartial to the style of angling.
Contribute your time to your local Steelhead or Salmon in the Classroom projects. They foster new generations of people who care about watersheds.
You raise a good point Keith…what percent of the “flossing is snagging” crowd has gone to AK at some point and flossed Reds? I’d be willing to bet 80% ++. Apparently it becomes ethical once you exit the lower 48…
jay k. says
people better watch what they complain about…. they read all this then just close it eventually
Keep your laws out of Alaska! Hooked inside the jaw or outside the jaw, our reds are equally delicious!
Sure…he’ll get bit if he puts that magic cure under a float, but why should he have to use a float? He should be allowed to drift bait on any river he can fish it under a float. This contention that fly fishing or float fishing is somehow more ethical than drift fishing is crap. Wreaks of an elitist mentality and all it does is divide the fishing community even further so we’ll never be able to address the real issues threatening our fisheries because we’re too busy arguing over what method is better than the other.
Derek, I have no problem with drift fishing eggs. I’m a big fan, actually! Just not into the hooking of fish that don’t voluntarily take the bait (ala beads). Just not my thing…I’d rather know that I did something right, made the right decisions on what to use and then the fish wanted to eat my gear. A salmon “eats” a bead the same way a guy on a motorcycle eats a bug…
I hear ya on not being into the flossing thing. I don’t have a problem with OR trying to control this practice. Howver, I DO have a problem with them controlling it with new regs that also outlaw other ethical methods such as drift fishing. That is wha they have done on the river in the article you posted…outlawed every other method except fly and float fishing. Hope you don’t like to throw spoons, drift fish, pull plugs, back bounce, side drift, etc. Not on this river, with these new lame regs.
Agreed, they need to expand the regs. If they are trying to keep it to legit anglers, you can’t abolish legit techniques. Beads, however…NOT LEGIT.
Jason Green says
Flossing at one time might have been legitimate, but now it is turned into snagging for some. Get the poachers off the river.
Michael Kukowski says
I think it a great idea. I don’t like flossing either. And if people get caught doing it. They should have there license revoked and fined.
No Snoggn says
I hope you can still drift with bait..because my cured up roe can wake the dead! ;)
Put that magic cure under a float…you’ll get bit!
Sorry to have such a strong reaction, but they basically just demonized drift fishing and outlawed it on these rivers by making them fly or bobber only. That sucks, as drift fishing is totally legit. Careful everyone…your favorite method may be the next to get the ax. Flossing with a fly rod is equally effective. My point is, this is a very slippery slope once you start making regs that, whether by intent or as a byproduct, eliminate totally legit and ethical methods like this has done for drift fishing on this particular river. There are better ways to address such problems that don’t end up punishing legitimate anglers. A start would be enforcement of existing regs rather than more closures…
Well you can forget about fishing bait too my friend unless you like bobber fishing, as these regs state only fly fishing and bobber fishing will be allowed. I predict a sharp increase in fly rod sales in OR since we all know flossing can be done just as effectively – if not more – with a fly rod and sinking tip. I’m curious to see where the push came from for this regs…a fly fishing organization perhaps? A short sided solution that wreaks of an emotional response to a problem rather than a well thought out one.
Good. It’s annoying when you’re trying to fish bait and you have guys ripping into holes and scaring the fish in them