Some good news for anglers in Central Oregon: The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has lifted fishing restrictions on the Lower Deschutes River.
Water temperatures, which were fatally hot for fish earlier this summer, have now dropped to near-normal.
Rod French, a fish biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, said a few sockeye destined for other Northwest places died this year in the Deschutes River, as they searched out cool water. Other than that, he said, the summer’s larger runs of summer steelhead and fall chinook are still to come.
French said there are several reasons the Deschutes is cooling down.
“This time of year the days are getting shorter, so there’s not as much sunlight on the river,” French said. “And then the spring effect – the Deschutes is largely a spring-fed river.”
Other rivers across Oregon and Washington are still closed to reduce stress for migrating fish. “Hoot owl” fishing restrictions were added Tuesday to the Methow River. That means fishing is closed each day from 2 p.m. to midnight.
Anglers can now fish the lower Deschutes River from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset.
ODFW also re-opened fishing on the Imnaha and Wenaha rivers, which are cold water rivers that were inadvertently placed on the earlier statewide restrictions.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officials say fishing closures and restrictions will likely remain in place until rains and conditions return to normal.