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About Appeal tribune. (Silverton, Or.) 1999-current | View Entire Issue (July 7, 2021)
| WEDNESDAY, JULY 7, 2021 | 1B
Rafting into Oregon’s
desert wilderness with kids
Zach Urness Salem Statesman Journal | USA TODAY NETWORK
The John Day River features desert scenery, great campgrounds and plenty of adventure in
the 30 mile rafting trip between Clarno and Thirtymile boat launches in the Oregon desert
northeast of Madras. ZACH URNESS/STATESMAN JOURNAL
At the top of the largest rapids on the John Day Riv-
er, in the gateway to a vast desert wilderness, my 4-
year-old daughter Rollie decided suddenly she could
not live without her pink sandals and began tossing
aside everything in the raft to ﬁnd them.
One of the things she tossed was our boat’s oar.
It slipped smoothly from its oarlock into the water
and ﬂoated downstream, just beyond the frantic reach
of my friend Hannah before disappearing around a
bend in the river.
It’s diﬃcult to overstate what a calamity this might
We were miles from any road with two young chil-
dren, surrounded by a landscape marked by jackknife
canyons and rattlesnakes, about to ﬂoat into Class III-
IV rapids with a picket fence of rock that often pun-
ishes even seasoned oarsmen, to say nothing of any-
one fool enough to navigate with a single oar.
“Hey dad, we lost an oar,” my 6-year-old daughter
Lucy informed me as I returned to the boat.
The incident had occurred while I’d hiked down-
stream to scout Clarno Rapids after parking on the side
of the river.
“I tried to get it,” Hannah said sadly.
“Umm …,” I said.
I had prepared for this.
See RAFTING, Page 2B
Hot temps mean restrictions for anglers
warmwater ﬁshing in the north Willamette area at
For the stretch from Albany to just south of Eugene,
go to warmwater ﬁshing in the south Willamette area
One of the pluses of ﬁshing for thermophilic (heat-
loving) species is that the gear can be simple and in-
expensive – hook, weight, rod, reel, and, oh yea, line - I
call this no-frills method the “Wonder Worm” ap-
Put a worm on a hook, cast it out, then wait and
wonder what you’ll catch.
That can be anything from a bass, bluegill or catﬁsh
or some exotic critter such as a crawdad or carp. I even
caught a native cutthroat trout once in a slough at Min-
to Brown Island Park.
Option 2 is to head west.
Surf ﬁshing can be productive for perch, and for the
more adventurous, charter boats out of ports from
Garibaldi to Newport are a great way to ﬁll the cooler
and beat the heat.
Hot enough for ya?
Ditto for the ﬁsh.
Because of high temperatures and drought-induced
low, warming water, the Oregon Department of Fish
and Wildlife has imposed restrictions for anglers that
went into eﬀect on July 1 in an eﬀort to protect ﬁsh.
The full list of rule changes and aﬀected waters is
online in this week’s recreation report at myodfw.com.
Those include “hoot owl” prohibitions on ﬁshing af-
ter 2 p.m. on some waters because of hotter temper-
atures and increased stress on ﬁsh.
Salmon, steelhead and trout will get an aquatic
equivalent of cooling shelters with ﬁshing prohibited
on some rivers and streams within 200 feet of the
mouths of tributaries where water volume increases
and temperatures decrease.
Also on the list of changes, in the drought-slammed
Southwest Zone – Douglas, Coos, Coquille, Jackson,
Josephine and Curry counties – limits will be lifted on
some lakes and ponds as rising temperatures and
dropping water levels make conditions untenable for
Those changes are posted online in the section for
that zone at myodfw.com.
Along with the rule changes, oﬃcials have released
a list of precautionary recommendations for those
who want to wet a line. Those include heading for cool-
er, higher-elevation lakes, and rethinking your desti-
nation if water and weather conditions are stressful or
life-threatening for the ﬁsh.
Heat got you down? A charter ﬁshing trip off the
Oregon coast is a cool option.
HENRY MILLER/SPECIAL TO THE STATESMAN JOURNAL
Another personal favorite of yours truly is to target
ﬁsh that not only survive but thrive in the heat such as
bass, panﬁsh and catﬁsh or bullhead.
Fish and Wildlife has several valuable online refer-
ences for warmwater ﬁshing.
For information about opportunities in and around
Salem north to the Portland area, see the section on
Hoot owl is a term that originated in the timber in-
dustry to describe elevated ﬁre danger.
It still is used by federal and state agencies when
restrictions are imposed on commercial and recre-
ational wood-cutting and other activities such as trav-
el by motorized vehicles.
Hoot owl restrictions have expanded to include ac-
tivities such as camping, hunting and ﬁshing during
times of high or extreme temperatures and lack of
See MILLER, Page 2B