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North Umpqua closed to all fishing through November 30

The Winchester Dam is on the North Umpqua River near Roseburg.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
The ODFW said the number of wild summer steelhead passing Winchester Dam is less than half of what's needed to meet "critical abundance" for the year.

For the second time in three years, the North Umpqua River and its tributaries will be closed to all fishing for several months.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said the decision was made because a critically low number of wild steelhead are returning upriver this summer.

Steelhead are having a hard time getting past non-native bass that live further down the river, said Greg Huchko, a fish biologist with ODFW.

He said those predator bass are benefitting from several years of abnormally warm temperatures.

“It just makes the habitat more suitable for them," said Huchko. "And so they’re just kind of thriving right now. That just gives them that opportunity to increase their range, potentially, throughout the basin.”

The ban on fishing in the North Umpqua starts July 31and will last through the end of November.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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