It's getting to be that time of the year again
What I'm talking about is the fact that the new, 2005 regulations booklets are available for both big game hunting and fishing. These booklets are available at any office of the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, or at any of Crook County's three license agents: Oregon Stationery/Reels & Creels, Rite-Aid and Bi-Mart.
I strongly advise every hunter and angler to pick up booklets soon, and begin reading. In both booklets, especially note anything in blue type -- which indicates changes for 2005.
For instance, one major local angling regulation change involves Ochoco Creek up to the dam. For this year (2004) Ochoco Creek is open the entire year, the limit is five trout per day, and bait is legal (see page 60 in the 2004 booklet).
Beginning in three-plus weeks there will be significant changes. See page 62 of the 2005 regulations booklet and -- in blue print -- you'll see that from January 1 through May 27, then again from November 1 through December 31, the limit drops to two per day and angling is restricted to artificial flies and lures.
From May 28 through October 31 the rules are the same as they are for 2004 -- a five fish limit with bait being legal.
I'm afraid a lot of Prineville's kids will go fishing some warm January, February, March of April day, just as they have for years -- with worms or other bait -- and get nailed for illegal fishing. So please, if you are an adult who has kids, let them know about the changes, and help then understand that they need to read and study these regulations booklets every year.
If you are a kid reading this, please pass this information on to your fishing buddies. I don't want any of you kids to have a bad fishing experience because you were not aware that the only time you can use worms in Ochoco Creek next year, will be from the last four days of May, through October.
There are also changes in the 2005 big game booklet, but they are too extensive to begin to list. For the major changes, read the blue print on page 10.
As I preach every year, my advice is to read carefully through all the fishing regulations for the Central Zone, and note the changes for our regional waters. If you travel to other zones in the state, read the regulations for those zones also.
Also read the entire big game booklet and especially note the blue-print changes.
Each year I try to sit down with the regulations booklets, and a new calendar, and write on that calendar any significant events. For big game hunters the most important date in May 15 -- the deadline for applying for most controlled hunts.