Anglers might net reward steelhead fishing the Umpqua Basin

ROSEBURG, Ore – Anglers who catch a hatchery steelhead and return the snout to an ODFW collection barrel have a chance to win a $50 gift card if their fish is coded wire tagged. Monthly prize drawings run December through April 2020.

The contest is meant to encourage anglers to leave the snouts of harvested Umpqua Basin hatchery winter steelhead in collection barrels at popular boat ramps. Barrels are also in Roseburg at Sportsman’s Warehouse and the ODFW office on North Umpqua Highway. Bags and tags with date and location of harvest are in the barrels.

ODFW scans the snouts for coded wire tags in the second of a multi-year research project to improve winter steelhead fishing in the South Umpqua River. Fish were tagged earlier this year and released in four groups at acclimation sites in Canyonville.

STEP biologist Evan Leonetti wants to know which release timing is the most beneficial to anglers, particularly those fishing the South Umpqua River.

“Those tags tell us which release date and group gives a better return for anglers which is why it’s important to return snouts of harvested hatchery steelhead,” Leonetti said. “The potential to win a gift card is a bonus, and we hope to collect more snouts this year.”

Volunteers with a flexible schedule are needed to collect harvest information from winter steelhead anglers on the North and South Umpqua rivers. That information is used in conjunction with the coded wire tag data to better manage the hatchery fishery. Volunteers are also needed to check the collection barrels.

Volunteers must provide their own transportation and may be working alone or with a partner at boat ramps. The project runs the length of the winter steelhead season, ending about mid-April.

Anyone over the age of 18 who is interested in volunteering should call Leonetti at 541-464-2175 or email

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