Sprague River closes to all fishing Monday, Jan. 23

Sprague River - Chiloquin, OR (Klamath County)


 The Sprague River near Klamath Falls will close to all fishing beginning Monday, Jan. 23 through April 21, 2017.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced the emergency regulation today in order to protect spawning redband trout from the stress and mortality associated with fishing pressure and handling.

The redband trout spawning in the Sprague River spend much of their lives in Upper Klamath Lake and move into the river, up to 91 miles (one way), to spawn. Fish then return to the lake to recondition and most will spawn again, some up to six times.  According to Bill Tinniswood, ODFW fish biologist in Klamath Falls, the fish tend to spawn in highly concentrated areas, making them very susceptible to fishing pressure.

Traditionally, the river had been closed to fishing after Oct. 31 to protect spawning fish. However, in order to increase fishing opportunity the river was opened to year-round fishing in 2014. According to Tinniswood, the expanded season on the Sprague was made with the understanding that if fishing pressure increased too much on the spawning areas, the new regulations would be re-considered.

“We thought the spawning areas would be protected because the surrounding private property would limit access,” Tinniswood said. Instead, fishing for these spawning trout has become an increasingly popular fishery.

“The way people have been pounding on these spawners is similar to “buck fever” in hunting,” Tinniswood said. Interviewed anglers have reported catching over a hundred spawning trout during the spawning season that began in November, he added.

Redband trout are on the state’s Sensitive Species List, and there are several genetically unique populations that spawn in the Sprague. Tinniswood anticipates that future regulations will again prohibit fishing after Oct. 31 in order to protect these fish.

“These fish and their offspring are the future of the Upper Klamath Lake and Williamson River trophy trout fisheries,” he said.

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OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Reports
for Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Alsea River: Alsea River Fishing Report
Kilchis River: Kilchis River Fishing Report
Nestucca River: Nestucca River and Three Rivers Fishing Report
Salmon River: Salmon River Fishing Report
Siletz River: Siletz River Fishing Report
Siletz River: Siletz River Fishing Report
Siuslaw River: Siuslaw River Fishing Report
Trask River: Trask River Fishing Report
Wilson River: Wilson River Fishing Report
Yaquina River: Yaquina River Fishing Report
Applegate Reservoir: Applegate Reservoir Fishing Report
Applegate River: Applegate River Fishing Report
Arizona Pond: Arizona Pond Fishing Report
Ben Irving Reservoir: Ben Irving Reservoir Fishing Report
Chetco River: Chetco River Fishing Report
Coos River: Coos River Basin Fishing Report
Coquille River: Coquille River Basin Fishing Report
Diamond Lake: Diamond Lake Fishing Report
Elk River: Elk River Fishing Report
Emigrant Reservoir: Emigrant Reservoir Fishing Report
Expo Pond: Expo Pond Fishing Report
Fish Lake : Fish Lake Fishing Report
Floras Lake: Floras Lake Fishing Report
Galesville Reservoir: Galesville Reservoir Fishing Report
Hemlock Lake: Hemlock Lake Fishing Report
Howard Prairie Reservoir: Howard Prairie Reservoir Fishing Report
Hyatt Lake: Hyatt Lake Fishing Report
Illinois River: Illinois River Fishing Report
Lake Marie: Lake Marie Fishing Report
Lake Selmac: Lake Selmac Fishing Report
Lemolo Lake: Lemolo Lake Fishing Report
Loon Lake: Loon Lake Fishing Report
Lost Creek Lake: Lost Creek Reservoir Fishing Report
Plat I Reservoir: Plat I Reservoir Fishing Report
Smith River: Smith River Fishing Report
Tenmile Lakes: Tenmile Basin Fishing Report
Willow Lake: Willow Lake Fishing Report