WEEKLY RECREATIONAL REPORT: December 30, 2016

FREE FISHING WEEKEND SET DEC. 31-JAN. 1

Anglers won’t need a fishing license, tag or endorsement anywhere in Oregon on Dec. 31 or Jan. 1. All other rules, including size and bag limits, will be in effect during the Free Fishing Weekend event.

Ice-fishing safety tips

With many water bodies beginning to ice over, it’s a good time to be reminded that anglers should always use caution during first-ice conditions. Take the following precautions: use the “buddy system,” wear a Personal Flotation Device in case of thin ice, carry a throw-rope, and use a heavy metal staff to check for thin-ice. Oregon does not allow human-made ice holes larger than 12 inches in diameter or length.

Copperfield park in Hells Canyon closed

Idaho Power Company has closed its Copperfield Park, on the Oregon side of Hells Canyon Reservoir near Oxbow, due to deep snow that blocks access to the park.

Grande Ronde, imnaha and Wallowa rivers

• Ice is making steelhead fishing difficult or impossible.

WILDLIFE VIEWING

• BAKER COUNTY: Bighorn sheep can be seen in the Burnt River Canyon west of Durkee or along the Snake River Road south of Richland. The best viewing is in the early morning and late in the evening. Winter bird species are starting to migrate through the area. Bald and golden eagles can be seen along the Snake River. Take the Snake River Road between Richland and Huntington.

LADD MARSH: Nearly all ponds and wetlands are locked in ice. Elk and deer have moved to lower elevations. They can often be seen from county roads by glassing the slopes of Glass Hill or across the flats to the east. Use caution to avoid spooking wildlife.

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The La Grande Observer
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