THE HEALTH OF OUR RIVER
by Lily Corrigan
The Cheto river is Oregon's wildest river with the best water quality. It is also one of the top 10 best outdoor places in Curry County. The Chetco receives healthy runs of large winter steelhead and fall chinook salmon. On a good year, the river fishing is best when the water levels are between 2,000 and 4,000 cubic feet/seconds (cfs).The health of the Chetco was good until four years ago on July 12. The Chetco fire burned roughly 191,000 acres. Since the burn everything has slowly started to grow back. When the Oregon coast has a good winter that is really cold, with a good amount of snowfall, and a lot of rain, the river seems to stay pretty high all summer, which is a very good thing. If we have a year where we don’t have a lot of precipitation, the water levels drop pretty low and the ecosystem suffers.
CATCH AND RELEASE ON THE CHETCO
by Wyatt Harms
You can keep one steelhead/salmon a day but some people think they can just keep catching more in one day because nobody is watching. What they don't know is that they aren't catching as many the next year. On the Chetco you can keep trout all year long and the bag limit is 5 fish, many people, such as myself, do not like the idea of keeping a large quantity of fish, I just catch and release until I catch a big one. For greedy people this bag limit presents a problem because they want to catch and keep everything. People who do not follow the laws also often complain when they don't catch anything. A problem occurs when people continuously go to their favorite spot, there may be a lack of fish because over-fishing has decimated the population. The biggest salmon ever caught was 97 pounds 4 ounces! We can only see more fish like that if we stop over fishing and keeping everything we catch.
THE LOVE OF FISHING
by Colton Hill (pictured above)
Colton Hill loves all of the local rivers.
" I personally fell in love with the outdoors and fishing is a way that I get to spend time there. I prefer fishing much more than hunting because when you go hunting no matter what you take an animals life with the risk of getting no reward as in the case of a badly placed shot but with fishing I am able to fight a fish and sure it can be on some spiritual level of seeing whether or not I'm "worthy" of catching that fish but in the end, I can release that fish back to the water so it can live its life and finish its course with the life cycle. In the end fishing just is something that makes me joyful and feels right."