Klamath Basin News, Wednesday, Nov. 23 – Holiday Traffic Begins Now; Klamath County Sheriff’s Dept Says Watch Out for Phone Scams

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The latest and most comprehensive coverage of local News, Sports, Business, and Community News stories in the Klamath Basin, Southern Oregon and around the state of Oregon from Wynne Broadcasting’s KFLS News/Talk 1450AM / 102.5FM, The Herald & News, and BasinLife.com, and powered by Mick Insuranceyour local health and Medicare agents.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Klamath Basin Weather

This Afternoon Sunny, with a high near 46. Overnight, clear with a low around 24. Northeast wind around 6 mph.

Thursday, Thanksgiving Day Sunny, with a high near 52. Increasing clouds overnight, with a low around 25.

Friday Partly sunny, with a high near 50. Light south southeast wind. Overnight low of 25 degrees.
Saturday Mostly sunny, with a high near 50.
Sunday A chance of snow after 10am, mixing with rain after 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 45.
Monday A chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 38.


See Road Camera Views

Lake of the Woods   
Doak Mtn.   
Hiway 97 at Chemult   
Hiway 140 at  Bly       
Hiway 97 at GreenSprings Dr.            
Hiway 97 at LaPine

Today’s Headlines

The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office continues to receive numerous reports of phone scams. Be careful. Some of these scams reference current or former Klamath County Sheriff’s Office employees and make statements about failure to appear for grand jury and demanding money or the target would be arrested, or make a request for the victim to respond to a local law enforcement office for contact.

These scams are increasing in sophistication with calls appearing on caller ID to come from the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office. To avoid becoming a victim of scams look for the following possible indicators:  Incoming calls from an outside area code, or foreign telephone number;  Requires you to send money for a prize or family member in trouble;  Callers go to great lengths to keep you on the phone;  Money is only accepted via wire transfer service.

 The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office encourages you to share this information with friends and family members over the holidays.

Oregon and California Tribal nations and Native people are celebrating a decision made last week by federal regulators approving a plan for the largest dam removal plan in U.S. history.

The move is considered a necessary step in saving dwindling salmon populations. Tribes in the region also see it as a sign the federal government is serious about respecting treaty rights and Indigenous culture.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission voted unanimously to transfer ownership of four dams on the Klamath River in northern California and Southern Oregon from utility company PacificCorp to the two states and a nonprofit formed to manage the project.

The commission called the decision “historic” and “momentous” because tribal advocacy influenced the outcome. Some hope this might lead to greater consideration of treaty rights and Native culture in federal permitting decisions around power generation and dams.

The decision is expected to allow the decommission and destruction of the dams and open up hundreds of miles of a river that once was the richest salmon river in the U.S. Since the four dams were built between 1918 and 1962, salmon have been blocked from reaching spawning areas, contributing to a drastic decline in the number of salmon in the river.

The Friends of the Children of the Klamath Basin recently receive $12,000 in grant funding through the Marie Lamfrom Charitable Foundation and it’s all thanks to one man and his “grit:” Jose Hernandez.

He works as the longest-serving mentor, or as they are known, Friend, at the Friends of the Children Klamath Basin, a nonprofit that pairs full-time professional mentors with children. Hernandez is currently mentoring eight youths ranging from elementary-school age up to teenagers.

The Marie Lamfrom Charitable Foundation since 1998 has partnered with nonprofit organizations throughout Oregon and Washington that are in service of education, mentorship, arts, creativity, health, and well-being. This year, the foundation celebrated community members who demonstrate grit through the work and service that they do. Of the more than 175 nominations that the foundation received, Hernandez was one of seven honorees chosen to receive an allocation.

According to Anne Keyser, the director of development and marketing at the Friends of the Children Klamath Basin, Hernandez is “all in.” When work needs doing, even tedious paperwork or messy dishwashing, he is the first to do it; thoroughly and without complaint, Keyser said

Lamprey, an ancient lineage of jawless fish, have been found in northern Klamath County’s Miller Lake for the first time since the 1950s.

Studies by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said wounds caused by lampreys were found on six brown trout caught by Jordan Ortega at Miller Lake this past summer. Ortega, an Oregon State University graduate student, is part of a team working to return lamprey back to Miller Lake.

The Miller Lake lamprey, which weigh about a pound and are up to 6 inches long, are regarded as the smallest landlocked parasitic lamprey in the world. Along with Miller Lake, they have been found in the lake’s sub-drainage and the upper Williamson and Sycan rivers.

According to the ODFW, juvenile Miller Lake lamprey are parasitic feeders of trout and speckled dace.

Ben Clemens, ODFW’s lamprey biologist, said most of the wounds on the brown trout were fresh, which indicates recovery efforts are working and indicate some Miller Lake lamprey again live in the lake.

Helping your neighbors and their families stay warm just got easier. Pacific Power will match every dollar you donate to the Oregon Energy Fund with $2 more.

Pacific Power customers who receive their bills by mail will find it includes an Oregon Energy Fund contribution envelope in November. Customers who pay their bills electronically can send a check or enroll in the fixed donation program. 

This program allows customers to donate any dollar amount, starting at $1 per month, which is then incorporated into their monthly bill. Fixed donations will also be matched 2-for-1 by Pacific Power. To enroll in the fixed donation program call Pacific Power toll-free at 1-888-221-7070.

Donations may be tax-deductible and are forwarded directly to the Oregon Energy Fund, which verifies eligibility and allocates funds to those in need. All funds donated are used to assist families in need from the same county in which the donor resides.

Last year, donations from Pacific Power’s customers, employees, and the company helped 721 households in need throughout Oregon. These households included 672 children, 253 seniors, and 221 people with disabilities. This year, Pacific Power will match up to $144,000 in donations.

Customers who need bill assistance themselves can talk with Pacific Power representatives who can help with payment plans that work for their individual needs and direct them to agencies that may be able to help. Pacific Power’s customer service number is 1-888-221-7070.

Klamath County’s Public Health office is advising that the County’s air quality is causing health risks and related restrictions.

Klamath County’s Public Health (KCPH) said the County’s air quality advisory through Friday, Nov. 25th is “RED”.

A red advisory for KCPH means:

  • Only pellet stoves may be used inside the Air Quality Zone.
  • Individuals with approved exemptions may use their wood burning heat source inside the Air Quality Zone.
  • Residents should use only seasoned dry wood.
  • Outdoor burning is prohibited within the Air Quality Zone and strongly discouraged outside the Air Quality Zone.
  • County residents in communities outside the Air Quality Zone must contact local fire districts before open burning as, “Burn conditions vary greatly in outlying areas and open burn periods are determined locally based on current risk. Burning should be avoided if the smoke impacts neighborhoods.”

The Klamath County Environmental Health Division started issuing daily air quality advisories starting October 15, 2022, and plans to do so ending March 15, 2023, for the use of fireplaces and woodstoves within the Air Quality Zone.

 A check of recent seismic activity for Oregon shows minor weekend earthquakes near Lakeview and a more noticeable earthquake near Oregon’s coast.

The U.S. Geological Survey shows an earthquake this morning west of Bandon registering 5.2 magnitude on the Richter scale about 150 miles west of Bandon, Oregon.  It also shows a 2.7 magnitude earthquake off Oregon’s coast yesterday.

Earthquaketrack.com lists six earthquakes in the Lakeview area in the past week.  They include four tremors four days ago ranging in magnitude from 2.1 to 1.5 on the Richter scale.  It lists two more earthquakes yesterday, at 1.6 and 1.8 magnitude.

The earthquake tracker lists a strong seismic activity with a 4.5 magnitude quake three days ago off Oregon’s coast near Bandon.

The tracking website lists Oregon with 14 earthquakes in the past week, 33 earthquakes in the past month and 315 earthquakes in the past year registering magnitude at least 1.5

Around the state of Oregon

With 777,000 Oregonians expected to travel this week for Thanksgiving roads in the High Desert will get very crowded, starting today. Bend is a top regional destination for the Thanksgiving weekend, according to Oregon AAA.

Spokesperson Marie Dobbs says that the days before Thanksgiving, are the busiest travel days. So, if you can avoid traveling in the afternoon and early evening on Tuesday and Wednesday that will be an advantage. Same thing when you’re coming home on Sunday; 4-8 p.m., that’s the busiest time to travel” says Dodds who advises trying to avoid peak commuting times, adding that you don’t intermingle with folks who are trying to get home from work while you’re trying to leave on your Thanksgiving trip.

89% of holiday travelers are estimated to be driving, which will make for a very busy weekend for our roads. 

The Oregon Firearms Federation has fired a gigantic federal suit against outgoing Gov. Kate Brown and the state’s attorney general, urging a judge to bar the recent voter-approved gun control Measure 114 from taking effect next month.

The federation, joined by the Sherman County sheriff and a Marion County gun store owner, contend the ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds violates their Second Amendment right to bear arms and right to due process.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Pendleton, is the first court challenge to the measure, which was expected by both proponents and critics. It comes less than three weeks before the measure is set to take effect on Dec. 8.

The measure will ban the sale, transfer and purchase of large-capacity magazines, require a permit to buy a gun and will close the so-called Charleston loophole by requiring a criminal background check be completed before a gun sale or transfer can occur.

The plaintiffs seek a court-ordered injunction that would bar the measure from becoming law and a court ruling that Measure 114 is unconstitutional. If a judge isn’t inclined to prevent the entire measure from taking effect, the plaintiffs ask that the court in the alternative at least bar the restriction on gun magazine capacity.

On her way out Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced this week that she is issuing a pardon for Oregonians who have been convicted of simple possession of marijuana.

The pardon is for people convicted of possessing one ounce or less of marijuana, in pre-2016 cases, in which the person was 21 years or older. Brown’s pardon applies in cases where possession was the only charge, and there were no victims.

The pardon will remove 47,144 convictions for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana, and will impact approximately 45,000 people, her office said. The move will also forgive more than $14 million in fines and fees associated with the offenses.

The decision to issue the pardon, Brown said in the statement, represents an effort “to right the wrongs of a flawed, inequitable, and outdated criminal justice system in Oregon when it comes to personal marijuana possession.”

Oregon Nurses Association Pushes For Stricter Hospital Staffing Laws

The Oregon Nurses Association is pushing for minimum standards that establish how many nurses hospitals need to operate and meet patients’ needs effectively.

The union, which represents 15,000 nurses, recently released details of legislation it plans to pursue in the 2023 Oregon legislative session. Oregon already has a law that requires hospitals and nurses to develop staffing plans to best meet the needs of patients.

But the union says the existing law needs a stronger enforcement mechanism and steep fines to hold hospitals accountable when they try to skirt staffing requirements. Staffing standards ultimately are about patients, including their level of medical attention and other care they get, such as prompt meals and help to the restroom.

The push for better hospital staffing comes after a two-year pandemic burned out many nurses who endured in understaffed hospitals where the quality of care deteriorated.

“We live with the terrible consequences of unsafe staffing levels every single day,” Tamie Cline, a registered nurse and president of the Oregon Nurses Association’s board of directors, said in a press conference. “We are forced to pick up extra shifts and work longer hours without rest or meal breaks. Managers assign us unmanageable and unsafe numbers of patients. We leave work feeling exhausted, physically and emotionally, because we are just not able to deliver the quality of care that our patients, and our communities, deserve.”

Hospitals have faced nursing shortages for more than two years that have affected patient care, nurses have told the Capital Chronicle. Sometimes the consequences have been dire, with patients dying because of a lack of staff, Patrick Allen, Oregon Health Authority director, told a legislative committee in September.

The trade group that represents hospitals, the Oregon Association of Hospital and Health Systems, has said more needs to be done. But it opposes the proposal and warned it threatens access to patient care and is punitive for struggling hospitals.

“Rather than preserving access to quality health care for Oregon patients, the union’s proposal focuses on new ways to punish community hospitals based on questionable standards, while increasing costs,” Becky Hultberg, president and CEO of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, said in a statement. “Under the union’s proposal, community hospitals will have no choice but to reduce access to services if they are unable to hire enough staff, which is very likely given the severe staffing shortage.”

Proposal details — The proposal, backed by Rep. Rob Nosse, D-Portland and chair of the Interim House Health Care Committee and a former nurses association lobbyist, would set minimum figures for how many nurses should be on different types of hospital units.

From there, nurses and hospital management would set staffing standards based on factors unique to each hospital, such as the acuity of patients and experience of nurses on staff.

The proposal includes:

• The Oregon Health Authority would be required to enforce staffing plans and could levy fines of up to $10,000 a day. The authority didn’t respond to a request for comment.

• Unions and individual employees could sue hospitals in court for violations.

• Staffing plans would require nurses to have adequate meal and rest breaks.

• Minimum staffing standards in the law would set a floor for hospitals. But hospitals and staff would still be expected to collaborate on a plan that looks beyond the minimum standards. For example, an intensive care unit would have at least one nurse for one or two patients, depending on the patient’s conditions.

Allison Seymour, a registered nurse in Salem and secretary of the Oregon Nurses Association, said the improvements would encourage people to return to nursing who, like her, suffered when workloads were unsustainable.

“I carried the guilt of delays in care and missed care,” Seymour said. “I would go home wondering if my patients were going to survive the night. Unsafe workloads made me feel my license was in jeopardy. I developed overwhelming anxiety trying to juggle an unsafe workload, trying to care for everyone at once with the care they deserve.”

Workforce crisis – The nurses union said the shortage of nurses is about retention amid poor working conditions — not the actual number of licensed nurses in Oregon.

The number of licensed registered nurses in Oregon increased from nearly 63,000 in January 2019 to 80,000 in September, an increase of more than 17,000, according to the Oregon Board of Nursing licensing data.

Those figures only reflect licensed nurses in all situations, not all those employed. Licensing figures also reflect other factors, such as nurses who keep their license and move to another state or retire and only work part time.

Still, the rise demonstrates that turnover is at the root of the problem, union officials said.

“Everyone must remember that hospitals are the authors of this crisis due to turnover; we know nurses are leaving the bedside at record rates because they are unwilling to work in unsafe and unsupportive environments,” said Matt Calzia, director of nursing practice and professional development for the Oregon Nurses Association. “Fix the working environment, and you fix turnover.”

Calzia noted that the level of increase is equal to the union’s 15,000-worker membership.

The nurses union said an increase in staffing will improve patient outcomes, help them avoid life-threatening complications and reduce expensive turnover for hospitals.

Hultberg, with the hospitals association, said the group will propose other solutions to address the workforce needs and benefit patients.

In September, the Legislature’s Emergency Board approved a $40 million request from the health authority and the state Department of Human Services for hospitals that coordinate care in Oregon’s six hospital regions, clinical staff to coordinate patient transfers and money to hire 50 more contract nurses. That money is only a temporary fix and state officials say a permanent solution is necessary so hospitals have adequate staffing and the capacity to treat patients at all levels of care.

Kroger Owned Fred Meyer Facing Class Action Lawsuit For Allegedly Not Paying Employees

Fred Meyer is facing a class action lawsuit over wages as two employees are seeking at least $5 million on behalf of employees who aren’t getting paid.

Fred Meyer stores activated a new payroll system in September that created widespread errors, causing people to miss multiple weeks of pay, according to the lawsuit.

“We have experienced a technical error in paycheck distribution. Although a small percentage of our associates have been affected, we understand the impact. We are working quickly on resolving known,” said a Fred Meyer spokesperson in a statement.

The lawsuit claims the company violates Oregon wage laws.

One employee in Vancouver, Washington who was not listed in the lawsuit, told the media that since the launch of the new payroll system, she and a bunch of people are not receiving full paychecks or not receiving paychecks at all.

“I just feel so bad for all these other employees that are not being paid at all for weeks on end because they’re being forced into a financial hole that’s going to take them months to get out of,” said Emerson Ferguson, a Fred Meyer employee who says she hasn’t been paid in a month.

According to the lawsuit, one of the plaintiffs listed previously worked at a Fred Meyer in Portland, and the other works in Medford.

DFR advises residents to be informed and cautious when investing in Crypto platforms

SALEM – The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) reminds Oregon investors to diversify investments and be informed of the risks in investing in largely unregulated products such as cryptocurrency.   

Some of these financial product offerings are registered and licensed with DFR as money transmitters or securities offerings. The division has investigated several cryptocurrency companies and continues to monitor the market.

“It is important to know the risks involved with cryptocurrency or any investment opportunities,” said TK Keen, administrator for DFR. “No investment opportunities are risk free, and you should always do your homework on where you are sending your money. This is especially true when cryptocurrency is involved.”

The recent news of the bankruptcy of FTX, the third largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, which left approximately 1 million customers and investors facing total losses in the billions, should serve as a warning to anyone investing in cryptocurrency. 

“Investing in cryptocurrency is extremely risky given what’s going on right now,” Keen said. “It’s important to not invest more than you can afford to lose or put all of your assets in one bucket.”

Cryptocurrency accounts are not generally insured by the FDIC, which recently issued a fact sheet clarifying when an account is considered insured.

DFR encourages Oregonians to follow these tips when it comes to digital currency and nonfungible tokens (NFTs), which are often linked to digital works of art, photos, or videos:

  • Carefully research these types of investments. Many of these “investment opportunities” are speculative in nature. Before engaging in a transaction, make sure that you understand what you are purchasing, the value of the item purchased, the reason for the valuation, and how easy it is to sell the investment if you want to get out your money.
  • Use a digital currency exchange that is licensed with the state to transmit cryptocurrency to someone else. Oregon law requires companies that transfer digital currency from one person to another to be licensed as money transmitters. Digital currency exchange companies that purchase or sell cryptocurrency from their own inventories are not required to be licensed.
  • Do not spend money you need. The volatility of the digital currency and NFT markets means that you should not purchase cryptocurrency with money that is needed for essential purposes such as food, housing, and gas.

The division originally put out a press release on Jan. 20 warning of the risks of these types of investments.

Anyone who has questions about these platforms or believes they may have been defrauded, should contact the division’s advocates at 866-814-9710 (toll-free).

About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit dfr.oregon.gov and www.dcbs.oregon.gov.

Triple Your Impact: Pacific Power Will Match Your Contribution to Oregon Energy Fund 2-for-1

Helping your neighbors and their families stay warm just got easier. Pacific Power will match every dollar you donate to the Oregon Energy Fund with $2 more.

Pacific Power customers who receive their bills by mail will find it includes an Oregon Energy Fund contribution envelope in November. Customers who pay their bills electronically can send a check or enroll in the fixed donation program. 

This program allows customers to donate any dollar amount, starting at $1 per month, which is then incorporated into their monthly bill. Fixed donations will also be matched 2-for-1 by Pacific Power. To enroll in the fixed donation program call Pacific Power toll-free at 1-888-221-7070.

Donations may be tax-deductible and are forwarded directly to the Oregon Energy Fund, which verifies eligibility and allocates funds to those in need. All funds donated are used to assist families in need from the same county in which the donor resides.

“Pacific Power’s commitment to our mission of supporting household stability is bolstered by compassion, collaboration, and innovation,” said Brian Allbritton, executive director of the Oregon Energy Fund. “Studies have shown that more than a quarter of Oregonians struggle to pay their bills each year. Pacific Power’s partnership helps ensure that our neighbors don’t have to sacrifice food, rent, medicine, or childcare to keep the lights on.”

Last year, donations from Pacific Power’s customers, employees, and the company helped 721 households in need throughout Oregon. These households included 672 children, 253 seniors, and 221 people with disabilities. This year, Pacific Power will match up to $144,000 in donations.

Customers who need bill assistance themselves can talk with Pacific Power representatives who can help with payment plans that work for their individual needs and direct them to agencies that may be able to help. Pacific Power’s customer service number is 1-888-221-7070.

Oregon Lottery Earns Big Returns for State in 2022

The Oregon Lottery announced a return of nearly $909 million dollars to the state for the 2022 fiscal year – a return to pre-pandemic levels and 81% year over year growth.

The funding directly benefits state parks and natural habitats, public schools, veteran services, outdoor school, and economic development. Oregon Lottery is self-funded through the sale of games, not tax dollars, and voters and the Legislature designate where the money goes. 

“Lottery funds are dedicated to support some of Oregonians’ most treasured programs,” said Oregon Lottery Director Barry Pack. “The sales rebound this year shows our players continue to find relevancy in our games and value the reliable revenue they provide to help make our state a great place to live.” 

Lottery players also won big, with payouts totaling nearing $16 billion for the year. Five players in Oregon won prizes over $250,000 and five won prizes $1 million or over. Prizes big and small account for 91% of the Lottery dollars played. 

Sales commissions on Lottery games also support retailers, many of whom are small business owners. The 3,800 Lottery retailers across Oregon collectively earned more than $313 million this year.  

Demonstrating a commitment to responsible play, the World Lottery Association recognized the Oregon Lottery in 2022 with the highest certification level for its Responsible Gaming programs. The Oregon Lottery was one of only eight lotteries in the United States to reach this level. 

The Lottery’s financial year runs from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. A final audited report will be posted to the Oregon Lottery’s website

Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned nearly $15 billion for economic development, public education, outdoor school, state parks, veteran services, and watershed enhancements. For more information on the Oregon Lottery visit www.oregonlottery.org.

King Tides Along the Oregon Coast

The Oregon Coast is expecting a series of King Tides this week. That’s a non-scientific term for the highest high tides of the year, when the moon, sun and Earth align at their closest points and the gravitational pull on the Earth is the greatest.

Meg Reed is with the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development. The group runs Oregon’s arm of the international King Tides Project, which documents the impacts over time of high-tide events. Reed encourages people to help, as long as they are above and away from the water.

She told KLCC, “If you do have a safe place to look at them, take a photograph showing the extent of high water. And really against a recognizable landmark is really helpful, so something like a sign, or a dock, or something where you can kind of tell how high the water level is.”

Reed said this is the 13th year of the Oregon King Tides Project. The dataset they’ve collected has helped them develop a planning guide, which provides potential adaptation strategies for predicted sea level rise.

This week’s King Tides are Thursday through Saturday. Reed advises to check tide tables at your location for exact times.

Bend Top Thanksgiving Destination in the State

With 777,000 Oregonians expected to travel this week for Thanksgiving roads in the High Desert will get very crowded, starting today. Bend is a top regional destination for the Thanksgiving weekend, according to Oregon
AAA.

Spokesperson Marie Dobbs says that the days before Thanksgiving, are the busiest travel days. So, if you can avoid traveling in the afternoon and early evening on Tuesday and Wednesday that will be an advantage.

Same thing when you’re coming home on Sunday; 4-8 p.m., that’s the busiest time to travel” says Dodds who advises trying to avoid peak commuting times, adding that you don’t intermingle with folks who are trying to get home from work while you’re trying to leave on your Thanksgiving trip.

89% of holiday travelers are estimated to be driving, which will make for a very busy weekend for our roads.

Free parking at Oregon State Parks the day after ThanksgivingFree Fishing Days after Thanksgiving, Nov. 25-26

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department invites Oregonians to head outside the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 25.

North Falls at Silver Falls State Park
North Falls at Silver Falls State Park

Popularly known as “Green Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving has become a tradition in recent years. Oregon state parks will once again waive day-use parking fees in the 24 parks that are open and charge for parking on that day.

“We’re proud to promote this tradition and offer Oregonians an alternative to the busiest shopping day of the year,” said Lisa Sumption, director of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

Parking is free year-round at almost all state parks; the waiver applies to the parks that charge $5 daily for parking. Fee parks include popular destinations such as Fort Stevens, Cape Lookout, Silver Falls, Champoeg, L.L. Stub Stewart, Smith Rock and Milo McIver. A complete list of parks that require day-use parking permits is available online at stateparks.oregon.gov (Fall Creek is listed, but closed for the season).

The fee waiver applies from open to close on Nov. 25, except at Shore Acres State Park, where it expires at 4 p.m. for the Holiday Lights event that runs Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve. 

Use #OptOutside and #OregonStateParks on social media to share your adventures.  Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. 

Free Fishing Days after Thanksgiving, Nov. 25-26

#OptOutside the two days after Thanksgiving and make fishing part of your plans with friends and family. Everyone can fish, clam and crab for free in Oregon on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 25 and 26, 2022.

No fishing/shellfish licenses or tags (including a Combined Angling Tag or Columbia River Basin Endorsement or Two-Rod Validation) are required those two days. Both Oregon residents and nonresidents can fish for free.

All other fishing regulations apply including closures, bag limits and size restrictions. See the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for rules and remember to check for any in season regulation changes at the Recreation Report especially for salmon and steelhead fishing. Click on the zone where you want to fish and then click the “Regulation Updates” tab to see the in-season changes.

The Recreation Report is updated weekly and features the best bests for fishing for the upcoming week. Depending on water levels and conditions, fishing could be good for Chinook or coho salmon.

For beginners, Easy Angling Oregon is a great guide to getting started fishing in Oregon, https://myodfw.com/EAO And if you live near Portland Bend Medford Roseburg or in Lane County , there are lots of nearby options.

Prefer to crab or clam instead? MyODFW has all the information you need to get started clamming or crabbing . Remember to check ocean conditions and take safety precautions: always clam with a friend and never turn your back on the ocean.

Currently, crabbing is open in bays, beaches, estuaries, tide pools, piers and jetties along the entire Oregon coast. Crabbing is closed in the ocean due to the annual closure from Oct. 16-Nov. 30 each year.

Remember to call the ODA Shellfish safety hotline at 1-800-448-2474 or check their Shellfish page before you go clamming or crabbing. The Oregon Department of Agriculture regularly tests shellfish and closes areas when naturally occurring biotoxins get to levels that make crabs and clams unsafe to eat. Currently, razor clamming is closed along the entire coast but this closure may change by Thanksgiving weekend.

Bear sightings in populated areas are up across Oregon, as poor berry crops have led the animals to search further for food.

Beth Quillian is with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. She said black bear attacks are rare, but communication among neighbors can mitigate risk.

Quillian suggests removing outside fridges, purchasing animal-resistant garbage cans and not leaving trash out overnight. She said bears can also be attracted to the smell of uncleaned grills.

In an encounter, loud noises such as banging pots can scare black bears away and keep them from coming back. Quillian recommends calling the ODFW if a bear is exhibiting aggressive behavior.

There are at least 25,000 black bears in the state, according to ODFW estimates. This year, a wet spring and late summer reduced their food supply.

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