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OUTDOORS BRIEFLY.

Byline: The Register-Guard

EDITOR'S NOTE

This Week's Outdoors report has been condensed due to the Thanksgiving holiday. The full report will resume next Thursday.

Snowshoe season opens

Wanderlust Tours officially opened its snowshoe season this past weekend just in time for Thanksgiving, and is offering a schedule of monthly special evening snowshoe events for the winter holidays, in addition to its daily half-day guided snowshoe tours. Half-day snowshoe tours are running daily at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. through winter and spring, and depart daily from Bend and Sunriver, with additional departures from Eagle Crest and Black Butte Ranch, depending on snow levels. All trips are led by professional naturalist guides, who take guests off trails and away from other people. Guides provide natural and cultural history interpretation along the way and include snow play for all ages during the trip. Half-day tours are $37 for adults and $34 for children younger than 12. Special events range from $55 to $85 per person. All Wanderlust snowshoe tours include transportation, equipment, instruction and hot chocolate with marshmallows. For more information call (541) 389-8359 or (800) 962-2862. Or check out Wanderlust Tours' Web site at wanderlusttours.com.

Whale watching training

Oregon's "Whale Watching Spoken Here" program will offer training for whale watch volunteers Dec. 3-4 at the Mark O. Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. Many participants will use their training to help visitors spot migrating Gray whales heading south off the Oregon coast during winter whale watch week Dec. 26 through Jan. 2. Bruce Mate of Oregon State University's Marine Mammal Program will open the training with an introduction to Gray whale natural history and biology from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. A field trip to Depoe Bay will highlight Sunday's activities. Registration is required. For more information, contact Morris Grover at 765-3304 or e-mail morris.grover@state.or.us.

Ocean crabbing delayed

The opening of the ocean commercial Dungeness crab season from Point Arena, Calif., to the Canadian border will be delayed at least until Dec. 15. Sport harvest of crab in the ocean will also be delayed until Dec. 15. Recreational harvest of Dungeness crab in Oregon's bays and estuaries will remain open. Commercial harvest of crab in bays and estuaries also will remain open through Dec. 31. The ocean commercial Dungeness crab season along the Oregon Coast normally opens on Dec. 1 but can be delayed to ensure a high-quality product to consumers. Crab quality testing in November showed the Columbia River area and areas from Port Orford south to California experienced a late crab molt. Fishery managers in Oregon, Washington and California decided to delay the opening at least until Dec. 15 to allow crab quality to improve. The delayed opening date will give time for the crabs' shells to fill with more meat. This results in a higher-quality product and reduces wastage. The Dungeness crab fishery is the most valuable single-species fishery in Oregon. Oregon accounts for about one-fourth of the total catch from northern California to Alaska.

FISHING

Best bets

Umpqua River Mainstem: Winter steelhead are now showing. Best fishing should occur below Sawyer's Rapids. The river is clear and dropping with the extended clear weather. Plunker's should target the Bunch Bar area.

Regional highlights

Rivers and streams: Coho are in good numbers passing the dam on the North Umpqua River. Best fishing is occurring at the Idleyld Park area. Recycled summer steelhead fishing is good in the Glide area. The Willamette River flows have decreased steadily over the past few days.

Marine zone: Good weather and ocean conditions allowed anglers to venture past the 40-fathom line. Anglers along the central coast report good catches of yellowtail rockfish and lingcod outside 40 fathoms. Along the south coast, fishing is good for sand dabs.

Statewide highlights: With an unusually dry period, anglers should start looking around the Agness area for some late-season `half-pounder' action on the lower Rogue River. Anglers should try flies or small clusters of eggs.

HUNTING

Timely tips

With hunting seasons under way, hunters are reminded of the importance of wearing blaze orange and knowing your field of fire. Hunters are also reminded of the Ten Commandments of Shooting Safety: 1, Control the direction of your firearm's muzzle at all times. 2, Identify your target and what is beyond it. 3, Treat every firearm as if it were loaded. 4, Be sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions. 5, Unload firearms when not in use. 6, Never point a firearm at anything you do not want to shoot. 7, Never climb a fence or a tree, jump a ditch or log, with a loaded firearm. 8, Never shoot a bullet at a flat, hard surface or water. 9, Store firearms and ammunition separately. 10, Avoid alcoholic beverages and drugs before or while shooting.

WILDLIFE VIEWING

Best bets

From the end of November until late March, you can enjoy watching elk from the USFS viewing platform across Highway 20 from Long Ranch, six miles east of Cascadia. Up to about 40 elk spend the winter at this stage stop along the historic Santiam Wagon Road. Other good places to see elk year-round include Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area on Highway 202 east of Seaside, Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area on Highway 38 near Reedsport, and sometimes at Finley National Wildlife refuge on Highway 99W south of Corvallis. The best time to see the elk is in the early morning or late evening.

- Source: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reports

CALENDAR

To submit events

The deadline for calendar event listings is noon Tuesday. Submit listings to: Outdoor Editor, P.O. Box 10188, Eugene, OR 97440 or e-mail: mstahlberg@guardnet.com. Unless otherwise noted, events are free.

Bicycling

SATURDAY

GEARS Bicycle Club: Plans 45- and 25-mile rides in the Fern Ridge area and beyond. Meet at 10 a.m. in Alton Baker Park. Detailed route descriptions are available online at: www.eugenegears.org/rides.p2.html.

SUNDAY

GEARS: Plans 45-mile and 25-mile rides in the Coburg area and beyond. Meet at 10 a.m. in Alton Baker Park. Detailed route descriptions are available online at: www.eugenegears.org/rides.p2.html.

Hiking

SATURDAY

The Altair Ski and Sports Club: Plans a three-mile easy-level hike in the headwaters of the Amazon area at 9 a.m. For information and registration, contact Chuck Wagar 543-1489.

Nature

MONDAY

Native Plant Society: UO geology professor Greg Retallack will give a presentation on Oregon's changing vegetation and climate over the past 45 million years at 7:30 p.m. in Room 115 of the Science Building at Lane Community College. For more information, call 345-5531.
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Title Annotation:Recreation; NEWS & NOTES
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Nov 24, 2005
Words:1113
Previous Article:MORNING BRIEFING.
Next Article:GOBBLERS SHARE FEAST.


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