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OUTDOORS BRIEFLY.

Byline: The Register-Guard

NEWS & NOTES

Whale-watching should be peaking off Oregon's coast

Southbound traffic on the Gray whale migratory route off the Oregon Coast is already heavy and expected to reach its usual peak between Christmas and New Year's Day. According to Morris Grover of the Oregon Park and Recreation Department's whale watching center at Depoe Bay, whale sightings have been running at record levels off the central Oregon coast. Weather permitting, he expects counts to rise beginning today, when trained volunteers take their posts at 26 Oregon Whale Watching Spoken Here sites during winter whale watch week. Help from the volunteers will be available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day until Jan. 2. The volunteers will have information and give tips on how to spot some of the 30 whales that pass by on their way from the Alaskan seas to Mexico's Baja peninsula. More information about "Whale Watching Spoken Here" sites, exhibits and related information is available at: www.whalespoken.org.

Annual `Christmas Bird Count' to be held Sunday

The Lane Audubon Society will conduct its part of national Audubon's 107th annual Christmas Bird Count on Sunday. Local volunteers can participate by joining one of 27 teams that check locales in the Eugene area, or by keeping track of birds that visit their backyard feeders. To participate on one of the teams that searches for birds within the 15-mile diameter "count circle,' call Barbara Gleason at 345-0450. To learn about becoming a "home counter" and reporting birds that visit backyards and bird feeders on Dec. 31, call Herb Wisner at 344-3634. For details, go to www.Laneaudubon.org,

Tickets now on sale for 2007 big game raffle hunts

Raffle tickets for several special 2007 big game hunts are now on sale at Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife offices and retail license agencies. A total of 13 tags with special privileges will be raffled off at the Oregon Hunters Association State Convention on May 19 in Bend. The deadline to purchase tickets at license agents and ODFW offices is May 7. Raffle tickets offered include hard-to-get tags for bighorn sheep, Rocky mountain goat and pronghorn, in addition to unique deer- and elk-hunting opportunities. Order forms and more information are available from point-of-sale agents, on page 27 of the 2007 Oregon Big Game Regulations, by calling (503) 947-6300 and at www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/auctions_raffles/.

Start date for new licensing system moved back

To provide more time for system preparation and testing, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff has decided to postpone the launch of the agency's new point-of-sale system for hunting and fishing licenses and tags. Originally scheduled for March 2007, the start date been rescheduled for summer 2007.

FISHING, HUNTING & WILDLIFE VIEWING

Oregon angling highlights

Rivers and streams: Winter steelhead angling has been good on the Siletz River and fair to good pulses of fish have been noted on the Alsea River. Winter steelheading is reported fair to good on the Umpqua River above Scottsburg, and the winter steelhead run is under way earlier than normal in the Coos River system. "Real-time" river-flow information is available on-line at: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/or/nwis/current?type=flow.

Lakes: Junction City Pond, Carmen Reservoir, Clear Lake, Leaburg Lake, upper McKenzie River and Trail Bridge Reservoir were all scheduled to be planted with 8- to 10-inch trout last week, according to the ODFW's Web site.

Marine zone: Ocean conditions continue to keep most boats in port, but ocean crabbing and angling for rockfish and lingcod should be good when trips resume.

- Compiled from ODFW and Register-Guard reports. Updates available at www.registerguard.com/news/outdoors_front.php.

CALENDAR

To submit events

Submit listings to: Outdoor Editor, P.O. Box 10188, Eugene OR 97440 or: mstahlberg@guardnet.com. Unless otherwise noted, events are free.

Bicycling

SATURDAY

GEARS: The Eugene road biking club plans 35- and 50-mile rides in the Gimpl Hill area. Faster riders leave Alton Baker Park at 10 a.m., slower riders at 10:30. Detailed route info: www.eugenegears.org.

SUNDAY

GEARS: 33-mile ride to the Herman Road area north of Coburg. Faster riders leave Alton Baker Park at 10 a.m., slower riders at 10:30.

MONDAY

Unsponsored: The "Polar Bear Ride," an informal New Year's Day tradition for many area cyclists, begins at 9 a.m. at the Fifth Street Public Market and goes to Coburg and beyond.

Hiking

MONDAY

Altair Ski & Sports Club: 4.4-mile hike on the Ridgeline Trail near Spencer Butte, 11 a.m.; Details, RVSP: 334-6416.

The Obsidians: Effie Neth will lead an 8-mile Cape Mountain hike and Sheila Ward will lead a 6-mile Tahkenitch Dunes hike. Details, sign-up at the YMCA, 2055 Patterson St., Eugene.

Paddle sports

THURSDAY

Oregon River Sports: Paddle Club meeting, 6:30 p.m., Oregon River Sports, 3400 Franklin Blvd., Eugene. Details: 334-0696.

MONDAY

Oregon River Sports Paddle Club: Ring in the New Year with a whitewater float in rafts and inflatable kayaks, followed by a potluck. Details: 334-0696.

Snow sports

THURSDAY

The Obsidians: Wayne Deeter will lead a cross-country ski to a "mystery" destination. Details, sign-up at the Eugene Family YMCA, 2055 Patterson St.

SATURDAY

The Obsidians: Brian Hamilton will lead a 4.5-mile cross-country ski trip to Gold Lake and Sandra Larsen will lead a ski outing in the Ray Benson Sno Park area at Santiam Pass. Details, sign-up at the YMCA, 2055 Patterson St., Eugene.

Walking

WEDNESDAY

Altair Ski & Sports Club: 5-mile walk in the Hendricks Park area, 9 a.m. Details, RSVP: 726-8154.

FRIDAY

Altair Ski & Sports Club: 5-mile walk in Hendricks Park, 9 a.m. Details, RSVP: 726-8154.

SATURDAY

Altair Ski & Sports Club: 4-mile walk on the bike trails in the Valley River Area, 9 a.m. Details, RSVP: 343-7893.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Recreation
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Dec 26, 2006
Words:969
Previous Article:LANDSCAPE LAUREATE.
Next Article:OSU's Stroughter catches on quick.


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