A new outdoor television personality has his foot in the door of the Portland television market.
“Oregon Outdoors,” hosted by Mark Freeman of Medford, airs a three to four minute segment Wednesdays on KATU’s “Afternoon Live” program from 2 to 3 p.m.
On a filming trip recently to record summer chinook salmon fishing in the Columbia River, Freeman said he’s just getting started and hopes to produce longer shows for statewide markets controlled by KATU’s parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group.
Freeman, 57, is in his 32nd year as an outdoors, news and features writer for the Medford Mail Tribune newspaper. His foray into video is financed by that newspaper’s parent company, Rosebud Media.
Full disclosure encourages me to affirm our long friendship. Freeman has won numerous national writing awards from the Outdoor Writer’s Association of America and we are both past presidents.
At this year’s conference in Vermont, he will add his first television award.
A half-hour show appears only on Saturday nights (11:30 p.m.) on KTVL television in Medford, but it and shorter 90-second segments are seen in northern California and from Klamath Falls to the coast.
While half the shows are about fishing, “We’re trying to follow the depth and breadth of the outdoors we get to do all year in Oregon,” he said. “All over the state.” Subjects of 11 segments produced since early April include diverse subjects such as paddle boarding in class 4 rapids, falconry and training the eye to spot wildlife.
As his opening squib says: “Every week we go to some corner of this cool state of ours…and find some fun people and places…along the way we’re going to learn something…maybe accidentally. We sneak in some facts.”
In addition to producing videos, Freeman is also maintaining a full schedule as a newspaper writer.
“There’s a huge difference between print and television,” he said. “We’re micromanaging every second of the show. It’s all there in front of you and you get to watch it come together. Then it’s hours and hours of looking for your own mistakes. We get to spend a lot of time on beauty.”
Unlike many of today’s hunting and fishing television shows, Freeman said all of his team’s work is filmed real-time, with no staged shots or scenes.
“If you can’t be believed about one thing, you can’t be believed about anything,” he said.
Salmon in hot water: Biologists are finding spring chinook carcasses in the Clackamas River, possibly caused by the recent record-setting heat.
And Sandy River temperatures are already at late-summer levels.
Ben Walczak, district fish biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, said recent cooler weather may ease conditions in the Clackamas, but the Columbia River’s elevated temperatures put salmon at risk and aren’t as likely to drop.
That, he said, could set up a thermal block later this summer at Tongue Point, similar to conditions in 2015.
As for the Sandy, “I’m pretty worried about what could happen later this summer,” he said. “We don’t have tools left to make it through another heat wave or a significant drop in flow.”
Big game regulation meetings: Oregon biologists are online and on the road this month to discuss changes in big game hunting for 2022 in preparation for the Fish and Wildlife Commission’s decision Aug. 6.
The major issue will be a proposal to change bow hunting to controlled hunt tags in 14 northeast Oregon units (most of the Blue Mountains) and portions of two others.
Most meetings are being held virtually on the Zoom platform. Western Oregon meetings are Tuesday (including Clackamas) through Thursday. See the schedule and link information at: https://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/big_game/docs/2021_big_game_public_mtg_schedule.pdf.
Comments about the proposals and other issues will be taken. Comments can also be emailed to: email@example.com
Short casts: Also at the Aug. 6 commission meeting will be a proposal to lift walleye restrictions in the lower Willamette River, Multnomah Channel and Gilbert River. The end of limits on size and daily bag will mean uniform regulations for walleye statewide. Biologists emphasized the need to reduce potential predation on salmon, steelhead and Pacific Lamprey…A complete list of proposed changes in the 2022 angling regulations will be posted soon…The Department of Fish and Wildlife is reminding razor clam fans of Thursday’s seasonal closure of all Clatsop County beaches, which have already been closed for months because of domoic acid levels. While dropping, they’re still above tolerances. Hopefully they’ll become safe by the time of the closure’s end, Sept. 30. Beaches south of Cape Lookout to California are open, with the best digging in the Newport area.