Monthly Archives: November 2013

New Record Wels Catfish From Spain’s Ebro River is an Albino

Being a highly visible albino catfish in Spain’s Ebro River is a tough “row to hoe” while growing up. The only solution is larger than anything that would try to eat you.

At eight feet in length and 206 pounds in weight that is exactly what the giant wels catfish caught recently by Bernie Campbell did.

For seven years, British fisherman Bernie Campbell sought to catch a rare albino wels catfish, but the odd-looking fish had always eluded him—until a recent trip on the River Ebro near Barcelona, Spain, with CatMaster Tours.

Not only did Campbell reel in the rare species, but he also caught what is believed to be a world record for the albino wels catfish, beating the previous mark by 10 pounds, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.

The enormous fish weighed a whopping 206 pounds and stretched 8 feet long.

“We have had two or three big albino catfish out of the river, but none that has topped 200 pounds,” expert catfish angler and guide John Deakin of CatMaster Tours told the U.K. Daily Mail. “Albino catfish of that size are very rare indeed. This is the biggest we’ve ever seen. It was a very special fish.”

Campbell, 54, was fishing with his son Gary when he hooked into the beast, using special pellets for bait and 1,800 feet of super-strength fishing line.

“When I got the fish closer to the shore and I saw it was white, I couldn’t believe it,” Campbell told the Daily Mail. “It was so strong it nearly pulled me in on four separate occasions.”

[Related: A wife’s tale of how her husband returned from war through kayak fishing.]

After about 30 minutes or so, Campbell pulled the monster fish into shore where it was weighed, photographed, and released.

“I was absolutely shattered [read: exhausted] when I landed it, but the feeling was unbelievable. It was a huge fish, but when we got it on the scales I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

“It was my first albino, and it was a world record.”

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Boat Ramp in Kenmore to Close For Renovations

Popular boat ramp in Kenmore will close Nov. 18 for renovation

OLYMPIA – A popular boat ramp in Kenmore that provides access to the north end of Lake Washington will be closed for renovation Nov. 18 through the middle of March 2014.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), which owns and operates the facility on the Sammamish River, plans to replace the existing single ramp with a new double ramp, install new wheelchair-accessible flush toilets, and pave the parking lot.

Kye Iris, WDFW regional lands agent, said the timing of the project is designed to avoid disrupting use of the facility by anglers and other boaters during the busy summer months.

“We want to make sure this renovated facility is ready to go by the time the good weather returns to the area,” Iris said.

The renovation project is a cooperative effort with the City of Kenmore, which provided funding to upgrade the facility, Iris said, noting that the city will also help to maintain the site once the renovation is completed.

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California Outdoor News – CDFW Director Makes Statement on Environmental Damage Settlement

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director Charlton H. Bonham made the following statement today regarding a large settlement agreement reached after two Humboldt County residents entered felony and misdemeanor pleas regarding violations to the Clean Water Act. 

 “While none of us are pleased at such severe damage to our natural resources, this outcome sends an encouraging signal that large-scale environmental crimes will be prosecuted fully. We are incredibly proud of our environmental scientists and wildlife officers who were involved in this case. We also thank the California District Attorneys Association for providing expertise and seeing this case through to completion.”

The pleas and subsequent settlement agreement resolve a significant case of illegal mining of valuable peat from sensitive wetlands in the Bridgeville area near Highway 36. The penalty assessed in this matter is one of the largest to ever be assessed in California against individuals, rather than corporations, for violations of section 404 of the Clean Water Act.

CDFW Environmental Scientists Mike Van Hattem, Scott Bauer, Gordon Leppig, Geologist Mark Smelser, and Senior Environmental Scientist Tony LaBanca of the CDFW northern region, and Wildlife Officers Ed Ramos and Shane Embry were involved in this case. Deputy District Attorney Matthew Carr was the environmental prosecutor from CDAA on the case.

For more, please contact the Humboldt County District Attorney’s office at (707) 445-7411 or review the press release here:

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Potholes Waterfowl Competing With Fishing Among Outdoor Recreationists

Gus Gottschalk of Seattle shows a Gooses he got on a guided Duck Taxi Hunt last Sunday.

Gus Gottschalk of Seattle shows a Gooses he got on a guided Duck Taxi Hunt last Sunday.

Waterfowl are migrating to Central-Eastern Washington daily.  New Geese are being reported from Odessa to Vantage and many reports from the Moses Lake and Othello Area.  Waterfowl hunting on Potholes Reservoir has been improving daily the last week.  The birds in the area are very decoy responsive and there are reports of nice groups of mallards.  Foggy conditions have made it more challenging but days with wind are producing ducks and an above average of geese as well.

On our Duck Taxi hunts we have been seeing both resident ducks and some new birds in the area.  On field hunts we have harvested lots of Canadian Geese, Snow Geese, and a few Cackler Geese.  To check out some hunting packages and specials please visit the website at and click on the 2013/2014 specials tab.

Walleye anglers using Blade Baits in the 12 feet to 60 feet of water are cashing in on our excellent walleye bite.  Most of the Blade Bait fish are 20 inches and smaller.  Walleye up to 7lbs have been reported by boaters fishing the humps off the face of the sand dunes, the mouth of Frenchman’s Wasteway, and the North-East side of Goose Island.

Don’t forget we have free dock fishing every Friday until Spring-time.  You still have to come into the store and get your free dock pass and car pass and you can fish until dark every Friday evening.  The dock is still showing some nice Crappie, Perch, Bluegill, Trout and Bass and a few walleye are being reported.

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Winchester Bay Crabbing Much Improved

Crabbing on the lower Umpqua River at Winchester Bay has improved greatly over the last three weeks. While overall crabbing success in no way rivals the incredible crabbing of last year – it is much improved over just a month ago and some good catches are now being made by dockbound crabbers.

This good catch  of dungeness crabs was caught off a dock at Winchester Bay and photographed by Paul Stallard - Winchester Bay's new harbormaster.

This good catch of dungeness crabs was caught off a dock at Winchester Bay and photographed by Paul Stallard – Winchester Bay’s new harbormaster.

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ODFW News – 11/14/2013

Trout are preparing for winter…

…and are feeding aggressively. Fall fishing, where regulations and access permits, can be some of the best fishing of the year. See the Recreation Reports for updates and the latest conditions.

Coast elk hunting 2nd season Nov. 16-22

Good numbers of bulls should be available in all north coast units, as estimates of bull escapement from last season were at or above management goal levels, and calf recruitment out of this past winter and spring appeared to be good.

Rare Red-bellied Woodpecker sighted several times in LaGrande.
For the first time in Oregon, a red-bellied woodpecker has been documented in La Grande. The female has been seen multiple times in the area and is creating a lot of excitement among birders. The species is native to the eastern U.S.

Late season archery deer hunting underway

Bowhunters get another chance to hunt deer in parts of western Oregon.

Take a bird hunting trip – and take advantage of increased possession limits

Possession limits were increased to 3X the daily bag limit for all migratory birds this year, so it’s a great time to go hunt in a new area.

Turkey season open thru Dec. 31

You can hunt the fall turkey season in most of western Oregon.

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Pete Heley Outdoors 11/13/2013

There have been a lot of people asking if wild cohos are still legal to keep on the Umpqua and other rivers.
Almost all of the portions of coastal rivers that allow the retention of of wild or unclipped cohos have seasons that end the evening of November 30th – subject to stream quotas, of course – and a number of streams do not even have quotas this season (Alsea, Coos, Coquille, Siletz, Siuslaw, Yaquina and Tenmile Lakes). Of course, all streams are subject to emergency closures.

The rivers with wild coho seasons that do have quotas include Beaver Creek (150 salmon),. Floras Creek/New River (200 salmon) Nehalem River (700 salmon), Nestucca River (200 salmon,, Umpqua River(3,000 salmon and Tillamook Bay/rivers (500 salmon).

None of the rivers with quotas are close to reaching their quotas. Here is how they stand according to the ODFW website cafch statistics through November 3rd – Umpqua River (1,581 caught – 52.7 % of quota); Nehalem River (426 caught – 60.9 % of quota; Tillamook Bay/rivers (297 caught – 59.4 % of quota;  Nestucca River (31 caught-15.5 % of quota.

It is almost a certainty that the Umpqua River’s quota will not be reached since 1,496 of the cohos caught during the nonselective season (94.6%) were caught prior to October 13th.

Currently, the best salmon fishing is in the rivers along the southern coast and a good rain will perk up the fishing in every one of them, as well as in the three lakes with coho salmon fisheries (SIltcoos, Tahkenitch and Tenmile). The ODFW people I have talked to are pretty confident that info on trout plants this spring will be much more timely this year. As for trout plants, Western Washington is in the process of receiving 75,000 larger rainbows running from about 12-inches up to seven or eight pounds. Fishing is expected to be very, very good.

Many of the brown trout slated to be stocked in southwest Idaho were planted last week – along with a fair number of rainbows. Other hot out-of-state fisheries include Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene Lake for Northern pike, southwest Washington’s Silver Lake for small and medium-sized crappie (noted Pacific northwest angler, Roger Luce, reported catching and releasing 2,300 crappie in four trips to Silver Lake last week. Last Year, Long Lake in Spokane, Washington produced excellent fishing for good-sized crappies and yellow perch during the month of November.

Closer to home, Tenmile Lakes has been producing good fishing for yellow perch and fair fishing for largemouth bass. Although many of the perch are small, anglers willing to cull their catch are ending with with fair numbers of decent-sized perch.

Brown trout are aggressive and cruising shallow water prior to spawning at both Miller Lake and Lake of the Woods. Both of these lakes are open the entire year and are under special regulations that allow fishing 24 hours per day. Toketee Reservoir, a popular 80 acre reservoir on the North Umpqua remains open to fishing the entire year and is capable of providing very good brown trout fishing.

Although it will be more than a couple of months before trout plants resume in our area, there are a few lakes that usually have good numbers of uncaught planted trout left heading into winter. The larger lakes such as Eel, Siltcoos, Tahkenitch and Tenmile should have fair numbers of trout, however, a sleeper is Cleawox Lake which has a narrow arm running north for almost two miles from the main lake. Cleawox receives very heavy trout plants and the trout that swim into this arm, which is almost invisible from the main lake, receive almost no fishing pressure and consequently carry over in much higher numbers than trout that remain in the main lake.

Other “sleeper” trout spots include the area behind the small trestle on the northeast end of Saunders Lake. This area is small and inconsistent for trout but every once in a while it has a lot of trout in it. The Empire Lakes were planted with about 40,000 trout last year and receive very heavy fishing pressure. However, there is a huge difference between how fast the trout that hang out near shore leave the lake and the trout that hang out in the middle of the lake where they are only reachable by small boat and float tube anglers that usually practice catch and release. Empire was stocked with 4,000 trout in October and there should be quite a few of them left.

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Washington Fishing News 11/12/2013

OLYMPIA – State fishery managers have approved the second of two evening razor-clam digs this month, this one running from Friday, Nov. 15, through Wednesday, Nov. 20, at various ocean beaches.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the dig after marine toxin tests showed the clams on those beaches are safe to eat.

Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, reminds diggers that digging is not allowed at any beach before noon, noting that best digging typically occurs one to two hours before low tide.

WDFW has scheduled the upcoming dig on the following dates, beaches and low tides:

Nov. 15, Friday, 5:01 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis
Nov. 16, Saturday, 5:42 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis
Nov. 17, Sunday, 6:20 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
Nov. 18, Monday, 6:57 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Twin Harbors
Nov. 19, Tuesday, 7:33 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Twin Harbors
Nov. 20, Wednesday, 8:09 p.m.; -0.2 feet; Twin Harbors
“This is a great opportunity to dig some razor clams for your Thanksgiving table,” said Ayres, who recommends the recipe for the “Best Darn Razor Clam Dip Ever” on the WDFW website at . He also recommends bringing a lantern for evening digs.

Under state law, diggers can take 15 razor clams per day and are required to keep the first 15 they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2013-14 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website at and from license vendors around the state.

For information on additional razor clam tentatively scheduled through December, see WDFW’s website at .

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Washington Fishing News – 11/11/2013

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking nominations through Dec. 6 for membership on its Puget Sound Salmon Sportfishing Advisory Group.

Up to 15 qualified individuals will be chosen to serve on the Puget Sound Salmon Sportfishing Advisory Group for 2014 and 2015. Those selected will provide guidance to WDFW on issues affecting recreational salmon fisheries in Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Members of the Puget Sound Salmon Sportfishing Advisory Group are expected to meet three or four times a year and participate in the annual salmon season-setting process known as North of Falcon. Members also are expected to communicate policy decisions to sportfishing groups in their areas.

“We’re looking for people with first-hand knowledge of marine and freshwater sport salmon fisheries in Puget Sound, and have the ability to communicate their ideas to fishery managers and with fellow anglers,” said Ryan Lothrop, WDFW’s Puget Sound recreational salmon manager.

Nominees do not have to be affiliated with an organized group, and current members of the advisory group may be reappointed.

Nominations must be submitted in writing with the following information:

Nominee’s name, address, telephone number and email address.
Relevant experience and reasons for wanting to serve as a member of the advisory group.
Nominee’s effectiveness in communication.
Name and contact information for any individual or organization submitting a nomination.
Nominations must be received by Dec. 6. Nominations may be submitted to Ryan Lothrop by mail: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA, 98501; or email . For more information, contact Lothrop at (360) 902-2808.

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Mardon Resort Reports Good Waterfowl Hunting and Strong Walleye Bite

Rob Harbin caught these nice walleye up to 9lbs.and Bruce Feagan trolled the Rock Piles near Goose Island with #5 Rapala Shad-Raps and

Rob Harbin caught these nice walleye up to 9lbs.and Bruce Feagan trolled the Rock Piles near Goose Island with #5 Rapala Shad-Raps and

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