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Monthly Archives: November 2014
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announces that the Trinity River Hatchery has met its adult fall-run Chinook salmon take of 4,800 fish. Beginning Monday, Nov. 17 the Trinity River downstream of the Old Lewiston bridge to the mouth of Indian Creek is open to the take of chinook salmon over 22 inches.
The daily bag limit in this section is three Chinook salmon, of which one may be an adult over 22 inches. The daily bag limit for the rest of that section below the mouth of Indian Creek down to the Highway 299 west bridge at Cedar flat is three Chinook salmon under 22 inches.
The fall-run Chinook salmon quota on the Lower Trinity River is 681 adult Chinook salmon from the confluence with the Klamath River up to Cedar flat. This sub-area quota has not been met yet, and anglers may retain one adult Chinook salmon as part of their three fish daily bag limit.
CDFW reminds anglers that a salmon report card is required when fishing for Chinook salmon in anadromous portions of the Klamath basin.
Steelhead fishing remains open in all areas, with a daily bag of two hatchery steelhead or trout and possession limit of four hatchery steelhead or trout. Hatchery steelhead or trout are defined as fish showing a healed adipose fin clip (the adipose fin is absent). Anglers are also required to possess a steelhead report card when fishing for steelhead.
Anglers may keep track of the status of open and closed sections of the Klamath and Trinity rivers by calling 1 (800) 564-6479.
With the arrival of colder air temperatures, fishing pressure on on virtually all fish species has undergone a major dropoff. Some of the options that are being ignored are: ocean bottomfishing; fishing the surf for redtailed surfperch; fishing the jetty for bottomfish; fishing for largemouth bass and yellow perch at Tenmile lakes or fishing for planted trout at Saunders or Empire lakes.
Saunders and Empire lakes were last stocked with trout in early October and many, if not most of the trout have been caught, but there should be enough to merit a fishing trip for an optimistic angler. Eel and Tenmile lakes which have native, carryover and searun trout might be a better bet.
Surprisingly good last week and sure to get better, according to the folks at Snowy River Mercantile, a hunting and fishing tackle retailer located in Wells Creek – is the winter steelhead fishing on the Umpqua River from below Scottsburg to Sawyers Rapids. Unfortunately, the Umpqua River remains closed to the taking of non-finclipped steelhead.
The winter steelhead runs on other area rivers usually lags the Umpqua river’s by several weeks. The Coos, Coquille and Smith rivers usually start producing steelhead by early to mid-December. Tenmile Creek usually starts producing steehead during the last two weeks of December, while Eel Creek, which doesn’t open for steelhead until January 1st, starts giving up decent numbers of steelhead around the middle of January. Of course the runs can be greatly effected by rainfall and stream levels.
The Umpqua River spinner flingers at Half Moon Bay and Osprey Point are still catching some salmon – and because there are no longer hordes of fishermen present, a few anglers are getting far more brazen when it comes to keeping unclipped cohos.
The coho fisheries at Tenmile, Tahkenitch and Siltcoos lakes are still productive and will remain open through December. Cohos are now in all three lakes and the daily limit is one adult and one jack coho per day.
The Elk, Sixes, and Chetco all have fair numbers of salmon in them and there should be some salmon in Floras Creek. The fishing success on all these streams is very dependent on water clarity and stream levels.
Rich, a friend of mine who moved to Florence from Montana is the only angler I know who targets the yellow perch in our area during the winter months. His favorite period is from Thanksgiving through February and his favorite areas are mud or soft-bottomed flats in water at least 15 feet deep. The perch he catches, especially the females, are at their chunkiest and a 12-inch perch taken during the winter months could easily weigh a pound.
Another acquaintance of mine used to target brown bullheads during the winter months at Tenmile Lakes. He fished with half a nightcrawler at night in water at least 15 feet deep and caught enough brown bullheads while enduring many cold winter nights that he often referred to himself as “Mr. Catfish.”
What good things could come of an artic blast from the north, with temperatues below freezing around the clock? At MarDon Resort we see this as a harsh transition into winter. Waterfowl have moved into the Columbia Basin from then Northeren Nesting areas. The Royal Slope Area is seeing new flights of geese coming from the North daily. Call The Duck Taxi to make a Goose Hunting Reservation (509) 346-2651.
The feeding frenzy of pre-spawn walleye seems as thought over night it has begun. The North Wind pushes zo plankton radically against the face of O’Sullivan Dam, with never ending 2 to 5 foot waves ( The Arctic Blast). With the first element of the food chain very available on the face of O’Sullivan Dam the little minnows, the medium size minnows and minnows that look like a 6 inch swim bait are blanketing the dam and the South Shores of Potholes Reservoir. This condition is always capitalized by serious walleye anglers. Old Weed Wader, Dick Hemore, begins to break out his blade baits every year when this condition starts. Recently, Dick and I discussed his walleye history with blade baits on the face of O’Sullivan Dam and the MarDon Dock. Dick has caught and released 100’s of 10 pound plus Walleye during these elements. Mr. Hemore’s biggest walleye to date is 15 pounds 5 ounzes. Now is the time for dock and boat fishing on the South Shores of Potholes Reservoir.
Dock Fisherman may buy a day pass for $7 for adults and $4 for kids and seniors. All Daytime dock fishers must be gone by dusk. If you are an overnight guest at MarDon Resort you have access to the dock 24 hours a day.
By Jamie Bails, WDFW Habitat Biologist
A few autumns ago, after watching a neighbor rake and bag fallen leaves, I asked him if I could spread the leaves around my perennial beds as mulch. He hesitatingly agreed and watched suspiciously as I quickly loaded up eight bags into the wheelbarrow and giddily spread the leaves around my flower beds.
Like many people, my neighbor narrowly understood the value of leaf litter. Leaves were simply raked, bagged and taken to the dump — not my idea of natural gardening. The next year, they cut down the trees, reducing my leaf supply. For now, a 100-year-old big leaf maple and other native trees I’ve planted will provide a healthy supply of leaves, saving me truckloads of soil composted from other people’s yards.
Using those leaves for mulch also helps the wildlife that visit my yard. They provide a food source for insects which in turn are eaten by many birds, reptiles and amphibians. Leaves also indirectly support wildlife habitat in general by improving overall soil and plant health.
As leaves are falling and you’re raking them up this month, think about these Top Ten Reasons to use those leaves as mulch:
Provides food source for beneficial insects which improve the health of the soil and in turn are eaten by wildlife
Improves and adds nutrients to the soil
Increases and strengthens plant root growth
Regulates the temperature of the soil, keeping it cooler in summer and warmer in winter
Reduces weeds, as long as the mulch is weed free and deep enough to prevent weed germination or smother existing weeds
Prevents the surface of the soil from cracking or eroding by retaining moisture
Prevents rain water from running off the soil and disappearing down a storm water drain
Prevents water from splashing up onto plants which slows the spread of soil-borne diseases
Prevents the soil from crusting or compacting
Creates a natural forest floor environment
Without leaf litter on the soil, rain will release clay and silt particles, increasing sedimentation, reducing the soil’s capacity to absorb water, and accelerating soil erosion. Leaf litter also reduces wind erosion by preventing soil from losing moisture and providing cover.
Leaves are valuable soil amendments because they’re the dominant pathway for nutrients to return to the soil, especially nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). These nutrients accumulate in the top layer of soil until leaves decompose, by rainfall and organisms, and leach or release the nutrients into the soil below.
A wide range of organisms takes part in the decomposition process, most relatively inconspicuous, unglamorous and, from a conventional human perspective, even undesirable. This detritivore community includes beetles and their larvae, flies and maggots (the larvae of flies), woodlice, fungi, slime molds, bacteria, slugs and snails, millipedes, springtails and earthworms. This community works out of sight and gradually, over months or years. Cumulatively, they are the unsung heroes who convert all dead plant and animal material into forms that are useable for growth.
There are several ways you can use leaves as mulch:
Slow-Compost Method: Rake the leaves off the lawn (assuming you still have lawn) and pile on flower beds to make the rich hummus and leaf mold that you would find in a mature forest. The leaf nutrients will leach out while the remainder of the dried leaf will slowly compost over the winter, putting nutrients directly back into the soil with the aid of the detritivores. This is a great method for soils that are clay, compacted or dry, and it won’t smother or burn plants.
Lawn-mower Method: Run your lawnmower over the leaves and then rake onto plant beds. This is a great alternative to purchasing beauty bark or wood chips. When spreading the leaves, be careful not to cover the plant crowns. Shred large leafs like big leaf maple to break down more quickly. Large, leathery, evergreen leaves like madrona, laurel and photinia need to be shredded unless they can be allowed to decompose over several years in a back corner. Evergreen leaves can be added to a hot compost pile to accelerate decomposition.
Both of these methods are excellent ways to encourage beneficial insects in your yard. Beetles, spiders, and centipedes readily crawl under leaves for protection through the winter, as well as deposit eggs in the soil or leaf litter.
Compost Pile Method: Store leaves in feed sacks and add to compost pile as brown material over winter. An abundance of leaves can be in a wire cage for decomposition over the winter. By spring, the compost is ready to spread on beds or can be added to the food waste compost bin.
Livestock Method: If you keep poultry or livestock, use your supply of leaves for litter or bedding along with straw or hay. Leaf mold thus enriched with extra nitrogen may later be mixed directly with soil or added to the compost pile or spread throughout the garden.
If you don’t have enough leaves from trees on your own property, ask a neighbor if you can rake their leaves onto your yard. They may think you are crazy, but you’ll be walking away with valuable free soil amendments and a boost for your backyard wildlife.
The brown pelican, with its famous large throat pouch and gregarious personality, is one of the most distinctive birds on the Oregon coast.
Under normal circumstances, brown pelicans sustain themselves sustain themselves by scooping up small fish in their large bills while swimming in the ocean.
Pelicans are also known to accept an easier but more dangerous fare – junk food given to them by well-meaning but misinformed people.
ODFW biologists have recently noted several pelicans in Siletz successfully approaching and begging for food. Don’t fall for this ruse, they say.
“Feeding pelicans is almost never a good idea,” said Doug Cottam, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist in Newport. “While it might seem like you’re helping them, feeding these birds likely causes more harm than good.
In fact, according to Cottam, feeding these birds can actually put their lives at risk. For one thing, human food can make them sick. Feeding can also disrupt their migration patterns by encouraging them to hang out along the north coast when what they should be doing is migrating to their winter breeding grounds in Baja California.
“While we appreciate people’s concern for brown pelicans the best way to help them is to leave them alone,” said Cottam.
I would like to cover some of the easiest ways to get in trouble while fishing the three coastal lakes for coho salmon – now that all three lakes have fair numbers of cohos in them.
(1) – Not knowing the areas restricted to fishing for cohos which includes the Siltcoos River below Highway 101, Tenmile Creek below the bridge just below South Tenmile Lake on Hilltop Drive, the entire channel connecting South and North Tenmile lakes and the Tahkenitch Lake outlet west of Highway 101.
(2) – Fishing with two rods on Siltcoos, Tahkenitch and Tenmile lakes – Even though you paid seventeen dollars for a second rod endorsement – it is never legal in moving water or while fishing for salmon – in fact on the three coastal lakes with coho fisheries that second rod endorsement becomes completely invalid when the salmon season starts on October 1st – even though there are no salmon in those lakes at that time.
(3) – keeping rainbow or cutthroat trout, steelhead – or any other fish (except coho salmon) out of of the Siltcoos River after October 31st. Even though coho salmon are legal above Highway 101. The river is closed to fishing from October 31st through the last Saturday in May – except for coho salmon fishing above Highway 101 from October 1st through December.
And of course the usual ways to get in trouble – like exceeding the daily, bag or season limits; keeing illegal fish or not promptly marking adult salmon on one’s combined anging tag.
Recently, there has been numerous small to midsize earthquakes ocurring near the Oregon border in western Nevada. These quakes, possibly linked to “fracking” could jeopardize a number of southeastern Oregon watersheds including Dog Lake. Dog Lake is a special fishing spot that I haven’t spent nearly enough time getting to know. It’s current size is about 300 surface acres with an average depth of slightly more than ten feet.
Dog Lake has a variety of fish species with the best fishing being for largemouth bass, brown bullheads and yellow perch. Other species include black and white crappie, bluegill and redear sunfish and cutthroat trout. Dog Lake has a well-deserved reputation for producing some of the largest warmwater gamefish in southeast Oregon. Last year I asked an ODFW biologist assigned to the area what were the most impressive fish he saw while working at the lake and he mentioned a nine pound largemouth bass, a 14-inch yellow perch and a 16-inch black crappie. The ODFW reported that they netted some redear sunfish in the lake – if true, then Dog Lake is sure to become a front runner when it comes to replacing the the state record redear of one pound 15.5 ounces from Reynolds Pond with an even larger fish.
It will be a shame if Dog Lake and other southeast Oregon fishing spots suffer severe negative impacts from environmental malfeasance ocurring in another state.
Ryan Ramsey of Veneta reported that he caught a tagged dungeness crab last Sunday morning while crabbing straight across the Umpqua River from the entrance to Winchester Bay’s East Boat Basin. The crab’s tag number was 272. The good news is that the crab survived several months after being caught, tagged and released and was almost certainly delicious. The bad news is that Ryan caught the crab a few months too late to possibly win a thousand dollars with it.
As of November 11th of this year (2014), whIch NFL quarterbacks had both a higher quarterback rating than Cleveland’s Brian Hoyer’s 90.4 AND a higher average gain (in yards) per pass attempt than Hoyer’s 8.04?
ANSWER – 3 – Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers (120.1 and 8.69); Denver’s Peyton Manning (120.0 and 8.25) and Tony Romo of Dallas (107.2 and 8.34). Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger had a quaeterback rating of 107.3 with an average gain per pass attempt of 8.04 yards.
It appears that the Cleveland Browns decided on the right quarterback for this season.
Sixteen youth deer hunters will get the chance to go on a guided deer hunt on the 9,500-acre C2 Ranch near Medford this year.
To be eligible, youth must have drawn the 630T Rogue Unit Youth Deer controlled hunt tag. The hunt period is Dec. 15, 2014-Jan. 5, 2015.
Youth hunters also need to fill out the application at the link below and return it to Vince Oredson no later than 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 30. Applications can be submitted by fax, email, mail or hand delivered to ODFW’s office in Central Point. Winners will be drawn on Dec. 1.
(C2 Ranch Hunt Application)
Winning youth hunters will receive one full-day hunt on the ranch. C2 Ranch will provide a guide and the youth hunter can also bring a parent or other adult.
The hunt is made possible through ODFW’s Access and Habitat program, which provides hunting access and improves wildlife habitat on private land.
For more information contact Vince Oredson, 541-826-8774, su.ro.etatsnull@nosderO.J.ecniV
OLYMPIA – With more than 200,000 large rainbow trout recently stocked and more on the way, Puget Sound and southwest Washington anglers can cross an early item off holiday wish lists.
For those fishing lakes in the Puget Sound area, thousands more trout will be stocked in coming weeks, and there are thousands of recently stocked trout available that can be pursued now and through the winter, said Chris Donley, inland fish program manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
Increased bag limits are also allowed on 20 lakes in Island, King, Snohomish, Thurston, Pacific and Gray’s Harbor counties, doubling angler’s catch limits from five to 10 trout on selected lakes.
A list of lakes to be stocked, those offering the bonus bag limit, and the department’s stocking plan is available for viewing at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/fall-into-fishing/ .
Donley said he expects fishing to be great throughout the fall and winter months at all of these lakes. “Most of the trout are 11 to 13 inches long, with a few larger ones in the mix,” he said.
For the third year in a row, the department is also stocking lakes with thousands of extra-large fish averaging 15 to 16 inches and 1-1/4 pounds each in southwest Washington for the Nov. 28 Black Friday opener.
he six southwest lakes scheduled to receive fish before the opener are:
Battleground Lake and Klineline Pond in Clark County
Kress Lake in Cowlitz County
Rowland Lake in Klickitat County
Fort Borst Park Pond and South Lewis County Park Pond in Lewis County
The lakes in Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis and Klickitat counties will be closed to fishing Nov. 24-27, when they will be stocked with hefty trout from the Mossyrock and Goldendale fish hatcheries.
“These are nice fish,” said Donley. “And, the department is offering a terrific excuse to skip crowded malls, and enjoy a fun day out on the water with family and friends.”
Also stocked in time for Black Friday is Leland Lake in Jefferson County.
For up-to-date stocking information this fall, anglers should follow the department on Twitter or Facebook, accessible from http://wdfw.wa.gov , or see the department’s weekly catchable trout stocking report at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/