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Monthly Archives: September 2016
Walleye fishing has been tough during the summer months. Walleye are now actively feeding in 5 ft. of water to 45 ft., using spinners and worms as well as trolling early morning and late evenings with Shad Rap and Berkley Flicker Shad’s, in twenty feet of water or less. The spinners and worm combined have been working all day especially in deeper water. Anglers have reported Walleye limits with Walleye to 31 inches.
Anglers are finding some good size perch in 20-50 ft. of water. Our bass fishing has been very good with drop shot’s , spinner baits, jigs and on warm nights the Spro Popper Frog has been productive. The Lind Coulee has seen little pressure. Goose Island has had great smallmouth action along with some largemouth.
The lake level will continue to drop until October 26th when the canal will be shutoff. Fishing should continue to improve along with our wonderful Columbia Basin Fall Weather. Warm days and cool nights make the fish bite!
Anglers are about to meet their annual quota for salmon at another popular Klamath River fishing spot, triggering new restrictions on the fishery for the remainder of the year. Monitoring efforts show that anglers above the Highway 96 Bridge in Weitchpec to 3,500 feet below Iron Gate Dam will have caught their quota of 189 adult fall-run Chinook, 22 inches or longer, by sundown on Wednesday, Oct. 5. After the quota is met, anglers will still be able to fish in this area but must release any Chinook longer than 22 inches.
The quota on the Trinity River is 183 adult Chinook from the confluence with the Klamath River up to Cedar Flat, and 183 adult Chinook from Cedar Flat up to the Old Lewiston Bridge. These two fisheries remain open at this time.
Anglers may keep track of the status of open and closed sections of the Klamath and Trinity rivers by calling 1 (800) 564-6479.
Action: Extend the harvest season for sturgeon
Effective Dates: Oct. 1 through Nov. 30, 2016
Species affected: White sturgeon between 38 and 72 inches fork length
Location: Priest Rapids Reservoir (from Priest Rapids Dam to Wanapum Dam) and Wanapum Reservoir (from Wanapum Dam to Rock Island Dam)
Reason for action: Harvestable surplus of hatchery-origin white sturgeon still remain in both reservoirs. Removal of these hatchery-origin fish is consistent with ongoing actions to rebuild depressed populations of wild-origin white sturgeon in Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs.
A daily limit of three (3) sturgeon between 38 and 72 inches fork length may be harvested from Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs.
Legal-size fish may be harvested whether or not they are marked by a fin clip, hole punch, or tag.
Only one single-point barbless hook and bait is allowed per pole while fishing for sturgeon. However, anglers may fish with two poles with the purchase of a Two-Pole Endorsement license.
Anglers are not required to record sturgeon harvested from Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs on a Catch Record Card. Catch-and-release fishing is allowed in Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs after the daily limit is harvested.
Any sturgeon not to be harvested must be released immediately. Oversized sturgeon cannot be removed completely or in part from the water.
There is no annual harvest limit for sturgeon between 38 and 72 inches fork length caught in the Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs.
Night fishing for sturgeon is prohibited. In the field, anglers must retain eggs with intact carcass of fish from which they came.
All closed-water areas in and around Wanapum, Priest Rapids, and Rock Island dams remain in effect. Check the current sport fishing rules pamphlet for complete details (http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/).
Daily and annual limits, harvestable slot length limits, Catch Record Card recording requirements, and all other sport fishing rules governing sturgeon harvest in all other legally open fisheries still apply.
Information contact: Chad Jackson, District Fish Biologist, (509) 754-4624, ext. 250 or Jeff Korth, Region 2 Fish Program Manager, (509) 754-4624, ext. 224
Action: Anglers are required to release hatchery steelhead that have a ¼-inch diameter (round) hole punched in the upper lobe of the caudal (tail) fin
Effective dates: Oct. 1 through Dec. 6, 2016
Species affected: Hatchery steelhead
Location(s): Columbia River from the Highway 395 Bridge in Pasco to the old Hanford townsite wooden powerline towers (CRC 534, 535)
Reason for action: Wild and hatchery steelhead are sedated in a chemical anesthetic, MS-222, during sampling at Priest Rapids Dam. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires a 21-day withdrawal period before human consumption of fish anesthetized in MS-222. WDFW staff are applying the ¼-inch diameter hole punched in the upper lobe of the tail of sampled hatchery fish so that fishermen can visually identify fish that must be released. Hatchery steelhead marked and released at Priest Rapids Dam may be caught in the Ringold-area fishery downstream because of “fall back” below the dam.
All other current regulations apply to the fishery affected by this rule change.
Information contacts: John Easterbrooks, Region 3 Fish Program Manager, (509) 457-9330 (Yakima).
All-depth bottomfishing reopens in marine waters deeper than 20 fathoms (120 feet) on Saturday, Oct. 1st. Expect ling cod and rockfish angling to be very good. This restriction was intended to last through the end of the calender year, but bottomfish anglers did a better job than expected of releasing unkeepable species of rockfish at proper depths by using descenders. If bottomfish anglers continue to effectively release deepwater bottomfish there may be less closures and restrictions in the future.
Local fishing activist, Steve Godin, is working to make sure that all local tackle retailers will have a supply of descenders by the time the all-depth bottomfishing season reopens.
As of Sunday, Sept. 18th – the last catch data available as I write this column, 3,351 ocean coho salmon had been caught and retained – or 44.7 percent of the quota of 7,500. The catch has been running about 15 percent of the quota per week – or slightly more than two percent per day. So by the time you are reading this on Wednesday, Sept. 28th, about 65 to 70 percent of the quota should have been caught and kept. The present rate of coho catch would have to show a major increase for the ocean coho season to close prior to September 30th..
On a positive note, a surprising number of finclipped coho salmon were caught in the lower Umpqua River last week. Salmon have started stacking up below Winchester Creek in the “Mud Hole” where spinner and spoon flingers have caught mostly coho salmon and anglers fishing bobber and bait (sand shrimp or salmon roe) have started catching mostly jack Chinooks, but a few adult salmon as well. One can reasonably expect this fishery to really take off over the next few weeks and it will be interesting to see how much fishing pressure the spot receives – especially when many anglers will have the option of fishing two rods this year.
We can probably blame it on the drought conditions in most of California, but this year the southern Oregon coast has produced far fewer Chinook salmon than has Oregon’s north coast. For at least the last few decades the southern portion of the state has dominated Chinook salmon catches along the Oregon coast. This disturbing “trend” may be long-lasting and is a prime example of how conditions in a nearby state can adversely affect an Oregon fishery.
Crabbing in the ocean remains very productive when conditions allow it. Most ocean sport crabbers are crabbing at a depth of at least 50 feet with a few going as deep as 80 feet. In past years most ocean crabbers crabbed at depths of 25 to 35 feet. Some are still crabbing at the shallower depths – most likely because they are unwilling to add rope to their crab pots – and they are catching crabs – just not as many as those placing their crabbing devices in deeper water.
Last week Mardon Resort on southeast Washington’s Potholes Reservoir hosted a rather unique fishing contest. The “Marathon Dock Fishing Contest ran from Friday at 6 pm until Sunday at 11 am and more than 150 dockbound anglers caught hundreds of fish – some of them good-sized, but the most impressive fish caught during the contest were a 14 pound channel catfish and a nine pound walleye. Forty eight hundred dollars were awarded in cash prizes for the heaviest fish taken of ten different fish species (bluegill, bullhead catfish,carp, channel catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, walleye and yellow perch).
This coming Saturday (Oct. 1st) is National Hunting and Fishing Day and a good time to do one or the other – or both.
The next and last trout plants for our area will take place during the second week of October in Bradley Lake (800); Butterfield Lake (600); Lower Empire Lake (2,000); Upper Empire Lake (2,000); Powers Pond (1,300) and Saunders Lake (1,300). All rainbow trout scheduled for stocking are the 14-inchers the ODFW refers to as “pounders”. Bradley Lake is also slated to receive to receive 800 pounders during the fourth week of October.
One can expect fishing for largemouth bass on our local lakes and for smallmouth bass on the Umpqua and Coquille rivers to be very good over the next few weeks. As fall progresses, the best fishing will occur in the afternoons.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife fishery managers will restrict commercial anchovy fishing in the Columbia River Oct. 3 due to uncertainty around the impacts the anchovy catch has on salmon and the local ecosystem.
According to Maggie Sommer, ODFW marine fisheries manager, about 5,200 metric tons of anchovy have been landed in Oregon so far this year, nearly all coming from the Columbia River. In the past, total annual harvest in Oregon has averaged around 67 metric tons. The overall allowable annual catch limit set by the Pacific Fishery Management Council is 9,750 metric tons for waters off Oregon and Washington.
“It’s the large increase in the amount of anchovy landings from the Columbia River area that has been the focus of discussion,” said Sommer.
The management action will move the bulk of the commercial anchovy fishery seaward of the Buoy 10 line. Small-scale bait fishing in the river will be allowed to continue, but boats must go to the ocean to seek larger volumes of anchovies if the demand continues.
“We’re taking action because we don’t have a good assessment of impacts on salmon and other fish species from unintended bycatch in the seine nets,” said Sommer. “Potential effects of catching and removing large numbers of anchovies from a small area on species dependent on anchovies as a food source are also something we need to consider.”
There has been an active commercial seine fishery for anchovies in the lower Columbia River for many years, with regular landings into Washington and intermittent landings into Oregon. In prior years, the catch has primarily been used as bait in recreational salmon and tuna fisheries, but in 2016 most of the anchovies landed into Oregon have been destined for human consumption. This year’s anchovy fishery in Oregon has filled in some of the gap left by the closure of sardine fishing on the west coast to protect and rebuild the sardine population.
“We have been closely monitoring the fishery through regular communication with fishers and processors, tracking landings, reviewing logbooks, and observing landings dockside,” said Sommer. “We have also been collaborating with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to observe fishing operations at sea.”
ODFW will begin working with interested parties to evaluate the fishery and determine how the 2017 fishing season can balance the economic benefits with conservation goals that include protecting ESA-listed salmon and maintaining an adequate forage base.
ROSEBURG, Ore – The second annual Trout 4 Treven Fishing Derby is set for Sunday, October 2 at Cooper Creek Reservoir in Sutherlin. The derby raises funds for the Treven Anspach Memorial Scholarship in honor of Treven who was a victim of last year’s tragedy at Umpqua Community College.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Cole Rivers Hatchery is stocking 1,000 14-inch trophy rainbow trout, and Desert Springs Trout Farm is stocking 650 legal-sized and 150 trophy trout in the 14 to 20-inch range. Cabela’s has hourly prizes for biggest and smallest fish caught.
A valid youth license is required for 12-17 year-olds and an Oregon angling license for those 18 and older. The bag limit is five trout per day, eight-inch minimum with only one trout over 20 inches.
The derby is organized by the Oakland and Sutherlin High Schools’ Student Councils. Their goal is to bring the community together to honor Treven and his love of fishing by donating to the memorial scholarship.
7:30 a.m. registration at the main boat launch and picnic area.
Derby fee is on a donation basis for the scholarship fund.
8 a.m. – 12 p.m. participating anglers catch fish and record the number of fish caught.
Angling licenses are required and the bag limit is five trout per day. ODFW suggests anglers practice catch and release as once five fish are kept, anglers must stop fishing.
Nearly $1,000 in prizes are donated by Cabela’s and other local businesses.
The Bun Stuffer will have food available for purchase in the parking area.
Derby Information: Jordan Humphreys, 541-459-2597 x213
ODFW: Meghan Dugan, 541-440-3353
Potholes Reservoir / Mardon Resort Fishing Report – Results From The MarDon Marathon Dock Tournament.
Over a 150 entrants fished the tournament and hundreds of fish were weighed in at the scales. Dick Hemore served as weighmaster and Kim Anderson also enjoyed helping Dick. Ten fish species won trophies and we paid out $4800. After fishing from Friday at 6:00 PM to Sunday 11:00 AM we awarded the trophies and dollars.
Here are the winners for each species for the tournament.
Yellow perch – Dick Southwick; Bluegill – Nick Melbourne; Crappie – Don Logan; Walleye – Chris Herrera; Largemouth Bass – Jeff Eckhardt; Smallmouth Bass – Ken Leiniger;Channel Catfish – Steve McCaffree; Rainbow Trout – Ron McCarrel; Bullhead Catfish – L. A. Kielian; Carp – Shawn Deeds.
Many impressive fish were caught, but the most impressive were Steve McCaffree’s 14 pound channel cat and Chris Herrera’s nine pound walleye.
The tournament was followed at noon by a wonderful fried chicken dinner cooked by Sam Worsham’s team at the Potholes General Store and many entrants brought pot luck dishes. We finished with Pie’s from Ronna of Royal City. The winners’cash prizes were awarded during the dinner and we also conducted a raffle to benefit the CWFAC to buy components to build habitat boxes for 2017. Thank you to the many individuals and local businesses that donate to this raffle.
In honor of fall fishing and shorter days, we have a boat rental special. Call (509-346-2651) for further information.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announces the recreational Pacific halibut fishery will close Saturday, Sept. 24 at 12:01 a.m. for the remainder of 2016. Based on the latest catch projections, CDFW expects the 2016 quota of 29,640 pounds will be exceeded unless the fishery is closed.
Formal authority to close the fishery resides with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which took action to close the fishery following consultation with CDFW.
Beginning in 2015, CDFW committed to tracking the fishery inseason to ensure catch amounts would not exceed the California quota. The quota amount is determined annually in January through an international process, and is largely driven by results from the annual stock assessment conducted by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC).
Pacific halibut occupy a large geographic range, from the Aleutian Islands eastward through Alaska to British Columbia and throughout ocean waters of the Pacific Northwest. Along the West Coast, they are commonly found as far south as Point Arena in Mendocino County. In recent years, catches in northern California have increased, consistent with a general shift of the stock to the south and east.
CDFW field staff sampled public launch ramps and charter boat landings to monitor catches of Pacific halibut along with other marine sportfish throughout the season. Using this information, CDFW conferred with NMFS and IPHC on a weekly basis to review projected catch amounts and determine when the quota would be attained.
For current information about the Pacific halibut fishery, science or management, please check one of the following resources:
NMFS Hotline, (800) 662-9825
CDFW Recreational Groundfish Regulations Hotline, (831) 649-2801
CDFW website, wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/pacific-halibut
IPHC website, iphc.int
Carrie Wilson, CDFW Communications, (831) 649-7191
Deb Wilson-Vandenberg, CDFW Marine Region, (831) 649-2892
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) plans to conduct controlled burns on parts of wildlife areas in southcentral and northeast Washington to reduce wildfire risks and enhance wildlife habitat.
Depending on weather conditions and approval from the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR), controlled burns could start as early as the first part of October on 80 acres of the Oak Creek Wildlife Area in Yakima County and 170 acres on the Sherman Creek Wildlife Area in Ferry County.
A small part of Oak Creek will be closed from Sept. 26 through Oct. 28 for the safety of fire crews and the public. Ross Huffman, WDFW Oak Creek Wildlife Area manager, said the signed closure includes about 120 acres, about a mile of secondary road, and one or two dispersed campsites off of the U.S. Forest Service 1401 road near the wildlife area’s western boundary.
Matt Eberlein, WDFW Prescribed Fire Program manager, said additional acreage identified on both areas for prescribed fire use could also be burned if conditions allow. The project areas range from grass to Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine stands. Some have been thinned and currently contain logging debris and slash.
“Controlled burns are monitored until they are out, which may not be until rain and snow extinguish the fires later in the fall,” Eberlein said.
Smoke could make its way into towns near the areas, like Naches near Oak Creek and Kettle Falls near Sherman Creek, Eberlein said. Smoke could also temporarily affect visibility on highways and forest roads at night or early morning. Motorists should use caution and watch for personnel, fire equipment, and smoke on roads in the vicinity of the burns.
“Recent wildfires demonstrate the importance of conducting controlled burns,” Eberlein said. “By burning off brush and other fuels, we can reduce the risk of unnaturally high-intensity wildfires that can destroy wildlife habitat. The goal is to reduce damage caused by potential wildfire on treated areas, provide a defensible space to contain wildfires should they occur, and enhance habitat with low-intensity controlled fire.”
WDFW is coordinating with other agencies in the areas along with qualified Washington state private contractors to provide assistance with the burns.