Monthly Archives: June 2017

Winchester Bay Fishing Report By Bryan Gill

Bryan Gill of “The Umpqua Angler” reports that Red tail surf perch is going strong and the fin clipped Coho season is in full swing with limit catches being caught. Crabbing is excellent in the ocean near the Umpqua River Mouth. We are overing afternoon crabbing trips for $75 per person. Need two people or more per trip.

Happy anglers with limits of dungeness crabs and redtail surfperch. Photo courtesy of Bryan Gill of the Umpqua Angler.

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Mardon Resort / Potholes Reservoir Fishing Report.

The fishing on the Potholes Reservoir has been good over this past week for all species. The water level has dropped about 12 inches this week this week and is currently at 1040.00 feet. Water temperatures in the dunes remain in the low to mid 70’s and the main lake is running right around 70 degrees.
The trout fishing continues to be strong for fish in the 2-5-pound range. The trout are shifting depths and spreading out through the water column. Keep an eye on your depth sounder and adjust your presentation to the depth of marked fish. If you do not have a depth finder – adjust the depth of your lure until the fish let you know you got it right. Anglers have been trolling Rooster Tails, long lining Flicker Minnows, and Needle fish in 15-30 feet of water from the MarDon Resort to the State Park, along Medicare Beach, and up the Lind Coulee.
With the water level remaining fairly high, the walleye remain in bush in the dunes and Crab Creek where the fry and perch are. They are still relating to the brush and weed beds in 8-15 feet of water Shad Raps, Smile Blade – Slow Death Rigs, and Wally Pops have been the top producers. Top colors are orange and chartreuse, and perch patterned crankbaits. The fish can be concentrated – so if you find one – work that area thoroughly before moving on.
Crappie fishing has remained steady this week with reports of big crappie coming from the Lind Coulee and off beaver huts back in the dunes. Top crappie baits have been the Trout Magnet in brown, the 2” Kalin’s Triple Threat grub in Bleeding Tennessee Shad, and standard crappie jigs. The Rapala Rattlin’ rap in size RNR-04 continues to account for several good catches. The best crappie bait off the MarDon dock has been the brown Trout Magnet tipped with a maggot. Perch and bluegill are being caught of the dock on worms and crappie jigs. Dock fishing is only available to registered guests staying at MarDon Resort.
Largemouth fishing in the dunes continues to be very good. The fish are hitting swimbaits – Texas rigged for the brush on a weighted hook, spinnerbaits, and a ½ oz. jig and craw trailer pitched to the edges of cover. The smallmouth are hitting Flicker Shads, tubes, and drop-shotting DS Minnows along the face of the dam in 6-18 feet of water. Topwater fishing is picking up with the warmer water temps and is an exciting way to fish. Throw a buzz bait, Whopper Plopper, or Zara Spook for some explosive topwater action.
Long Lake and Heart Lake have been the top producing lakes for trout in the Seep Lakes this week. Power Bait and worms floated off the bottom and crankbaits have been the top baits. Long Lake has been producing walleye, smallmouth and trout on crankbaits. Hutchinson Lake continues to produce quality crappie and bluegill on crappie jigs, Don’s Crappie Spin, and Rapala Rattlin’ Raps.
Be sure to stop by the store for the latest fishing information.
Upcoming Events:
7/2/17 The Lack Family Band
7/3/17 All Resorts’ Golf Cart Parade
7/3/17 Fireworks Show
8/26/17 Lake Poker Run and Beach Party

Sullivan Eccles with a nice Largemouth bass he caught on a grub while fishing the face of the dam on the Reservoir.

Paul Yerkes was trolling in the Lind Coulee when he caught this big 7.20 pound walleye! Paul was tolling a Smile Blade/Slow Death Hook combo.

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Operation Dry Water.

Game wardens in Nevada, along with boating law enforcement officers across the country, will be on the lookout for drunken and “stoned” boaters during the annual Operation Dry Water program this weekend, June 30-July 2.

Many people are not aware that operating a boat drunk is the same crime as operating a car while under the influence and Operation Dry Water is a national effort to bring attention to this continuing problem.

This week, Edwin talks about Operation Dry Water and boating safety in general during the busiest boating weekend of the year. Joining him is Game Warden Captain David Pfiffner and Nick Duhe, boating education coordinator from Las Vegas.

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Learn To Big Game Hunt With New ODFW-OSU Online Course.

Each fall, thousands of Oregonians head to the woods to hunt deer and elk for the chance to spend time with family and friends, enjoy the outdoors and for the game meat.

If you’ve ever wanted to join them, ODFW can help. ODFW’s new free online course, How to Hunt for Deer and Elk in Oregon, makes it easy to learn some of the basics.

The course was developed by ODFW and Oregon State University’s Professional and Continuing Education Department. It’s ideal for beginning adult big game hunters looking to learn at their own pace and covers all the topics they need to know, including:

Licenses and tags
Choosing a rifle or bow
Other necessary gear and equipment
Firearm safety
Hunting techniques
Shot placement
Field care/meat preparation
Glossary of hunting terms
And more.
Viewers can go at their own pace, stop and start as needed, or skip ahead and just review the topics that interest them.

“This course is comprehensive, taking new hunters from what they need in terms of tags, gear, equipment all the way through to scouting, hunting techniques, taking a shot and butchering,” explains Chris Willard, ODFW recruitment and retention coordinator. “Unlike much how-to-hunt material available for adults, it’s also written with the total beginner in mind, and doesn’t assume the learner has experience hunting.

Summer is also the right time to learn about firearm safety, practice shooting and shot placement, and scout for deer and elk before the season begins,” Willard added. “This course can help you do all these things and be ready for fall hunting season this year.”

The course complements other ODFW efforts to help adults learn how to hunt or fish, including workshops throughout the year, species specific how-to-hunt material and an online-only certified hunter education class for adults. Also this year, ODFW is hosting the Take a Friend Hunting Contest where mentors who agree to take new and returning hunters out can enter to win prizes.

“Historically, most hunters learned how to hunt from their parents and relatives when they were kids, but that’s changing,” Willard added. “Interest in hunting as a way to fully experience the outdoors and as a source for healthy, natural meat is increasing among adults who didn’t grow up hunting.”

The course is narrated by Cody Herman, a fishing and hunting guide who is also the host of Day One Outdoors show which airs on Comcast Sportsnet. Outdoor TV show host Scott Haugen also plays a role in the course.

Last year, about 160,000 people went deer hunting and 104,000 people went elk hunting in Oregon. Most seasons occur in fall, with Western Oregon general rifle deer season kicking off on Sept. 30, 2017.

More about the Oregon State University Professional and Continuing Education (PACE)
OSU’s PACE team provides online and on-site education and technology solutions for organizations and individual learners. In addition to offering a catalog of web-based offerings for outdoor enthusiasts and gardeners, PACE develops customized programs and applications in subjects ranging from web development and human resources to corporate team training and more. Learn more at

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WDFW News – Anglers Must Release Adult Chinook Salmon Starting July 1 On The Lower Columbia River.

Starting Saturday (July 1), anglers fishing the lower Columbia River must release any adult summer chinook salmon they intercept under new rules approved today by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon.

By then, this year’s recreational catch is expected to reach the 2,656-fish harvest guideline established by those states from the Megler-Astoria Bridge to Bonneville Dam.

Anglers fishing those waters can still catch and keep sockeye salmon, hatchery steelhead and hatchery “jack” chinook as outlined in the current state fishing rules.

The new rule also does not affect summer chinook fisheries now underway – and just getting started – upriver from Bonneville Dam.

Ron Roler, a fishery manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said the chinook fishery that opened June 16 below the dam went more quickly than in some years.

“One reason is that colder water in the Columbia helped to boost catch rates,” Roler said. “Another is that this year’s projected run is smaller than average, reducing the number of adult fish available for harvest.”

Fishery managers project that 63,100 adult summer chinook will return to the Columbia River this year, compared to the 10-year average of 72,100 fish. Last year, 91,048 summer chinook returned to the river.

Roler added that the two states will consider reopening the fishery if fish counts at Bonneville Dam show this year’s return is larger than expected.

“On average, half the run has passed the dam by July 1,” he said. “We’ll keep a close eye on how it goes from there.”

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Pete Heley Outdoors 6 / 28 / 2017

After a terrible week of Umpqua River pinkfin angling, the fishery rebounded bigtime over last weekend. On Saturday, a number of anglers had their boat limits already skinned and fileted by 7 am.

Bass and panfish anging continues to be very good with the best fishing in the mornings – although not many large bass have been caught recently.

Umpqua River Shad fishing was very good last week including a few good catches made between Family Camp and Sawyers Rapids. Smallmouth bass fishing has been very good on the Umpqua, but moss and suspended weeds are starting to make fishing more difficult and can definitely influence lure choices and fishing methods.

Brownlee Reservoir and the Snake River in eastern Oregon have been fishing very well for channel catfish. Because of the heat almost all the fishing is being done at night.

A possible lake record mackinaw was pulled out of Cultus Lake last week. The 36 pound fish was reportedly weighed on an accurate scale and is likely a lake record. Several years ago, the people operating Cultus Lake Lodge told me that the heaviest mackinaw caught in the lake weighed 36 pounds, but was not officially weighed on a certified scale. If ind it most impressive that Cultus Lake has produced multiple 35+ pound mackinaws without a kokanee forage base. But the lake’s macs seem to be doing just fine eating smaller lake trout, rainbows and whitefish.

Beginning August 1st, Washington’s Franklin D. Roosevelt Reservoir will have a white sturgeon retention season. Daily limit 1 sturgeon. Annual limit 2 sturgeon. It is legal to retain sturgeon between 38 inches and 63 inches fork length. Fork length is measured from the tip of the snout to middle of the fork in the caudal fin (tail). All harvested sturgeon must be recorded on a Catch Record Card . Closed to night fishing, but 2-pole fishing is allowed. All other statewide rules for white sturgeon must be observed, including the use of barbless hooks. Anglers are asked to use heavy gear (50 lb test mainline and leader, at minimum) and use 14/0 hooks or smaller (approximately 2 inches or less from point to shank) to help ensure anglers hook and land sturgeon effectively. WDFW recommends that any fish that will not be legally retained should not be removed from the water prior to release.

Fishery managers in Washington state and British Columbia began sturgeon hatchery programs in the early 2000s in response to a decades-long decline in the white sturgeon population in Lake Roosevelt. Survival rates for those hatchery-produced juvenile sturgeon is much higher than was anticipated. As a result, there is a surplus of these fish available for harvest from Lake Roosevelt.

The Lake Roosevelt co-managers (WDFW, Spokane Tribe and the Colville Confederated Tribes) will all be conducting sturgeon fisheries. The co-managers have a harvest plan that allows each entity a portion of the sturgeon harvest. Non-tribal licensed anglers will have the opportunity to harvest up to 10,250 sturgeon over the next 10 years.

Anglers are reminded that fishery dates, times, slot limits, daily limits and annual limits may be adjusted over the next decade to ensure a sustainable population of sturgeon is maintained in Lake Roosevelt and that equitable access to the negotiated catch share amongst the three co-managers is achieved.

I was surprised to learn that the oldest animal ever recorded was the “Ming clam” which was aged at 507 years. It was dredged off the coast of Iceland in 2006 and its age was calculated by researchers counting annual growth lines in its shell Ming was unfortunately killed by researchers when they opened its shell. Following analysis, experts from Bangor University determined Ming was born in 1499, making it 507 when it was found. It was named after the Chinese Ming dynasty, which was still in power while it was alive.

A lot of Oregonians are less than happy with the re-introduction of gray wolves into Oregon, but some states have it worse. Wisconsin. which allows bear hunting with dogs, paid out more than $120,000 in 2016 in livestock losses due to wolf predation – and approximately $100,000 for hunting dogs killed by wolves at $2,500 per dog. Contributing to the problem is the fact that Wisconsin currently has about three times the wolf population of its management goal of 350. One can only wonder when a hound-using heartless hunter figures out a way to make a substantial profit by running hounds through Wisconsin’s wolf country.

Legislation has been introduced to Congress and is awaiting a vote on whether to return management of wolves to the states – specifically in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan – and remove the federal protection barrier.

The ODFW decided to use the first backup dates for all-depth halibut for the central Oregon coast subarea. 35,663 pounds or 23 percent of the quota remains and all-depth halibut fishing will continue on June 29th and 30th and July 1st. The first opener for the summer all depth season will be August 4th and 5th (Friday and Saturday).

The ocean finclipped coho season opened slowly and most of the fishing pressure was directed toward chinooks.

A few commercial tuna boats have reported good catches, but the fish seem to be too far offshore for sport anglers to reach.

Pete Heley works weekends at the Stockade Market & Tackle, across from ‘A’ Dock, in Winchester Bay where he is more than happy to swap fishing info with anyone

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CDFW News – Sage-Grouse Hunting Suspended for 2017 Season.

On June 21, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) voted unanimously to reduce sage-grouse hunting permits to zero for the 2017 season. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recommended this action to the Commission based on spring lek (breeding ground) surveys that showed significantly fewer sage-grouse in all four hunting zones.

Although managed hunting, in and of itself, is not considered a risk to the species, five years of drought conditions, the large-scale Rush Fire of 2012 and heavy storms in winter 2016-17 have all contributed to habit loss and degradation of the sagebrush ecosystem. Scientists found that sage-grouse population counts have decreased between 47 percent and 62 percent in the four hunt zones over the last five years.

CDFW bases its population estimates on extensive scientific data collected in the field. However, heavy winter snow hampered biologists’ access to sage-grouse leks this spring, and some sage-grouse that were present in the survey area may not have been accounted for in the survey. CDFW thus took a precautionary approach in making its recommendation to the Commission.

Sage-grouse populations fluctuate naturally based on weather and habitat conditions. By this fall, California’s sage-grouse population is projected to be 1,341 on the low end and 2,145 on the high end.

The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies coordinates conservation efforts across the 11 western states and two Canadian provinces where sage-grouse live. Leaders from dozens of participating state and federal agencies meet quarterly to work toward achieving shared conservation goals.

In 2015, a proposal to list the sage-grouse under the federal Endangered Species Act was determined by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be not warranted, following review of stakeholder-developed conservation plans and amendments to federal land use plans throughout the species range, including California.

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WDFW News – Hood Canal To Reopen For One More Day Of Shrimp Fishing.

Action: Recreational spot shrimp fishing will reopen for one more day in Hood Canal (Marine Area 12).

Effective date: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, July 19, 2017.

Species affected: All shrimp species, including spot shrimp.

Location: Hood Canal (Marine Area 12).

Reason for action: Sufficient recreational spot shrimp quota remains for one more day of fishing.

Other information: The daily limit is 80 shrimp in Hood Canal.

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WDFW Amends Fishing Closure Areas On The Skagit River.

Action: Amends the area of the Skagit River scheduled to close to all fishing to include the river from its mouth to the highway 530 bridge in Rockport.

Effective dates: June 29, 30 and July 6, 7 and 11.

Species affected: All species.

Location: SKAGIT RIVER (Skagit County) from the mouth to the highway 530 bridge in Rockport.

Reasons for action: A previous rule change did not list the entire closure area.

The sockeye fishery, along with other fisheries on the Skagit River, is scheduled to close on these days in order to avoid gear conflicts with tribal fisheries scheduled for those dates.

Other information: Salmon daily limit: 3 sockeye only. Night closure is in effect. Bait may be used. The season may close earlier if the guideline is attained.

Closure dates may change to reflect catches and river conditions. For updates, anglers should check the emergency rule webpage at

The sockeye fishery at Baker Lake will open on July 8 with a 4-fish daily limit. Please refer to the Baker sockeye webpage located at for further information on seasons, fishing rule updates and fish counts.

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Oregon Joins 21 States That Harvest Roadkill As Meat.

In an article by Grace Carr for “The Daily Caller”, it was revealed that Oregon will join 21 other states that allow the legal harvest of road-killed animals as meat.

Motorists who crash into animals can now harvest that meat for food in Oregon after state Senate Bill 372 passed overwhelmingly and was signed by the governor last week.

The state bill, sponsored by Sen. Bill Hansell and Rep. Greg Barreto, allows the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) to issue salvage permits for deer and elk that are accidentally killed in vehicle collisions. The bill passed the state senate April 6 by a vote of 29-0, according to the Associated Press, and Gov. Kate Brown recently signed the bill into action.

“Those accidents are very unfortunate [but] it seemed there’s just got to be a better way to take care of that,” said Hansell.

The bill applies only to deer and elk, and animals cannot be hit and killed off road. Their salvage is allowed for human consumption of meat only, and the antlers must be turned over to ODFW.

Approximately 20 other states have a similar laws, including Washington and Idaho. Washington enacted its roadkill salvage program in July 2016, issuing 1,100 permits over the first six months. Pennsylvanians can also take deer or turkeys that are killed on the road if they report the incidents to the commission within 24 hours. The state tops the country in road kills, with over 126,000 vehicle-wildlife accidents in 2015, according to Travis Lau, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Before the bill was passed, only licensed fur takers could keep the meat, and no one could keep game animals found as roadkill. The rules were aimed at discouraging people from hitting a game animal with their vehicle to take the meat or antlers.

Many people are turned off by the roadkill aspect and the highly questionable health standards, but others feel differently. “A lot of people who don’t hunt hear the word ‘roadkill’ and they get turned off … we’re talking perfectly clean, cold meat,” said Todd Toven of Castle Rock, Colo. who posted a YouTube video showing himself carving up a deer that had been hit. He used the meat to make venison sausage.

Oregon will issue its first permits no later than Jan. 1, 2019, according to ABC News.

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