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Monthly Archives: February 2018
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted Friday to move the marbled murrelet, a small seabird that nests in older forests, from threatened to endangered under the Oregon Endangered Species Act. This decision affects lands owned, managed, and leased by state agencies but will have no direct impacts on private landowners.
Staff at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will now develop survival guidelines on state-owned, managed, and leased lands for the Commission to consider at its June 8 meeting in Salem. Survival guidelines are quantifiable and measurable guidelines necessary to ensure the survival of individual members of the species. They will serve as interim murrelet protections until affected state agencies develop and adopt endangered species management plans.
Also Friday, the Commission heard an updated status report on white sturgeon in the Lower Columbia River and, based on that update, directed staff to work with Washington to develop 2018 sturgeon retention seasons similar to last year.
Finally, the Commission approved new criminal records requirements in keeping with HB 3168.
The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state and it usually meets monthly. Its next meeting will be March 16 in Salem.
Tenmile Lakes’ “Frostbite Open” is on Saturday, Feb. 24th and the bass are biting as the prefishing deadline approaches.
The current water level on the Potholes reservoir is 1043.40 feet, holding steady over the past week. The water temperature on the main lake is in the low 40’s. The Reservoir and Seep Lakes are ice free! The forecast for the next several weeks is calling for highs in the mid 40’s to mid-50’s. The rising temperatures will get the fish moving!
Anglers continue to do well on trout back in the Seep Lakes and on the Reservoir itself. Dock fishing is picking up for trout as well. The top Seep Lakes this past week have been Upper Goose Lake and Long Lake, and Janet. Anglers are using Power Bait, Glitter Marshmallows, and nightcrawlers on the bottom. Trout Magnets have been working on the Reservoir.
Now is a great time to come visit MarDon Resort and the Reservoir. We are still on our Winter Rate schedule – making your stay very economical. We will also be running a Spring Break Special March 23rd thru April 15th. Stay 2 nights get the 3rd night free! Call 509-346-2651 for reservations.
Call the MarDon Store for the latest hunting and fishing info at 509-346-2651.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) today announced the selection of 38 projects that will receive funding for the restoration, enhancement and protection of anadromous salmonid habitat in California watersheds, as well as forest legacy restoration.
The grants, which total $14.4 million, are distributed through CDFW’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (FRGP). They include $480,605 allocated for timber legacy restoration projects and approximately $13.9 million for anadromous salmonid restoration projects. FRGP monies come from a combination of state sources and the federal Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund.
“Restoration of salmon and steelhead habitat remains as challenging as ever,” CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham said. “California is still dealing with the lasting toll of drought and now the aftermath of wildfires, both making this effort more difficult. It remains as important as ever to continue to support the work of our state’s restoration leaders through projects like these.”
In response to the February 2017 FRGP solicitation, CDFW received 104 proposals requesting more than $41 million in funding. All proposals underwent an initial administrative review. Those that passed were then evaluated through a technical review process that included reviews by CDFW and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists.
The 38 approved projects will further the objectives of state and federal fisheries recovery plans, including removing barriers to fish migration, restoring riparian habitat, monitoring of listed populations, and creating a more resilient and sustainably managed water resources system (e.g., water supply, water quality and habitat) that can better withstand drought conditions. These projects further the goals of California’s Water Action Plan and CDFW’s State Wildlife Action Plan, as well as addressing limiting factors specified in state and federal recovery plans.
The list of approved projects is available on the FRGP website.
CDFW News – Commission Suspends License of Sportfishing Charter Boat Operator for Poaching in Southern California Marine Protected Areas.
The California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) today ordered a five-year suspension of the license of Pacific Star Sportfishing, Inc., a recreational sportfishing vessel operator. The decision was made following oral arguments heard at the Commission meeting today in Sacramento.
In an undercover operation and subsequent boarding by officers in 2013, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) wildlife officers observed 18 violations including poaching within California’s marine protected area (MPA) network, exceeding the possession limits of several fish species, using illegal methods to take fish and failing to report accurate counts on logbooks. Based on these violations, CDFW filed an accusation with the Commission against Pacific Star requesting that the Commission suspend this commercial passenger fishing vessel license.
“Illegal take of our marine resources, especially in MPAs, undermines the tireless work of law enforcement, scientists, the public and fishermen in California,” said Commission President Eric Sklar. “The Commission took ample time to review the department’s accusation and we hope this serves as a message that we do not take lightly these sorts of violations and will ensure those who are responsible receive the appropriate penalty.”
The Commission’s decision today follows a two-day hearing in 2017 conducted by an administrative law judge on behalf of the Commission with CDFW and Pacific Star both participating. The judge ultimately proposed that the Commission suspend the license for two years, with only the first 90 days of the suspension taking effect so long as Pacific Star complied with certain terms of probation. The Commission rejected that proposal as inadequate and gave CDFW and Pacific Star each 15 minutes today to argue their positions, resulting in today’s suspension.
ODFW staff met this morning to review input received at last week’s public meeting, from phone calls and e-mails, and the online survey about the 2018 Central Oregon Coast Spring all-depth fixed and back-up dates. Fixed dates are scheduled for Thursday-Saturday during openings. Based on the input received, ODFW staff are recommending 12 fixed dates, skipping adverse tides. The fixed dates are scheduled for: May 10-12; May 24-26; June 7-9; and June 21-23. Available back-up dates, if quota remains, are: July 5-7 and July 19-21.
For additional information on the 2018 recreational halibut seasons, including open dates and quotas for all Oregon subareas and seasons, please see the ODFW sport halibut webpage or the 2018 sport halibut map.
Reminder: Descending devices are mandatory for any vessel fishing for or retaining either bottomfish or halibut, and must be used to release all rockfish outside of 30 fathoms.
State wildlife managers are seeking public input on their recommendations to keep the pygmy rabbit and grizzly bear on the state’s endangered species list, and to downlist the sea otter from endangered to threatened.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) periodically reviews the status of protected species in the state. The public can comment on the listing recommendations through May 9, 2018.
The draft reviews on the sea otter, pygmy rabbits and grizzly bears are available online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/endangered/status_review
WDFW staff members are tentatively scheduled to discuss the reviews and recommendations with the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission at its June 2018 meeting. The commission is a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for WDFW. For meeting dates and times, check the commission webpage at https:// wdfw.wa.gov/commission
After the fur trade eliminated sea otters from Washington in the early 20th century, the otters were reintroduced to the state in 1969 and 1970, and listed as an endangered species by the state in 1981. Though the species has not fully recovered throughout its historical range, the state population has shown strong growth and, in 2017, exceeded the population criterion for downlisting laid out in a 2004 recovery plan.
The state sea otter population remains at risk from disease, toxins, the effects of climate change, and the possibility of a catastrophic event — such as a large oil spill — along Washington’s coast. However, given the steady and substantial increase in numbers, WDFW recommends the sea otter be reclassified to state threatened in Washington.
The Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit is listed as endangered by both the state and federal government. Large-scale loss and degradation of native shrub-steppe habitat likely played a major role in the long-term decline of the population. By 2001, only one known population remained in Washington, found at WDFW’s Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Area in Douglas County.
Today, WDFW works with partners to oversee a strategy of breeding pygmy rabbits in enclosures, followed by capture and release of suitable numbers of kits into the wild. Disease has been a significant threat to pygmy rabbits in the captive and semi-wild population, and predation is the main cause of pygmy rabbit mortality in the wild. The population remains small and its distribution in the wild is extremely limited. WDFW recommends that the pygmy rabbit remain a state endangered species in Washington.
The grizzly bear once occupied much of the Cascade Range and eastern Washington, but was nearly eliminated in the state through human-caused mortality and loss of habitat. Grizzlies currently occupy the Selkirk Range in the northeast corner of the state, where the population is classified by the state as endangered and listed federally as threatened.
Human-caused mortality, small population size, human disturbance in core grizzly habitats, and population isolation all continue to hinder grizzly bear recovery in the state. WDFW recommends that the grizzly bear retain its state listing as endangered.
Submit written comments on the reviews and recommendations via email to vog.aw.wfdnull@moccilbupEdnaT or by mail to Hannah Anderson, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, P.O. Box 43141, Olympia, WA 98504-3200.
Forty-four species of fish and wildlife are listed for protection as state endangered, threatened or sensitive species.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking applicants to serve on a new advisory group responsible for reviewing state rules governing the operation of wildlife rehabilitation facilities licensed in Washington
The department’s director will select up to eight licensed wildlife rehabilitators and four members of the general public to work with department staff to recommend changes to the state rules, last updated in 2013.
Nominations must be received by Feb. 19.
Approximately 30 rehabilitation centers throughout the state care for sick, injured or orphaned animals, with the goal of preparing them for release back into the wild. Anyone wishing to practice wildlife rehabilitation in Washington state must obtain a wildlife rehabilitation permit and abide by its conditions.
Eric Gardner, WDFW wildlife program director, said the department initiated a periodic review of the rules governing those facilities last October and now wants to include other perspectives.
“Since then, there have been times when the department, wildlife rehabilitators, and some members of the public have disagreed about the treatment of wild animals at certain facilities,” Gardner said. “We will look to this advisory group to help us clarify the rules to make sure we are all working toward a common goal of preparing these animals for release back into the wild.”
To represent the public interest, Gardner said the department encourages applicants with an interest in wildlife rehabilitation and the ability to communicate their perspectives in a productive manner. Applicants do not have to be affiliated with an organized group, and WDFW hopes to attract applications from both eastern and western Washington.
Gardner estimates that the advisory group’s work will begin in late March and include three to four in-person monthly meetings, with conference calls as needed to complete the review. Meetings may be held in Olympia, Mill Creek, or Ellensburg depending upon the composition of the membership, he said.
Members of the advisory group will serve until the state’s wildlife rehabilitation rules are adopted, unless both the department and the group’s members agree to extend the period of service.
Applications must be submitted in writing with the following information:
Applicant’s name, address, telephone number and email address.
Explanation of interest and reasons for wanting to serve as a member of the advisory committee.
A brief description of the applicant’s effectiveness in communicating in a group setting.
Name and contact information for any organization submitting a nomination.
Nominations are submitted by email at vog.aw.wfdnull@iksfoganoB.rehtaeH or by postal mail to Heather Bonagofski, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N, Olympia, WA 98501-1091.
It’s free to fish, crab or clam on the Saturday and Sunday of President’s Day Weekend, Feb. 17-18, so take a friend!
During these two days, no fishing licenses or tags (including a Combined Angling Tag and a Columbia River Basin Endorsement) are required to fish, crab or clam anywhere in Oregon. Although no licenses or tags are required, all other regulations apply including closures, bag limits and size restrictions.
“Free Fishing Weekends are a great opportunity for friends and families to get out and enjoy a day or two of fishing,” said Mike Gauvin, ODFW recreational fisheries manager. “Winter steelhead, trout, crabbing and clamming are just some of the great opportunities available.” Look for the best opportunities in ODFW’s weekly Recreation Report, which is updated every Wednesday.
Under statute set by the Oregon State Legislature, ODFW can offer eight days of free fishing each year. The six other days of free fishing in Oregon this year are listed on page 16 of the 2018 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations and are June 2-3, Sept. 1-2 (Sat.-Sun. of Labor Day Weekend) and Nov. 23-24 (the two days after Thanksgiving).
The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) announce the closure of razor clamming from the south jetty of the Umpqua River, at Winchester Bay, to the south jetty of Coos Bay due to elevated levels of the marine toxin domoic acid. As a result, the recreational harvesting of razor clams is closed from Cascade Head, north of Lincoln City, to the California border.
Razor clamming remains open from the Columbia River to Cascade Head.
ODA will continue to test for shellfish toxins every other week, as tides permit. Reopening of an area requires two consecutive tests in the safe range.
For more information, call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline at (800) 448-2474.