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- September 21st is National Hunting and Fishing Day.
- WDFW News – WDFW Schedules Controlled Burns in Two South Sound Wildlife Areas.
- Potholes Reservoir / Mardon Resort Recreation Report
- WDFW News – Salmon Fishing to Close in Willapa Bay (Marine Area 2.1) and all Tributaries.
- WDFW News – Deep River to Reopen for Salmon Fishing.
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Monthly Archives: September 2018
First proclaimed in 1972 by President Richard Nixon.
Starting Sept. 24, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will be conducting controlled burns for habitat restoration on two wildlife areas in the South Puget Sound region.
The burns are scheduled through mid-October at the Scatter Creek Wildlife Area northeast of Rochester and the West Rocky Prairie Wildlife Area northwest of Tenino.
Darric Lowery, WDFW wildlife area manager, said the burns are weather dependent, and will be conducted for one to three days in each area. The areas targeted for burning are small, varying in size from one to 10 acres.
“Portions of the wildlife areas may be closed during the burns, and people may see smoke from the fires for one to two hours after the burns,” Lowery said. “We will be working to minimize smoke impacts to homes and the surrounding community.”
WDFW is working cooperatively with Washington Department of Natural Resources, fire districts, and other partners, utilizing professional fire crews experienced with successfully conducting controlled burns on public and private lands in the region.
Lowery said the department uses prescribed fire to maintain native grassland habitats, also known as prairies, and control invasive weeds before seeding and planting native species.
Coastal prairies are one of the rarest ecosystems in Washington, now reduced to less than 3 percent of their former area. They support a large number of rare plants and animals, including birds, animals, and butterflies, some of which are listed as threatened or endangered species.
The fishing on the Potholes Reservoir continues to be very good with the cooing water temps. The current water level on the Potholes Reservoir is 1027.33 feet – rising .13 feet this past week. The water temperature on the main Reservoir is right at 63 degrees. The water level should remain close to this level for the next 3 ½ weeks.
The Largemouth bass bite continues to be strong. Both Largemouth and Smallmouth are along the face of the dunes, and along the face of the dam. Some anglers are finding bigger fish in the 15-20-foot range. Top baits for Largemouth include – the SPRO Rock Crawler crank bait, Wacky Rigged Senkos and Skirted Heart Throb XL’s fished on a 1/2th oz. football head and fishing a drop shot rig. Smallmouth are being caught on the rock piles off Goose Island and along the face of the dam as well as around the face of the dunes. Use Flicker Shads, 3½” tubes, swimbaits, drop shot baits and Senkos for the Smallmouth.
The walleye bite continued to improve this past week. Fish the humps in front of the sand dunes and around the rocks on Gooses Island. Troll #5 or #7 Flicker Shads and Strike King Walleye Elites and Bonsai Shads or Rapalas along the face of the dunes in 5-15 feet of water and in the same depths around Goose Island. Troll Smile Blade/Slow Death rigs fished behind a 2-ounce bottom walker around the deeper mid-lake humps in the 15-25 foot depth range as well. Use extreme caution boating and fishing between Goose Island and the face of the dam. There are rock hazards that are difficult to see until it is too late!
The trout fishing on the Potholes Reservoir is picking up with the cooler water temperatures. Trout fishers have been catching trout trolling #5 and # 7 Flicker Shads and Shad Raps.
The crappie fishing continues to be great throughout the Reservoir. Big crappies are being caught trolling #5 Flicker Shads and #5 Rapala Shad Raps along the face of the dunes, and jigging VMC Probe jigs and Wingdings. The MarDon Resort dock continues to fish well. Fish Trout Magnets and Gulp Alive Minnows off the dock on a 1/64th oz. jig head. Big bluegills are being caught around the mouth of Crab Creek. A few perch are being caught off the dock and around Goose Island and the mouth of Crab Creek. Fishing from the MarDon Dock is reserved for registered guests only.
Both Channel Catfish and Yellow Bullhead fishing has been very good over the past couple of weeks. We have had several Channel Cats in the 8-15lb. caught off the MarDon Dock during the 14th annual MarDon Resort Marathon Dock Tournament. Anglers have been trolling walleye rigs with crawlers in the dunes, on the face of the dunes and around Goose Island. Bank fishermen have been doing well on Cats in Lind Coulee and at the mouth of Frenchman’s Wasteway using Magic Bait Catfish Nuggets and Crawlers.
Call the MarDon Store for the latest fishing info and to make reservations at 509-346-2651.
Action: Marine Area 2.1 (Willapa Bay) and all tributaries to close for salmon fishing until further notice.
Effective dates: 11:59 p.m. Sept. 21 until further notice.
Species affected: All salmon species.
Location: Marine Area 2.1 (Willapa Bay); Bear River from mouth to Lime Quarry Road; Naselle River from mouth to Naselle Hatchery attraction channel; Middle Nemah River from mouth to Middle Nemah A-Line; North Nemah River from HWY 101 to bridge on Nemah Valley Road; South Nemah River, from mouth upstream; Willapa River from mouth to Fork Creek; and South Fork Willapa River from mouth to Pehl Rd. bridge.
Reason for action: Fall chinook are returning to tributaries of Willapa Bay in significantly lower numbers than preseason predictions in all fisheries. Closing the salmon fisheries will increase the number of hatchery fish available to make egg take goals at this time. Managers will continue to assess chinook returns and will re-open the fisheries if warranted.
Information contact: Chad Herring, South Coast Fishery Policy, (360) 249-1299.
Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW “Fishing in Washington” rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.
Action: Hatchery chinook and hatchery coho retention allowed per permanent rules.
Effective date: September 24, 2018 until further notice.
Species affected: Chinook and coho salmon.
Location: Deep River.
Reason for action: Due to the previous run-size downgrade it was determined that allowable impacts on upper river bright (URB) chinook salmon listed under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) have been exceeded. However, Deep River has very little impact on URB stocks, and historically the risk of further impacts to URB stocks is near-zero by late September.
Additional information: The daily limit 6 salmon; up to 2 adults may be retained. Minimum size is 12″. Release all salmon other that hatchery chinook and hatchery coho.
Oregon will resume salmon fisheries in Youngs Bay and Blind/Knappa slough. Columbia River and tributary salmon runs will continue to be monitored as the season progresses.
Information contact: Region 5: (360) 696-6211.
Anglers limited to one adult salmon in the lower Yakima River
Action: Reduces the daily limit to one adult salmon, either coho or chinook, on the lower Yakima River.
Effective dates: Sept. 22 through Oct. 31, 2018
Species affected: Fall chinook and coho.
Location: Yakima River, from Highway 240 Bridge in Richland upstream to the Grant Avenue Bridge at Prosser.
Reason for action: Fall chinook and coho salmon are returning to the Yakima and Columbia Rivers well below the forecast. The reduction of the daily limit to one adult will contribute in efforts to meet escapement and hatchery broodstock for fall chinook and coho salmon in the Yakima River.
Additional information: The daily limit is six salmon with up to one adult salmon, either chinook or coho. Anglers must stop fishing for salmon after the adult portion of the daily limit is retained.
Information contact: Paul Hoffarth, District 4 Fish Biologist, (509) 545-2284.
September 19, 2018 ACTION NOTICE – Recreational Ocean Salmon: NOAA Fisheries in consultation with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, representatives from the recreational salmon fishery, and the Pacific Fishery Management Council and members of the Salmon Technical Team, has taken in-season action with respect to the recreational salmon fishery in the area from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain.
The September non selective coho season will be open on Friday, September 21 for all salmon. The season will close to retention of coho at 11:59PM on Friday, September 21.
RATIONALE AND NOTES: The recreational season in the area from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. has landed a total of 5,422 coho during the two Fri-Sat non selective coho salmon open periods in September. This leaves a remainder of 2,178 coho on the revised quota of 7,600 coho. With 2,736 coho taken in the first two day opening and 2,686 coho taken in the second two day opening, it was obvious that there were not enough coho remaining to allow for another two days of fishing. Managers selected Friday as the best option for a final day of fishing based on forecasts of marine conditions.
The daily bag limit for general marine fish (rockfish, greenlings, skates, etc.) will go back to 5 fish per angler per day, beginning on Wednesday, September 19.
The combination of the reduced bag limit from July through mid-September reducing catch of black rockfish, and some additional yelloweye rockfish quota from the Pacific Fishery Management Council is allowing the bag limit to return to 5 fish for the remainder of the year. Lingcod remains at 2 fish, flatfish at 25 fish, and longleader gear at 10 fish (of 8 specific rockfish species).
The recreational bottomfish fishery will also be able go to all-depth beginning on October 1 as planned pre-season.
Reminder: Cabezon is closed for the remainder of the year.
With cooler temperatures and higher humidity reducing wildfire danger, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is lifting target shooting restrictions on WDFW lands beginning Saturday, Sept. 15.
A similar target shooting ban will be lifted the same day on lands managed by the state Department of Natural Resources.
“These changes reflect an easing of fire danger, but we still urge anyone heading outdoors this fall to be extremely cautious while participating in any activity that could spark a wildfire,” said Cynthia Wilkerson, manager of the WDFW Lands Division.
Target shooters should remain vigilant and avoid shooting into tall dry grass where sparks could start a fire. Discharge of a firearm for legal hunting remains permitted on all WDFW lands.
Although the risk is lower, the wildfire season is not over. Wilkerson noted that other restrictions remain in place on WDFW-managed properties in eastern Washington. Those restrictions include:
Fires or campfires, including those in fire rings, are prohibited. Personal camp stoves and lanterns fueled by propane, liquid petroleum, or liquid petroleum gas are allowed.
Smoking is prohibited, except in an enclosed vehicle.
Welding and operating chainsaws are prohibited. Operating a torch with an open flame and all equipment powered by an internal combustion engine is also prohibited.
Operating a motor vehicle away from developed roads is prohibited. Parking is permitted within designated parking areas, including developed campgrounds and trailheads; and in areas without vegetation that are within 10 feet of roadways.
State law also prohibits the discharge of fireworks and the disposal of a lit cigarette or other burning material from a vehicle on a state highway.
Any changes to these restrictions will be posted on the department’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/.
More information about fires and fire prevention is available online from the Washington Department of Natural Resources (http://www.dnr.wa.gov) and the U.S. Forest Service (http://www.fs.usda.gov).