Monthly Archives: November 2018

Potholes Reservoir / Mardon Resort Recreation Report.

The current water level on the Potholes Reservoir is 1036.9 feet – rising 1.60 feet this past week. The water level has come up 9.44 feet since low pool on September 14, 2018. The water temperature on the Reservoir has dropped to the mid-40s over the past week.
With duck and goose hunting in full swing there are very few anglers on the water. With the colder water temps the blade bait and jig bite will improve for walleye. Vertically jig blade baits or a jig head with a 4 or 5” curl tail grub in 25-50 feet of water. Look for deeper humps and habitat boxes.
Largemouth and Smallmouth fishing can be very good this time of year. Throw crankbaits, jerk baits, hula grubs and Drop Shot rigs in 5-20 feet of water. Blade baits work well deeper bass this time of year. Fish habitat boxes and along the face of the dam. For Smallmouth – fish the face of the dam and the rocks around Goose Island.
Trout anglers are concentrating on the Medicare beach area either trolling wedding ring rigs with a worm or Needlefish. From shore – fish Power Bait or a marshmallow/egg combination.
The crappie and bluegill have slowed a bit – but can still be caught. Fish the humps along the face of the dunes and mid-lake. Watch your fish finder to mark fish and jig VMC Probe jigs, Wingding jigs, Trout Magnets and Gulp Minnows on the deeper humps.
The colder weather is bringing new birds down to the Potholes area. There are a lot of ducks back in the Sand Dunes. There is still time to join the Royal Hunt Club. You will receive a pass that allows you to hunt pheasant and other upland game birds on approximately 25,000 acres of private land. Cost is $300.00 per hunter. The proceeds will go to the Royal City Booster Club
Call the MarDon Store for the latest fishing info and to make reservations at 509-346-2651.

Mason Meseberg – 8-years old – got his first Goose on November 10, 2018!

Wyatt Smith shows a nice mid-November Largemouth Bass from the Potholes Reservoir!

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AZFG News – Mexican Wolves Update

Brady McGee started as the Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator on October 1. For the last four years, Brady has served as the USFWS Southwest Region’s Chief for the Branch of Recovery and Restoration. Overall, he has worked in the Southwest Region since 2001 and has extensive experience with the Endangered Species Act, Mexican wolves and the challenges of wolf recovery in the Southwest. Brady has a Masters in Wildlife Biology from Texas State University and a Doctorate degree in Wildlife Science from Texas Tech University.

During October, Brady discussed the Mexican Wolf Program with a variety of cooperators and individuals. Brady will continue to conduct meetings with cooperators and individuals in November to develop a broad understanding of the Program.

Numbering System: Mexican wolves are given an identification number recorded in an official studbook that tracks their history. Capital letters (M = Male, F = Female) preceding the number indicate adult animals 24 months or older. Lower case letters (m = male, f = female) are used to indicate wolves younger than 24 months. A lower case letter “p” preceding the number is used to indicate a wolf pup born in the most recent spring. The capital letter “A” preceding the letter and number indicate breeding wolves.

Definitions: A “wolf pack” is defined as two or more wolves that maintain an
established territory. In the event that one of the two alpha (dominant) wolves dies, the remaining alpha wolf, regardless of pack size, retains the pack status. The packs referenced in this update contain at least one wolf with a radio telemetry collar attached to it. Studbook numbers listed in the monthly update denote wolves with functioning radio collars. The Interagency Field Team (IFT) recognizes that wolves without radio telemetry collars may also form packs. If the IFT confirms that wolves are associating with each other and are resident within the same home range, they will be referenced as a pack.

CURRENT POPULATION STATUS

The year-end minimum population count for 2017 was 114 wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico. Annual surveys are conducted in the winter as this is when the population experiences the least amount of natural fluctuation (i.e. in the spring the population increases dramatically with the birth of new pups and declines throughout the summer and fall as mortality is particularly high on young pups). Thus, the IFT summarizes the total number of wolves in the winter at a fairly static or consistent time of year. Counting the population at the end of each year allows for comparable year-to-year trends at a time of year that accounts for most mortality and survival of young pups. At the end of October, there were 84 wolves with functioning radio collars that the IFT was actively monitoring.

IN ARIZONA:

Bear Wallow Pack (collared AM1338 and f1683)
In October, the IFT documented the Bear Wallow Pack in their territory on the east central portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (ASNF) and occasionally on the SCAR and the FAIR. Yearling f1683 and AM1338 were documented traveling separately.

Bluestem Pack (collared f1686)
In October, the IFT documented the Bluestem Pack in the pack’s traditional territory in the east central portion of the ASNF. Yearling f1686 made dispersal movements from the pack’s territory this month within the eastern portion of the ASNF. The IFT initiated a diversionary food cache toward the end of the month in an effort to reduce potential for conflict with livestock.

Eagle Creek Pack (collared M1477)
In October, M1477 continued to be documented traveling with an uncollared wolf in a territory in the east central portion of the ASNF.

Elk Horn Pack (collared AF1294, f1668, m1671, fp1696, and fp1697)
In October, the Elk Horn Pack was located within their traditional territory in the northeastern portion of the ASNF. A female pup, fp1696, was captured, collared, and released in October.

Hoodoo Pack (collared AM1290, AF1333, m1677, m1681, and mp1789)
In October, the Hoodoo Pack was located within their traditional territory in the northeastern portion of the ASNF.

Panther Creek Pack (collared AM1382)
Panther Creek AM1382 was not located during the month of October.

Pine Spring Pack (collared AM1394, AF1562, fp1794, and fp1825)
In October, the Pine Spring Pack was located within their territory in the north central portion of the ASNF and occasionally in the north eastern portion of the FAIR. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache for this pack to reduce potential for wolf-livestock conflict. A female pup, fp1825, was captured, collared and released in October.

Prime Canyon Pack (collared AM1471, AF1488, mp1790, fp1791, and fp1823)
In October, the IFT documented the Prime Canyon Pack within their territory in the east central portion of the ASNF. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache for this pack in a proactive attempt to reduce the potential for human-wildlife interactions near residences. A female pup, fp1823 was captured, collared, and released in October.

Saffel Pack (collared AM1441, AF1567, m1661, m1680, and fp1792)
In October, the Saffel Pack was located in their territory in the northeastern portion of the ASNF. Yearling m1680 made dispersal movements from the pack’s territory into New Mexico. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache for the Saffel Pack in an effort to reduce potential for wolf-livestock conflict.

Sierra Blanca Pack (collared M1571 and F1550)
In October, the Sierra Blanca Pack was located in their territory in the northeastern portion of the ASNF.

Single collared F1489
In October, the IFT documented F1489 traveling alone in the north and east central portion of the ASNF.

Single collared M1574
In October, the IFT documented M1574 traveling in the east central portion of the ASNF, the SCAR, and the eastern portion of the FAIR.

ON THE FAIR:

Baldy Pack (collared AM1347 and F1560)
In October, the Baldy Pack was documented traveling in the eastern portion of the FAIR and the north central portion of the ASNF.

Maverick Pack (collared AF1291 and fp1828)
In October, the Maverick Pack was located within their traditional territory on the FAIR and east central portion of the ASNF. A female pup, fp1828, was captured, collared, and released.

Tsay-O-Ah Pack (collared AF1283 and f1674)
In October, the Tsay-O-Ah Pack was located within their traditional territory in the eastern portion of the FAIR. They were also occasionally documented traveling in the east central portion of the ASNF.

Tu dil hil Pack (collared M1559 and F1679)
In October, the Tu dil hil Pack was documented traveling in the eastern portion of the FAIR. M1559 was documented traveling with the Tsay-O-Ah Pack.

Single collared M1824
In October, M1824 was captured, collared, and released. Subsequently, M1824 was documented traveling in the eastern portion of the FAIR and the north central and north eastern portions of the ASNF.

IN NEW MEXICO:

Copper Creek Pack (F1444)
During October, F1444, the only wolf with a functioning collar in the Copper Creek Pack, was captured, collared and released. Female 1444 was documented making wide dispersal movements outside the pack’s traditional range.

Dark Canyon Pack (collared AM1354 and AF1456)
During October, the Dark Canyon Pack was documented traveling together within their traditional territory, in the west central portion of the Gila National Forest (GNF).

Datil Mountain Pack (collared M1453 and F1685)
During October, the Datil Mountain Pack continued to travel in the western portion of the Cibola National Forest (CNF).

Frieborn Pack (collared AM1447, AF1443, and fp1702)
During October, the Frieborn Pack was documented within their territory in the east central portion of the ASNF in New Mexico and Arizona. The IFT maintained a food cache near the den to support cross-fostered pups and to reduce the potential for wolf-livestock conflict.

Hawks Nest Pack (collared AM1038 and F1473)
During October, F1437 and AM1038 were documented traveling together in the Hawks Nest territory in the north central portion of the GNF.

Iron Creek Pack (collared AM1240, AF1278, M1555, M1556, f1670, m1821, fp1721, and mp1710)
During October, the Iron Creek Pack continued to utilize their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness and the southern portion of the GNF. A cross-fostered pup, mp1710, was captured, collared, and released in October.

Lava Pack (collared AM1285 and AF1405)
During October, the Lava Pack was located within their traditional territory in the southeastern portion of the GNF.

Leopold Pack (collared AM1293 and AF1346)
During October, the IFT documented the Leopold Pack within their territory in the northern portion of the Gila Wilderness.

Luna Pack (collared AM1158, AF1487, and f1684)
During October, the Luna Pack remained in their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache for the Luna Pack to reduce potential for conflict with livestock.

Mangas Pack (collared AM1296, AF1439, f1664, and f1705)
During October, the Mangas Pack was located within their territory in the northwestern portion of the GNF. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache for the Mangas Pack to reduce potential for conflict with livestock. In October, f1664 was located dead in New Mexico. The incident is under investigation.

Prieto Pack (collared AM1398, AF1251, F1565, m1669, m1678, fp1826, and mp1827)
During October, the Prieto Pack was located within their traditional territory in the north central portion of the GNF. The IFT maintained a diversionary food cache for the Prieto Pack and implemented continuous hazing efforts to reduce potential for conflict with livestock. A female pup, fp1826, and a male pup, mp1827, were captured, collared and released in October.

San Mateo Pack (collared AF1399, f1578, and fp1822)
During October, the San Mateo Pack continued to utilize their territory in the north central portion of the GNF. A female pup, fp1822, was captured, re-collared, and released in October.

Sheepherders Baseball Park (SBP) Pack (collared AF1553)
During October, AF1553 continued to use the traditional territory of the SBP pack in the north central portion of the GNF.

Squirrel Springs Pack (collared F1788)
During October, the Squirrel Springs pack continued to travel in the north central portion of the GNF.

Single collared M1486
During October, M1486 traveled throughout the northern and central portions of the CNF.

Single collared M1673
During October, M1673 continued to travel in the western portion of the GNF.

MORTALITIES

During the month of October, f1664 of the Mangas Pack was located dead in New Mexico; the incident is under investigation. From January 1, 2018 to October 31, 2018 there have been a total of 12 documented wolf mortalities.

INCIDENTS

During the month of October, there were eight confirmed wolf depredation incidents on livestock. There were two nuisance incidents in October. From January 1, 2018 to October 31, 2018 there have been a total of 62 confirmed wolf depredation incidents in New Mexico and 29 confirmed wolf depredation incidents in Arizona.

On October 5, the IFT took a report from a woman who indicated she had been in a camp trailer on the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest near Forest Road 26 when an uncollared wolf was observed approximately 30-40 yards from the trailer. The woman opened the door of the trailer which caused the wolf to retreat and eventually walk out of sight. The woman stated she believed the wolf was attracted by the sound of the barking dogs from inside the camp trailer.

On October 7, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Greenlee County, AZ.
The investigation confirmed the calf was killed by wolves.

On October 9, Wildlife Services investigated a dead yearling cow in Apache County, AZ. The investigation confirmed the yearling was killed by wolves.

On October 11, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation confirmed the calf was killed by wolves.

On October 14, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation confirmed the cow was killed by wolves.

On October 18, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Greenlee County, AZ. The investigation confirmed the cow was killed by wolves.

On October 22, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation confirmed the cow was killed by wolves.

On October 23, Wildlife Services investigated a dead cow in Catron County, NM. The investigation confirmed the cow was killed by wolves.

On October 24, the IFT investigated an elk carcass in Alpine that had been killed during the night by wolves approximately 200 yards from the nearest residence. The carcass was removed from the area by the IFT to eliminate further attractant to the wolves returning to the location. Collar data indicated the elk had likely been killed by the Elk Horn Pack.

On October 25, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation confirmed the calf was killed by wolves.

On October 30, Wildlife Services investigated a dead calf in Catron County, NM. The investigation confirmed the calf was killed by coyotes.

COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

On October 2, WMAT provided a Tribal program update on KNNB Radio, in Whiteriver, Arizona.

On October 6, AZGFD provided a project update and overview to participants at the Arizona Elk Society/AZGFD elk viewing workshop at Sipe Wildlife Area outside of Springerville, AZ.

On October 12, USFWS personnel provided a project update to approximately 100 people at the International Wolf Symposium. In addition, the merits of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan were debated by AZGFD personnel in front of approximately 500 people that evening.

On October 19, AZGFD provided a project update at the Alpine Alliance monthly meeting in Alpine.

On October 21, USFWS personnel provided a project update and discussed the project with approximately 10 people from the Lobos of the Southwest group.

On October 25, USFWS personnel participated in a panel discussion on wolves at a Timber Wolf Alliance meeting in front of approximately 50 people.

On October 25, AZGFD presented at the Coconino Natural Resource Conservation District conservation outreach forum at the Mormon Lake Lodge in Arizona.

On October 26, USFWS personnel gave a keynote presentation to approximately 150 people associated with the Timber Wolf Alliance annual meeting.

On October 26, USFWS personnel discussed wolves with approximately 20 students at Northland College in Ashland, WI.

On October 27, USFWS personnel discussed wolf biology and behavior with approximately 20 people participating in a tracking class at Northland College in Ashland, WI.

PROJECT PERSONNEL

In October, Julia Smith left the IFT to continue her career in wolf recovery efforts. Janess Vartanian also left the IFT in October to continue her career in wildlife conservation. Janess and Julia were tenured members of the IFT and contributed significantly to the efforts of Mexican wolf recovery. Julia and Janess, thank you for all your hard work, dedication and leadership; you will both be missed.

​​​​​​​Maggie Dwire was promoted to Deputy Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator in October. Congratulations Maggie.

REWARDS OFFERED

The USFWS is offering a reward of up to $10,000; the AZGFD Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of up to $1,000; and the NMDGF is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of Mexican wolves. A variety of non-governmental organizations and private individuals have pledged an additional $46,000 for a total reward amount of up to $58,000, depending on the information provided.

Individuals with information they believe may be helpful are urged to call one of the following agencies: USFWS special agents in Mesa, Arizona, at (480) 967-7900, in Alpine, Arizona, at (928) 339-4232, or in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at (505) 346-7828; the WMAT at (928) 338-1023 or (928) 338-4385; AGFD Operation Game Thief at (800) 352-0700; or NMDGF Operation Game Thief at (800) 432-4263. Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of the Federal Endangered Species Act and can result in criminal penalties of up to $50,000, and/or not more than one year in jail, and/or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.

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CDFW News – Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Environmental Improvement and Acquisition Projects.

At its Nov. 15 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $3.18 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the eight approved projects will benefit fish and wildlife – including some endangered species – while others will provide public access to important natural resources. Several projects will also demonstrate the importance of protecting working landscapes that integrate economic, social and environmental stewardship practices beneficial to the environment, landowners and the local community.

Funding for these projects comes from a combination of sources including the Habitat Conservation Fund and bond measures approved by voters to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources.

Funded projects include:
Acceptance of a no-cost conservation easement over approximately 2,325 acres of Humbug Valley land by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), to be held with the Feather River Land Trust as co-grantee for a cooperative project with the Maidu Consortium and Pacific Gas and Electric. This project will protect the culturally significant Tàsmam Koyòm homeland of the Maidu, and provide wildlife corridors, future wildlife-oriented public use opportunities, and protection of the Yellow Creek fishery, near Portola in Plumas County.
A $96,000 grant to the Mojave Desert Land Trust to acquire approximately 320 acres of land for the protection of desert habitat corridors in the Morongo Basin, near the community of Joshua Tree in San Bernardino County.
A $1.7 million grant to the City of Arcata and Humboldt State University for a cooperative project with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE), CDFW and the Resources Agency to acquire approximately 967 acres of land within the Jacoby Creek watershed, and the acceptance of a conservation easement over the property by CALFIRE.
A $250,000 grant to the East Bay Regional Park District for a cooperative project with the Bureau of Reclamation to replace the fishing dock, upgrade restrooms and provide ADA access at the Channel Point area of Contra Loma Regional Park, in the City of Antioch in Contra Costa County.
For more information about the WCB please visit www.wcb.ca.gov.

John Donnelly, WCB Executive Director, (916) 445-0137
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420

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Rainbow Trout Taking Up The Slack Between Bass and Salmon at Tenmile Lakes.

Between a slow-down in largemouth bass fishing and coho salmon having a tough time navigating Tenmile Creek to reach Tenmile Lake, rainbow trout and yellow perch have taken up the slack. Most of

Many of the trout caught at Tenmile Lakes recently have been taken by optimistic salmon anglers.

Some of Tenmile’s trout are lunkers

Both of Dwayne Schwartz’s Tenmile Lake rainbows measured at least 19-inches.

the perch are being caught from the fishing dock at the County Park. Recently, most of the perch have measured at least eight inches with a few much larger.

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CDFW to Hold Public Meetings on Elk and Bighorn Sheep Environmental Documents.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is preparing draft environmental documents that address potential impacts resulting from the implementation of elk hunting regulations and bighorn sheep hunting regulations. Pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act Guidelines, section 15082(c), public scoping sessions will be held to identify potentially significant effects on the environment that may result from the proposed regulations, as well as any feasible mitigation measures that should be addressed in the draft environmental document.
Both meetings will be held Friday, Nov. 30, 2018 at the CDFW Wildlife Branch, 1812 Ninth St. in Sacramento (95811). The scoping meeting for elk will be held from noon to 1 p.m., and the scoping meeting for bighorn sheep will be held from 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Existing law (Fish and Game Code, section 3950) designates elk (genus Cervus) and bighorn sheep (subspecies Ovis canadensis nelsoni) as game mammals in California. Fish and Game Code, section 332 provides that the Fish and Game Commission may fix the area or areas, seasons and hours, bag and possession limit, sex and total number of elk that may be taken pursuant to its regulations. Fish and Game Code, section 4902 provides that the Commission may authorize sport hunting of mature Nelson bighorn rams.
State law (Fish and Game Code, section 207) requires the Commission to review mammal hunting regulations and CDFW to present recommendations for changes to the mammal hunting regulations to the Commission at a public meeting. Mammal hunting regulations adopted by the Commission provide for hunting elk and bighorn sheep in specific areas (hunt zones) of the state (California Code of Regulations Title 14, sections 362, 364 and 364.1).

Media Contacts:
Victoria Barr, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-4034
Regina Vu, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-3728
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

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WDFW News – Part of Whatcom Creek to Close to F.ishing.

Action: Closes part of Whatcom Creek to all fishing.

Effective date: Nov. 15 until further notice.

Species affected: All species.

Location: From the mouth to the markers below the footbridge downstream of Dupont St.

Reason for action: The return of chum to Whatcom Creek is currently below the number needed to meet egg-take goals for 2018. Closing the fishing season in Whatcom Creek is necessary to ensure broodstock are available for future hatchery returns.

Additional information: The fishing season will be reopened if egg-take needs are projected to be met. Please refer to https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/ for further information on fishing seasons.

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Pete Heley Outdoors 11 / 14 / 2018

Last Friday, Cathey Reiss of Ringo’s Lakeside Marina sold a customer some nightcrawlers so that he could fish for yellow perch off the fishing dock in the County Park and the customer returned a short time later to show her the bright coho jack salmon that “liked” his nightcrawler. With Tenmile Lakes finally getting their salmon, all three coastal salmon lakes now have fishable numbers of salmon in them and the next good rain should greatly improve salmon fishing in all three lakes..

The legal fishing area for salmon on Tahkenitch Lake is from the road that encircles the east end of the lake on Mallard and Five Mile arms down to the Highway 101 Bridge at the lower end of the lake. Legal salmon fishing water on Tenmile Lakes is North and South Tenmile lakes excluding the canal connecting the lakes. The lower deadline is the bridge spanning the Tenmile Creek outlet on Hilltop Drive. As for Siltcoos Lake, the Siltcoos River outlet is open for salmon fishing down to the Highway 101 Bridge and the lake is open up to the Five Mile Road Crossing on Fiddle Creek Arm and the railroad trestle on Maple Creek Arm. Unless specically excluded, all tributaries on Siltcoos, Tahkenitch and Tenmile lakes are closed to salmon fishing.

On the south coast, the Elk River is producing some chinook salmon. but fishing success is confined to the lower river. The salmon on the Sixes seem to all be below the “Orchard Hole” and there doesn’t seem to be any salmon that have made it into Floras Creek yet. One really good rain will change all that.

Perch fishing at the County Park on South Tenmile Lake slowed down from last weeks hot bite, but a number of nice-sized rainbow trout to more than 20-inches picked up most of the slack.

It seems that organized bass tournaments are pretty much over until February of next year and the Emerald Bass Club out of Eugene had their last tournament of the year last week – but they held it on Shasta Lake in northern California.

Just because the bass clubs have stopped having tournaments doesn’t mean you should stop fishing for bass. Although cold water has slowed fishing success, it hasn’t completely stopped it. The Tenmile Bass Club held a very successful tournament on November 3rd on Tenmile Lake where most of the participants weighed in boat limits and last year, bass fishing on Tenmile Lakes, was at least fair for almost the entire winter.

Bay and river crabbing remains fairly good for those using boats and even the dock crabbers are making fair catches if they put the time in. At Winchester Bay, some unattended crab traps have been emptied, or even stolen outright, by thiefs. While Oregon’s rivers and bays are open to crabbing all year, the ocean is slated to reopen for crabbing on December 1st.

Crabbers willing to drag or carry small boats into the “Triangle” have been doing very well and anglers fishing the South Jetty at Winchester Bay have been catching some decent-sized rockfish as well as some greenling and striped surfperch. Retention of cabezon is still closed. Off shore bottomfishing remains pretty much a “sure thing”.

Oregon’s third “Free Fishing Weekend” of this year will fall on November 23rd and 24th according to the regulations booklet and fishing licenses, shellfish licenses and salmon tags will not be required to fish, crab or clam during those two days – subject to current regulations and bag limits, of course. The reason that I say “according to the regulations booklet” is that “Free Fishing Weekends” generally fall on Saturdays and Sundays and November 23rd and 24th fall on Friday and Saturday. Perhaps Thanksgiving has something to do with it – but pay close attention and make sure you are fishing, crabbing or clamming on the proper days if you don’t have a license.

The state of Washington sometimes doesn’t finclip steelhead smolts when there are warm water temperatures and consequent fish health concerns. When those fish are expected to return, the hatchery steelhead will be identified by having a dorsal fin measuring less than two and one-eighth inches. This protocol, which is definitely “fish-friendly”, is one that should be greatly expanded – and not just for steelhead.

Washington continues to have problems with livestock losses due to wolves. The two wolf packs subject to lethal action are the Smackout pack in Stevens County and the Togo pack in Ferry County. Current plans call for the removal of the entire Togo pack.

A great source of information regarding outdoor-related legislation, surveys, studies, programs, etcetera is the Columbia Basin Bulletin which is available online. It is where I learned that a considerable amount of money is being spent on tracking the spread of northern pike in Franklin D. Roosevelt Reservoir where an angler caught a 26 pounder this year.

Firmly established in a Columbia River reservoir with a surface area of well over a hundred square miles – it is no longer a question of if northern pike invade the lower Columbia, but when.

On my “wish list” for future ODFW action is for them (1) -to spend more funds and effort reestablishing fisheries lost because of drought; (2) – start placing aerators to protect vulnerable fisheries and (3) – put more thought and effort toward ensuring Oregon’s fishing spots have fish species in them that are actually suited to each specific water.

Numerous smaller waters between Florence and North Bend do not have crayfish in them. If they did, they would be much more likely to be capable of producing sizable largemouth bass and even trout and bullhead catfish. Having more waters with crayfish species native to Oregon may even slow the spread of invasive crayfish species in Oregon.

Expanding the mosquito fish program could also improve the gamefish populations in many waters. Johnson Mill Pond has very good populations of crappie, yellow perch, bullhead catfish and bluegills – and mosquito fish are a major forage source.

Pete Heley works parttime 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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WDFW News – Lifts Night Closures, Restrictions on Steelhead Retention on Lower Sections of Wind and White Salmon Rivers.

Action: Restores rules for steelhead and night fishing on the Wind and White Salmon Rivers to those listed in the 2018-19 Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.

Effective date: Immediately.

Locations and species:

Wind River: from the mouth to 400 feet downstream of Shipherd falls fish ladder. Anglers may now retain steelhead as listed in the pamphlet. Night closures are no longer in effect for steelhead fishing.
White Salmon River: from the mouth (BNSF Railroad Bridge) to the county road bridge below the former location of the powerhouse. Anglers may now retain steelhead as listed in the pamphlet. Night closures are no longer in effect for steelhead or salmon fishing.
Reason for action: Steelhead retention and night fishing were closed in August 2018 to limit steelhead impacts after the estimated A-index run-size was significantly reduced from pre-season forecast. Passage of upriver summer steelhead at Bonneville Dam is typically near completion by Nov. 1, therefore the emergency closures are no longer necessary.

Additional information: Anglers are encouraged to review the permanent rules outlined in the Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet and always check for Emergency Fishing Rules before hitting the water.

Information contact: Matt Gardner, District Fish Biologist, (360) 906-6746

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WDFW invites public to meeting in Ridgefield to discuss cougars.

Concerned about cougars in your community?

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will conduct a public meeting Monday, Nov. 19 in Ridgefield to discuss ways to avoid conflicts with cougars and help wildlife officers respond to reports of cougar sightings.

A question-and-answer session will follow a presentation by WDFW wildlife biologists and enforcement officers on issues ranging from cougar biology to how and when to report a cougar sighting.

The meeting is scheduled from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Nov. 19 at WDFW’s regional office in Ridgefield at 5525 S. 11th St.

“Recent cougar sightings in southwest Washington have brought an increasing number of calls to our offices,” said Stefanie Bergh, a WDFW wildlife biologist. “This meeting will give the public a chance to talk directly to area wildlife managers about any questions or concerns they have about how to co-exist with this native Northwest species.”

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WDFW News – Fishing Closures Set for Lewis River and Cedar Creek.

Action: Closes salmon retention on the Lewis River from the mouth to Johnson Creek. Closes the Lewis River to all fishing between Johnson and Colvin creeks. Closes Cedar Creek to all fishing from the mouth to the Grist Mill Bridge.

Effective dates: Nov. 13, 2018 until further notice.

Species affected: All species.

Locations: Lewis River: from the mouth to Colvin Creek. Cedar Creek: from the mouth to the Grist Mill Bridge.

Reason for action: The Lewis River wild fall chinook salmon run is tracking below the pre-season forecast and is currently projected to fall short of the escapement goal for this population. The returns of hatchery coho is also tracking well below forecast and the hatchery broodstock goals. Closing the lower Lewis River and Cedar Creek to salmon retention will increase the number of wild chinook spawning and the number coho returning to the Lewis River Hatchery. The will help to ensure fishing opportunities in future years.

Additional information: The lower Lewis River remains open to harvest of hatchery steelhead downstream of Johnson Creek. All other permanent rules remain in effect. Please refer to the Sport Fishing Pamphlet for complete rule information.

Information contact: Tom Wadsworth, District Fish Biologist, (360) 906-6709.

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