Monthly Archives: December 2018

“Outdoorsy” News

IDAHO – The last six mountain caribou remaining in the lower 48 states will be relocated farther north into Canada, a move that ends decades of efforts to reintroduce the large animals into Idaho and Washington state. 

MONTANA – Glacier National Park is staying open during the federal government shutdown with limited services – but officials warn conditions could change. The park says facilities such as visitor centers and restrooms are closed and plowing is limited to areas that serve residential areas.

NEVADA – Off-road vehicle enthusiasts are suing the U.S. Forest Service over the bistate sage grouse protection plan between Nevada and California – arguing that a protection plan enacted this year could increase fire danger across the rangeland habitat of sage grouse.

OREGON – A federal judge has dismissed a third lawsuit challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’a experiment with killing barred owls to protect threatened spotted owls.

An Oregon man became the first person to traverse Antarctica alone without any assistance on Wednesday, trekking across the polar continent in an epic 54-day journey that was previously deemed impossible. Colin O’Brady, of Portland, finished the bone-chilling, 930-mile journey as friends, family and fans tracked the endurance athlete’s progress in real time online.

WASHINGTON – A new agreement aims to boost salmon populations and preserve inexpensive power in hopes of ending a decades-long battle over the future of the four lowest dams on the Snake River.

WYOMING – A photo of the Snake River and the Teton Mountains will appear on a postage stamp next year.

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Pete Heley Outdoors 12 / 26 / 2018

If you are someone who consistently waits until the last minute (or even later) to purchase holiday gifts, as I usually do, gift choices may be limited. I usually opt for gifts that might not be greatly appreciated at first, but remind the gift recipient of you several times during the following year. I am, of course, talking about magazine subscripions – and there are some good ones that will be much appreciated by the “outdoorsy” person. Here are some good choices.

Northwest Sportsman Magazine – The best way to purchase this magazine is online – so it’s a great gift choice for outdoor sportsmen who aren’t computer “geeks” and may not be able to purchase it on their own. A yearly subscripion of 12 issues costs $19.99. A two year subscription  costs $39.95 – a savings of only three cents when compared to two one year subscriptions, but the $49.95 cost for a three year subscription is a savings of $10.02 over three one year subscriptions. But more important than the magazine’s cost is the fact that each issue is absolutely loaded with hunting and fishing information about the Pacific Northwest.

In-Fisherman Magazine – My all-time favorite fishing magazine comes out eight times per year and one needs to be careful when subscribing as several different subscription prices are available – all of which offer substantial savings over the single issue cost. The magazine is packed with fishing  info and quotes more scientific studies than other fishing magazines. 

Field & Stream Magazine – A very popular outdoor recreation magazine since 1895, a one year subscription (6 issues) costs less than $9.00 and is a savings of 75 percent compared to the single issue price. A word of caution – the magazine is available to read for free at most libraries. Most subscriptions come with an “outdoorsy” gift.

Outdoor Life Magazine – A major rival of Field & Stream since 1898, a one year subscription (4 issues) costs $10.00 which is almost the same as the single issue price. Most subscriptions come with at least one “outdoorsy” gift. But like Field & Stream, Outdoor Life can be read for free at most municipal libraries.

Western Outdoor News – This very informative weekly outdoor newspaper costs about 40.00 for a one year subscription. There are several editions  and the closest edition to Oregon is for Northern California, which also covers southern Oregon. Subscribers for one edition also have computer access to all digital editions.

Since the initial issue of most magazine subscriptions does not arrive for at least a month, a nice way to present the such gifts is to include a current issue purchased from a newstand, if possible – with a card announcing the upcoming gift.

Subscriptions do not have to be limited to magazines or newspapers. There are some interesting tacklebox subscriptions available for less than $20.00 per month that can be purchased in varying monthly lengths by paying up front.

Lucky Tacklebox – I subscibed to “Lucky Tacklebox for well over two years. Although my initial subscription was only for six months, it was automatically renewed several times. However the value of the lure packages I received was such that the automatic lure renewals did not bother me. I finally stopped my suscription by cancelling the debit card I was paying for it with.

Mystery Tacklebox – Currently the most popular of the monthly subscription tackleboxes with several different lure packages targeting different fish species.

Secret Tacklebox – The newest rival among the monthly subscription tackleboxes and like the others, the value of each month’s lure package is about half the retail value of the lures included.

A little computer work doing internet searches will turn up even more “longlasting” gift possibilities.

If someone close to you is into flyfishing, you might consider treating them to a day’s fishing at one of Oregon’s fee fishing lakes. These lakes and ponds tend to be smaller waters that are sprinfed and very rich and are invariably catch and release flyfishing only.

A word of caution when considering buying a gift for a serious hunter or angler – forget the surprise factor and ask what the intended gift recipient would actually prefer to receive. If you don’t get their “feedback”, you will almost certainly disappoint them with a gift they won’t use or be happy with. 

Usually ODFW licenses and tags are good holiday gift choices, but this year might be the year to temporarily delay such purchases until the new licensing system system is running more smoothly. 

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 – Drano Lake fisheries reopen under permanent rules Jan. 1.

Action: Returns Drano Lake to permanent rule. 

Effective date: Jan. 1, 2019.

Species affected: All species.

Location: In the waters downstream of markers on a point of land downstream and across from Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery and upstream of the Highway 14 Bridge.

Reason for action: Drano Lake was closed to angling in mid-October due to poor returns of fall chinook to Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery. Beginning Jan. 1,  fisheries for steelhead and other fish will resume when fall chinook are no longer present.   

Additional information: See the 2018-2019 Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for angling rules specific to Drano Lake.  

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

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WDFW News – Daily limit of one salmon when season opens in Marine Area 10.

Action: The daily limit of salmon is one.

Effective date: Jan. 1 through March 31, 2019.

Species affected: Salmon.

Location: Marine Area 10 (Seattle/Bremerton). 

Reason for action: Based on abundance estimates, there is not sufficient salmon available to maintain a fishery though the planned season. A daily limit of one salmon will increase the likelihood that the winter fishery will remain open for the entire winter season.  

Additional information: Chinook minimum size is 22 inches. Release all wild Chinook salmon.

For specific regulations, anglers should consult the 2018-19 Washington Sports Fishing Rules pamphlet available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/.

Anglers can check WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/reports_plants.html for the latest information on marine areas that are managed to a quota or guideline. 

Information contact: David Stormer, Puget Sound recreational salmon fishery manager, (360) 902-0058 or Mark Baltzell, Puget Sound salmon manager, (360) 902-2807.

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Northern California Commercial Dungeness Crab Season Delay Extended.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director Charlton H. Bonham announced an additional and final 15-day delay of the northern California commercial Dungeness crab season. Pending possible closures due to elevated levels of domoic acid, the season is now set to begin on Jan. 15, 2019. Quality tests as prescribed by the Pre-Season Testing Protocol for the Tri-State Coastal Dungeness Commercial Fishery were scheduled to occur this week, but rough ocean conditions prevented vessels from safely deploying and retrieving traps. This protocol requires that tested crab achieve a meat recovery rate to ensure that crab are ready for harvest. Previous quality test results from Dungeness crab collected on Nov. 3 and Dec. 4 indicated that crab did not have enough meat. Without any passing test results from these areas, the Director continued to delay the season to Jan. 15, the final date a quality delay can be set to occur. Delays due to quality only affect the northern commercial fishery in California Fish and Game Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 (Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties). The season in these districts is now scheduled to open at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 15, 2019, to be preceded by a 64-hour gear setting period that would begin no earlier than 8:01 a.m. on Jan. 12, 2019.  Two areas in northern California continue to be sampled for domoic acid and it is unknown whether any further delays may occur based continued domoic acid testing. Crab are evaluated to compare meat weight to total crab weight to determine whether they are ready for harvest under testing guidelines established by the Tri-State Dungeness Crab Committee. If results indicate low or poor quality, the Director may delay the fishery in Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties, under authority of Fish and Game Code, section 8276.2.No vessel may take or land crab in an area closed for a meat quality delay (i.e., Fish and Game districts 6, 7, 8 and 9) or within an area closed for a domoic acid delay. In addition, any vessel that takes, possesses onboard or lands crab from ocean waters outside of a delayed area is prohibited from participating in the crab fishery in any delayed area for 30 days following the opening of those areas. This applies to any delayed areas in Oregon and Washington as well as in California. Please refer to the latest Frequently Asked Questions for the current 2018-19 season that addresses questions regarding the Fair Start provision.For more information about Dungeness crab fisheries in California, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/crab. For more information on health advisories related to fisheries, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/health-advisories.

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Potholes Reservoir / Mardon Resort Recreation Report.

 The current water level on the Potholes Reservoir is 1039.90 feet – rising 1.14 feet over the past two weeks. The water level has come up 13.19 feet since low pool on September 14, 2018.  The water temperature on the Reservoir is in the    low 40s. The Potholes Reservoir is ice free at this point but with the colder weather on the way the dunes may ice up within the next several weeks.

Blade bait and jigs are your best bet for walleye this time of year. Vertically jig blade baits or a fish a ½ oz. jig head with a 4 or 5” curl tail grub in 25-50 feet of water. Fish the deeper humps on the face of the dunces and the rocks around Goose Island. Fish the face of the dam with 5” swim baits for both walleye and Smallmouth bass. 

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.

We have had a decent push of Northerns move into the area over the past week with several limits of Mallards coming in. The goose hunting continues to be outstanding. A group of 12 hunters got their 48-goose limit by 10:00. We still have Duck Taxi trips and several guided goose hunts available. Call the MarDon tackle store for available dates.

Call the MarDon Store for the latest fishing and hunting info and to make reservations at 509-346-2651.

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2019 Bottomfishing Regs Out

What’s the same as in 2018?

  • The general marine fish daily bag limit will be 5 fish
    • no more than 1 of which may be cabezon when open (opens July 1)
  • The bag limits for lingcod (2), flatfish (25), and the longleader gear fishery (10) 
  • Descending devices are mandatory on any vessel fishing for, or possessing, bottomfish including flatfish species, or Pacific halibut in the ocean.
  • The Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area, approximately 15 miles west of Newport, remains closed to fishing for bottomfish or Pacific halibut.
  • Yelloweye rockfish are prohibited at all times and in all waters.

What’s new for 2019?

  • During the seasonal depth restriction, angling for bottomfish will be allowed out to the 40-fathom line(rather than the 30-fathom line) AND the restriction begins one month later, on May 1 (rather than April 1)
  • In the offshore longleader fishery, retention of two additional species will be allowed — blue rockfish and deacon rockfish.

Additional information can be found on the ODFW sport bottomfish webpage, available by clicking here.

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Pete Heley Outdoors 12 / 19 / 2018

With the commercial crabbers currently under a voluntary closure through at least December based on low meat content in the northern and southern sections of the Oregon coast, it’s good news for recreational sport crabbers – especially along the central Oregon coast where the meat content of recently tested crabs is just fine.

The reason that the central Oregon coast is not open for commercial crabbing is that it would take two lines of demarcation to separate it from the areas of low meat content. As soon as one of the two areas of low meat content improves sufficiently, then a single line of demarcation could separate the coastal area of sufficient meat content from the area of insufficient meat content and commercial crabbing would most likely begin where the tested dungeness crabs had acceptable meat content.


I think it is quite admirable that the commercial crab fleet “polices” itself to ensure that the crab-buying public gets a product of acceptable quality.


If one is to go by the comment posts on “ifish.net”, Oregon’s largest on line fishing and hunting site, the new ODFW licensing system is deemed an abject failure – perhaps not so much so that it causes people to forget Oregon’s pathetic Affordable Care Act website, but lame enough to at least remind people of it.


I am sure the ODFW goal was a reasonable one – to spend less money to garner the same amount of income. But that assumption is based on selling the same amount of licenses and tags. While the licensing system should show some improvement between now and January 1st, it currently is not ready for “prime time”. 


Additionally. the new system is easily abused. While not wanting to go into the specific details of how that could happen, here are my predictions for 2019. 


(1) – License and tag revenue goes down. A decrease in the number of retail vendors and increased time needed to purchase ODFW licenses and tags make this almost a certainty as prices are the same as for 2018.

(2) – Fishing snd hunting opportunities in states bordering Oregon suddenly become more attractive.

(3) – A greater percentage of licenses and tags will be purchased at ODFW regional offices.

(4) – There will be a substantial decrease in the number of hatchery tags purchased this year – and fewer duplicate licenses, as well.


Here are a few specific areas that will show an increased level of abuse for 2019. 


The 3 wild steelhead yearly limit for the Elk, Pistol, Sixes and Winchuck rivers and the 5 coho yearly limit for Siltcoos, Tahkenitch and Tenmile lakes.


Where a few anglers used to get around having reached their seasonal limits on salmon, steelhead or halibut by purchasing daily fishing licenses/tags, they will no longer have to spend the additional money to keep fishing.


I believe that most of us are basically good, honest people – but not everyone is and the way licenses and tags are printed with the new system – almost invites abuse. Check out ifish.net to see how “happy” people are. 

Law enforcement personnel dealing with violations related to outdoor recreation in 2019 are going to hate the new system – and it is only going to get worse when 2019 actually arrives.


Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Troopers are asking for the public’s assistance in locating and apprehending whoever is responsible for shooting a bull moose sometime between Nov. 8 and Nov. 11 (the last couple of days of the second Bull Elk Season) in Wallowa County.


OHA offers a $1,000 reward from the Turn In Poachers fund, and 11 OHA chapters (Union/Wallowa, Emerald Valley, Yamhill, Clatsop, Josephine County, Capitol, Ochoco, Bend, Columbia County, Umpqua, Rogue Valley, Tualatin Valley and Hoodview) pledged $500 each.


“The poaching of a moose is a tragic thing,” said OHA Conservation Director Jim Akenson, who resides in Wallowa County. “Especially because our moose population is low – fewer than 70 in Oregon. For perspective, gray wolves already number more than twice that many in Oregon, so moose should deserve at least equal management protection.”
Also offered as part of the reward for information leading to an arrest is a Landowner Preference bull elk tag for the Krebs Ranch in the Chesnimnus Unit for the second bull season in 2019. The tag, arranged by Wallowa County resident Jim Zacharias, must be purchased from ODFW by the recipient.


The moose was shot and partially cut up off of the USFS 46 Road between Teepee Pond and mile marker 35 in the Chesnimnus Unit. The suspect(s) accessed the moose carcass from a campsite on the north side of the USFS 46 Road. Additionally, a side-by-side UTV was used to haul the moose meat and parts from the kill site back to the campsite.


Anyone with information that will help identify the suspect(s), is asked to call the TIP line at (800) 452-7888, *OSP (677) or Senior Trooper Mark Knapp at (541) 426-3049.


Informants providing information leading to an arrest in the case could be eligible for 5 big game preference points in lieu of the standard $1,000 TIP reward for a moose case. Callers may remain anonymous and still collect a reward.
In 2017, OHA (www.oregonhunters.org) increased the TIP reward amounts and paid a record $24,200 to informants in fish and wildlife violation cases.
TIP rewards are paid for information leading to the arrest/conviction of person(s) for the illegal possession, killing, taking, and/or waste of deer, elk, antelope, bear, cougar, wolf, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, moose, furbearers and/or game birds.


* $1,000 Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat and Moose* $500 Elk, Deer and Antelope* $300 Bear, Cougar and Wolf* $300 Habitat Destruction* $100 Game Fish and Shellfish* $100 Upland Birds and Waterfowl* $100 Furbearers


The TIP program also offers the option of preference point rewards instead of cash rewards for information leading to an arrest or issuance of a citation for the unlawful take/possession or waste of big game mammals.


Preference Point Rewards:* 5 points for reporting a case involving bighorn sheep, mountain goat, moose or wolf* 4 points for reporting a case involving elk, deer, antelope, bear or cougar.

How to report a wildlife and/or habitat law violation or suspicious activity:TIP Hotline: 1-800-452-7888 (24/7)TIP E-Mail: su.ro.etats@PIT (Monitored M-F 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.).


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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Oregon Hunter Association Offers Hefty Reward Regarding Moose Poacher.

The Oregon Hunters Association is offering a $7,500 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case of a bull moose poached in Wallowa County, and area landowners are offering an LOP bull elk tag as part of the reward.

Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Troopers are asking for the public’s assistance in locating and apprehending whoever is responsible for shooting a bull moose sometime between Nov. 8 and Nov. 11 (the last couple of days of the second Bull Elk Season) in Wallowa County.

OHA offers a $1,000 reward from the Turn In Poachers fund, and 11 OHA chapters (Union/Wallowa, Emerald Valley, Yamhill, Clatsop, Josephine County, Capitol, Ochoco, Bend, Columbia County, Umpqua, Rogue Valley, Tualatin Valley and Hoodview) pledged $500 each.

“The poaching of a moose is a tragic thing,” said OHA Conservation Director Jim Akenson, who resides in Wallowa County. “Especially because our moose population is low – fewer than 70 in Oregon. For perspective, gray wolves already number more than twice that many in Oregon, so moose should deserve at least equal management protection.”

Also offered as part of the reward for information leading to an arrest is a Landowner Preference bull elk tag for the Krebs Ranch in the Chesnimnus Unit for the second bull season in 2019. The tag, arranged by Wallowa County resident Jim Zacharias, must be purchased from ODFW by the recipient.

The moose was shot and partially cut up off of the USFS 46 Road between Teepee Pond and mile marker 35 in the Chesnimnus Unit. The suspect(s) accessed the moose carcass from a campsite on the north side of the USFS 46 Road. Additionally, a side-by-side UTV was used to haul the moose meat and parts from the kill site back to the campsite.

Anyone with information that will help identify the suspect(s), is asked to call the TIP line at (800) 452-7888, *OSP (677) or Senior Trooper Mark Knapp at (541) 426-3049.

Informants providing information leading to an arrest in the case could be eligible for 5 big game preference points in lieu of the standard $1,000 TIP reward for a moose case. Callers may remain anonymous and still collect a reward.

In 2017, OHA (www.oregonhunters.org) increased the TIP reward amounts and paid a record $24,200 to informants in fish and wildlife violation cases.

TIP rewards are paid for information leading to the arrest/conviction of person(s) for the illegal possession, killing, taking, and/or waste of deer, elk, antelope, bear, cougar, wolf, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, moose, furbearers and/or game birds.

* $1,000 Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat and Moose
* $500 Elk, Deer and Antelope
* $300 Bear, Cougar and Wolf
* $300 Habitat Destruction
* $100 Game Fish and Shellfish
* $100 Upland Birds and Waterfowl
* $100 Furbearers

The TIP program also offers the option of preference point rewards instead of cash rewards for information leading to an arrest or issuance of a citation for the unlawful take/possession or waste of big game mammals.

Preference Point Rewards:

* 5 points for reporting a case involving bighorn sheep, mountain goat, moose or wolf

* 4 points for reporting a case involving elk, deer, antelope, bear or cougar
How to report a wildlife and/or habitat law violation or suspicious activity:
TIP Hotline: 1-800-452-7888 (24/7)
TIP E-Mail: su.ro.etatsnull@PIT (Monitored M-F 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.)

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Ethanol Misfueling Danger Laid Bare: Gas Pump Photos

President Trump has officially moved to allow E15 (15 percent ethanol) gasoline sales year-round – a fuel prohibited for use in recreational boats and a decision that recreational boating groups say will needlessly put 142 million American boaters at risk. Protecting Boaters at the Gas Pumpis a new website with a series of photos of gas station pumps in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin that clearly shows the challenges boaters face with poor ethanol warning labels at the pump, resulting in a greater risk of misfueling.

The effort is from the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s (NMMA), which was recently shared in “Boating United” campaign that urges recreational boat owners to tweet their members of Congress to stop the expansion of the government-mandated fuel. Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) supports the effort and is urging recreational boaters to share the website with friends:

https://spark.adobe.com/page/dYPx7SjouAr2k/

“The ethanol industry doesn’t want you to see these photos of gas pumps,” said BoatUS Manager of Government Affairs David Kennedy. “The confusion presented to consumers at the pump today is real. Putting the wrong fuel in your boat will likely void your engine’s warranty. We applaud NMMA for clearly showing the misfueling problem.”

E15 is currently banned for sale in many states by the Environmental Protection Agency during summer months over concerns that it contributes to smog on hot days. The push for more ethanol into the nation’s fuel supply is a result of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). When it was passed in 2005, RFS assumed that America’s use of gasoline would continue to grow. Since then, however, gasoline usage has not increased as forecast, which today forces more ethanol into each gallon of gas.

BoatUS has long had concerns over potential consumer misfueling with E15. Most recreational boaters refuel their vessels at roadside gas stations where pump-labeling requirements are minimal with just a small E15 orange warning label. The advocacy, services and safety group for recreational boaters is a member of Smarter Fuel Future, a coalition that aims to reform the RFS.

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