Pete Heley Outdoors 12 / 24 / 2017

Since I cannot come up with any physical product that I dearly want for a Christmas present, I came up with some occurences that, if they happen, will make me very happy and I definitely will not feel shortchanged giftwise. While I realize that many of these “wishes”make too much sense to ever come to pass, I can hope. Here’s my list:

(1) – The new bottomfish regulations and limits will be closely adhered to and will allow the season to run the entire year without emergency adjustments or closures.

(2) – The parking areas and boat ramps on many waters, that have early closures due to vandalism, will have their open hours extended past dusk to benefit bass and crappie anglers – such waters include Ben Irving, Galesville and Olalla reservoirs – and many others.

(3) – Any future boat ramp docks be constructed with both boat owners and boatless anglers in mind – and only enforce the fishing restrictions on current such docks when boats are actually using the ramp or dock.

(4) – The ODFW resume recordkeeping responsibilities for the state’s record fish. Although the Oregon Bass and Panfish Club has done a decent job of recordkeeping, their interest in different fish species is not consistent across the board. There is no valid reason why Oregon does not keep state records for marine or estuary fish species or northern pike minnows or carp for that matter. It’s als a shame that Oregon doesn’t keep track of black, brown and yellow bullheads – instead choosing to lump them all together for recordkeeping purposes.

(5) – Coming up with an effective way to reduce and deal with Oregon’s seal and sea lion problem – it seems that there ought to be a way to reduce their fertility – and their population.

(6) – Ditto for cormorants. I can tolerate, while resenting, fish predation by mink, otters, herons and ospreys because fish can adjust their behavior to somewhat reduce such predation.

(7) – Reopen Soda Springs Reservoir to fishing. The reservoir is presumably closed to protect salmon and steelhead fry hatched in the North Umpqua River above the reservoir – while at the same time protecting the brown and rainbow trout that will undoubtedly be eating them.

(8) – Reopen Mill Creek to fishing – or at least the portion inaccessible to salmon and steelhead. It seems somewhat inconsistent to remove all limits on bass in the Umpqua River while protecting the bass in one of the Umpqua’s largest tributaries.

(9) – A rainfall pattern that ensures that the many shallow sand dunes lakes and ponds have sufficient water levels to avoid fall fish kills, yet not have so much water that the fish are scattered and hard to locate.

(10) – Tiger trout and tiger muskies become legal to keep – on a very limited basis.

Whale Watching Week starts December 27th. Although the “official” whale watching site is located in Depoe Bay, it isn’t the best Oregon location to actually view migrating whales. There are better whale-viewing sites in our local area including Shore Acres Park (just south of Charleston), Cape Perpetua (north of Florence) and Face Rock (just south of Bandon).

But many people consider the very best spot to view migrating gray whales along the entire Oregon coast is from the viewing area overlooking the mouth of the Umpqua River in the Umpqua Lighthouse State Park in Winchester Bay.

While the upcoming “Whale Watching Week” is also referred to as “Winter Whale Watching Week”, there is also a “Spring Whale Watching Week” which begins on March 24th.

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.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.

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