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Contact Pete Heley
PO Box 264
Reedsport, OR 97467
Monthly Archives: October 2013
Cool late October weather has our surface water temperatures at the mid to low 50 degree range. These cold nights are making fish action improve as warm water fish instinctively feed to build energy for the winter months.
Don’t forget we have free dock fishing every Friday until Springtime. You still have to come into the store and get your free dock pass and car pass and you can fish until dark every Friday evening. The dock is still showing some nice Crappie, Perch, Bluegill, Trout and Bass.
Boat fishers continue to report good walleye action using blade-baits and jig’s tipped with a night crawler trolling the humps off the sand dunes. Jumbo perch up to 13 inches have been caught at the mouth of Frenchman’s Wasteway, the humps off the face of the sand dunes, and in the Lind Coulee arm of Potholes Reservoir. The North, Northeast side of Goose Island has been producing fewer walleye but the ones that are being caught are a very nice size.
Rainbow Trout up to 7 pounds are being caught at the east end of O’Sullivan Dam. Your best bet to catch one of these nice fish would be to use a Rapala Shad Rap.
The Beach House at MarDon is having a NFL Special every Sunday, Monday and Thursday. Come and join us for $2 draft and can beer specials and $6 small plates. A regular menu will also be available.
MarDon Resort also has a special for all Sportsmen Lodges, Cottages, and Motel Rooms, stay 1 night at full price and receive the 2nd night ½ off.MM
BROOKINGS, Ore – Chetco and Winchuck rivers open to fall chinook fishing on Saturday, Nov. 2 with temporary protective harvest restrictions in place.
The restriction means that as part of the two salmon or steelhead per day, 20 per year bag limit, anglers can take only one wild chinook per day and 10 per year through Dec. 31. However, as part of their daily bag limit, anglers can still keep up to five hatchery or wild jack chinook per day. The limit applies in aggregate with other Southwest Zone waters with a 10 wild chinook seasonal limit, including Floras Creek/New River, and the Sixes, Elk, Chetco and Winchuck rivers.
The Chetco and Winchuck rivers closed to fall chinook harvest August 1 due to low water flow. The Chetco currently is at 300 cfs and low flow conditions are expected to continue for at least another week.
When flows are low, chinook tend to stack up at the head of tide and are susceptible to over-harvesting. However, biologists believe that by reducing the bag limit on wild fish, anglers can still harvest chinook without harming the populations.
“We appreciate the feedback we’ve received on both sides of this issue. In managing these fisheries, our goal is to provide angling opportunity while ensuring our wild populations stay healthy,” said Todd Confer, Gold Beach District Fish Biologist. “By opening the chinook fisheries with a reduced bag on wild fish, we’re striking a balance so anglers can get back on the river while still protecting our wild chinook.”
The mission of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is to protect and enhance Oregon’s fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations. The agency consists of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, a commission-appointed director and a statewide staff of approximately 950 permanent employees. Headquartered in Salem, ODFW has regional offices in Clackamas, Roseburg, Bend, and La Grande with ten district offices located throughout the state.
Many trout fisheries close Oct. 31
While many popular trout fisheries close for the season on Oct. 31, there are several rivers that are open to trout fishing year-round – as are most lakes and reservoirs. To be sure what’s open this weekend, and what’s not, check the Sport Fishing regulations. Read further for additional information.
Southwest Zone – Howard Prairie and Hyatt Reservoirs are closed to angling after October 31st. Lemolo Reservoir goes to catch and release fishing for brown trout from November 1st through December. Daily limit on other trout species remains five trout per day during November and December.
Plat I Reservoir goes to catch and release bass fishing beginning November 1st and running through November, December, January and February.
Central Zone – With few exceptions streams in Central Oregon are closed to fishing after October 31st, while lakes, unless specifically mentioned in the regulations booklet are open all year. Some of the lakes that are closed to fishing after October include the Metolius Arm of Lake Billy Chinook, Crane Prairie Reservoir, East Lake, Odell Lake, Paulina Lake, Lake Simtustus and Wickiup Reservoir.
Central Oregon streams that remain open all year include the Crooked River, Deschutes River and the Metolius River.
When in doubt – check the current sportfishing regulations booklet published by the ODFW.
Nimbus Hatchery Fish Ladder to Open Nov. 4
The salmon ladder at Nimbus Hatchery in Rancho Cordova will open Nov. 4, signaling the start of the salmon spawning season on the American River. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) hatchery workers will open the gates in the ladder at 10:45 a.m. and will take more than a half-million eggs during the first week .
A week, or so ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Carol Healy who was the deckhand on the Travelore when it sank in a series of tsunami waves off Winchester Bay on August 31, 1964. The waves were generated by a severe earthquake off the coast of Alaska and the Travelore had a full load of 12 passengers. – Carol, who was working as a deckhand to earn money for college wrote a book about the ordeal – “The Sinking of the Travelore” which is available on Amazon.com.
Talking to Carol, who now goes by her married name of Carol Healy Melquist, definitely brought back memories, as I had fished aboard the Travelore less than a month before that fateful August day with my dad, Richard “Dick” Heley. I was severely seasick for the entire trip. However, dad had a great time and fished aboard the Travelore a couple of other times, even coaxing my mother, Alice, out for her first salmon fishing trip.
The reason that the “Travelore” will forever be etched in my memory is that mom’s first salmon fishing trip took place, as I remember it, on August 30th – the day before the Travelore sank. And while Carol Healy was written up in the Coos Bay Times (now The World), as being calm and very brave – being a major reason that all 12 passengers survived – her task would have been much more difficult had the Travelore gone down one day earlier – since both my mom and dad could not swim.
There are still salmon being caught at Winchester Bay – by both boat and bank anglers. Most of the bank anglers are using bobber and bait, but a spinner flinger stopped by work last Friday to show off a limit of bright salmon – one coho and one chinook – each weighing more than ten pounds. He was fishing in Half Moon Bay.
All three coastal lakes that allow the retention of unclipped coho (Siltcoos, Tahkenitch and Tenmile) have salmon in them,but Siltcoos is the only one with many adult salmon in it at present..
Crabbing in the lower Umpqua River at Winchester Bay has shown recent improvement and a surprising number of people have been crabbing in what can only be described as an “off” year.
Salmon fishing on the coastal streams farther south will show major improvement with the next rainstorms. Judging by the number of boats salmon fishing, the best fishing on the Siuslaw is between Cushman and Florence – and has been for some time.
Fishing remains fair to good for yellow perch in most of the area waters that contain them – but the most productive fishery has been Tenmile Lakes where anglers willing to “wade through” lots of smajjer fish will end up with fair numbers of decent-sized perch suitable for filleting.
ROSEBURG, Ore.—Two ODFW employees were injured today when the helicopter they were riding in crashed in the South Umpqua River. The biologists were conducting fall chinook spawning surveys.
Holly Huchko, 34, suffered a broken back. Huchko is an assistant district fisheries biologist and has been with the department 10 years. Eric Himmelreich, 35, broke two vertebrae in the crash. He has been with ODFW as a fisheries habitat biologist for just over one year. Both biologists work out of the Roseburg office for the Umpqua Fish District.
The helicopter pilot was air lifted to a Eugene hospital. His condition is not known.
Both Huchko and Himmelreich remain hospitalized this evening, where they are with family members and ODFW friends. “Our thoughts are with Holly, Eric, the pilot and their families tonight,” said Larry Cooper, SW Region Manager.
Biologists conduct several spawning ground surveys a year in the South Umpqua River.
Howard Prairie Reservoir – closes at the end of the month, but shoud offer good fishing for rainbow trout and fair fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass in the afternoons. Fishing for pumkinseed sunfish should be slow.
Agate Lake – This lake is much easier to fish when the water level drops down in the fall. Although crappie and bluegill fishing is usually tough, largemouth bass and yellow perch are usually cooperative during warm afternoons as they move into shallow water.
Cooper Creek Reservoir – Slow for trout. bluegill and crappie and fair for largemouth bass and yellow perch.
Diamond Lake now open entire year. Daily limit eight trout per day at least eight inches in length with only one measuring 20 or more inches in length.
Eel Creek -Closes October 31st for trout and reopens January 1st for finclipped steelhead.
Eel Lake – Recently has provided fair largemouth bass fishing on nightcrawlers and rainbow and cutthroat trout fishing on worms or Powerbait. The lake has a small population of landlocked coho salmon to about 14-inches that are not legal to keep. Virtually no fishing pressure has been directed at the lake’s black crappie.
Empire Lakes – Bank fishing success has fallen off after latest trout plants, but anglers fishing the midlake areas with small boats or float tubes are still catching nice-sized rainbows.
Hyatt Reservoir – Fishing should be good for rainbow trout and smaller largemouth bass (8-12-inches in the afternoons. Access is limited and the lake closes at the end of this month.
Lemolo Reservoir – Fishing has been good for brown trout near where the North Umpqua, and to a lesser degree, Lake Creek, enters the reservoir. The reservoir goes to catch and release only for brown trout starting November 1st and closes to all angling on January 1st (2014). Limit on other trout during November and December is 5 per day.
Lost Creek Reservoir – Bass fishing should be slow, but rainbow and brown trout should be biting well near the upper end of the reservoir near Peyton Bridge.
Saunders Lake – offers fair fishing for largemouth bass and yellow perch in the fall. Last plant of trophy rainbows has been pretty much caught out. A few bluegills and crappies are also available.
Siltcoos Lake – Coho salmon have been in the lake for at least two weeks and some nice fish have been caught. Fishing has been fair to good for rainbow and cutthroat trout and yellow perch. Not much fishing pressure being directed at the largemouth bass.
Tahkenitch Lake – A few coho salmon have entered the lake and a few anglers are targeting them near the upper ends of Five Mile and Lytle Creek Arms. A few die hard bass anglers are catching some big largemouth bass and yellow perch fishing has been fair to good.
Tenmile Lakes – best fishing is for yellow perch. Fishing for rainbow trout is picking up. A few jack coho salmon have entered the lake. But a good rain is needed to get additional salmon into the lake. Winchester Bay – Offshor bottomfishing spots producing excellent lincod fishing. South Jetty and Triangle Areas receing very little fishing pressure.
OLYMPIA – State fishery managers have approved the first of two tentatively scheduled razor clam digs in November, this one running from Friday, Nov. 1, through Friday, Nov. 8, on evening tides at various ocean beaches.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the evening dig after marine toxin tests showed the clams on those beaches are safe to eat
Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, said this could be one of the season’s best razor clam digs.
“This might be the best low-tide series we’ll have the entire season,” said Ayres. “Digging conditions and strong clam numbers combine to suggest diggers should do very well, weather depending.”
The schedule for the upcoming dig and evening low tides is:
Nov. 1, Friday, 5:52 pm; 0.1 feet; Twin Harbors and Mocrocks
Nov. 2, Saturday, 6:36 pm; -0.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, and Mocrocks
Nov. 3, Sunday, 6:16 pm; -1.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, and Mocrocks
Nov. 4, Monday, 6:59 pm; -1.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, and Mocrocks
Nov. 5, Tuesday, 7:45 pm; -1.3 feet; Long Beach and Twin Harbors
Nov. 6, Wednesday, 8:33 pm; -1.2 feet; Twin Harbors
Nov. 7, Thursday, 9:24 pm; -1.2 feet; Twin Harbors
Nov. 8, Friday, 10:19 pm; -0.3 feet; Twin Harbors
Ayres reminded diggers that best results typically occur one to two hours before low tide and that digging is not allowed at any beach before noon.
“Getting to the beach early should allow diggers to harvest clams before darkness sets in, at least based on low-tide times for the first four or five days of the dig,” said Ayres. “But being prepared for darkness is a good idea. Always bring a lantern, which is much more effective for spotting clams than the direct beam of a flashlight.”
Under state law, diggers can take 15 razor clams per day and are required to keep the first 15 they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.
All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2013-14 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.
WDFW will announce the final word on a tentative dig to begin Nov. 15 after marine toxin tests have been completed. That dig is tentatively scheduled on the following dates, beaches and low tides:
Nov. 15, Friday, 5:01 pm; -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, and Mocrocks
Nov. 16, Saturday, 5:42 pm; -0.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, and Mocrocks
Nov. 17, Sunday, 6:20 pm; -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, and Mocrocks
Nov. 18, Monday, 6:57 pm; -0.6 feet; Twin Harbors
Nov. 19, Tuesday, 7:33 pm; -0.4 feet; Twin Harbors
Nov. 20, Wednesday, 8:09 pm; -0.2 feet; Twin Harbors
Comprehensive information about razor clams – from updates on tentative digs to how-to advice on digging and cooking – is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/ .
Elk hunting prospects good statewide,
2012 harvest best in years
OLYMPIA – After a strong harvest in 2012, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) game managers are again forecasting good elk hunting opportunities statewide when the 2013 modern-firearm general season opens Saturday (Oct. 26).
Dave Ware, game manager for WDFW, said last year’s elk harvest was the best since at least 1997.
“Our elk harvest has consistently been between roughly 7,000 and 8,800 animals,” said Ware. “But last year, Washington hunters took 9,162 elk, both bulls and cows. It was definitely our best season since at least 1997 when we moved to our current and more reliable method for determining harvest numbers.”
Ware said the last few years have been good statewide for calf recruitment and adult survival, adding that all of the state’s major herds are at or above population management objectives. As such, he predicts good opportunities throughout Washington’s elk country.
“News across the state is pretty good, especially for Eastern Washington elk tag holders,” said Ware. “The Yakima Elk Herd’s productivity began declining several years ago, so we backed off our antlerless tags. Productivity has since increased, and, based on last year’s calf survival, I think hunters can expect to see good numbers of spikes in 2013.”
News is similar in the Blue Mountains, if not better.
“Our surveys indicate we’re seeing 40 percent survival on spike elk in the Blues, which is excellent,” said Ware. “A more typical number we expect to see is 20 percent post-hunt survival. This means there are plenty of elk escaping hunters, due in part to steep terrain. It looks like we should have very good numbers of spike bulls available in the Blue Mountains again this year.”
The Colockum Elk Herd is also above WDFW’s management objective and increasing. That should mean increased antlerless tag opportunities in the future, especially with the temporary decline in habitat conditions resulting from this summer’s catastrophic wildfires that swept across the Colockum and L.T. Murray wildlife areas, as well as surrounding lands.
“The effects of the fire shouldn’t affect the 2013 season much,” said Ware. “The new, green grass growing on burned landscapes is like candy to elk, so hunters might want to look in and around burned areas close to timbered cover. As always, scouting is important, and so is the ability to adapt to different access options and/or elk distribution and behavior caused by fires and post-fire flooding. Hunters should also be mindful of the true-spike regulation in place in these GMUs.”
Ware also mentioned the Selkirk Elk Herd, which is comprised of many small bands of elk spread out throughout the state’s northeastern corner. Numbers appear to be stable, said Ware, but scouting is especially key to success in this part of the state due to vast habitat and small, roaming bands of elk.
“Hunter success has held strong over the last several years in Northeast Washington,” Ware said.
In Western Washington, the St. Helens Elk Herd continues to be the state’s largest, despite hoof disease affecting an undetermined minority of the total population.
“Hunters should be aware that if they follow basic techniques for caring for game, animals infected with hoof disease appear to pose no threat to human health based on all of those examined so far,” said Ware.
WDFW is investigating potential causes and solutions to address elk hoof disease in Southwest Washington and is asking hunters to report any hoof deformities they encounter via the department’s website. http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/health/hoof_disease/ .
“Elk numbers remain very high, and we expect good hunter success,” said Ware. “With some private timber lands going into fee access, it will become increasingly important to plan ahead, scout, and develop alternatives going forward. Still, there is plenty of access available.”
Ware said WDFW is continuing to seek a range of solutions to maintain free or inexpensive access on private timberlands in Western Washington.
Meanwhile, Southwestern Washington’s Willapa Hills Elk Herd, is at objective and should offer good opportunities for three-point or better Roosevelt elk bulls, Ware said. Some hunters may be frustrated by a lack of drive-in access in places, but Ware said those willing to walk behind closed gates – where legal – stand the best chances of encountering and harvesting elk.
“There’s something about the magic number two miles behind a closed gate to make elk feel secure,” said Ware.
He extends this same advice to hunters pursuing three-point or better Roosevelt elk bulls from the Olympic Herd, whose population is also stable and at objective.
“The lower elevations receive a lot of pressure,” Ware said. “Older age-class bulls are typically found in higher elevation roadless areas or two or more miles behind closed gates where they feel safe.”
Ware reminds hunters of WDFW’s Private Lands Hunting Access Program ( http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/hunting_access/private_lands/ ), as well as the agency’s new GoHunt! mapping feature ( http://apps.wdfw.wa.gov/gohunt/ ), which includes layers displaying public and private lands, game-management units, and other useful information.
Along with securing legal access, hunters are advised to make safety their top priority.
“Statistics show that hunting is a very safe sport, especially compared to most other outdoor activities,” Ware said. “Hunters are trained to make sure they have a safe shot, and non-hunters can help ensure their safety by making themselves visible in the field.”
All hunters using modern firearms – or in areas open to hunting with modern firearms – are required to wear hunter-orange clothing as specified by state law. Ware suggests hikers, mushroom pickers and others in areas open to hunting wear bright, colorful clothing to maximize their visibility, as well.
Fire danger has mostly subsided for the year, but caution with campfires is always important. The state’s only remaining campfire ban remains in effect through Oct. 31 at the Columbia Basin Wildlife Area in Eastern Washington’s Grant and Adams counties.
Ware reminds hunters of WDFW’s third-annual 2014 Big Game Regulations Pamphlet Contest. This year’s theme is hunting camps, and the winning photo submitted will adorn the cover of 475,000 pamphlets next year. Photos must be submitted via the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/sharephotos/contest.html .
“Please remember to bring a camera to snap a few quality photos of your elk camp,” said Ware. “Even if you don’t win the contest, pictures of camp memories are a precious commodity to most of us who hunt.”
Before heading out into the field, hunters should always double check the Big Game Hunting pamphlet for details.
Salmon and Trout Advisory Committee extends application deadline for Upper Willamette representative
Oregon Fish and Wildlife
Salmon and Trout Advisory Committee extends application deadline for Upper Willamette representative
October 24, 2013
SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has extended the application deadline in the search for a new member to represent the Upper Willamette District on the Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program (STEP) Advisory Committee. Individuals now have until Nov. 15, 2013 to apply.
Oregonians who are involved with local fishing or STEP groups, have previous experience working with volunteers and/or in community service, or are involved in natural resource or angling education are encouraged to apply. Candidates must be able to travel at least four times per year.
The ideal candidate will be a resident of the Upper Willamette STEP District (roughly the Eastern Lane County area) which includes the communities of Springfield, Creswell, Cottage Grove, Oakridge, Marcola, Vida, McKenzie Bridge, and a portion of Eugene. This area includes the headwaters of the Willamette River including the McKenzie, Middle Fork Willamette and Coast Fork Willamette Rivers.
The successful candidate will serve a four-year term, with the possibility of re-appointment for a total term of eight years.
STEP was created by the Oregon Legislature in 1981 to provide a way for volunteers to participate in the restoration of native stocks of salmon, steelhead and trout. Since then, thousands of volunteers have assisted Oregon’s fisheries through their involvement in STEP, donating money, materials, equipment, and countless hours of time and labor.
The 13 members of the Advisory Committee are appointed by the Governor and represent all regions of Oregon. The committee meets quarterly in various communities throughout the state to conduct STEP business and advise ODFW and the Fish and Wildlife Commission on issues regarding STEP. Committee members are volunteers; however, business-related expenses are reimbursed.
For application materials, visit the “How to Apply” section on http://www.oregon.gov/gov/Pages/boards.aspx.
Information on STAC and STEP can be found at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/STEP or by contacting Kevin Herkamp, ODFW Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program Coordinator, at (503)947-6232 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kevin Herkamp (503) 947-6232