Monthly Archives: April 2014

Pete Heley Outdoors – 4/15/2014

Commercial salmon anglers are making some good catches with most of the recent reports coming from that area of the Oregon Coast between Charlston and Bandon. As for depth, at least some of the reports mentioned fishing down about 130 feet in 60 fathoms(360 feet) of water. The “Alcor” had a great day and a half of commercial salmon fishing last week. They were fishing a long way west of Newport and the 104 salmon they caught had an average weight of more than 15 pounds, but they sold their fish just after the price dropped nearly a pound.

There have been a few reports of good salmon catches out from Winchester Bay, but rough ocean and bar conditions have made it extremely difficult for sport anglers to target the same Chinook salmon the commercial fisherman are.

Very few anglers have been targeting spring Chinook salmon in the lower Umpqua River, but perhaps  they should.  Last year, Keldon Blair, of Springfield landed four springers while casting spinners from shore at Half Moon Bay. He landed two of the springers on April 6th and April 7th.

There are decent numbers of spring chinooks in the Umpqua River above Scottsburg and there has been good numbers of salmon caught in the last two weeks. But anglers need to realize that even when the fishing is good there can be long hours between bites from these magnificent gamefish.

While it is still early for most panfish species, bassfishing has been very good, but inconsistent on many area lakes, but especially Tenmile Lakes, where some anglers are making impressive catches one day only to find that they can’t hook a bass the next. As the bass approach the actual spawning time over the next several weeks, bassfishing should become more consistent and more shoreline and shallow water oriented.

However, the best time to catch a jumbo largemouth this year has already passed.

As for trout plants taking place this week in local lakes, Loon Lake will receive 1,000 legal rainbows, Carter will receive 300 legals and Cleawox 400 along with 150 16-inchers. Woahink Lake wll receive 1,000 12-inchers. Butterfield Lake and Eel Lake will receive 2,000 and 2,500 legal rainbows respectively. six thousand legal rainbows will be evenly divided between North and South Tenmile Lakes another 6,000 will be divided between Lower and Middle Empire Lakes.

Carrie Wilson, possibly my favorite outdoor writer, is a a marine environmental scientist who works fulltime for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and also writes question and answer outdoor columns for Western Outdoor News (a weekly California-based outdoor newspaper and myoutdoorbuddy.com, an online outdoor blog covering southern Oregon and northern California. One of the recent questions she attempted to answer was whether or not surfperch babies, which are born alive, often immediately after an adult female surfperch has been caught, count as part of an angler’s daily or possession limit?

It is definitely a valid question – especially when one California angler was seen chomping down on some of the baby perch that popped out of a recently caught gravid female surfperch.

While it doesn;t seem right that something two inches long should count as part of a daily surfperch limit (which is 10 in California and 15 in Oregon) the safest thing to do is to put the newly-born surfperch back in the water as soon as they are noticed. For one thing, a few of thr baby surfperch might survive resulting in better fishing in the future. For another, you won’t have to worry about which side of the bed the enforcement person checking you got up from that day.

Perhaps a minimum size limit for surfperch is needed to address a problem that really has not yet come up yet to any degree. However, there really isn’t a good answer to what happens when an angler places a limit, or near limit of gravid female surfperch into their ice chest or fish box and doesn’t check it shortly thereafter.

Congratulations to Bill Lackner, the President of the Clamdigger’s Association of Oregon, who, it appears is going to be successful in his extended effort to get the ODFW to capitalize  the word “chinook” when writng about Chinook salmon. I, often forget to capitalize the word “chinook” – especially when writing my column while not completely awake. I vow to do better.

Bill’s future projects include getting the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Outdoor Writers Association of America to to implement the same policy.

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OHRC Advisory Board to meet April 22 in Salem

The Oregon Hatchery Research Center Board will meet Tuesday, April 22 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the ODFW Headquarters office, 4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, Salem OR 97302.

The agenda includes updates on several research projects and information on the agency’s Western Oregon fish monitoring programs. The meeting is open to the public and an opportunity for public comment is scheduled.

The OHRC is a cooperative research project between the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Oregon State University, and the Advisory Committee advises the Senior Scientist on activities and functions related to the operation and maintenance of the OHRC.

Reasonable accommodations will be provided as needed for individuals requesting assistive hearing devices, sign language interpreters or large-print materials at all ODFW public meetings. Individuals needing these types of accommodations may call the ODFW Director’s Office at 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. For more information about the OHRC visit ODFW’s web site www.dfw.state.or.us/OHRC/ or contact Ryan Couture, Facility Manager at 541-487-5510.

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ODFW News – Update On Coastal Multi-Species Management Plan

The comment period for the Public Draft of the Coastal Multi-Species Conservation and Management Plan (CMP) ended on March 10 and a Commission Review Draft CMP has now been prepared and posted at: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/CRP/coastal_multispecies.asp

This draft will be presented to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission (OFWC) at its April 25, 2014 meeting in North Bend.  Details on this meeting can be found on the OFWC website: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/. It is tentatively anticipated that decisions about the CMP will be made at the Commission’s June 5 – 6 meeting in Salem.

Written public comments can be submitted to: su.ro.etatsnull@nalPlatsaoC.WFDO or su.ro.etatsnull@noissimmoc.wfdo or mailed to: Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission  4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, Salem, OR 97302.

Public comment will be taken at the April 25 meeting following staff’s presentation of the plan.

For questions about the CMP or Commission meeting, please contact Kevin Goodson at 503-947-6250.

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California Outdoor News – Two Santa Barbara County Men Arrested For Felony Fish Theft

Two commercial fishermen were arrested by California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officers early Sunday morning in Santa Barbara Harbor on felony charges of conspiracy and grand theft.

John Wilson, 53, of Santa Ynez and Kai Griffin, 23, of Buellton, both licensed commercial fishermen, are being charged with stealing live rock crabs from fellow commercial fishermen and stealing from commercial fish markets at the commercial dock in Santa Barbara Harbor. Wildlife officers allege that the pair then sold the crabs, along with several other illegally landed species, at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market.

“Thanks to some good tips from the fishing community and good, solid police work, we were able to catch the suspects and stop these illegal sales,” said CDFW Lt. Wes Boyle

Wardens had received reports from commercial fishermen and two Santa Barbara fish markets regarding stolen rock crabs and other assorted species. The thefts were said to be occurring in the early morning hours. During the two-month-long investigation, the subjects were observed stealing live rock crabs from receivers in Santa Barbara Harbor and then selling them at the Farmer’s Market. The investigation also showed that the subjects were selling sea urchins, Kellet’s whelks (out of season), live rock crabs and clawed rock crabs that were illegally landed.

The suspects were booked into Santa Barbara County Jail, and charges will be filed with the county District Attorney.

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California Outdoor News – Trinity Lake Gives Up 14 Pound Landlocked Chinook

Only a few years ago, the California state record for landlocked Chinook salmon weighed less than eight pounds. But that was before Trinity Lake, in northwest California, started giving up much heavier fish on a regular basis.

The latest jumbo landlocked Chinook, was caught by Sally Nachreiner on April 7th and while not a state record, at 14 pounds it was nearly twice as heavy as the old record.

The current state record landlocked Chinook salmon weighed nearly 21 pounds and was pulled from Trinity Lake in mid-July of last year.

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ODFW News – Become A Volunteer Angling Instructor

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is looking for anglers to share their love of fishing with families and children by becoming volunteer angling instructors.

The agency will be hosting angler instructor training in Springfield on Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Department of Forestry at 3150 Main Street, Springfield, Ore. 97478. Lunch will be provided.

According to Shahab Farzanegan, ODFW angling education coordination, the day will in include basic fishing skills, stewardship, aquatic resources and water safety. “Potential volunteers will also learn about upcoming events in their area and how they can get involved,” he said.

Preregistration April 23 is required. To register, contact Darlene Sprecher at (503) 947-6025 or by e-mail at su.ro.etatsnull@rehcerps.m.enelraD.

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Wahington Outdoor News – Closed Section of Rufus Woods Lake Will Open to Anglers

Action:   Open the closed waters section on Rufus Woods Lake to recreational fishing.

Effective Date: April 15, 2014 until further notice.

Species affected:   All species

Location:   From Grand Coulee Dam downstream to the State Route 155 Bridge.

Reason for action:   Following the events of Sept. 11, 2001, this section of Rufus Woods Lake was closed to public access and recreational fishing for security purposes. Public access has recently been restored, and recreational fishing will now be permitted. This same change in fishing rules was also adopted by the Colville Confederated Tribe’s Fish and Wildlife Department.

Other information:   Fishing rules and license requirements in effect downstream of the SR 155 Bridge apply to the newly opened section. Consult the current Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Sport Fishing Rules Pamphlet ( http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/ ) for a concise explanation of fishing rules and license requirements in effect on Rufus Woods Lake.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will submit a permanent rule change request to the Commission for adoption in 2014.

Information contact:   Jeff Korth, Region 2 Fish Program Manager, (509) 754-4624, extension 224.

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.

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Washington Outdoor News – Some Hunt Quotas Increased

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission took action to expand the number of big-game hunting permits available this year and reduce the cost of several types of permits during a public meeting April 11-12 in Olympia.

The commission, a citizen panel that sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), approved those and other changes while adopting new hunting rules for the upcoming season.

The continued growth of many state deer and elk populations will support increases in the number of hunting permits issued this year, said Dave Ware, WDFW game manager.

“After a five-year stretch of mild winters, surveys show that most big game populations are stable or growing,” Ware said. “That bodes well for hunting opportunities this year.”

The commission approved additional permits in three key areas:

Colockum elk herd:   With the herd continuing to exceed population objectives, WDFW will increase the number special permits, primarily for antlerless elk, to 1,016 from 374.
Yakima elk herd:   The commission approved 130 additional permits for antlered elk and 1,440 for antlerless elk in response to the herd’s continuing growth in central Washington.
Northeast white-tailed deer:   Buck harvest levels have increased as the herd starts to rebound from harsh winters of 2007-08. WDFW will make 120 additional antlerless special permits available this year to youth, senior, and disabled hunters.
The only significant reduction made in special permits this year is in the Mount St. Helens area, where the elk herd has reached WDFW’s management objective after six years of elevated permit levels.

That strategy, designed to bring the herd into balance with available habitat, has reduced the herd by 25 to 30 percent. At WDFW’s request, the commission approved a reduction of 400 permits this year.

The commission also approved a proposal to reduce fees for some special permits and tags, which were raised in 2009. Ware said WDFW proposed those reductions to encourage participation in certain hunts and address concerns raised about the cost of certain permits.

Under the new fee schedule adopted by the commission, the cost of a second-deer tag will be reduced to $43.40 from $68, while the price of a multi-season deer tag drops to $139.10 from $182.

The cost will also be reduced for second-deer “damage tags” used by hunters working with property owners with damage-prevention or kill permits.

Also approved was a proposal to streamline the process for issuing hunters with disabilities special-use permits, which enable them to use modified hunting equipment such as crossbows equipped with a scope.

In other business, the commission approved WDFW’s proposal to acquire 640 acres near Wenatchee to provide a migratory corridor for deer, elk and other wildlife. Working in partnership with Chelan County and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, WDFW secured the property with funding provided by the Washington Recreation and Conservation Office and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Other transactions approved by the commission will allow WDFW to:

Accept the transfer from the Washington State Department of Transportation of a one-acre inholding to WDFW’s Oak Creek Wildlife Area near Yakima.
Exchange three-quarters of an acre with the City of Sumner, which will allow WDFW to construct a parking lot near a water-access site on the Puyallup River.
Acquire a pipeline easement to improve the water supply at the Aberdeen Hatchery in Grays Harbor County.

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ODFW News – Forecast Excellent For Fall Salmon Seasons On Columbia For 2014 Salmon Seasons Promise Plenty Of Angling Opportunities.

Oregon and Washington fishery managers announced the 2014 summer and fall salmon and steelhead seasons for the Columbia River and, thanks to strong projected returns, they include bigger bag limits for several areas.

The 2014 seasons are based on a projected record return of 1.6 million fall Chinook and over 900,000 hatchery coho salmon. Based on these projections, bag limits have been increased for the following fisheries:
At Buoy 10, anglers will be able to keep three adipose-clipped coho after Sept 1.
From the Lewis River to the Sandy River the season will start off with a two Chinook limit.
From the Sandy to Washougal rivers upstream to the OR/WA border, the daily bag limit for fall Chinook will be three (fin-clipped or not).
Also for fall 2014 is the continuation of the “boat limit” rule from Buoy 10 to the OR/WA border. Anglers fishing from the same boat may continue fishing for salmon until all licensed anglers have reached their daily limits.

Based on the run size and larger bag limits, managers are predicting the number of fish caught in 2014 will be 40 percent higher than in 2013. The number of days on the water is expected to be similar to 2013.

According to Chris Kern, ODFW deputy administrator for Columbia and Marine programs, the major constraint to allowing additional fishing days is still the allowable harvest rate of ESA-listed wild tule Chinook.

“This year the allowable impacts on wild tules for southern U.S. fisheries is nearly 10 percent lower than in 2013,” Kern said. “As a result we need to constrain fisheries in areas of the lower river where anglers are more likely to encounter more tules.“

“At the same time, we’ve tried to maximize opportunities in upriver areas where anglers can take advantage of the huge Chinook returns with fewer impacts on wild tules,” he added.

“While we couldn’t achieve much in the way of additional days on the water, we expect catch rates to be even higher than last year’s,” Kern said.

Anglers should be alert for potential in-season modifications, especially in the Buoy 10 and middle river areas.

Here are the details of the 2014 Columbia River summer and fall salmon and steelhead seasons:

Summer Seasons*

Summer Chinook and Sockeye

Retention of sockeye and adipose fin-clipped adult summer Chinook (longer than 24-inches) allowed:
June 16 – June 30 from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam.
June 16 – July 31 from Bonneville Dam upstream to the OR/WA border.
Retention of adipose fin-clipped jack summer Chinook (between 12 and 24-inches long) and adipose fin-clipped steelhead allowed June 16 – July 31 from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to the OR/WA border.
The daily bag limit is two adult salmonids and five jacks. All sockeye are considered adults in the daily limit.
All other permanent rules apply.
Fall Seasons*

Buoy 10

Area definition: From the Buoy 10 line upstream to a line projected from Rocky Point on the Washington shore through red buoy #44 to red marker #2 at Tongue Point on the Oregon shore.
August 1 – December 31: Retention of adipose fin-clipped adult coho (16-inches or longer) and adipose fin-clipped steelhead allowed.
August 1 – 29: Retention of adult Chinook (24-inches or longer, fin-clipped or not) is allowed. The daily bag limit is two adult salmonids, only one of which may be a Chinook.
August 30 – September 1: Retention of adipose or left-ventral fin-clipped adult Chinook is allowed. The daily bag limit is two adult salmonids, only one of which may be a Chinook.
September 2 – 30: Retention of Chinook is prohibited but the daily bag limit increases to three adult salmonids of which no more than 2 may be hatchery steelhead.
October 1 – December 31: Retention of adult Chinook (fin-clipped or not) is allowed. The daily bag limit is two adult salmonids.
Jacks may not be retained between August 1 and September 30 under permanent rules.
All other permanent rules apply.

Lower Columbia – Tongue Point/Rocky Point upstream to Warrior Rock/Bachelor Island

Area definition: From a line projected from Rocky Point on the Washington shore through red buoy #44 to the red marker #2 at Tongue Point on the Oregon shore upstream to a line projected from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Oregon shore through red buoy #4 to a marker on the lower end of Bachelor Island.
August 1 – December 31: Retention of adipose fin-clipped adult coho and adipose fin-clipped steelhead allowed.
August 1 – September 6: Retention of adult Chinook (longer than 24-inches, fin-clipped or not) is allowed. The daily bag limit is two adult salmonids, only one of which may be a Chinook.
September 7 – 14: Retention of adipose fin-clipped adult Chinook is allowed. The daily bag limit is two adult salmonids, only one of which may be a Chinook.
September 15 – 30: Retention of Chinook is prohibited. The daily bag limit is two adult salmonids.
October 1 – December 31: Retention of adult Chinook (fin-clipped or not) is allowed. The daily bag limit is two adult salmonids.
Each legal angler aboard a vessel may continue to deploy angling gear until the daily adult salmonid bag limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved.
All other permanent rules apply, including bag limits for jacks.

Lower Columbia – Warrior Rock/Bachelor Isl. upstream to Steamboat Landing/Marker #50

Area definition: From a line projected from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Oregon shore through red buoy #4 to a marker on the lower end of Bachelor Island upstream to a line projected from the most downstream point on the Steamboat Landing dock on the Washington shore through navigation light #50 to the Oregon shore. Fishing from the Steamboat Landing dock is considered within the fishing area.
August 1 – December 31: Retention of adult Chinook (fin-clipped or not), adipose fin-clipped adult coho, and adipose fin-clipped steelhead allowed. The daily bag limit is two adult salmonids.
Each legal angler aboard a vessel may continue to deploy angling gear until the daily adult salmonid bag limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved.
All other permanent rules apply, including bag limits for jacks.

Lower Columbia – Steamboat Landing/Marker #50 upstream to Bonneville Dam
Area definition: From a line projected from the most downstream point on the Steamboat Landing dock on the Washington shore through navigation light #50 to the Oregon shore upstream to Bonneville Dam
August 1 – December 31: Retention of adult Chinook (fin-clipped or not), adipose fin-clipped adult coho, and adipose fin-clipped steelhead allowed. The daily bag limit is three adult salmonids, of which at least one must be a Chinook
Each legal angler aboard a vessel may continue to deploy angling gear until the daily adult salmonid bag limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved.
All other permanent rules apply, including bag limits for jacks.
Bonneville Dam upstream to the OR/WA border (upstream of McNary Dam)

August 1 – December 31: Retention of adult Chinook (fin-clipped or not), adult coho, and adipose fin-clipped steelhead allowed. The daily bag limit is three adult salmonids, of which at least one must be a Chinook.
All coho retained downstream of the Hood River Bridge must be adipose fin-clipped.
Each legal angler aboard a vessel may continue to deploy angling gear until the daily adult salmonid bag limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved.
All other permanent rules apply, including bag limits for jacks.
* Seasons may be subject to in-season modification.

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California Outdoor News – CDFW To Hold Public Workshop On Lead Bullet Ban Implementation

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will hold a public workshop to discuss the implementation of the lead bullet ban. The workshop will be held at 911 San Pedro Street in Ventura on Tuesday, April 15 from 7-8:30p.m.

A CDFW representative will detail a proposed plan for implementation, the PowerPoint for which can be viewed on the CDFW website. Following the short presentation, interested parties can make comments and provide input. That input may help shape CDFW’s final recommendation to the Fish and Game Commission, which CDFW anticipates presenting to the Commission at the Wildlife Resources Committee meeting in Sacramento in September.

Last year, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 711 requiring that a regulation to ban lead ammunition in the state be established by the Commission no later than July 1, 2015, with full implementation to be effective no later than July 1, 2019. Governor Brown has directed CDFW and the Commission to work with all interested parties in order to produce a regulation that is least disruptive.

In order to determine what is least disruptive to hunters, CDFW has been reaching out to interested parties this year in a number of ways, including question and answer sessions at sportsmen’s shows, internal meetings with hunting organizations and now a series of public workshops throughout the state. After Ventura, planning is underway for workshops later this year in Eureka, Sacramento and San Diego.

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