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Contact Pete Heley
PO Box 264
Reedsport, OR 97467
Monthly Archives: September 2014
Despite increasing the quota from the original 20,000 to 35,000 – the ocean nonselective coho salmon season is slated to close 11 days early with the last day for ocean coho fishing to be Friday, September 19th.
The bulk of the coho catch occurred along the northern Oregon coast from Newport north.
The ocean will remain open through October 31st for Chinook salmon 24-inches long, or longer – but no ocean coho will be legal to keep after Friday.
Both finclipped and wild coho are legal to keep in the tidewater portions of most of Oregon’s coastal rivers – subject to daily and seasonal individual limits on unclipped coho salmon.
Wahington Outdoor News – WDFW Takes Steps To Combat The Spread Of New Zealand Mudsnails At Ringold Hatchery.
State fisheries managers are working to limit the spread of invasive New Zealand mudsnails recently found at the Ringold Hatchery, north of Richland.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) confirmed the presence of mudsnails at the hatchery in late August. New Zealand mudsnails also were detected along the banks of the Columbia River, which flows past the hatchery, and in the spring that supplies water to Ringold.
“Based on the density of the snails we’ve found, we suspect the original infestation at the hatchery site occurred three or four years ago,” said Allen Pleus, WDFW aquatic invasive species coordinator.
New Zealand mudsnails initially were detected in Washington in 1996 in the Columbia River and have spread to several of the state’s lakes and rivers, including Olympia’s Capitol Lake, the Chehalis River and Lake Washington. Once established in a river or lake, mudsnails are difficult and costly to remove without damaging the aquatic habitat.
New Zealand mudsnails are tiny – about one-eighth of an inch long – but prolific snails that can disrupt the food chain in a lake or river by outcompeting native species. Due to their size, these snails can easily be picked up and transported from one river or lake to another on people’s boots, fishing equipment or boats. Fish also can transport New Zealand mudsnails, which can survive passing through their digestive tracts.
WDFW raises several species of fish at its Ringold facility but has not released any fish from the hatchery since discovering mudsnails there. The department is evaluating its options for the fish on hand, which include tiger muskies, steelhead and rainbow trout, said Kelly Cunningham, deputy assistant director of WDFW’s fish program. One option includes isolating the fish for a period of time to allow them to expel the mudsnails prior to release.
“Although we know New Zealand mudsnails have been present in the lower Columbia River for nearly two decades, we’re trying to prevent these snails from spreading to lakes and streams that are not infested,” Cunningham said.
WDFW is exploring options to keep mudsnails out of the spring water that flows into the hatchery and decontaminate the fish raceways and ponds at Ringold.
The department also is checking other fish hatcheries for New Zealand mudsnails, because WDFW routinely moves fish between hatcheries. No mudsnails have been detected at the Meseberg Hatchery, which is adjacent to Ringold and is supplied water by a separate spring.
The section of the Columbia River that flows past the hatchery is a popular steelhead and chinook salmon fishery. The department has posted signs in the area to inform anglers of the steps to take to minimize the spread of these mudsnails. WDFW also is setting up stations for anglers fishing along the banks to clean their boots and gear to help prevent the spread of New Zealand mudsnails.
“We’re also asking boaters recreating in the area to help out by cleaning, draining and drying their boats and equipment,” Pleus said.
Anglers and others recreating in the area should check WDFW’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/ais/youcanhelp for information on preventing the spread of mudsnails and other aquatic invasive species.
The first discovery of New Zealand mudsnails in the United States was in 1987 in Idaho. Since then, the species have spread to 10 western states as well as the Great Lakes. To learn more about New Zealand mudsnails, visit WDFW’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/ais/molluscs.html .
Unclipped coho salmon became legal to keep last Monday (September 15th) on many of Oregon’s coastal rivers. The daily and seasonal bag limits for unclipped cohos is one fish per day and two per season and while the quotas for most rivers has been removed, the Umpua River still has a quota of 2,000 wild or unclipped coho for this season, which will end when the quota is reached, or November 30th – whichever comes first.
Jack salmon are legal to keep in most coastal rivers. but coho jacks, which must measure between 15 and 20-inches must be finclipped except that during the nonselective season on Oregon’s coastal rivers – one unclipped coho jack may be kept per day.
Chinook jacks measure brtween 15 and 24-inches and do not have to be finclipped. The daily limit for jack salmon is five fish per day.
While jack salmon do not have to be marked on an angler’s tag, an easy way to receive a ticket is to catch and keep jack salmon while fishing the river and then venture out into the ocean with those jacks still on board. Every salmon retained in the ocean must be tagged and be subject to minimum size limits of 16-inches for cohos and 24-inches for Chinooks.
There was some concerns that the ocean nonselective coho quota was being approached, but that quota was recently increased from 20,000 to 35,000 fish.
Bank anglers casting spinners at such Winchester Bay spots as Half Moon Bay and Osprey Point accounted for lots of salmon over the weekend – unfortunately most of them were unclipped cohos which are now legal to keep, but were not prior to September 15th. As for popular spinner colors, green has joined pink and chartreuse as the most popular and productive colors.
The bobber and bait fishery at the mouth of Winchester Creek hasn’t really got going yet, but lots of salmon are present and lures and flies have produced several fish.
The STEP salmon Derby was held last weekend and while the results were not available to me as I am writing this, the weekend fishing success at Coos Bay was very good.
The Crab Bounty Hunt will be in effect through September and the fist tagged crab was turned in at the Sportman Cannery last week. It was caught near the coast Guard Pier.
Fishing for yellow perch and largemouth bass has improved with slightly cooler warer temperatures and September and October are usually the most productive months for Umpqua River smallmouth bass with sightfishing with smaller soft plastic baits easy and effective in the low clear water..
Trout fishing at Lake Marie has been fairly productive with some of the trout caught recently being trophy rainbows from a plant made three weeks ago.
It seems that the numbers of orcas in Puget Sound is steadily declining due to a decline in their preferred forage (Chinook salmon), while the more nomadic orcas farther north are increasiung in numbers. Their forage base of marine mammals remains abundant. While orcas are considered among the most intelliugent of marine mammals, they have yet to figure out how to take advantage of the record numbers of Chinook salmon passing over Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River.
OLYMPIA – State wildlife managers are seeking help from hunters and the general public in monitoring the spread of hoof disease among elk in 10 counties in southwest Washington.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) asks that anyone who spots an elk with hoof deformities in the area that is limping or dead report their observations at wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/health/hoof_disease/. A map on that website shows the department’s primary focus of interest.
Sandra Jonker, WDFW regional wildlife manager, said the department is primarily interested in receiving reports outside the primary area of infection around Cowlitz County, where the disease is already well documented.
“Our focus now is on assessing the spread of the disease to other parts of the region,” Jonker said. “Gaining more information about the incidence and geographical distribution of the disease will help determine how best to manage it.”
She noted that the website is designed to accept reports from the field using a mobile phone. Once filed, those reports will immediately appear on WDFW’s website.
Diagnostic testing conducted over the past year indicates hoof disease in elk closely resembles a contagious bacterial infection in sheep. There is no evidence that the bacteria are harmful to humans, but there is no vaccine for elk that contract the disease, Jonker said.
To help prevent the disease from spreading, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission recently approved a new rule requiring hunters in 10 southwest Washington counties to remove the hooves of any elk they harvest and leave them on-site.
Water temperatures on Potholes Reservoir have cooled as much as 10 degrees in the past 10 days. With night time lows flirting with the 40’s the fall pattern has begun. As we enjoy the cooling waters fish begin to feel the instinct to begin feeding for a long cold winter. Walleye’s have been seen this past week over 10 pounds as an example of this feeding frenzy. As the full moon disappears day time catches will improve for walleye and bass anglers. When we move into the October period, Crappie fishing will simply be amazing. In the last month we have seen Crappie off the MarDon dock up to 16.5 inches. This is not a normal fish this is an extremely large jumbo crappie. This past week with relentless cold North Winds all of the food is being forced to the South Shores of Potholes Reservoir. This creates the perfect set up for the 2014 MarDon Marathon Dock Fishing Tournament. For more info on the dock tournament please read below.
The seep lakes have come alive with the cooling weather. During these cold north winds, anglers have been limiting on trout in Coral Lake. The 60 foot wall called O’Sullivan Dam provides a perfect wind break for the fishers looking to get out and bait a hook on a breezy day. Additionally, the Upper and Lower Goose Lakes have been producing not only some fine walleye up to 9 pounds but upper goose lake has been producing excellent trout action for all fisher’s trolling.
September 12-14, 2014
Dock Fishing Tournament and Pie Social
This is a really fun weekend fishing event. The cost is $40 per person and it is a dock fishing tournament that starts Friday evening and does not end until 11am on Sunday. We pay out for 9 different species of fish for the top two weights and end the weekend with an awards ceremony and potluck style meal at noon on Sunday. We do limit this tournament to 200 fishers and we are 25% filled at this date, so if you are interested in joining please call the MarDon Office (509)346-2651 or go to mardonresort.com and download an application.
September 13, 2014
Old Farts Fishing Tournament
This is a 1 day bass tournament and to be eligible one team member does have to be 40 or older. The entry fee is $100 per team with a $25 big fish and a $25 big stringer option. Only prop driven outboard motors are allowed in this tourney.
Astoria Men Sentenced In 3 Counties Following OSP Fish & Wildlife Investigation Into Unlawful Sale And Purchase Of Fish And Crab
Two Astoria men pled guilty last month and were sentenced in three different counties following an Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish & Wildlife Division investigation into unlawful purchasing and selling of fish and crab. In January 2012, OSP Fish & Wildlife troopers began an investigation involving two men who operated Oceanic Logistics, LLC, identified as DANA MICHAEL FERGUSON, age 51, and SEAN MICHAEL FERGUSON, age 26. The company did not have a wholesale fish dealer license due to unpaid State landing fees. During 2012 and 2013, the men bought and sold fish unlawfully without a wholesale fish dealer license. In an effort to disguise the illegal activity, a monetary deal was made with another fish dealer to document illegal fish purchases on the other dealer’s assigned State fish receiving ticket. The unlawful purchases and sales were made in Astoria, Winchester Bay, and Charleston. Most of the illegal purchases involved Dungeness crab, which is a highly competitive market. In August 2014, the men pled guilty and were sentenced in Clatsop, Douglas, and Coos counties as follows: DANA FERGUSON * Clatsop County – Pled guilty to 2 counts of No Wholesale Fish Dealer’s License & 2 counts of Falsifying Business Records (both class A misdemeanors). Sentenced to 5 years bench probation and fined $1,000. * Douglas County – Pled no contest to 2 counts of No Wholesale Fish Dealer’s License (violation). Sentenced to 5 years bench probation. * Coos County – Pled guilty to 3 counts of No Wholesale Fish Dealer’s License and 2 counts of Falsifying Business Records (both class A misdemeanors). Sentenced to 5 years bench probation and fined $24,000 (fine is joint sentence with SEAN FERGUSON) SEAN FERGUSON * Clatsop County – Pled no contest to 2 counts of No Wholesale Fish Dealer’s License (class A misdemeanor). Sentenced to 5 years bench probation and fined $1,600. * Douglas County – Pled no contest to 2 counts of No Wholesale Fish Dealer’s License (violation). Sentenced to 5 years bench probation. * Coos County – Pled guilty to 3 counts of No Wholesale Fish Dealer’s License and 2 counts of Falsifying Business Records (both class A misdemeanors). Sentenced to 5 years bench probation and fined $24,000 (fine is joint sentence with DANA FERGUSON) No photographs for release. ### www.oregon.gov/OSP ###
Contact Info:Sergeant Joseph Warwick Oregon State Police – Astoria Office: (503) 325-5515
ADULT FALL CHINOOK RETURNS SHATTER SINGLE-DAY RECORD SET JUST ONE YEAR AGO
News Release from Bonneville Power AdministrationPosted on FlashAlert: September 10th, 2014 2:57 PM
PR 17-14 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bonneville Power Administration FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014 CONTACT: Michael Coffey, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 503-808-3722 Kevin Wingert, BPA, 503-230-4140 or 503-230-5131 Adult fall chinook returns shatter single-day record set just one year ago Historic fish returns predicated on a combination of work to improve fish conditions at all life stages in the Columbia River Basin and favorable ocean conditions Portland, Ore. – Since Sunday, more than 180,354 adult fall chinook have climbed the fish ladders at Bonneville Lock and Dam on their annual migration into the Columbia River Basin. Sunday’s count of 67,024 chinook was soon surpassed by Monday’s return of 67,521 – marking the largest, single-day return since counting began with the construction of the dam in 1938. The previous record of 63,870 had been set less than a year ago on Sept. 9, 2013. On Tuesday, the numbers held strong with 45,809 chinook swimming past the fish counting windows at the dam. The fish are among the 359,258 fall chinook seen thus far at Bonneville Dam. These numbers are only a fraction of the predicted 1.5 million adult fall chinook returning by the end of 2014. These returns are the result of a host of federal, tribal, state and non-profit organizations in the region working together over the past decade to improve conditions in the tributaries and main stem river using an “all H” approach – harvest, habitat, hydro and hatcheries – as well as favorable ocean conditions. “With our many partners, we work to balance the needs and interests of the region with large-scale improvements for fish,” said David Ponganis, Northwestern Division Programs Director for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “These record-breaking numbers show that the structural and operational improvements made at the dams have resulted in safer passage conditions for juvenile and adult fish.” These efforts represent one of the largest fish and wildlife programs in the nation, largely paid for by the region’s electric ratepayers along with funding from federal taxpayers. “The results we are seeing reflect a tremendous collaborative effort within the Columbia River Basin,” said BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer. “We look forward to working with our existing and future partners towards a common vision of continuing to bring back more fish to the rivers.” ###
Contact Info:CONTACT: Michael Coffey, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 503-808-3722 Kevin Wingert, BPA, 503-230-4140 or 503-230-5131
ROSEBURG, Ore. – Tests have confirmed that deer in the Roseburg area are dying from Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), a disease that has not been seen in deer in this area of Oregon before.
Lab results from Oregon State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Lab tested positive for EHD late last week. This year, more than 100 deer have died in the Roseburg area with similar symptoms. Most of the deer were found in the Fisher Road area west of Roseburg or near Umpqua Community College.
EHD is transmitted to deer via the bites of Culicoides gnats (no-see-ums). Columbian white-tailed deer are particularly susceptible but it can affect black-tailed deer as well. Both a black-tailed deer and a Columbian white-tailed deer collected in the Roseburg area tested positive for EHD. Additional samples of other deer found dead are being tested.
ODFW wildlife veterinarian Colin Gillin said EHD symptoms resemble those of the more common Adenovirus Hemorrhagic Disease (AHD). EHD causes weakness, excessive salivation and bloody diarrhea. Deer with EHD also develop a rapid pulse and respiration rate and fevers – which is why they are frequently found lying in bodies of water to reduce their body temperature. Deer finally become unconscious and die.
“We have never seen EHD before in this area, and it’s a new threat to deer,” said Tod Lum, Umpqua District wildlife biologist. “Low water conditions and pools of stagnant water along the rivers provide ideal breeding conditions for the gnats that transmit EHD. There isn’t much we can do to prevent this disease other than wait for the rains to come or cold temperatures to knock back the gnats.”
Lum still recommends people stop feeding deer or providing them with water so as not to artificially concentrate them in a small area. Also, clean water troughs, fountains and bird baths if deer are using them. “These steps will help reduce the risk of disease spreading,” Lum said.
There have also been reports of more than 200 dead deer in Jackson and Josephine counties. Samples from those deer tested positive for the more common AHD, which is spread through nose to nose contact.
Because EHD is transmitted through gnats, livestock can also be affected.
“Domestic livestock can certainly be exposed to the virus, but our experience with EHD shows cattle and sheep rarely exhibit clinical signs,” says Dr. Brad LeaMaster, State Veterinarian with the Oregon Department of Agriculture. “A very small percentage of animals can develop symptoms that can include fever, loss of appetite, lameness, ulcers and crusty sores on the nose, mouth and teats. There is no vaccine for EHD in cattle.”
LeaMaster says livestock owners should contact their local veterinarian if they notice any of their animals showing signs of disease. “I would like veterinarians to contact my office if they see cattle with erosions or lesions in the mouth to rule out foreign animal diseases such as Foot and Mouth Disease,” LeaMaster said.
EHD cannot spread to people from animals.
Anyone who sees a sick deer in the Roseburg area should call the Roseburg ODFW office at 541-440-3353 or the Wildlife Health Hotline at 1-866-968-2600. Currently, archery deer hunting and some controlled deer hunts are open in southwest Oregon and any hunter who harvests a sick deer should also contact ODFW.