Monthly Archives: October 2014

Pete Heley Outdoors 10/22/2014

Crabbing at Winchester Bay has been fair to good for those with boats and much tougher for those crabbing from docks. Ocean crabbing closed at midnight on October 15th, but rough ocean and tough bar conditions have kept it from being an option anyway. A decrease in crabbing pressure has allowed keeper crabs entering the lower Umpqua River to actually reach the section of lower river between Marker 12 and the entrance to Winchester Bay’s East Boat Basin.

Despite the belief of many crabbers that the first heavy rain will move the river crabs back out into the ocean, such is not the case. While a heavy rain may move them down lower in the river, tidal effects will keep them in the lowermost river. It takes an incredible amount of rain to actually move river crabs back out into the ocean.

It continues to amaze me how many people are asking where to buy fresh crab. The commercial crab season ended in mid-August and their only options are to catch their own crabs or buy frozen crabs. If there are no delays, the commercial crab season will reopen the first of December.

There is a chance that if coho salmon have not yet entered Siltcoos Lake, they will do so with the next heavy rain. A considerable amount of additional rainfall will be necessary to get the cohos into Tahkenitch and Tenmile Lakes.

Some of the smaller streams in southern Coos and Curry counties have late run Chinook salmon fisheries. These fisheries seldom get going until early November. The Chetco River will get going first, follwed by the Elk River, Sixes River and Floras Creek. When the salmon actually enter these rivers, there is a chance at catching some humongous fish. A few years ago, tiny Hunter Creek gave up a Chinook weighing more than 59 pounds.

Closer to home – entering last weekend, Winchester Bay anglers caught a few Chinooks and finclipped cohos in addition to the many unkeepable wild cohos that were caught. Much of the fishing pressure so evident at Winchester Bay a few weeks ago, has moved to the Siuslaw River.

The “Mud Hole” at the mouth of Winchester Creek in Winchester Bay continues to produce finclipped Chinooks to bobber and bait anglers and a number of Chinooks, many of them dark, have been caught on sand shrimp on the Smith River.

For serious anglers willing and able to travel, Nevada’s Pyramid Lake continues to be the best place on earth to catch trout weighing more than ten pounds. The season opened in early October and more than 75 lahontan cutthroats weighing at least ten pounds have already been caught. Several of the trout weighed more than 20 pounds.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife deserves major kudos for finetuning Pyramid’s stocking program and the number of 20+ pound fish caught in the last few years portends even bigger trout being caught in the near future. More than 90 years ago, Pyramid produced lahontan cutts weighing 41 and 39 pounds.

Despite the recent rainy weather, morning temperatures have been surprisingly warm and anglers pursuing largemouth and smallmouth bass as well as yellow perch should enjoy good success.

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Washington Fishing – Parts Of Yakima River To Open For Coho Salmon Fishing

Action:   Open the “middle” Yakima River to fishing for coho salmon.

Dates:   Oct. 22 through Nov. 9, 2014.

Species affected: Coho (silver) salmon; both hatchery and wild fish.

Location: From the Interstate 82 bridge at Union Gap to the “closed water” line 3,500 feet downstream of Roza Dam.

Reason for action:   A record return of coho salmon is returning to the upper Yakima River with more than 15,000 counted passing Prosser Dam through Oct. 20. Yakama Nation and WDFW biologists agree that a harvestable surplus is available to provide this sport fishing opportunity.

Other information:

Daily limit of two (2) coho (wild or hatchery)
Barbless hooks are required (single-point or multiple-point allowed)
During this fishery, the “Selective Gear Rules” prohibiting use of bait and knotted nets is temporarily suspended.
Night closure in effect.
Fishing for trout and other gamefish closes on Oct. 31 by permanent rule.
Fishing for steelhead remains closed.   All steelhead (rainbow trout greater than 20″ in total length) must be immediately released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release.
A Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement is required to participate in this salmon fishery.
Fishing from boats equipped with an internal combustion motor (ICM) is allowed only from the I-82 Bridge at Union Gap to the east-bound (upstream) I-82 bridge at Selah Gap. Boats with an ICM may be used for “transportation only” upstream of the Selah Gap Bridge.
Closed to fishing year-round for all species 400 feet upstream from the upstream side of the Yakima Avenue/Terrace Heights Road bridge in Yakima, including the area adjacent and downstream of the Roza Wasteway No. 2 fish barrier rack next to Morton & Sons Inc.
Information contacts:   Eric Anderson, District 8 Fish Biologist, (509) 457-9301 (Yakima); or John Easterbrooks, Regional Fish Program Manager, (509) 457-9330 (Yakima).

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Washington Fishing – Fishing Season Extended On Spring and Blue Lakes

Action:   Extend the fishing season on Spring Lake and Blue Lake, within the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Wooten Wildlife Area in Columbia County.

Effective date: Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, 2014

Species affected: Rainbow Trout

Location: Spring Lake and Blue Lake, WDFW Wooten Wildlife Area, Columbia County

Reason for action: This fishing rule change will provide additional recreational opportunity for hunters and others who would like to fish these lakes in late fall when visiting the Wooten Wildlife Area. These lakes are managed with hatchery trout.  There are sufficient trout available within these lakes for harvest after Oct. 31.

Other information: Fishing from a floating device is prohibited. Trout:  No minimum size.  Daily limit 5. Up to 2 over 13″ may be retained. Other game fish:  Statewide min. size / daily limit.

Anglers are reminded to refer to the 2014 / 2015 Fishing in Washington sport fishing rules pamphlet for other regulations, including safety closures, etc.

Information contact: John Whalen, Region 1, (509) 892-7861.

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Coos Bay Coho Still Biting Well

Despite many anglers switching over to the Coquille and Siuslaw Rivers, fishing continues to be very good in the Coos River and Coos Bay. In fact, fishing has been good enough that Bryan Gill of the Umpqua Angler guarantees his clients they will catch at least one salmon per day – or they don’t pay.

These Yoncalla anglers fished Coos Bay with Bryan Gill for their coho salmon. (The Umpqua Angler - 541-852-9889)

These Yoncalla anglers fished Coos Bay with Bryan Gill for their coho salmon. (The Umpqua Angler – 541-852-9889)

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Washington Fishing – WDFW Increases Stocking Rates In Seven Western Counties

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is stocking 47 western Washington lakes with 340,000 catchable-size trout this fall.

This is nearly four times more fish than were released last fall in western Washington.

WDFW is currently stocking lakes in Grays Harbor, Island, King, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston, and Whatcom Counties.

Those lakes, which are scheduled to be stocked between Oct. 12-19, include:

Grays Harbor County: Vance Creek ponds 1 and 2;
Island County: Cranberry Lake;
King County: Angle, Bitter, Deep, Rattlesnake, Shadow, Green, Langlois, Walker, Holm, Fish, Fivemile and Fenwick lakes;
Pierce County: Harts, Kapowsin, Bonney and Bradley lakes;
Snohomish County: Tye Lake and Gissburg Pond North and South;
Thurston County: Long’s Pond, Offutt, Black, St. Clair, Lawrence, Long and Ohop Lakes; and
Whatcom County: Fazon Lake.

Other waters that were recently stocked include Island, Lost, Nahwatzel, and Spencer lakes in Mason County; Kitsap Lake in Kitsap County; Rattlesnake Lake in King County; Cascade Lake in San Juan County; and Gibbs, Leland and Teal lakes in Jefferson County.

Additional stocking efforts will focus on different lakes and counties in western Washington and will continue through October and November.

Bonus bag limits will also be allowed on some lakes, doubling angler’s catch limits from five to 10 trout.

A list of lakes to be stocked, those offering the bonus bag limit, and the department’s recently updated stocking plan is available for viewing at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/fall-into-fishing/ .

Chris Donley, inland fish program manager, said he expects angling to be great throughout the fall and winter months at all of these lakes. “Most of the trout are 11 to 13 inches long, with a few larger ones in the mix,” he said.

The fall fish plants are in response to anglers’ requests to increase fall and winter trout fishing opportunities in western Washington, said Donley. That effort also includes stocking lakes in southwest Washington for the Nov. 28 Black Friday opener, which offers anglers the opportunity to skip the shopping malls, get outside and enjoy fishing on the day after Thanksgiving.

For those fishing closer to the Puget Sound area, there are thousands of trout available in lakes that can be pursued throughout fall and winter, said Donley. “We encourage anglers young and old, inexperienced or well-seasoned, to get out and take advantage of these great fisheries,” he added.

For up-to-date stocking information this fall, anglers should follow the department on Twitter or Facebook, accessible from http://wdfw.wa.gov , or see the department’s weekly catchable trout stocking report at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/ .

Anglers must have a current Washington freshwater fishing license valid through March 31, 2015, to participate in these events.

Licenses can be purchased online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov ; by telephone at 1-866-246-9453; or at hundreds of license vendors across the state. For details on license vendor locations, visit the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/ .

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ODFW Has New Tools To Help Anglers Navigate Marine Reserves

NEWPORT, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has introduced some new tools to help ocean anglers map the boundaries of marine reserve areas as they fish off the Oregon Coast.

Fishing is prohibited within Oregon’s four marine reserves and it can be difficult for anglers to know whether they’ve entered a marine reserve area, said Stacy Galleher, ODFW community engagement coordinator for marine reserves.

The new tools offer anglers a variety of ways to download the marine reserve coordinates onto a number of different devices:

Download coordinates directly to common hand-held and boat GPS devices.
Create a map at home where the marine reserves can be downloaded and displayed on Google Earth.
Download a mobile app called FishAlerts. Developed by a private company, Great Outdoors Mobile, Inc., this free app displays rules summaries for all marine protected areas in the United States, including those in Oregon.
Anglers can find links to all of these options at the state’s Oregon Ocean Info website (www.oregonocean.info/marinereserves) under the “News from ODFW” section.

It has been the agency’s goal to provide information about the boundaries and harvest restrictions of the marine reserves sites in as many different ways as possible, Galleher said. In 2013 the agency issued thumb drives with mapping information to commercial fishers who could input the boundaries to their PC-based navigation plotters.

“Clearly we needed a similar tool for sport anglers,” Galleher said. “The number one call we receive about marine reserves is from sport anglers looking for the boundary coordinates.”

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“Hatchery Hole” On Trask River Opens To Fishing

TILLAMOOK, Ore. – A popular Trask River fishing hole will open early this year to give anglers more opportunity to capitalize on continued strong returns of Chinook and coho salmon.

The Hatchery Hole will open to fishing Oct. 16 under temporary rules adopted this week by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The Hatchery Hole is a popular section of the Trask River located 200 feet above and 900 feet below its confluence with Gold Creek, approximately six miles southeast of Tillamook. It normally remains closed through November to protect hatchery broodstock but will open early this year in response to returns in excess of hatchery needs on the Trask River.

“With observed and anticipated continued good returns of hatchery coho and fall Chinook we are implementing this additional opportunity,” said Robert Bradley, ODFW fish biologist in Tillamook, whonoted that the opener will coincide with forecast rains that should bring more salmon into the Trask river basin.

Anglers may keep up to two adult salmon or steelhead per day in any combination. Both clipped and unclipped Chinook salmon may be retained whereas coho and steelhead retention is restricted to adipose fin-clipped fish. See the 2014 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations or the ODFW website for further details.

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Potholes Reservoir / Mardon Resort Fishing Report

Cooling weather this week has only helped the walleye, bass and perch bite on Potholes Reservoir. Jumbo crappie 12 inches and larger have been caught by many fishers trolling at the mouth of Crab Creek and the face of the sand dunes. Our water level continues to rise two to three inches a day. Sand dune bass fishers are beginning to report good largemouth action from the Crab Creek Area, Goose Island, and the face of O’Sullivan Dam. The Lind Coulee is also showing some nice smallmouth bass action. Blade Baits are still producing walleye limits for boaters from many different areas on Potholes Reservoir.

Opening Day of waterfowl season was a duck hunters dream on Potholes Reservoir. We had winds gusting up to 40 MPH which kept the birds on the move. All parties that enjoyed hunting with The Duck Taxi on opening day enjoyed many local ducks. For more information on duck hunting on Potholes Reservoir with The Duck Taxi please visit our website www.ducktaxi.com or call the reservation line at MarDon Resort (509) 346-2651.

Pheasant Hunting opens this Saturday and if you are looking for some land access for a fee you might consider joining the Royal Hunt Club. It offers 28,000 acres of farm land donated for fee hunting options. This land runs along the Royal Slope area and you can look at a map by stopping by the MarDon Office during 9am-6pm daily. You can either purchase a season pass or you can purchase a 3 day pass, the price for a season pass is $300 for the year and a 3 day pass will run you $120. For more information please call (509) 346-2651.

Chuck Celestine and his wife caught this huge 15 pound walleye tolling the face of the sand dunes. In addition to this monster they also caught a 6 pound walleye so it turned out to be a very successful fishing day.

Chuck Celestine and his wife caught this huge 15 pound walleye tolling the face of the sand dunes. In addition to this monster they also caught a 6 pound walleye so it turned out to be a very successful fishing day.

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Pete Heley Outdoors 10/16/2014

Ocean crabbing ceased being legal at midnight on October 15th, but remains legal the entire year in the tidewater porions of Oregon’s coastal rivers. On the Umpqua River, legal crabs are being caught as far upstream as Marker 12, but most boat crabbers are dropping their gear in Half Moon Bay.

Salmon fishing pressure has dropped off at Winchester Bay now that the Umpqua River’s quota of unclipped coho salmon has been reached. Some salmon anglers have simply quit fishing, while others have switched to rivers that don’t have quotas on wild or unclipped cohos – like the Coos, Coquille and Siuslaw rivers.

The bobber and bait fishery near the mouth of Winchester Creek seems to be getting a little better each day. Almost all the fish taken are hatchery Chinooks and we all should thank our Gardiner-Reedsport-Winchester Bay STEP chapter for establishing and maintaining this fishery.

Unless we receive a lot of rain rather quickly, it appears that almost all the coho salmon that enter Tahkenitch and Tenmile lakes will be dark by the time they actually get into the lakes. Because the dam on the Siltcoos River, the outlet to Siltcoos Lake, is located at the upper edge of tidewater, Siltcoos Lake and that portion of the outlet between the lake and the Highway 101 bridge – which is legal to fish for salmon – should offer anglers their best chance at bright coho salmon from any of the lakes that allow coho retention.

There are lots of other fishing opportunities besides salmon. Bottomfishing in the ocean out of Charlston and Winchester Bay has been very good.

Yellow perch fishing in virtually all of our local lakes is good, but for anglers willing to travel to reach truly exceptional fishing, the state of Washingon has three fisheries that are truly superb right now. One is the fishing at Potholes Reservoir for a variety of species. The best fishing is for walleyes, but the walleye anglers are catching a lot of jumbo yellow perch while employing their walleye techniques. Other fish species currently biting well at Potholes include rainbow trout to seven pounds, smallmouth bass  to six pounds, largemouth bass to eight pounds and white crappies to two and a half pounds

Lake Chelan, in central Washington, is giving up five fish limits of mackinaw, also known as lake trout, weighing from three to six pounds. Larger macs are available. A few years ago Chelan produced a Mac weighing more than 35 pounds, which is Washington’s current state record.

For some fun fishing, try Silver Lake in southwest Washington. A few years ago anglers were catching and keeping so many crappies that a ten crappie limit was imposed with minimum size limit of limit of nine inches.
During October, the smaller crappie move into Streeters and other canals by the tens of thousands and they bite aggressively.

Roger Luce. a one-time bass fishing guide on Silver Lake caught 800 crappie in a single day last week(that is a crappie per minute for more than 13 hours) He was using two small jigs fished a couple of feet beneath a small bobber. Only ten of the 800 crappie were big enough legally to keep. While Silver Lake has produced crappies to 16-inches and two and a half pounds, the movement of the lake’s smaller crappie into Streeters Canal each fall is a much anticipated event.

Several Coos County lakes were stocked last week with 16-inch rainbows and fishing has been good. Saunders Lake and Powers Pond each received 1,500 of the big rainbows. Empire Lakes was slated to receive 4,000 trophy trout, but one of the lakes was so low that it wasn’t stocked. Bradley Lake received a thousand trophy rainbows two weeks ago and is slated to receive 800 more the last week in October.

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California Fishing – Klamath River Adult Chinook Quota Met

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) projects that Klamath River anglers will have met their upper Klamath River catch quota of 702 adult fall-run Chinook salmon above the Highway 96 bridge by sundown on Friday, Oct. 10.

Starting Saturday, Oct. 11, anglers may still fish but can no longer keep adult Chinook salmon over 22 inches. They may still keep a daily bag of three Chinook salmon under 22 inches in the Klamath River above the Hwy. 96 bridge at Weitchepec.

The fall-run Chinook salmon quotas on the Trinity River are 681 adult Chinook salmon from the confluence with the Klamath River up to Cedar flat and 681 adult Chinook from Cedar Flat up to the Old Lewiston Bridge. These sub-area quotas have not been met yet, and anglers may retain one adult Chinook salmon as part of their three fish daily bag limit.

CDFW reminds anglers that a salmon report card is required when fishing for Chinook salmon in anadromous portions of the Klamath basin.

Steelhead fishing remains open, with a daily bag of two hatchery steelhead or trout and possession limit of four hatchery steelhead or trout. Hatchery steelhead or trout are defined as fish showing a healed adipose fin clip (the adipose fin is absent). Anglers are also required to possess a steelhead report card when fishing for steelhead.

Anglers may keep track of the status of open and closed sections of the Klamath and Trinity rivers by calling 1 (800) 564-6479.

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