Monthly Archives: February 2015

CDFW Clarifies Use Of “Unplugged” Shotguns

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) seeks to clear up an inadvertently included sentence in the 2014-2015 California Waterfowl Hunting Regulations that led to confusion about the use of an “unplugged” shotgun for late-season waterfowl hunts.

The language in question is included in the synopsis of current federal regulations, located at the back of this year’s California Waterfowl Hunting Regulations booklet. On Page 84, the booklet states that no person shall take migratory game birds:

“… with a shotgun of any description capable of holding more than three shells, unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the gun, so its total capacity does not exceed three shells. This restriction does not apply during dates States have selected under the Conservation Order for light geese (i.e. greater and lesser snow and Ross’s geese) or those selected for the control of resident Canada geese. (States insert appropriate dates for light goose only and Canada goose only seasons.)”

Please note that the section of the regulations underlined above is incorrect and does not apply anywhere in California. The plugged shotgun requirement remains in effect for all goose hunting seasons in California.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which has primary jurisdiction over management of the nation’s waterfowl, does authorize the use of unplugged shotguns and other techniques in certain parts of the country, in specific circumstances when population reductions are desired. However, federal regulations do not provide for these exceptions in California.

Almost all of California’s wintering goose populations are at the highest levels in decades, resulting in liberal harvest limits and several special late season goose-only hunts around the state. While in the field, hunters can access the regulations via smartphone at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Hunting/Waterfowl . The incorrect language relative to the unplugged shotguns has been removed in the online version.

CDFW apologizes for the confusion and will remove the inapplicable reference in next year’s regulations booklet.

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Umpqua River Clears, Steelhead Fishing Much Improved

According to Bryan Gill of “The Umpqua Angler”, clearing water on the Umpqua River combined with side drifting techniques has resulted in some red hot steelhead fishing. The hot fishing should hold up as lots of seals and sea lions have recently been observed at Winchester Bay dining on winter steelhead – an indication that there are still fair numbers of steelhead starting their upriver ascent.

Anthony and Kirby traveled all the way from Texas to catch their Umpqua River steelhead. Photo courtesy of "The Umpqua Angler" 541-852-9889.

Anthony and Kirby traveled all the way from Texas to catch their Umpqua River steelhead. Photo courtesy of “The Umpqua Angler” 541-852-9889.

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Man Charged In Eastern Oregon Moose Killing

According to a February 21st  article in the East Oregonian,  A Meacham man was arrested Tuesday morning for allegedly killing a young bull moose last summer near his home on the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Thad Nelson, 44, was arrested at his 67457 Old Oregon Trail Highway home for illegal taking of wildlife. Sara Tune, 29, and Alex Abell, 28, were also arrested at the scene on state warrants.

In addition to the head, hide and remains of the moose, police also recovered two stolen vehicles, an all-terrain vehicle and a handgun. Authorities also seized a pound of marijuana, three grams of suspected methamphetamine, an illegal short-barreled shotgun and the hunting rifle allegedly used to kill the animal.

The investigation began a month ago when Oregon State Police and Umatilla Tribal Police received a tip that a person had killed a young bull moose.

As authorities gathered more information connecting the Meacham site to stolen property from Baker and Morrow counties, the investigation expanded to include the Pendleton Police Department, the Blue Mountain Enforcement Narcotics Team, the FBI and the Umatilla and Morrow County sheriff’s offices.

Umatilla Tribal Police Chief Tim Addleman said the suspect was uncooperative in revealing his motive in allegedly killing the moose. Addleman said there were apparent efforts to preserve the moose head.

Addleman said this is the first moose killing case he has dealt with during his five year tenure, but the animals is not entirely uncommon in the area. In discussions with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Addleman said 50 to 75 moose come to the reservation each year.

There were an estimated 60-70 moose in northeast Oregon in 2013, and hunting is prohibited in the state. It is legal to hunt moose in season in both Idaho and Washington.

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CDFW News – Euthanasia Drugs Reach the Wrong Animals

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has confirmed that several turkey vultures have been poisoned from the veterinary euthanasia drug pentobarbital in Marin County.

Six turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) were brought to the WildCare Wildlife Hospital in San Rafael between July and October 2014. All the birds were comatose and barely breathing, presenting a medical mystery to the wildlife hospital staff.

With immediate and intensive medical intervention all of the birds recovered, and digestive samples were sent to a laboratory to determine what made them sick. CDFW confirmed pentobarbital exposure in all birds tested, but the source of the exposure remains unknown.

Pentobarbital is a drug used by veterinarians to euthanize companion animals, livestock and horses. If the remains of animals euthanized with pentobarbital are not properly disposed of after death, scavenging wildlife – such as turkey vultures and eagles – can be poisoned. Veterinarians and animal owners are responsible for disposing of animal remains properly by legal methods such as cremation or deep burial.

Turkey vultures are protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and California Fish and Game Code. Improperly disposed-of euthanized remains are a danger to all scavenging wildlife.

Members of the veterinary and livestock communities are asked to share this information with colleagues in an effort to prevent further incidents.

WildCare also asks the public to pay attention to grounded turkey vultures and other raptors and scavengers.

Pentobarbital-poisoned birds appear to be dead. They have no reflex response and breathing can barely be detected. The birds appear intact, without wounds or obvious trauma. Anyone finding a comatose vulture should call WildCare’s 24-hour Hotline at (415) 456-SAVE (7283) immediately.

Read more about one pentobarbital-poisoned turkey vulture patient and the astonishing medical intervention required to save its life at http://www.wildcarebayarea.org/vulture. WildCare also has numerous photos and videos of the animals in care, as well as release footage.

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Daily Catch Limit For Hatchery Steelhead Increased To 3 fish On The Kalama River

Action:   Anglers fishing the lower Kalama River may retain up to 3 hatchery steelhead.

Effective date:   March 1, 2015, until further notice.

Species affected:   Hatchery steelhead.

Location:   Kalama River from boundary markers at the mouth to 1,000 feet below fishway at the upper salmon hatchery.

Reason for action:   The hatchery escapement goal for late winter run steelhead is expected to be met and surplus fish are available for harvest.

Other information:   The hatchery spring chinook daily limit and season remains the same as listed in the 2014-2015 Fishing in Washington sport fishing rules pamphlet.

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Chinook Salmon Must Be Released On The Lewis River

Action:   Mainstem Lewis and North Fork Lewis River anglers must release all spring chinook.

Species affected:   Chinook salmon

Effective date and locations:   March 1, 2015, until further notice.

Mainstem Lewis River from mouth to mouth of East Fork;

North Fork Lewis River from mouth of East Fork to the overhead powerlines below Merwin Dam.

Reason for action:   The pre-season forecast is for a return of 1,100 adult spring chinook to the Lewis River in 2015. This is less than the number needed to meet the hatchery escapement goal of approximately 1,350 fish.

Other information:   Hatchery returns will be closely monitored in-season.

The mainstem Lewis River and North Fork Lewis River will remain open to fishing for hatchery steelhead. Under permanent rules, the North Fork Lewis River from Johnson Creek upstream will be closed to all fishing during the month of May.

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CalTIP Pilot Program To Take Poaching And Pollution Tips Via Text Message And A New App

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has launched a pilot program that makes it easier for the public to report wildlife and pollution crimes with their cell phones.

Tipsters can now text anonymous information, including photographs, to the Californians Turn in Poachers and Polluters (CalTIP) program via “tip411” (numerically, 847411). Wildlife officers can respond directly, resulting in an anonymous two-way conversation.

Users must start the text message with the word “Caltip”.

Phone number line, type: 847411

Message line, type: Caltip (followed by the message/tip)

In conjunction with tip411 (847411), CDFW  is launching a CalTIP smartphone application which similarly enables the public to share an anonymous tip and/or photograph with wildlife officers and lets the officers converse anonymously with the tipster. The CalTIP App can be downloaded for free via the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store. Standard message and data rates may apply.

Anonymous tips can also be submitted right from CDFW’s website at www.dfg.ca.gov/enforcement/caltip.aspx.

Both the CALTIP App and tip411 are completely anonymous, as the technology removes all identifying information before wildlife officers see the tips.

“We believe the public is our greatest law enforcement resource,” said CDFW Lt. Michael Milotz, CalTIP coordinator. “Tip411 and the CalTIP App will give us another tool to combat pollution and the unlawful take and commercialization of California’s wildlife.”

During the two-month pilot period, CDFW will collect usage data to help determine whether tip411 and the CalTIP App will be permanently added to the CalTIP program.

CalTIP is a confidential secret witness program that encourages the public to provide factual information leading to the arrest of poachers and polluters. The program is funded by penalty assessments generated by fines from wildlife violators and polluters. The existing CalTIP confidential secret witness phone number, 1-888-334-2258, will remain operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Wildlife officers encourage anyone who witnesses a poaching or polluting violation, or who has information about a violation, to report it using any means available.

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Florida-strain Largemouth From Lake Chickamauga Breaks 60 Year Old Tennessee Record

The largemouth bass record in Tennessee stood for 60 years, but state wildlife officials weren’t surprised when it was broken last week.

In fact, they had been expecting it.

Gabe Keen, a high school teacher, hooked a 15-pound, 2-ounce largemouth on Friday in Lake Chickamauga and made the kind of splash Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officials had hoped for since 2000.

That’s when they started stocking the lake, located near Chattanooga, with Florida largemouth bass fingerlings. The species generally grow larger than northern largemouth, which are most commonly found in Tennessee waters.

Keen’s fish broke the state record set by James Barnett, who caught a 14-pound, 8-ounce largemouth in Sugar Creek in Lawrence County on Oct. 17, 1954. TWRA officers said Keen’s catch is the first of what should be many more “monster hawgs” to come out of the lake.

The significance of the catch, TWRA chief of fisheries Bobby Wilson said, cannot be overstated.

“I’ve been working for 35 years and this is probably the most exciting thing that’s happened in my career,” he said. “We’ve been hoping with all the Florida bass we’ve been stocking in different bodies of water that we would see something break the old record. And it finally did, so we’re excited about that.”

The new Tennessee state record probably won't last long.

The new Tennessee state record probably won’t last long.

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Potholrs Reservoir / Mardon Resort Recreation Report

Ron Oakland, Moses Lake Resident, shows a plentiful days catch of walleye and perch.

Ron Oakland, Moses Lake Resident, shows a plentiful days catch of walleye and perch.

The most exciting fresh news this past week has been BINGO. The Central Washington Fish Advisory Committee has been legally permitted to conduct bingo. Each Wednesday at 7pm Sharp bingo will be held in the clubhouse at O’Sullivan Sportman’s Resort behind the Potholes General Store (76 station 1 mile West of MarDon Resort). All the proceeds will go towards the habitat project to buy components to build fish habitat boxes to plant in Potholes Reservoir.   CWFAC is a non-profit organization, for more information please visit the website www.cwfac.org.

Walleye Limit Update:

Starting April 1, 2015 Moses Lake, Potholes Reservoir, Soda Lake, Long Lake, Crescent Lake and Scooteney Reservoir will all have the same walleye limits (Statewide Rule Update).

Again this week walleye anglers reported walleye up to 28 inches caught on spinner and crawlers at the mouth of Crab Creek. Medicare Beach has also been showing some nice walleye for fishers trolling. Blade Baits are producing more walleye but 99% under 20 inches.

For more fishing info call Rob in the tackle shop Friday, Saturday or Sunday Morning (509) 346-2651.

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IGFA Ends Record Keeping Program For State Record Fish.

The International Game Fish Association, which maintains world records for both fresh and saltwater fish, has ended their state record program.
State records were established in 1999, with each state allotted records for five popular fish species. Each of those five species had line class, tippet class, and Junior Angler record categories. Depending on the species, there may have been 5-7 line and tippet classes available, so between 15 and 20 records were available in each state.
The IGFA reports that about 80% of those records remained vacant after 15 years.
There are still plenty of records for anglers to pursue. IGFA tracks catches on hundreds of species of fish, and in the last couple of years added all-tackle length records that don’t require weighing, and female tippet class records for most of those.

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