Monthly Archives: March 2015

New Guide Outlines 65 Key Fishing Spots In Lane County

Anglers in Lane County now have a new guide to more than five dozen fishing spots, from the Oregon Coast to the Cascade Mountains.

In a partnership between the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Travel Lane County, the guide “65 Places to go Fishing in Lane County” offers key details to help novice to expert anglers navigate their way to the region’s lakes, rivers and streams.

“We are excited to offer local and visiting anglers a piece that shows the diversity and extent of fishing in our area,” said Samara Phelps, Director of Visitor Services, at the Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure Center. “Whether it’s fishing on the Oregon Coast or on the McKenzie River, we hope to inspire new and experienced anglers to explore locations across the county.”

The guide outlines the types of fish found or stocked in each locale, as well as key amenities such as boat launches, picnic areas, camping facilities, disabled access and restrooms. Listings also include whether parking, day-use or other fees apply.

A map inside pinpoints the 65 fishing spots located in and around Eugene, Springfield, Cottage Grove, Dexter, Leaburg, Blue River, Oakridge, Florence, Veneta, Junction City and Cheshire. A QR code can be scanned for easy mobile map access.

“We know there are many popular fisheries here, but realize that we have some locations that don’t get the attention they merit,” said Shannon Richardson, Fisheries Biologist, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. “Partnering with Travel Lane County allows us to get the word out about the angling opportunities in Lane County and empower people to get outdoors and get fishing.”

The guide features full-color illustrations of common fish found in Lane County waters to help anglers identify everything from Chinook salmon and largemouth bass to rainbow trout and crappie. Tips for embarking on a fishing trip via a drift boat, pontoon or kayak provide helpful hints for successful, safe trips.

A total of 10,000 guides have been printed and will be distributed at key locations through the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and information centers. Travel Lane County will distribute them at the Eugene, Cascades & Coast Downtown Visitor Center and the Adventure Center in Springfield, as well as at key partner venues from hotels to trade shows.  Guides are also available for download at ODFW and Eugene, Cascades & Coast websites.

For more details about the new guide and other fishing information on Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations, licenses, recreation reports and stocking schedules, contact the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
3150 E. Main St., in Springfield
(541) 726-3515
www.odfw.com

Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure Center
3312 Gateway St., in Springfield
(541) 484-5307
Open Daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
www.EugeneCascadesCoast.org

Travel Lane County is a private, nonprofit association dedicated to economic development through visitor spending. In 2013 visitors to Lane County generated more than $575 million in spending for Lane County’s economy. Travel Lane County is funded by room tax paid by visitors using area lodging facilities and campgrounds.

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Contact:

Shannon Richardson, Fisheries Biologist, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife
541-726-3515 x 28
su.ro.etatsnull@nosdrahcir.e.nonnahS

Stephen Hoshaw, PR & Social Media Manager, Travel Lane County
541-743-8760; 800-547-5445
gro.tsaoCsedacsaCeneguEnull@nehpetS

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Pete Heley Outdoors 3 / 18 / 2015

Shane Whitley, of Sawyers Rapids RV Resort,  gave a very promising fishing report last weekend. As of Sunday, he was aware of four spring Chinook taken in the Wells Creek area, but he said the winter steelhead angling was very good with the fishing on last Thursday and Saturday being especially good. He stated that 17 steelhead were landed last Thursday off the far bank just below the chute. Shane also noted that it looks like the Umpqua’s shad run will start early this year as several were caught at Sawyers last week. If this is going to be a low water year on the Umpqua, and it appears that it will be, then Sawyers is the place to fish as the shad often hold below the rapids for weeks during low river flows.

It isn’t just the shad that are starting early. During the nicer days, smallmouth bass to four pounds have been caught recently and it appears that they have entered their pre-spawn period.

While Sawyers is about nine miles downriver of  Elkton, most of the river’s winter steelhead guides have been fishing above Elkton with the Kellogg area being one of the most popular areas.

Crabbing remains slow at Winchester Bay and is a little more productive at Charlston on Coos Bay. People dragging small boats into the Triangle have enjoyed somewhat better crabbing success with their catch about evenly divided between dungeness and red rock crabs. Fishing has been good off Winchester Bay’s South Jetty (which separates the Triangle from the lower Umpqua River) for mostly striped surfperch and greenling. A few redtailed surfperch are being caught off any of the beaches in our area. Sand shrimp remains the most popular bait, but a few anglers dig their own sandworms or purchase frozen clam necks or squid.

Ringo’s Lakeside Marina reports that largemouth bass fishing has been consistently good on Tenmile Lakes, but that no truly exceptional-sized bass have been recently reported. However, I’ve heard more than one bass angler complain that they couldn’t catch a bass small enough to keep when fishing Tenmile. Since current regulations for Tenmile Lakes allow bass shorter than 15-inches to be kept, it was difficult to feel sympathetic toward’s their “problem” as it’s a problem I’d love to have.

The trout stocking schedule for the Coos, Umpqua and a number of other districts is not yet posted on the ODFW website despite several trout plants already occuring in those districts (there is some nonspecific stocking info on the Coos and Umpqua districts in the fishing section for the southwest zone.

The Florence-area lakes will be planted this week and since most plants take place early in the week there is a very good chance that the following lakes will have already received additional trout by the time you are reading this column.

Alder, Buck and Dune lakes (each with 850 legal, 100 larger, 36 trophy); Carter Lake (2,500 legal); Cleawox Lake (3,000 legal, 150 trophy); Elbow Lake (200 larger); Georgia and North Georgia (each with 150 legals); Mercer Lake (1,500 larger); Munsel (2,250 larger, 150 trophy); Perkins Lake (250 legals; Siltcoos Lagoon (850 legals, 450 larger, 106 trophy); Siltcoos and Woahink lakes (each with 1,000 larger).

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Oregon State Police Seek Info In Elk Poaching Case

Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish and Wildlife Division in Newport is asking for the public’s help locating the person(s) responsible for the unlawful killing and waste of two bull elk in Lincoln County. On Wednesday, March 4, 2015, Newport OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers received a complaint of two dead bull elk floating in the Siletz River about three quarters of a mile upriver from Strome Park. The following morning, both of the bull elk were located. One bull was identified as a 5×6 and the other was as a 5×5. Both were shot and left to waste with no meat removed from the carcasses. The elk were not salvageable, and it appeared the elk had only been dead for a few days.

A total reward of up to $6,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction related to the investigation. A $1,000 reward is being offered by The Oregon Hunters Association Turn-In-Poacher program. An additional $5,000 reward is being offered by The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust.
Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact Sr. Trooper Ryan Kehr or Sergeant Todd Thompson through the Turn in Poachers hotline at 1-800-452-7888. Information may be kept anonymous.

Contact Officer:
Senior Trooper Ryan Kehr
Oregon State Police Newport
541-270-0097

Dead elk photo courtesy of OSP, Fish and Wildlife Division.

Dead elk photo courtesy of OSP, Fish and Wildlife Division.

Secondary Contact:
Sgt. Todd Thompson
Oregon State Police Newport
541-265-5354 ext. 224

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More On Jeff Corwin’s Giant Stingray

Animal expert Jeff Corwin found what might be the world’s biggest stingray in Thailand’s Mae Klong River.

The 14-foot long and 8-foot wide freshwater ray could be the largest freshwater fish ever captured, Corwin said on Facebook.

Massive 14Ft Stingray is Largest Freshwater Fish Ever Caught with Rod and Reel.

The giant creature weighs an estimated 700 to 800 pounds, National Geographic reported. That means it would beat out the current record, a Mekong giant catfish that weighs 660 pounds and also live in Thailand.

The catch was filmed for an episode of Corwin’s “Ocean Mysteries.” The nature team measured and microchipped the ray for tracking, and then they released it back into the river.

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Jeff Corwin Catches Huge Stingray

Jeff Corwin's 800 pound stingray may be the heaviest freshwater fish ever landed on rod and reel.

Jeff Corwin’s 800 pound stingray may be the heaviest freshwater fish ever landed on rod and reel.

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Potholes Reservoir / Mardon Resort Recreation Report

Daylight savings time opens up more evening fishing time for working outdoors men and women. Late afternoon and evening bank fishers are reporting spring trout action from Medicare Beach, the mouth of Frenchman’s Waste way or bank fishing the southern shores of Potholes Reservoir. Don’t forget the wind protected Corral Lake, which has nice bank fishing and an adequate boat launch. Canal, Heart and Windmill Lakes are also a good fishing option in the springtime. The Potholes Canal has been running irrigation water for over a week now which makes Soda, Long and Crescent Lake’s great year round fishing Lakes to try. Walleye action has been good this week with many reported being caught and released under 16”.   Our minimum legal size on walleye is 12” to be legal but most walleye anglers release any less than 16”.

Looking for a spring break getaway close to home? Give MarDon Resort a try! Our spring break special is stay 2 get the 3rd free for campers and stay 2 get a 3rd ½ off for any overnight accommodations as well. Check out our website for more information www.mardonresort.com or give our reservation desk a call from 9am-6pm daily at (509) 346-2651.

Tim Larsen shows off a nice trout he caught near Mardon's fishing dock.

Tim Larsen shows off a nice trout he caught near Mardon’s fishing dock.

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CDFW News – Wildlife Officers Rescue Sturgeon, Cite Poacher

California wildlife officers cited a Sacramento County man on poaching charges last week, prior to successfully resuscitating the fish and returning it to the Sacramento River.

Officers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) were conducting surveillance on a suspected sturgeon poacher on the river near Clarksburg, when they watched him hook up on what appeared to be a very large fish. As the officers watched, the suspect immediately moved the fish to the bed of his pickup and left the scene.

An additional wildlife officer was called in and conducted a traffic stop. The fish was found to be a white sturgeon, oversized (at 66 inches) and untagged. Suspect Eric Solden, 34, of Hood, was cited accordingly.

CDFW officers quickly measured and photographed the fish for evidence purposes and then transported it back to the river’s edge in an attempt to resuscitate it and release it back to the wild. A group of nearby sturgeon fishermen shot video of the rescue effort while a wildlife officer patiently worked with the nearly dead fish in shallow water, rocking it back and forth to force water over its gills. After about 20 minutes, the fish gained the strength to swim away. The video has been posted on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0QjxpfdVEM&sns=em.

Both white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) and green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) are native to California. They are anadromous, meaning they move from the salt and brackish water to freshwater to spawn. Sturgeon can live to be 100 years or older. They reach sexual maturity at around 15 years old. Because the sturgeon life cycle makes them vulnerable to overharvest, fishing for them is highly regulated.

California’s white sturgeon population is stable enough to barely sustain a recreational fishery. They have a special size limit, called a slot limit, which requires anglers to release any fish caught shorter than 40 inches or greater than 60 inches measured from nose to the fork length of the tail. The larger fish are the most important to survival of the species as they are the most productive breeding fish. Sturgeon anglers are limited to three retained sturgeon per year and are issued three tags for each.

Green sturgeon are a federally threatened species and may not be retained.

CDFW appreciates honest sturgeon anglers’ patience with tagging requirements, as it helps differentiate between law-abiding fishermen and poachers. If you witness or have information about a poaching or polluting incident or any fish and wildlife violation, please report it to CalTIP (888 334-2258). The toll-free number is in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You may also report tips via the CalTIP website (www.dfg.ca.gov/enforcement/caltip.aspx) or by sending an anonymous tip via text to 847411 (tip411). (The text should begin with “CALTIP,” followed by a space and the message).

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WDFW’s First Karelian Bear Dog To Retire

The first Karelian bear dog (KBD) used to help manage conflicts with bears and other potentially dangerous wildlife in Washington state is retiring after 12 years of service.

Mishka, a KBD who was enlisted for duty by a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) biologist in 2003, is retiring after helping to resolve hundreds of tense situations with bears, cougars and other wildlife.

Mishka has worked with WDFW enforcement officer Bruce Richards in the Puget Sound region since 2007, when the dog’s original owner/handler, Rocky Spencer, died in a helicopter accident.

Spencer, a WDFW carnivore specialist, acquired Mishka as a pup from the Wind River Bear Institute in Montana, where KBDs are bred and trained in the centuries-old tradition of hunters and farmers in Finland and western Russia.

The black and white dogs, averaging 40 to 65 pounds, are instinctively bold with bears and can be trained to track, help capture and deter them from returning to places where they can get in trouble with humans.

Using a technique called a “hard release,” Richards has worked side-by-side with Mishka to chase and harass bears after they have been released from a trap in order to re-instill their natural fear of humans. Richards estimates that at least 80 percent of bears trapped and released this way avoid becoming “repeat offenders” that may ultimately be killed.

Richards, who is also retiring this spring after 41 years with WDFW, says Mishka solves more bear problems in a year than most officers can in a career.

“I am very proud to have been a part of this innovative way to address human-wildlife conflicts that helps both bears and people and builds teamwork between our enforcement and wildlife programs,” Richards said. “Mishka has served Washington wildlife enthusiasts well and has more than earned retirement.”

WDFW now uses five other KBDs to haze bears, assist in law-enforcement investigations, locate injured and orphaned wildlife, and help educate the public about ways to avoid conflicts with wildlife. Three of those dogs are used by WDFW officers in western Washington, and two others are used by WDFW bear and cougar biologist Rich Beausoleil of Wenatchee.

“These dogs are a huge asset to the department, but it’s still up to people to prevent wildlife conflict problems by not intentionally or unintentionally providing food sources that draw bears into bad situations,” Beausoleil said.

Mishka will be honored at a ceremony Thursday, March 19, in Kennewick. For more information, call Madonna Luers at 509-892-7853.

For more on WDFW’s KBD program, including photos, see http://wdfw.wa.gov/enforcement/kbd/

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WDFW News – Federal Council Develops Alternatives For Ocean Salmon Limits

Wash. – Anglers fishing along the Washington coast will likely see a catch quota for chinook salmon similar to last year’s and a lower quota for coho, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.

Three alternatives for ocean salmon fisheries, approved Thursday for public review by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), reflect a decline from 2014 in the forecast for Columbia River hatchery coho and a moderate increase in Columbia River chinook. The PFMC establishes fishing seasons in ocean waters three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast.

The expected abundance of hatchery chinook and coho salmon should allow fishery managers to provide recreational anglers with some great fishing opportunities off the Washington coast this year, Ron Warren, fisheries policy lead for WDFW.

“With these alternatives in hand, we will work with stakeholders on the coast and Washington’s inside waters to develop a final fishing package for 2015 while meeting our conservation objectives for wild salmon,” Warren said.

All three alternatives include recreational mark-selective fisheries for chinook in June. Mark selective fisheries allow anglers to catch and keep abundant hatchery salmon, marked with a missing adipose fine, but require that they release wild salmon.

About 900,000 Columbia River fall chinook salmon are expected back this year. If that run comes in at forecast, it would be the third largest since record-keeping began in 1938. A portion of the run – about 255,000 salmon – is expected to be lower river hatchery chinook, which traditionally have been the backbone of the recreational ocean chinook fishery. In-river fisheries will also benefit from the strong return, Warren said.

Additionally, the ocean abundance of Columbia River coho is forecast to be about 777,000 fish. A significant portion of that run will contribute to the ocean fishery as well.

The PFMC is scheduled to make its final decision on this year’s ocean regulations and harvest quotas for recreational and commercial fisheries at its April meeting in Rohnert Park, Calif. The recreational fishing alternatives include the following quotas for fisheries off the Washington coast:

Alternative 1 – 64,000 chinook and 159,200 coho.
Alternative 2 – 62,000 chinook and 134,400 coho.
Alternative 3 – 58,000 chinook and 117,600 coho.
The PFMC last year adopted recreational ocean fishing quotas of 59,100 chinook and 184,800 coho salmon.

Under each option for this year, the ocean recreational fishery would vary:

Alternative 1

Selective fishery for hatchery chinook:

Marine areas 1 (Ilwaco) and 2 (Westport/Ocean): May 30-June 12. Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, except anglers must release coho and wild chinook.
Marine areas 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay): May 15-16, May 22-23 and May 30-June 12. Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, except anglers must release coho and wild chinook.
Traditional ocean salmon fishery for chinook and hatchery coho:

Marine areas 1 and 2: June 13-Sept. 30. Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, but only one chinook may be retained.
Marine Area 3: June 13-Sept. 30 and Oct. 1-11 in the La Push late season area. Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, plus two additional pink salmon.
Marine Area 4: June 13-Sept. 30. Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, plus two additional pink salmon.
Alternative 2

Selective fishery for hatchery chinook:

Marine areas 1 and 2: June 6-19. Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, except anglers must release coho and wild chinook.
Marine areas 3 and 4: May 22-23 and June 6-19. Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, except anglers must release coho and wild chinook.
Traditional ocean salmon fishery for chinook and hatchery coho:

Marine areas 1 and 2: June 20-Sept. 30. Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, but only one chinook may be retained.
Marine Area 3: June 20-Sept. 20 and Sept. 27-Oct. 11 in the La Push late season area. Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, plus two additional pink salmon.
Marine Area 4: June 20-Sept. 30. Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, plus two additional pink salmon.
Alternative 3

Selective fishery for hatchery chinook:

Marine areas 1, 2, 3 and 4: June 13-26. Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, except anglers must release coho and wild chinook.
Traditional ocean salmon fishery for chinook and hatchery coho:

Marine Area 1: June 27-Sept. 30. Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, but only one chinook may be retained.
Marine Area 2: June 27-Sept. 20. Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, but only one chinook may be retained.
Marine Area 3: June 27-Sept. 20 and Sept. 27-Oct. 11 in the La Push late season area. Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, plus two additional pink salmon. \
Marine Area 4: June 27-Sept. 20. Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, plus two additional pink salmon.
A public hearing on the three alternatives for ocean salmon fisheries is scheduled for March 30 in Westport.

Chinook and coho quotas approved by the PFMC will be part of a comprehensive 2015 salmon fishing package, which includes marine and freshwater fisheries throughout Puget Sound, the Columbia River and Washington’s coastal areas. State and tribal co-managers are currently developing those fisheries.

The co-managers will complete the final 2015 salmon fisheries package in conjunction with the PFMC process during its April meeting.

Meanwhile, several public meetings are scheduled in March to discuss regional fisheries issues. The public can comment on the proposed ocean alternatives as well as on other proposed salmon fisheries through WDFW’s North of Falcon webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/northfalcon/ . A schedule of public meetings, as well as salmon run-size forecasts and more information about the salmon-season setting process can also be found on the webpage.

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Giant Brown Trout Landed In Arkansas

An Arkansas angler fishing from shore because his waders were frozen has caught one of the largest brown trout ever landed, a behemoth weighing 38 pounds, 7 ounces.

Calvin Johnston was braving snow and 17-degree temperatures on a recent excursion when the giant trout struck. “I knew immediately when I saw the fish it was a monster,” he told KCTV.

It’s the largest brown trout ever caught from the White River and only a few pounds shy of the world record: a 42-pound, 1-ounce brown trout caught off New Zealand in 2013.

trout3
Another look at Calvin Johnston’s linker brown trout; photo via Facebook

Remarkably, it’s only the third-largest brown trout caught in Arkansas, the largest being a 40.4-pounder caught from the Little Red River in 1992.

Johnston, 38, who is from Kansas, had been fishing with his brother and some buddies, with no real luck, earlier the same day. They went back to their hotel rooms to rest, but at about 5 p.m. Johnston went back to the river alone.

His waders were frozen so he merely walked the bank, casting a small trout-imitation lure near a rock outcropping that provided fish protection from the current.

“I threw the bait there once or twice, and all of a sudden she just hit the bait,” Johnston told the Baxter Bulletin. “I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is a good bite.’ ”

When he saw the massive trout swirl, he yelled for assistance. But none came.

“I thought holy cow, this is a monster, I need some help,” Johnston recalled. “So I started calling for my brother. Later I found out he heard me, but he said, ‘I’m not going down there, it’s cold, he ain’t got no fish.’ What a brother, right?”

Johnston, who now displays one of his trout images as his Facebook cover photo, planned to have his prize mounted by a taxidermist.

Calvin Johnson holds up the third heaviest brown trout ever caught in Arkansas.

Calvin Johnson holds up the third heaviest brown trout ever caught in Arkansas.

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