Monthly Archives: June 2015

CDFW Law Enforcement Now Recruiting Current Peace Officers

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is recruiting current peace officers who are interested in a career as a wildlife officer. Applications are open only to those who have:

Successfully completed a California POST accredited Law Enforcement Academy,  possess a valid California POST basic peace officer certificate, and are currently employed as a peace officer within the State of California at time of application; or,
Successfully completed (within the last 12 months) the CDFW Law Enforcement Academy, and possess a valid California POST basic academy certificate.
Applications must be postmarked by June 26.

“We are particularly interested in recruiting applicants with a passion for conservation of California’s fish and wildlife resources,” said CDFW Law Enforcement Division Chief David Bess.

The CDFW Law Enforcement Division expects an overwhelming number of inquiries and asks prospective candidates to extensively review materials on the website before contacting CDFW with questions. To read more about law enforcement careers with CDFW, please go to www.dfg.ca.gov/enforcement/career/.

To view the official job bulletin and detailed information on how to apply, please visit https://jobs.ca.gov/jobsgen/5fg07.pdf.

Those who are not currently working as a peace officer but are interested in a career as a wildlife officer may apply to attend the full 31-week Wildlife Officer Academy as a Wildlife Officer Cadet. The application period for the Academy is expected to open in the September or October.

California wildlife officers are charged with ensuring public safety, enforcing fish and wildlife laws, investigating illegal sales of wildlife, protecting the state from pollution, enforcing habitat protection laws, fighting illegal drug trafficking, keeping the homeland secure and responding during natural disasters. As peace officers, they have the authority to enforce all California laws, such as the Vehicle Code and Penal Code, and are federally deputized to enforce federal fish and wildlife laws.

A typical day for a California wildlife officer is as diverse as the state’s fish and wildlife. Wildlife officers patrol ocean, desert, mountain and valley environments, as well as urban areas. They frequently work independently and conduct full-scale law enforcement investigations. Wildlife officers employ everything from all-terrain vehicles to jet skis and snowmobiles while on patrol and spend much of their typical day making contact with Californians in the great outdoors. CDFW has a dive team and utilizes K-9 partners as well. Environmental crimes and pollution incidents also fall under the purview of wildlife officers. Annually, wildlife officers make contact with more than 295,000 people and issue more than 15,000 citations for violations of the law.

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Media Contacts:
Capt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 508-7095
Lt. Chris Stoots, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (530) 523-6720

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Controlled Hunt Results Now Available

SALEM, Ore.—Hunters can now check to see if they drew a big game tag for the fall by visiting the My Hunter Information website or calling 1-866-947-6339.

Hunters will need to provide their Hunter/Angler ID#, which is printed on all ODFW license documents and stays the same from year to year. They can call ODFW’s licensing division at 503-947-6101 if they are unable to locate their ID#.

A total of 137,015 fall big game hunt tags were available in the draw this year. ODFW received 407,402 fall controlled hunt applications, up from 389,172 last year.

As results are available both online and by phone, ODFW no longer mails postcards notifying applicants of controlled hunt draw results.

ODFW limits the number of tags for some hunts to control hunting pressure and fairly distribute tags for popular hunts. All eastern Oregon rifle deer hunting, pronghorn, bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain goat hunts are limited entry, along with most eastern rifle elk hunts. Hunters who apply for a tag and don’t draw it receive a preference point for that hunt series, which increases their chances of drawing the following year.

Hunters who drew a tag are reminded to purchase it no later than the day before the hunt begins.

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Summer Sturgeon Seasons On Tap In Bonneville Pool

Looking for a unique way to spend Father’s Day? Think about a day of fishing for North America’s largest freshwater fish species – white sturgeon – on the Columbia River. The first of three scheduled summer sturgeon seasons kicks off just in time for Father’s Day.

Retention sturgeon fishing will take place June 19-21 on the Columbia River between Bonneville and The Dalles dams. Additional three-day fishing periods are scheduled for June 26-28 and July 3-5, although managers may adjust those dates to remain within the 1,100 fish annual harvest guideline.

Fishery managers adopted the three-day summer seasons above Bonneville last year based on feedback from anglers, who in a series of public meetings expressed strong support for summer sturgeon fisheries. Retention sturgeon fishing is also open from McNary Dam to the Oregon/Washington border through July. The rest of the Columbia is limited to catch-and-release sturgeon fishing.

Sturgeon must be between 38 inches and 54 inches fork length to be retained in Bonneville Pool and between 43 and 54 inches fork length upstream of McNary Dam. The bag limit is one fish per day and two for the year. Fishing is restricted to the use of a single, barbless hook.

Anglers are reminded that sturgeon fishing, including catch-and-release, is not permitted in the sturgeon sanctuary from The Dalles Dam downstream 1.8 miles to the boat ramp at the Port of The Dalles.

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Razor Clamming To Remain Closed

ASTORIA, Ore. – With concentrations of domoic acid reaching levels not seen since 1998, ODFW shellfish biologists see no possibility that razor clamming on Oregon’s most popular beaches will re-open before the annual conservation closure on Clatsop beaches begins on July 15.

Razor clamming along the entire Oregon coast has been closed since May 14 due to high concentration of domoic acid. The Clatsop beaches, home to 90 percent of Oregon’s razor clam harvest, close every year in mid-July to allow newly-set young clams to establish themselves.

While Matt Hunter, ODFW shellfish biologist in Astoria, is confident clamming won’t reopen before July 15, he is hesitant to predict a re-opening of the clamming season when the conservation closure ends Sept. 30.

“We still haven’t seen domoic acids levels peak,” he said. “As long are they are still going up it’s hard to predict when they might start coming down.”

Domoic acid, a natural toxin produced by certain types of marine algae called phytoplankton, can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities. Cooking or freezing does not destroy domoic acid in shellfish.

Shellfish samples are collected every low tide series for biotoxin analysis. It takes two consecutive samples under the alert level before a harvesting area can be reopened, Hunter said.

The high levels of domoic acid that are affecting razor clams are not influencing the Oregon crab season, which remains open. Washington State’s recent closure of its southern coast to all sport and commercial crabbing has prompted concerns that Oregon might follow suit.

But according to Hunter, recent tests of crabs off the Oregon coast showed domoic acid levels were undetectable in most samples.

“It could be that the crabs off the Washington coast are eating something different, or that the Columbia River is forming some sort of north/south barrier,” Hunter said.

Bay clamming in areas south of Tillamook Head also remains open and safe, Hunter added.

For current shellfish closure information, call the Oregon Department of Agriculture Shellfish Hotline at 800-448-2474. For more information about clamming and crabbing, visit the ODFW shellfish page at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/shellfish/index.asp.

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Bill Lackner(Clam Diggers Association of Oregon) on Crab Management

Ladies and Gentlemen, good day Bill Lackner here. The following is a copy of the text posted to our blog details our recommendation for ODFW to develop regulations or informal recommendation for retuning unwanted crabs to the water.

We also suggest that the ODFW consider overhauling the current harvest regulations with new one to increase the number of Dungeness crabs available for recreational crabbers. New rules governing the return of unwanted crabs to the water represents a starting point.

Thank you for your consideration, Bill Lackner for the CDAO

ODFW Crab Management ?

We applaud ODFW’s ongoing crab study in some of Oregon’s bays but can we depend on ODFW for guidance when handling crabs and returning crabs to the water.

Currently other than recommending that crabbers retain softshell crabs the ODFW does not have recreational management guidelines in place for handing of crabs.

ODFW omits any discussion of the importance of the crab’s nervous system, the Thoracic Ganglion, when handling of releasing crabs. The thoracic ganglion is located underneath the crab near the tip of the abdominal flap. The thoracic ganglion is easily damaged when the crabs, both hard shell and soft shell, are handled roughly or thrown or dropped into the water from docks or boats. The solution is to return all unwanted crabs to the water gently.

Statements attributable to ODFW staff encourage crabbers to retain legal sized soft shell male crabs because they claim the crabs are going to die anyway. Some studies suggest that 45 percent mortality rate of softshell crabs occur as compared to hard shell crabs. Each year crabbers handle tens of thousands of soft shell crab. Where does that leave ODFW’s crab management philosophy and practices? There are more questions than answers when it comes to the mortality of Dungeness crabs as applied to current harvest practices. There is no reason why ODFW cannot recommend the proper handling methods to safely return unwanted crabs to the water. Even though the limit of crabs is 12, keep only enough crabs for your immediate needs.

Crabbing in Coos Bay and Netarts Bay is usually fairly good in winter and early spring but crabbing productivity continues to be slow in those bays. To date, the most productive crabbing has been in Coos Bay which saw some upward movement over the last month or so but crabbing remains hit and miss on a day to day basis especially in Netarts Bay. Crabbing from Webers Dock at Bandon has improved and limits of crabs are being taken in the bay at Bandon. Crabbing in Winchester Bay has seen some improvement in the last several weeks. Crabbing on the north shore at Siletz Bay has been slow to fair . Crabbing in Tillamook and Nehalem Bays has improved to an average of 8 to 10 crabs per boat.

The commercial crabbing while not as productive as in past seasons coast wide. Recreational crabbers are going to have to work harder than last year to take limits of crabs.

The most productive crabbing usually occurs in the lower portion of the saltwater dominated bays, Coos Bay and Netarts Bay. Crabbers in Oregon’s Bays have to deal with the high river flows common during the rainy season usually from November through April. Crabbing in the smaller estuaries is over until next spring or early summer unless we have an extended period of dry weather.

A check of the Northwest River Forecast shows river levels for all of Oregon’s rivers are running below average levels. Look for river levels to rise with the return to seasonal rainfall beginning in late Fall into the Winter months. The smaller estuaries the Chetco, Rogue, Salmon, and Necanicum are the first to be affected by seasonal flooding followed by the larger estuaries Coquille, Siuslaw, Alsea, Siletz, Nestucca, Nehalem, Yaquina, Tillamook, Coos, Netarts and the Lower Columbia River Estuary. Conversely when river levels drop crabbing improves first in Sand Lake, Netarts and Coos Bays before improving in Oregon’s other estuaries.

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Pete Heley Outdoors 6 / 17 / 2015

Last week, a  person complained to me about one of their relatives getting a ticket while fishing with worms on Smith River. My first thought, since I seldom get “the whole story” is that their relative was fishing too close to the fish ladder at the falls. However, when I repeated the story to Mike Gray at the ODFW office in Charlston, he promptly directed me to page 34 of the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations where I read “ Angling in streams above tidewater for all species during May 23 – August 31 is restricted  to artificial flies and lures. See exceptions for use of bait in Rogue, Applegate and Umpqua river basins.”

The mainstem Umpqua River is listed as an exception (page 40), but the above-tidewater sections of its tributaries, including Smith River, are not. So those Umpqua River anglers that fish nightcrawlers for smallmouth bass and bullhead catfish can breathe a sigh of relief.

Actually, this restriction is based on sound scientific data as a number of studies have linked the use of bait with increased mortality in young salmonids.

Strong winds made fishing very tough for anglers targeting spawning surfperch between Winchester Bay and Gardiner. The wind also made fishing difficult for anglers attempting to fish the surf along area beaches for perch or along the jetties for bottomfish. Bass anglers often deal with strong winds by switching from soft plastic finesse baits to spinnerbaits and crankbaits. I will never forget the time I was casting a large Rapala for brown trout off the dam at central Oregon’s Wickiup Reservoir during strong gusty winds and one of my casts actually landed behind me.

Shad fishing on the Umpqua River remains very good – especially at Sawyers Rapids where anglers fish from a boat just below the chute or use a boat to cross the river to fish the channel along the far shore from the bank. Shorebound anglers can catch shad from the bank where the Umpqua enters the large shallow pool immediately below Sawyers Rapids.

Smallmouth bass continue to bite well on the Umpqua River with lots of fish downriver as far as milepost nine east of Reedsport.

Oregon’s best striped bass angling has been taking place on the Coquille River above the town of Coquille. The same area of the river has been offering some decent fishing for smallmouth bass.

Trout stocking is pretty much over for the summer with the last plants taking place during the last two weeks of May. Stocking some coastal lakes will resume in the early fall.

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2015 Odell Lake Lodge Mackinaw Derby A Big Success.

The annual Mackinaw Derby sponsored by Odell Lake Lodge was a big success. The $100 entry fee included a BBQ dinner with a live band and door prizes. The top ten finishers each received prizes and cash awards. James Bond, this year’s winner won $1000 for his 32 pound 40.5-inch fish. But eight different anglers turned in macs measuring at least 35-inches.

The two day contest is held the first week of June with early registration advised. For more information, call Odell Lake Lodge at 541 – 433 – 2540.

Odell Lake has produced the last two Oregon state mackinaw records with the currenr state record mac weighing 40 pounds eight ounces.

James Bond's 32 pound Odell Lake mac was worth $1000.00.

James Bond’s 32 pound Odell Lake mac was worth $1000.00.

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Interesting Combo Catch Out Of Winchester Bay

One of the neat things about fishing the ocean is that one is never completely sure what they may catch. But less frequentlt, the surprise may involve catching a relatively common fish in a very unusual place.

In the following photo, Chris McAyeal, of Eugene, topped off a good catch of Chinook salmon and dungeness crabs with a hefty lingcod that weighed 27 pounds that hit a herring trolled more than 90 feet above the ocean bottom.

Chris McAyeal's Winchester Bay combo catch featuring a 27 pound lingcod

Chris McAyeal’s Winchester Bay combo catch featuring a 27 pound lingcod

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Hungry Sea Lions Becoming Ever More Dangerous

There has been numerous cases of seals or sea lions going after an anglers fish – even when the angler is holding the fish. Last year on the Willamette River a sea lion grabbed a salmon in a net with such force that the angler holding the net ended up in the river while wearing hip boots.

Fortunately, the angler was rescued. But a more recent encounter involving angler and sea lion seems to indicate an escalation in such conflicts. Dan Carlin was holding up s fish for a photograph on his boat in Mission Bay when a sea lion launched itself out of the water onto his boat and attempted to grab the fish.

Unfortunately, the pinnepid grabbed Carlin’s hand by mistake and wrenched him overboard, taking him nesrly 30 feet beneath the water’s surface before Carlin could break free. As the angler swam toward the surface, the sea lion bit him again, taking part of his heel. Carlin, despite having to visit a hospital, feels lucky to be alive and feels his diving experience helped him survive the encounter.

Dan Carlin, a fish and a hungry sea lion.

Dan Carlin, a fish and a hungry sea lion.

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Fake Orca Didnt Fool Sea Lions

The fake orca that was intended to scare sea lions in the Astoria area, while a good example of thinking “outside the box”, did not work and in fact ended up capsizing after being pretty much ignored by the pinnepids.

While the sealion population has exceeded their current forage base and some of the mammals appear to be starving, while others seem to be more aggressive than normal when targeting an angler’s fish, it seems like “trick” solutions are not going to work and perhaps agencies in the states that actually have to deal with the problem pinnepids should have the final say in what steps to take to deal with the problem.

To err is human

To err is human

To ignore, divine.

To ignore, divine.

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