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Contact Pete Heley
PO Box 264
Reedsport, OR 97467
Monthly Archives: October 2015
Anglers will have an additional three weeks to enjoy fall fishing at North Twin Lake near Bend. The lake was scheduled to close to all fishing on Oct. 19 so it could be chemically treated to remove illegally introduced brown bullhead.
According to Erik Moberly, ODFW fish biologist, the treatment is being pushed back because delivery of the chemical needed (called rotenone) has been delayed.
Anglers can continue fishing under the temporary regulations adopted in October: no daily bag or possession limits, no size limits and anglers may harvest fish by hand, dip net and angling.
The temporary regulations will now be in effect until 12:01 a.m., Nov. 9 when North Twin Lake will close to all fishing during chemical treatment. The lake will re-open on Jan. 1, 2016 and will be re-stocked with hatchery rainbow trout in the spring.
Anglers and other members of the public who have questions or concerns about this project can contact Erik Moberly, ODFW fish biologist, at su.ro.etatsnull@ylreboM.R.kirE or at (541) 388-6145.
Rotenone is often used to remove undesirable fish species because it is an affordable and effective treatment with little threat of long-term environmental damage. Rotenone has been approved as a fish toxicant by the Environmental Protection Agency. At the concentrations used to kill fish, rotenone is not toxic to humans, other mammals or birds. It breaks down completely in the environment and will not be detectable within weeks of treatment.
Walleye fishing on Potholes Reservoir continues to provide action for many boaters. Limits are being reported daily from all over the main body of water on Potholes Reservoir. Bass fishers continue to enjoy the fall bite with largemouth and smallmouth bass being very catchable. With a raising reservoir many newly built beaver huts provide great bass fishing action. The water level on the reservoir has been rising rapidly. As of 10-15-16 the level is 4 feet above our low pool mark. This allows much easier access to the sand dunes for both fishers and hunters. Remember hunting season opens this Saturday, 10-17-15. Now is the perfect time for a cast and blast trip to extend your day out on the lake. Go hunting in the morning and enjoy a fishing trip in the afternoon. And don’t forget your sunscreen, it’s still getting very warm out during the afternoon.
Now renting RV Roofed/3 Sided Storage with electricity 12 X 48 for $175 a month. We only have 4 of these available, going quickly. Call (509) 346-2651 to inquire.
Well, I am back at work at the Stockade Market in Winchester Bay after taking a couple of weeks off. I had plans to pursue tiger muskies and tiger trout in eastern Oregon, but car problems delayed the trip for several days. When I checked in by phone with the ODFW office in Baker City they were unaware of any fishing success for either of the two species I was planning on targeting.
So I spent most of my vacation resting up and looking forward to going back to work at the Stockade Market. I was forced to admit how much I missed interacting with the wonderful customers, some of whom I have been dealing with for more than 15 years.
When I resume working at the store this coming Sunday, my schedule will change slightly. I will be working the morning shift from the 7:00 am opening until 3:00 pm on Sundays and Mondays.
Unfortunately, as soon as I started my vacation, a competing Winchester Bay tackleshop began telling people that I no longer worked at the market and stated to different people that I had been fired or laid off. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Rebecca and Moe have been wonderful to work for and I very much admire the hard work and much-needed changes they have put into the business since they took over last winter. The slight change and reduction in my hours was at my request and I look forward to enjoyable continued employment at the Stockade Market for quite some time.
While I will not name the offending business that prematurely put me in the “unemployment line”, I do want to say that it WAS NOT Winchester Bay Market. They have been good business neighbors for quite some time and we have been referring customers back and forth with them for years.
Hope to see you soon.
Ocean crabbing closes at midnight on Oct. 15th. River crabbing (including Coos Bay), as usual, is legal all year.
The nonselective coho season for selected coastal rivers ends one hour after sunset on October 15th – but anglers that spent much time salmon fishing have already caught their season limit of two unclipped coho salmon. However they will no longer be able to keep the one unclipped jack coho per day that they were able to keep during the nonselective coho season.
River anglers can still keep Chinook salmon and clipped adult and jack coho salmon – but most of their catch is now unclipped unkeepable coho salmon. One way to target keepable salmon is to fish the East Boat Basin at Winchester Bay which is primarily a hatchery Chinook salmon fishery courtesy of our local STEP chapter.
Fishing for yellow perch is usually very good in the lakes between North Bend the Florence area. The most productive perch bait has been small strips of perch meat, although most anglers start off using nightcrawlers. Although the best perch fishing at this time of year is often the three largest coastal lakes (Siltcoos, Tahkenitch and Tenmile), these lakes are also open to coho salmon fishing during the months of October, November and December – during which time 2-rod fishing licenses are not valid on these lakes. The most shameful aspect of this is that with the possible exception of Siltcoos Lake, anglers fishing these three coastal lakes lose the use of their 2-rod licenses several weeks before salmon actually enter these lakes.
Many anglers don’t realize how well we have it on the Oregon coast. Our temperatures are mild the entire year and our droughts are less common and far less severe than those occurring farther inland. Droughts almost always have a negative effect on a water’s fish population as the fish are more vulnerable to both human or animal predators.
Even after water levels are restored, the fishing will be subpar, because the reduced fish population will spread out over the new water levels at a greatly reduced population density. ODFW stocking decisions can reduce the angling dropoff regarding trout, but warmwater fishing will take much longer to rebound since perch and bluegills can live as long as eight years and largemouth and smallmouth bass nearly twice that.
Fall is a great time to fish for brown trout. Some of my favorite spots are Toketee and Lemolo reservoirs on the North Umpqua River. Sods Springs Reservoir, located just below Toketee Reservoir, has been closed to angling since salmon and steelhead runs were re-established above the reservoir. The logic of not allowing fishing for large aggressive trout that will dining on downstream migrating smolts escapes me.
Other, somewhat overlooked, brown trout spots include the Rogue River near Prospect, Crescent Lake, Miller Lake, Lake of the Woods and Haystack Reservoir. The Owyhee River below Owyhee Reservoir in eastern Oregon is a popular catch and release brown trout fishery primarily utilized by fly anglers.
Archery hunters will have it a little easier next year as the ODFW approved the use of lighted nocks which should make it easier to find arrows that miss their mark as well as to track game that runs off after being hit with an arrow with a lighted nock.
Possibly at least partly due to being closed for six months each year, Tenmile Reef is fishing very well for lingcod and rockfish since it reopened on Oct. 1st.
Brian Gill, of the Umpqua Angler reports that there are still plenty of Chinook salmon in the lower Umpqua River as his clients boated five Chinooks on a trip this week while trolling herring between the Umpqua River Bar and the entrance to Winchester Bay’s East Boat Basin.
SALEM, Ore.—The Fish and Wildlife Commission met today in Florence and adopted 2016 big game hunting regulations.
Major changes for 2016 regulations are:
Archery hunters may use lighted nocks which have no other function other than to increase visibility of the arrow and help hunters track wounded game.
An auction tag for Rocky Mtn goat will be available in 2016.
A new Premium Hunt series will offer an opportunity to draw an additional deer, elk, or pronghorn tag with a longer season. These tags will be very limited but available in most areas. Tags will be allocated through the regular controlled hunt draw process but will not use preference points.
2016 regulations will define “drones” and prohibit their use for activities related to hunting, trapping, and fishing.
General archery elk hunters will be able to take either sex in Desolation and Minam units. Saddle Mtn and Scappoose, Wilson archery elk bag limit will go to bull only for all hunters (including Disabled Permit holders).
The Commission also discussed cougar target areas, where ODFW reduces the cougar population to reduce conflicts with livestock, public safety issues and impacts on ungulate populations (deer, elk, bighorn sheep). ODFW will begin cougar target areas in the E. Umpqua and Interstate wildlife management units and continue target areas in Steens Mtn and Warner units in 2016.
The Commission adopted fees not in statute that are set to take effect Jan. 1, 2016.
Finally, the Commission was briefed on the updated Biological Status Review of Wolves and evaluation of criteria to delist the gray wolf from the state Endangered Species Act. This was an informational briefing only. Rulemaking that could delist wolves will occur at the next Commission meeting Monday, Nov. 9 in Salem.
ODFW staff reviewed modelled outcomes for three scenarios: delisting statewide, delisting in eastern Oregon, and no delisting. In all three scenarios, Oregon’s wolf populations are projected to continue to grow and the likelihood of population failure was very low (less than 1 percent).
About 50 people signed up to testify at the meeting. Commission Chair Finley recognized the emotional nature of opinions about wolves before opening public testimony. “We are not making our decision based on emotion, we are making it on facts,” said Finley. “We have to follow the law and policy.”
He urged those interested in wolves and in testifying in November to review the Biological Status Review and meeting presentation on ODFW’s website and return comments with insight related to that information.
The state’s Wolf Plan calls for initiating a process to delist wolves from the state Endangered Species Act when Oregon reaches the conservation objective of four breeding pairs for three consecutive years in eastern Oregon. This objective was met in early 2015, after ODFW documented 10 packs and nine breeding pairs of wolves in 2014. (A breeding pair is an adult male and female wolf with at least two pups that survive thru Dec. 31.)
Regardless of any delisting decision, the Wolf Plan will continue to provide conservation and protection for wolves in Oregon, ODFW Wolf Program Coordinator Russ Morgan noted in his presentation.
The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state.
Elevated levels of marine toxins have prompted state shellfish managers to postpone the start of razor clam digging on ocean beaches this fall.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will not schedule razor clam digs on any of the state’s ocean beaches until tests show the clams are safe to eat.
Domoic acid levels on Washington beaches have dropped significantly since last spring, when the department was forced to curtail digging early, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for WDFW. However, concentrations of domoic acid are still above the threshold (20 parts per million) set by state public health officials.
“If levels continue to decline, we could potentially open some beaches in mid or possibly late November,” Ayres said.
WDFW will continue to work with the Washington Department of Health to monitor regularly marine toxin levels in razor clams, Ayres said. Test results are posted on WDFW’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/domoic_levels.html.
“We know diggers are anxious to get out onto the beaches, but public health is our primary concern,” Ayres said.
Domoic acid, a natural toxin produced by certain types of algae, can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities. Cooking or freezing does not destroy domoic acid in shellfish.
Since 1991, when the toxin was first detected on the Pacific coast, outbreaks of domoic acid have prompted the cancellation of three entire razor clam seasons in Washington – the last one in 2002-03.
Any new information about razor clam digging will be posted on WDFW’s razor clam webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html.
ROSEBURG, Ore – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is stocking trout in Cooper Creek to support a fishing derby fundraiser for the family of Treven Anspach, a victim of last week’s tragedy at Umpqua Community College. The derby is set for Sunday, October 11 beginning at 10 a.m.
The derby is organized by the Oakland and Sutherlin High Schools’ Student Councils. Their goal is to bring the community together to honor Treven. All proceeds will go directly to the family of Treven Anspach.
Cole Rivers Hatchery is trucking 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 500 trophy-sized trout to Cooper Creek for the event. The fish were surplus to stocking needs in Rogue Valley waters.
Local District Fish Biologist Greg Huchko is pleased that ODFW can help this fundraiser. “It’s gratifying to see local and statewide businesses and our agency come together to help support this family. Because of the nature of this derby, we encourage anyone who planned on fishing Cooper Creek on Saturday to join the derby instead and fish Sunday,” Huchko said.
Desert Springs Trout Hatchery is also donating 1,000 legal-sized fish, worth about $2,000 total. According to office manager Cami Carder, the private hatchery was honored to be asked to help. “We understand this young man had a special interest in fishing, particularly for trout. Donating to this fundraiser for Treven’s family fits in with our mission,” Carder said.
Registration begins at 10 a.m. at the main boat launch and picnic area.
10 a.m. – 1 p.m. participating anglers will catch as many fish as possible and record their catch. Please remember, angling licenses are required and the bag limit is five trout per day.
Anglers are encouraged to catch as many fish as possible for fundraising. ODFW suggests anglers practice catch and release as once five fish are kept, anglers must stop fishing.
Local businesses will pledge money for each fish caught and recorded.
$1,000 in prizes will be donated by Cabela’s and other local businesses.
From 1 p.m. – 3 p.m., food is available for purchase from Smokin’ Friday’s BBQ.
Derby Information: Jordan Humphreys, 541-459-2597 x213
ODFW: Greg Huchko, 541-440-3353