Monthly Archives: November 2015

Potholes Reservoir / Mardon Resort Recreation Report

Duck Hunters are reporting new birds from all over Central Washington. The Columbia National Wildlife Refuge has been holding large number of ducks and geese now for two weeks. Most of Moses Lake is a no shooting zone. For several weeks’ thousands of waterfowl have been using Moses Lake (Which is like a refuge) for their night roost. Waterfowl hunters would enjoy watching these many birds from the north as they exit Moses Lake each morning and just before dark as the ducks and geese return to Moses for their overnight roost. Goose hunting continues to produce limits or near limits all over Royal Slope on guided hunts.

Walleye anglers continue to report good Walleye action on Potholes Reservoir, using Blade Baits or trolling spinners and crawler rigs. The Mardon dock has been producing crappie to 14” and a few walleyes.

 

MarDon Resort Specials

  • FALL/WINTER CAMPING SPECIAL
  • Stay 3, pay 2 on any accommodation Enjoy the reduced fall rates and get a free night, too. Expires Dec 31st, 2015
  • MUST REQUEST AT TIME OF BOOKING
    Mark Engel shows off his impressive honker.

    Mark Engel shows off his impressive honker.

    The Jason Engel Party of California enjoyed a limit Goose Hunt on the Royal Slope.

    The Jason Engel Party of California enjoyed a limit Goose Hunt on the Royal Slope.

Comments Off on Potholes Reservoir / Mardon Resort Recreation Report

WDFW News – Commercial Crab Fishery On Washington’s South Coast Delayed.

State shellfish managers have delayed the opening of the commercial Dungeness crab fishery on a portion of Washington’s southern coast to allow more time for tests to ensure that crabs are free of marine toxins.

The commercial fishery from the Columbia River north to Klipsan Beach on the Long Beach Peninsula was scheduled to open Dec. 1. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) delayed the opening following talks last week with fishery managers in Oregon and California, where commercial crabbing is also closed.

Recent tests indicate crab caught along Washington’s ocean coast are safe to eat, but shellfish managers decided to conduct additional testing before opening the commercial fishery. Recreational crabbing will remain open in all coastal waters except Willapa Bay, which was closed earlier this month because of elevated toxin levels. Crabbing is also open in Puget Sound, where marine toxins in crab have not been an issue.

The department will review test results from the state Department of Health before setting an opening date on the south coast, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for WDFW. Ayres said he hopes the test results allow for the season to open by mid-December.

“We’re taking extra precautions due to the high volume of crab typically caught within the first weeks of the commercial opening,” he said. “We want people to feel confident the crab they buy is safe to eat.” Ayres said commercial crabbers generally support WDFW’s decision.

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

WDFW typically opens the area north of Klipsan Beach to state commercial crabbing later in the season in coordination with tribal co-managers. Crab now coming into the market from tribal fisheries currently open along the central and northern Washington coast have been tested and are safe, Ayres said.

Comments Off on WDFW News – Commercial Crab Fishery On Washington’s South Coast Delayed.

CDFW News – Statewide Ban on Bobcat Trapping to Take Effect Friday

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds bobcat trappers that beginning Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, recreational and commercial bobcat trapping will no longer be allowed in California.

At a meeting in Fortuna, Calif. on Aug. 5, 2015, the California Fish and Game Commission adopted regulations to ban bobcat trapping statewide. On Nov. 13, 2015, the Office of Administrative Law approved those regulations to be effective Nov. 20.

As a result of the new regulations, related to hunting and trapping of bobcat (Section 478 of Title 14, California Code of Regulations): It shall be unlawful to trap any bobcat, or attempt to do so, or to sell or export any bobcat or part of any bobcat taken in the State of California.

Any holder of a trapping license who traps a bobcat shall immediately release the bobcat to the wild unharmed. Also beginning Friday, Nov. 20, CDFW will no longer mark bobcat pelts for personal use or issue shipping tags for commercial sale of bobcat pelts taken in California.

Comments Off on CDFW News – Statewide Ban on Bobcat Trapping to Take Effect Friday

Potholes Reservoir / Mardon Resort Recreation Report

Each year for decades’ waterfowl hunters anticipate Northern Migratory waterfowl moving into Central Washington by Thanksgiving.   Once again we are seeing the beginning of new birds in the Potholes Recreation Area. Small Canadian Geese have been migrating to our area for two weeks. Some new big geese are being spotted all over Royal Slope. Northern duck typically arrive right behind the big geese.

Now, we are seeing a small number of new ducks coming south. Hard working pheasant hunters are harvesting noticeably more birds than the last several seasons. The Pheasant release program being run by volunteers from the Royal Youth Booster program has provided a positive experience for new hunters, young dogs as well as senior hunters and all. Over 2000 birds were raised by the Boosters Volunteers under the direction of Booster president Sam Worsham. This fund raising project is a 501C3 and all monies are dedicated to enhance activities for students in the Royal City School District.

Walleye Anglers continue to report good action, but this past week the wind has been pushing trollers and Blade Bait jiggers to the sheltered water of the Lind Coulee arm of Potholes Reservoir. The public boat launch at the “M” street bridge is the best place to launch your boat to be sheltered from the winds of late. The fall bite is on at the Lind Coulee.

The Mardon dock has been slow with our recent winds. Corral Lake across the street from Mardon, is a good option for rainbows and triploids. Plus, Corral Lake is very well sheltered from recent winds. Call the MarDon Tackle Shop for current fishing info. (509)346-2651

Upcoming Events:

The Potholes Chapter DU Banquet is Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. Tickets are still available, please call (509) 989-9802 for tickets or information. The Banquet is held at the clubhouse at the O’Sullivan Sportsman’s Resort off HWY 262.

The Larry Roberse Party from Juliaetta, ID enjoyed a limit goose hunt with Levi Meseberg of Meseberg Adventures Guide Service.

The Larry Roberse Party from Juliaetta, ID enjoyed a limit goose hunt with Levi Meseberg of Meseberg Adventures Guide Service.

Comments Off on Potholes Reservoir / Mardon Resort Recreation Report

Pete Heley Outdoors 11 / 18 / 2015

A newer, more restrictive crab advisory has replaced the one issued last week for crabs taken between Charlston and the California border. The new restriction, a joint ODFW and Department of Agriculture announcement, is both severe and immediate. Here it is:

The Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife have announced the immediate closure of recreational and commercial bay crabbing from Heceta Head, north of Florence on the Oregon Coast, to the California border due to elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes crabs harvested in bays and estuaries, and off docks, piers, jetties, and the ocean.

Crab harvesting from Heceta Head north to the Columbia River remains open (Willapa Bay in southwest Washington is also closed to crabbing due to elevated levels of marine toxins), It is recommended that crab always be eviscerated prior to cooking. Evisceration includes removal and discard of the internal organs and gills.

Despite the closure, crab and shellfish products sold in retail markets and restaurants remain safe for consumers.

Domoic acid or amnesic shellfish toxin can cause minor to severe illness and even death. Severe poisoning can result in dizziness, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea. More severe cases can result in memory loss and death. Shellfish toxins are produced by algae and originate in the ocean. Toxins cannot be removed by cooking, freezing or any other treatment. ODA will continue to test for toxins in the coming weeks. Removal of the advisory requires two consecutive tests in the safe range.

For more information, call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline at (800) 448-2474 or visit the ODA shellfish closures web page.

My friends at “The Bites On”, a tackleshop in the Empire District of Coos Bay, have received reports of smallmouth bass to nearly two pounds coming out of New River south of Bandon. The New River is part of the Floras Creek drainage which is the outlet to Floras Lake. Floras Lake has a population of very much overlooked largemouth bass and cutthroat trout as well as some salmon and steelhead smolts which may now be somewhat in jeopardy  should the smallmouths move up into the lake via the slow-moving waters of New River and Floras Creek.

Other developing smallmouth fisheries include the mainstem Coquille River up to and including the first few miles of the South Fork, Woahink Lake which has had smallmouths for years, but experienced a population spike over the last few years. and Eel Lake which has produced smallmouths weighing more than four pounds this year.

By the time you read this, all three coastal lakes with coho fisheries should have salmon in them, but it will probably be Thanksgiving before Tahkenitch and Tenmile produce many salmon. The Chinook salmon in the Elk and Sixes rivers will most likely be on a similar time table.

The coho fisheries at Siltcoos, Tahkenitch and Tenmile all end one hour after sunset on December 31st.

The people in charge of making repairs to the Westlake Boat Ramp at Siltcoos Lake timed it to cause maximum inconvenience. Boat launching alternatives include Nightingales Resort which is at least a ten mile drive and charges a ten dollar launch fee and Darlings Resort which charges a five dollar launch fee. Darling’s also honors the Lane County Pass, but the resorts all have very limited parking.

Yellow perch fishing is decent in most area waters, but very good off the fishing dock at the Couty Park in Lakeside. For some reason, the fishing dock at the County Park in Westlake on Siltcoos Lake does not fish well, but many parts of the lake produce good perch fishing for boat anglers. Don’t count on catching many crappies or bluegills.

Comments Off on Pete Heley Outdoors 11 / 18 / 2015

Fish For The Needy Benefit This Friday At Roseburg

ROSEBURG, Ore – A boatload of canned fish is what organizers of a local food drive are hoping for this Friday, Nov. 20 at Sherm’s Thunderbird, 2553 NW Stewart Parkway, Roseburg. The drive runs 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

An empty drift boat will be parked near the entrance to Sherm’s to collect canned fish or monetary donations for The FISH of Roseburg, a local food pantry. The Umpqua Fisheries Enhancement Derby, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Oregon State Police are coordinating the event.

For the past two years, the Derby has held an auction “Frenzy” and raised more than $32,500 for The FISH to purchase canned tuna, salmon and mackerel for its food pantry. Derby organizers say the funds earmarked for The FISH are running low for the rest of the year and are hoping this fun food drive will help.

###

Contact:
Greg Huchko, 541-440-3353

Comments Off on Fish For The Needy Benefit This Friday At Roseburg

Much Of Oregon Coast Closed To Crabbing

The Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife have announced the immediate closure of recreational and commercial bay crabbing from Heceta Head, north of Florence on the Oregon Coast, to the California border due to elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes crab harvested in bays and estuaries, and off docks, piers, jetties, and the ocean.

Crab harvesting from Heceta Head north to the Columbia River remains open, although it is recommended that crab always be eviscerated prior to cooking. Evisceration includes removal and discard of the internal organs and gills.

Despite the closure, crab and shellfish products sold in retail markets and restaurants remain safe for consumers.

Domoic acid or amnesic shellfish toxin can cause minor to severe illness and even death. Severe poisoning can result in dizziness, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea. More severe cases can result in memory loss and death. Shellfish toxins are produced by algae and originate in the ocean. Toxins cannot be removed by cooking, freezing or any other treatment. ODA will continue to test for toxins in the coming weeks. Removal of the advisory requires two consecutive tests in the safe range.

For more information, call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline at (800) 448-2474 or visit the ODA shellfish closures web page.

Comments Off on Much Of Oregon Coast Closed To Crabbing

Potholes Reservoir / Mardon Resort Recreation Report

Here we are almost in the middle of November and fishers continue to catch walleye limits on spinners and crawlers, Rapala Shad Raps and Berkley Flicker Shads. Blade Baits are also producing walleye over 10 pounds. Enjoy this amazing non-stop walleye action on Potholes Reservoir. Bass anglers are enjoying excellent fall bass catching. Experienced bass fishers continue to report thirty fish catch and release days. The Lind Coulee arm of Potholes Reservoir has been good for walleye, bass, crappie, bluegill and channel catfish. This is a great area to fish on a windy day, it offers some shelter from our extreme fall and winter weather. Crappie action has been fair at the MarDon Dock this week. Slowing down a bit from the last couple weeks.

RV OWNERS;

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.

Offering our annual Hunter Special for RV Sites at MarDon Resort this winter.

RV Site October to March 1                            $1050

Electricity Fee                                                         $140

Total for all 5 months                                         $1190.00

The rental includes the RV site with full hookup (water, electric & sewer), internet, boat launching. The store building and the restrooms/laundromat remains open all winter. The Depth’s Restaurant will be open with limited days and hours. Fuel is available at the 76 gas station 1 mile from MarDon. Call 509.346.2651 if you are interested. Space is limited.

Andy Fa of Redmond caught this largemouth bass using a crappie jig.

Andy Fa of Redmond caught this largemouth bass using a crappie jig.

Comments Off on Potholes Reservoir / Mardon Resort Recreation Report

CDFW News – Anglers Encouraged to Return Sturgeon Tags for Recognition and Monetary Reward

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has completed its annual sturgeon tagging program, catching and releasing nearly 400 sturgeon in Bay Area waters.  Many of the tags are eligible for a reward if returned to CDFW by anglers.

The tagging operation is used to help manage California’s green and white sturgeon populations. Information received from anglers about tagged sturgeon complements the details submitted on sturgeon fishing report cards as well as data from party boats, creel surveys, surveys for juvenile sturgeon and various special studies.

CDFW offers monetary rewards for the return of certain marked tags. The tags are smaller than a dime and located behind the rear dorsal fin. Anglers who return a tag will also receive a certificate of appreciation from CDFW. Additional information and the form for returning tags can be found on the CDFW website.

“Protecting the white sturgeon fishery and the sturgeon populations requires research, collaboration, adaptive management and enforcement,” said CDFW Program Manager Marty Gingras. “Angler participation is a vital component of the information-gathering process – we rely on them to help us complete the loop.”

Working in Suisun and San Pablo bays from August through October, crews collected information on 18 green sturgeon, tagged 190 white sturgeon, and collected information on 169 white sturgeon that were either too small or too large to tag. In an ongoing collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and a new collaboration with San Francisco Estuary Institute, USFWS staff was also on board CDFW boats to collect various tissues as part of an age-and-growth study and a study monitoring selenium concentrations in white sturgeon.

The Sacramento-San Joaquin river system is the southernmost spawning grounds for both white sturgeon and green sturgeon.  Sturgeon in California can live more than 100 years and weigh over 500 pounds, but anglers most often catch sturgeon 3-4 feet in length.  The sturgeon fishery in California was once closed for decades due to overfishing. Today, commercial harvest of white sturgeon is not allowed, and recreational harvest of white sturgeon is regulated by size limit, daily bag limit and annual bag limit. Green sturgeon is a threatened species and neither commercial nor recreational harvest of those fish is allowed.

Serialized tags are provided with each sturgeon fishing report card to help enforce the bag limits. To enable law enforcement to cross-reference the tag with a particular card, anglers must permanently fix a tag to each kept white sturgeon until the fish is processed for consumption.

Anglers are required to return their 2015 sturgeon fishing report cards by Jan. 31, 2016.

Comments Off on CDFW News – Anglers Encouraged to Return Sturgeon Tags for Recognition and Monetary Reward

Pete Heley Outdoors 11 / 10 / 2015

My friend Bill Lackner, a longtime irritant of the ODFW, the Department of Agriculture and other agencies and officials for claiming that they let the public down by not adequately testing Oregon’s shellfish seems to have a valid point now that the state of California has decided to delay its opening of their commercial dungeness crab season and to outright close their commercial red rock crab season. In addition, the state of Washington has closed crabbing in Willapa Bay without advance notice due to elevated levels of marine toxins.

Recent tests of the viscera (guts) from crabs taken in the ocean off Brookings showed levels of domoic acid of 43.0 ppm at 15 fathoms, 13 ppm at 30.0 fathoms and 40.0 ppm at 45 fathoms. Toxin levels are much higher in the crab “guts” than in the actual crab meat, but but the level for an FDA alert is 20.0 parts per million.

As for Oregon, a joint (ODA / ODFW) health advisory is in effect for recreational crab harvested between Cape Arago (south of Charleston) and the Calif. border from the ocean, bays and estuaries. Due to high levels of domoic acid in their guts, or butter, crab should be eviserated before being consumed. Points north of Cape Arago are not affected by this advisory, however the ODA recommends always taking a pass on eating crab guts.

Recreational and commercial harvest of mussels is closed from the mouth of the Yachats River to the California border due to elevated levels of domoic acid; the closure applies to mussels on all beaches, rocks, jetties and bay entrances. Mussel harvesting remains open to the north from Yachats to the Columbia River.

Recreational harvest of bay clams is open (except for razor clams) inside estuaries along the entire Oregon Coast.

Scallops are not affected by closures when only the adductor muscle is eaten and commercial shellfish products remain safe for consumers.

Coho salmon     are now in Siltcoos Lake and there is considerable fishing pressure directed at them, but fishing has been slow – possibly due to the dam not being left open after an initial flush. Anglers shouldn’t expect much improvement in the coho catch until the lake level raises enough for the dam to be left open or there is enough water going down the fish ladder to make it less of an obstacle to the salmon. In the meantime, there are good numbers of searun cutthroat in the lake and of last week, spinnerbaits and crankbaits were producing good catches of largemouth bass. Fishing for yellow perch using worms or perch meat has also been fair to good and the perch should be moving into shallow water over the next several weeks. Anita, at Nightingale’s Resort on Siltcoos’s Maple Creek Arm has recently been posting coho salmon catches on the resort bulletin board the same day the fish are caught.

The hosts at Tahkenitch Landing reported that both salmon and searun cutthroats were ready to enter Tahkenitch Creek on their way into Tahkenitch Lake, but the International Paper employee in charge of opening the dam each fall has yet to do so.

Tenmile Lakes will be need some exceptionally high tides or a decent amount of rainfall to get salmon into the system, but if they can get upstream as far as Spin Reel Park they can easily get into Tenmile Lakes.

As of last weekend, a very few Chinook salmon have entered the Elk and Sixes rivers. Continued rain should have these streams fishing well and they clear up quickly when muddy.

Sadly, adult tui chubs have, once again, turned up in ODFW test nets on Diamond Lake. Maybe this time the ODFW will consider stocking a fish that will effectively feed on the chubs, yet not be too easy to catch. Brown trout are already in the system to a point less than one-quarter mile below the lake. Tiger trout, a brook trout-brown trout hybrid would be another good choice for a natural solution.

Over the last decade, it seems that a fair portion of the ODFW’s available funds have been directed at this diminutive nuisance fish in this one lake.

Comments Off on Pete Heley Outdoors 11 / 10 / 2015