Monthly Archives: January 2016

Pete Heley Outdoors 1 / 20 / 2015

The big news is that the stocking schedule for 2016 is now on the ODFW website. As I am writing this, there are some areas where the stocking schedules are not yet finalized or on the ODFW’s website, but the areas that are on the site include: North Willamette Valley; South Willamette Valley; Northern Oregon Coast; Southern Oregon Coast and Coos County. For our area, the biggest disappointment is that the Umpqua Basin / Douglas Couty stocking schedule is not yet out.

Coos County stocking begins the first week of March, but for anxious trout anglers not wanting to wait, Junction City Pond was stocked last week with 2,750 trout including some 14-inch one pound fish. The Florence-area lakes will be stocked during the week beginning on Monday, February 8th and many of them will be receiving some 16-inch trout.

The ODFW recently announced their intent to change the stocking program at Diamond Lake. Tiger trout will be stocked later this year and will be strictly catch and release for the forseeable future. Although none will be available this year, the ODFW plans to begin stocking sterile brown trout next year. I don’t understand the ODFW’s aversion to planting fertile brown trout into Diamond Lake. They are well established in the upper North Umpqua and have been rarely entering the lake for decades via the lake’s Lake Creek outlet. In fact, many years ago, while fishing with Floyd King, a fellow member of the University of Oregon ROTC program, I watched him land and release a ten inch male brook trout while fishing Lake Creek just below where the Summer Home Road crosses the stream just below the lake. Upon being released, had the brookie chosen to swim upstream, it would have had to deal with about 200 feet of slow-moving, obstruction-free water to actually enter Diamond Lake.

The time for the annual sportsman shows is fast approaching. The Eugene Boat and Sportsman Show will be at the Lane County Fairgrounds February 5th through 7th(Friday Noon-9pm; Saturday 9am-8pm and Sunday 9am-3pm). Admission is $7.00 and as usual, BiMart will have coupons for $2.00 off.

The following week (February 10th through 14th), the Pacific Northwest Sportsman Show will be in Portland at the Exp Center. The show will run from 11am-9pm Wednesday through Friday and 10 am-8 pm on Saturday and 10 am-6pm on Sunday. The show’s website features downloadable coupons good for $2.00 off the $12.00 admission price.

Any hunter who purchased 2015 big game or turkey tags needs to report their hunt results by the deadline, which is Jan. 31, 2016 for most tags.

Hunters are required to report on each deer, elk, cougar, bear, pronghorn and turkey tag purchased—even if they were not successful or did not hunt. Sports Pac license holders need to report on each big game or turkey tag issued.

Hunters have two ways to report: Online via reportmyhunt.com or www.odfw.com. Hunters without Internet access who wish to report online can visit an ODFW office with a computer available for Hunter Reporting (ODFW field or regional offices in Adair Village/Corvallis, Bend, Clackamas, La Grande, Portland-Sauvie Island, Roseburg, Salem Headquarters, Springfield, Tillamook.)
By telephone: Call 1-866-947-6339 to talk to a customer service representative. Hours: 6 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Pacific Time, seven days a week. Reporting deadlines is Jan. 31, 2016 for all 2015 hunts that end by Dec. 31, 2015.

Comments Off on Pete Heley Outdoors 1 / 20 / 2015

Wintertime Insomnia And TV Lure Infomercials

As someone who likes to sleep with the television on, I frequently wake up in the middle of the night to discover that a TV infomercial for some new fangled lure is staring me in the face. Being dubious about each infomercial’s incredible claims, yet still curious, I managed to purchase, over a couple of years, virtually every one.

Despite what many people say about such lures or lure systems sold on late night TV, I believe that these lures do work. But they are often special situation-type lures.

One lure I did not purchase was the Mighty Bite. I found nothing wrong with the lures that made them inferior to similar lures combining a jighead with a soft plastic body, but the bite out of the body was simply too much for me to accept. Toothy predators with “piranha-type choppers” are absent from our waters, so the bitten out chunk of the soft plastic body is, in no way, realistic. If I was fishing in the Amazon basin with its piranha or in Africa with its tigerfish and goliath tigerfish, I could accept using a lure with a bitten out chunk of its soft plastic body, but I am not and so I didn’t. The bite mark was the deal killer.

As I said earlier, some of these lures are ideal for special situations, but they seldom perform well outside of that “special situation”. One floating lure vibrates for about a second every 20 seconds and it only does this when the lure is in the water. I am certain that this lure works when water temperatures are warm enough for bass, or other fish, to be active and the fish are territorial especially during the spawn and immediate pre-spawn. It offers something that fish seldom see from artificial lures and that is some action without horizontal lure movement. In fact, whenever I cast across a tree limb, I always jiggle the lure before trying to get it back and quite often a bass will grab it. They just are not used to seeing a lure actually move without traveling horizontally. However this infomercial-marketed lure operates poorly in normal fishing conditions.

I have bought several lures that either glow after being subjected to a strong light, or actually have battery-operated lights that make their eyes, or in some cases parts of the lure bodies flash or glow. I like the lures, usually soft plastic lures, that are charged by a flashlight. However, in many cases, the battery powered lures are simply too much and they often scare all but the largest fish. These lures are very popular in Drano Lake on the Washington side of the Columbia River where it is legal to fish for salmon and steelhead after dark.

One lure consisted of a vibrating thin metal blade and it seems to work fairly well, especially in fairly deep and cold water. But in almost every case, I found some of my other favorite lures equally as well or even better. If I had to use these lures, I would hope the fish were fairly aggressive as other lures easily outfished them when the fish were not aggressive.

Another TV lure consisted of a crankbait with a rubberband powered rotating blade at the rear. When the lure had been retrieved for several yards, the angler could stop the retrieve and the wound up rubber band would spin the aft-positioned blade and the lure would actually move backwards. Once again, an action not seen in regular fishing lures. While the lure could look a lot “fishier”, it does have realistic eyes and I have no doubts that it will catch some otherwise nearly uncatchable fish. The single treble hook will mean some missed strikes.

The walking worm was a sensation for a couple of years and it works by seeking a coiled position after being cast. Retrieving the lure for several inches, or more, straightens the worm out and it very slowly moves to a coiled position when the lure retrieve stops. While this lure can help anglers catch fish that have a difficult time fishing slow enough to catch fish like bass, the lure could easily be much-improved by making the front couple of inches of the worm’s body more substantial so that the hook or jighead attached to it is less noticeable.

The Flying Lure was a specialty lure from years ago that allowed an angler to cast near some structure and then slackening his line to allow the lure to move away from the angler while it sank. Once an angler got the hang of it, could reach farther back under floating or surface structure than conventioinal lures. The secret was the special jighead that was designed for the flattened tubeskirt bodies. However the color choices were limited and the only advantage of this lure was that it allowed an angler to more effectively fish larger floating structure.

I consider the Bionic Minnow a take off on the Banjo Minnow. However, the lure bodies are thinner and have very good action. It fishes well, but there are so many similar lures out today that buying the Bionic Minnow Kit is unneccessarily expensive and unnecessary. If you already have one, fish it, it will catch fish.

The grandaddy of all the TV sold fishing lures is the Banjo Minnow. It catches fish and has actually evolved into an even better fish catcher over the last several years. The Banjo Minnow bodies are composed of a heavier than normal plastic, similar to that in Senkos, that allows the lure to be more effectively twitched. A lot of thought went into creating the Banjo Minnow Kit. The tiny rubber bands make tremendously effective weed guards. The tiny O-rings are very effective at keeping the springlike lure holder from slipping off the hook. The kit has special eyes that are easily to place on the minnow bodies. The current kits even include frog bodies with the proper hooks to fish them effectively. However, the main premise of this fishing kit is that all the accessories match up very well with the heavy plastic minnow bodies to create a very effective fishing lure. Although I seldom use any of these TV lures, I did managed to hook and land a 15-inch largemouth bass from southwest Oregon’s Tenmile Creek on my second cast with a larger Banjo Minno while I was fishing next to a boat ramp.

While most of these TV marketed fishing lures may seem “gimmicky”, they do catch fish. If I did most of my fishing out of a bass boat rather than a float tube, I would certainly have at least one rod rigged with up with one of these lures.
TV LURES (WEB)

Comments Off on Wintertime Insomnia And TV Lure Infomercials

Tiger Trout / Brown Trout In Diamond Lake’s Future

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to add tiger trout to its standard Diamond Lake rainbow trout stocking this June. These brook and brown trout hybrids are reproductively sterile and known to prey on smaller fish – biologists are banking on them to help keep tui chub in check.

A single tui chub was found in a trap net this past fall, and biologists know all too well their life history of explosive population growth in Diamond Lake.

“We know what chub are capable of in Diamond Lake, and we are working with our partners to get ahead of the curve. We looked at many options, and tiger trout came out on top,” says Greg Huchko, Umpqua District Fish Biologist. “We wanted to stock a mix of brown and tiger trout, but only tigers are available this year. We will be looking into sterile brown trout for next year in addition to tiger trout.”

Huchko said he’s been meeting with the Umpqua National Forest, Douglas County, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to discuss stocking, and biologists agreed that stocking sterile tiger and/or brown trout was the best choice. Both species are known to prey on smaller fish.

“Many strains of rainbow trout have been stocked in the past, but unfortunately, our creel surveys showed that even those we thought would prey on tui chub were feeding primarily on insects,” Huchko said. “In the early 2000s, we also experimented with a stocking of North Umpqua strain spring chinook with the hope they would eat tui chub, but most of them migrated out of the lake.”

Fisheries biologists will monitor tiger trout abundance in Diamond Lake although they expect minimal numbers of these trout to migrate into Lake Creek.

“Our goal is to design and implement a stocking strategy that controls tui chub to maintain water quality and angling opportunities. Any tiger trout that may leave or be removed from Diamond Lake are sterile so there is not the risk of these fish species reproducing in the North Umpqua watershed or elsewhere,” said Jason Wilcox, Umpqua National Forest fisheries biologist.

Pending funding, ODFW plans to purchase up to 20,000 three-inch and 5,000 eight-inch tiger trout from Cold Springs Trout Farm, a private hatchery in Utah. The tiger trout would be in addition to ODFW’s regular stocking of 300,000 rainbow trout fingerlings and will likely be catch-and-release only to protect these fish and maintain their numbers.

ODFW and partners also outlined a stepped-up monitoring plan for Diamond Lake, including hiring two seasonal technicians to conduct additional removal of tui chub and golden shiners via beach seines, fyke nets, electro-fishing, and trap nets. Also, ODFW plans to monitor the tiger trout population by continuing creel surveys and operating a smolt trap near the lake’s outlet.

ODFW applied for grants to fund monitoring and fish stocking. The Umpqua Fisheries Enhancement Derby is also helping raise money by holding a “fish frenzy” at its annual derby banquet and auction Friday, January 29.

For every dollar donated, funds will be split to purchase both fish and capture nets for monitoring. A nights lodging in a cabin at Diamond Lake Resort and use of two large, two-person snowmobiles for the day comes with each $1,000 donation while a $500 donation receives a night’s lodging and use of two single-person snowmobiles.

In September 2006, ODFW successfully treated Diamond Lake with rotenone to eliminate an estimated 90 million tui chub at a cost of nearly $6 million, restoring water quality and the recreational rainbow trout fishery.011516_tiger-trout-to-be-stocked

Comments Off on Tiger Trout / Brown Trout In Diamond Lake’s Future

2016 Oregon Fish Stocking Info

2016 Trout stocking schedule out for Coos County, Willamette Valley and the northern and southern Oregon coast. It’s posted on the ODFW’s website and Junction City Pond was stocked this week with 2250 legals, 150 12-inchers and 350 14-inchers – 2750 trout in all – an impressive number for a rather small pond. Expect company.

Comments Off on 2016 Oregon Fish Stocking Info

Pete Heley Outdoors 1 / 13 / 2015

According to Cathy Reiss at Ringo’s Lakeside Marina, fishing for largemouth bass at Tenmile Lakes has been very slow. Yellow perch fishing has yet to rebound after the lake rose several feet and then dropped. It most likely take warmer water temperatures to boost fishing success. Reiss did say that steelhead fishing on Tenmile Creek near Spin Reel Park was fair the last couple of weeks. Thanks to the STEP program located where Eel Creek leaves Eel Lake, the percentage of finclipped keepable steelhead in Eel Creek and the portion of Tenmile Creek below where Eel Creek enters, is relatively high.

Crabbing in southern California reopened, but northern California crabbing remains closed. There has been few opportunities to crab in the ocean near Winchester Bay, but recreational crabbers are starting to get a few keepable crabs along with the more numerous undersized crabs they are catching at Half Moon Bay. The most consistent crabbing in our area outside the ocean has been in Coos Bay near Charlston. The most successful crabbers have repeatedly moved their crab-catching gear until they find small concentrations of legal-sized male crabs.

Winchester Bay’s South Jetty has been fishing well during the two or three days each week that it is relatively safe to fish. The bulk of the catch has been rockfish, greenling and striped surfperch. There has been very little fishing pressure directed toward redtailed surfperch at any of the beaches in our area.

Some anglers wonder why daily limits on bottomfish are so low and the reason is that they tend to be long-lived slow-growing fish. that often take years to mature. Black and blue rockfish each live more than 20 years and do not spawn until they are at least eight years old. Lingcod can live for 20 years, but the males don’t spawn until they are four years old and the females until they are seven years old. Kelp greenling can live a dozen years, but don’t spawn until they are at least five years old and do not reach the ten-inch minimum size limit until they are six to nine years old. Ironically, cabazon which can spawn as early as two years of age(males), or three years of age(females), have a population level that requires a six month closed season, a one fish daily limit and a minimum size limitation of 16-inches.

People leasing marinas or concessionair businesses in the state of California are making the state’s fishing opportunities much more interesting. For example, the 63 pound blue catfish recently pulled out of Lake Jennings, a diminutive southern California lake of 85 acres or the nearly 15 pound hybrid striper taken from Irvine Lake are directly attributable to the people leasing the marina operations at each lake. Fishing will definitely be less interesting after Irvine Lake, California’s largest fee fishing lake closes later this year. Should it reopen in the future as a public lake, the variety of fish species present in the lake will almost certainly decrease.

Like the last several winters, western Nevada’s Pyramid Lake is offering some of the world’s best trout fishing. During the last few weeks, shore anglers have dominated the catch with several of the Lahontan cutthroat trout taken each week weighing between 15 and 20+ pounds.

Comments Off on Pete Heley Outdoors 1 / 13 / 2015

CDFW Awards $31.4 Million to Fund Ecosystem and Watershed Restoration Projects.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) today announced the selection of 24 projects that will receive funding from its Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1) Restoration Grant Programs

The grants, which total $31.4 million, are CDFW’s first distribution of funds through these programs. They include approximately $24.6 million awarded through the Watershed Restoration Grant Program to projects of statewide importance outside of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta; and approximately $6.8 million awarded through the Delta Water Quality and Ecosystem Restoration Grant Program for projects that benefit the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta specifically.

In response to this first solicitation, announced last August, CDFW received 190 proposals requesting a total of $218 million in funding. All proposals underwent an initial administrative review, and those that passed were evaluated through a technical review process that included reviews by CDFW scientists, as well as experts from other agencies and academia.

The 24 approved projects will further the objectives of the California Water Action Plan, including establishing more reliable water supplies, restoring important species and habitat, and creating a more resilient and sustainably managed water resources system (e.g., water supply, water quality, flood protection and habitat) that can better withstand inevitable and unforeseen pressures in the coming decades.

“These projects achieve the spirit and intent of Proposition 1 to protect and restore important ecosystems around the state,” CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham said. “Investing in these projects is exciting. These projects prove we can conserve California’s natural resources, while also contributing to other critical statewide needs, such as enhancing water supply reliability.”

Californians overwhelmingly approved Proposition 1 in November 2014. CDFW received its first appropriation of funds for allocation July 2015. In a little over one year from voter approval, and just more than six months from legislative appropriations, CDFW is awarding these first grants with Proposition 1 funds.

Projects approved for funding through the Watershed Restoration Grant Program include:

Reclamation District 2035/Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency Joint Intake and Fish Screen ($8,128,621 to Reclamation District 2035);
South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project Phase 2: Ravenswood and Mt. View Ponds ($5,000,000 to California State Coastal Conservancy);
San Joaquin River – Invasive Species Management and Job Creation Project ($1,497,843 to River Partners);
San Joaquin River – Native Habitat Restoration and Species Enhancement at Dos Rios Ranch ($798,978 to River Partners);
North Campus Open Space Coastal Wetland Restoration Project ($997,095 to Regents of University California, Santa Barbara);
San Francisco Estuary Invasive Spartina Removal and Tidal Marsh Restoration Project ($3,000,000 to California State Coastal Conservancy);
Tuolumne River Bobcat Flat Salmonid Habitat Restoration-Duck Slough Side Channel Restoration for Off-Channel Rearing Habitat ($453,618 to Tuolumne River Conservancy);
Native Trout Preservation in the Santa Ana Watershed in Southern California ($44,093 to Riverside-Corona Resource Conservation District);
Restoring Fish Migration Connectivity to the Salt River Coastal Watershed ($1,995,438 to Humboldt County Resource Conservation District);
Grasslands Floodplain Restoration Project ($576,351 to American Rivers);
Perazzo Meadows Restoration ($607,889 to Truckee River Watershed Council);
San Gabriel Watershed Restoration Program ($65,000 to Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District);
Sequoia National Forest Prioritized Meadows Restoration Project ($486,173 to Trout Unlimited); and
Lower Putah Creek Watershed Restoration ($990,312 to Solano County Water Agency).
Projects approved for funding through the Delta Water Quality and Ecosystem Restoration Grant Program include:

Reconstructing juvenile salmon growth, condition and Delta habitat use in the 2014-15 drought and beyond ($800,484 to Regents of the University of California, Davis, Center for Watershed Sciences);
Drought-related high water temperature impacts survival of California salmonids through disease, increasing predation risk ($625,740 to Regents of the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine);
Hydrodynamic influences on the food webs of restoring tidal wetlands ($867,235 to Regents of the University of California, Davis, Center for Watershed Sciences);
Rush Ranch Lower Spring Branch Creek and Suisun Hill Hollow Tidal Connections Project ($839,449 to Solano Land Trust);
Mechanisms underlying the flow relationship of longfin smelt: I. Movement and feeding ($1,263,991 to San Francisco State University);
The Effect of Drought on Delta Smelt Vital Rates ($678,275 to Regents of the University of California, Davis, Office of Research, Sponsored Programs);
Yolo Bypass Westside Tributaries Flow Monitoring Project ($331,148 to Yolo County);
Problems and Promise of Restoring Tidal Marsh to Benefit Native Fishes in the North Delta during Drought and Flood ($969,238 to Regents of the University of California, Davis, Center for Watershed Sciences);
Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Habitat and Drainage Improvement Project Permitting ($145,944 to Ducks Unlimited); and
Knightsen Wetland Restoration and Flood Protection Project ($240,000 to East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy).
More information about CDFW’s Proposition 1 Restoration Grant Programs can be found at www.wildlife.ca.gov/grants. Funding for these projects comes from the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act 2014 (Proposition 1) bond funds, a portion of which are allocated annually through the California State Budget Act.

Comments Off on CDFW Awards $31.4 Million to Fund Ecosystem and Watershed Restoration Projects.

WDFW News – Meeting Called On Siting Gene Bank For Wild Steelhead On Columbia River

State fish managers will hold a public meeting Jan. 21 in Cathlamet to discuss two options for establishing a wild steelhead gene bank in rivers and streams near the mouth of the Columbia River.

Both options under consideration by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) are designed to support the preservation of wild steelhead populations by prohibiting future releases of hatchery-raised steelhead into specific waters of the lower Columbia River Basin.

One option would eliminate production of hatchery winter steelhead on the Grays and Chinook rivers. The other would prohibit production of hatchery steelhead on Mill, Abernathy and Germany creeks.

The meeting is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Wahkiakum County’s River Street Meeting Room, located at 25 River Street. The department will also accept public comments electronically starting Jan. 25, when additional information on the two options will be posted at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/fisheries/steelhead/gene_bank/columbia_river/

“This is the last of four gene banks currently planned for tributaries to the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam,” said Cindy Le Fleur, WDFW regional fish manager. “Our advisory group was divided on two options, so we’d like to get some additional input from the public.”

Le Fleur said both options under consideration by the department meet standards outlined in the state’s Statewide Steelhead Management Plan, which calls on WDFW to “establish a network of wild stock gene banks across the state where wild stocks are largely protected from the effects of hatchery programs.”

That plan, adopted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in 2008, was based on studies showing that hatchery-produced fish can interfere with wild steelhead in ways ranging from interbreeding to competition for food.

WDFW established the state’s first official steelhead gene bank in 2012 in the Sol Duc River on the Olympic Peninsula. In March 2014, the department designated three gene banks in the lower Columbia River drainage on the East Fork Lewis River, the North Fork Toutle and Green rivers, and the Wind River.

Comments Off on WDFW News – Meeting Called On Siting Gene Bank For Wild Steelhead On Columbia River

Commercial and Recreational Rock Crab and Recreational Dungeness Crab Fisheries Open in Southern Portion of California

On Dec. 31, 2015, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Fish and Game Commission (Commission) were notified by the director of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) that, in consultation with the director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), a determination has been made that Dungeness and rock crab caught on the mainland coast south of 35° 40′ N Latitude (near Piedras Blancas Light Station in San Luis Obispo County) no longer poses a significant human health risk from high levels of domoic acid and that the fisheries should be opened in a manner consistent with the emergency regulations. This determination was based on extensive sampling conducted by CDPH in close coordination with CDFW and fisheries representatives.

Pursuant to the emergency regulations adopted by the Commission and CDFW on Nov. 5 and 6, respectively, the current open and closed areas are as follows:

Areas open to crab fishing include:

Recreational Dungeness and rock crab fisheries along the mainland coast South of 35° 40′ N Latitude (Piedras Blancas Light Station)
Commercial rock crab fishery along the mainland coast South of 35° 40′ N Latitude (Piedras Blancas Light Station)
Areas still closed to crab fishing include:

Commercial Dungeness crab fishery statewide
Recreational Dungeness crab fishery north of 35° 40′ N Latitude (Piedras Blancas Light Station)
Commercial and recreational rock crab fisheries North of 35° 40′ N Latitude (Piedras Blancas Light Station)
Commercial and recreational rock crab fisheries in state waters around San Miguel, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands
Despite several weeks of samples below alert levels, as a precaution, CDPH and OEHHA recommend that anglers and consumers not eat the viscera (internal organs, also known as “butter” or “guts”) of crabs. CDPH and OEHHA are also recommending that water or broth used to cook whole crabs be discarded and not used to prepare dishes such as sauces, broths, soups or stews. The viscera usually contain much higher levels of domoic acid than crab body meat. When whole crabs are cooked in liquid, domoic acid may leach from the viscera into the cooking liquid. This precaution is being recommended to avoid harm in the unlikely event that some crabs taken from an open fishery have elevated levels of domoic acid.

CDFW will continue to closely coordinate with CDPH, OEHHA and fisheries representatives to extensively monitor domoic acid levels in Dungeness and rock crabs to determine when the fisheries can safely be opened throughout the state.

Comments Off on Commercial and Recreational Rock Crab and Recreational Dungeness Crab Fisheries Open in Southern Portion of California

Pete Heley Outdoors 01 / 06 / 2016

Some people that are considering purchasing a 2016 sportspac were disappointed to discover that the 2016 regulations booklet did not state what licenses and tags are actually included in this year’s sportspac. The ommission is ironic because this year’s regulation booklet is better written and more understandable than the booklets of past years.

Page 4 of the 2015 regulations booklet states that a sportspac includes: a combination hunting/fishing license; a combined angling tag; a shellfish license; a cougar tag; a spring turkey tag; a general or controlled hunt bear tag; an elk tag; a deer tag and upland bird and waterfowl validations.

On page 84 of this year’s fishing regulations, it states that a person purchasing a hunting or fishing license can upgrade that license to a combination license or a sportspac within 90 days of purchase. What the booklet doesn’t say is that this “upgrade” must take place at an ODFW regional office.

Apparently these upgrades have been available at regional offices for several years, but were very poorly publicized. When somebody would come into the store where I work to purchase a sportspac, in many cases they could not do so because a sportspac purchase would not come up as an option on the licensing machine because they had already purchased another license – usually a shellfish license.

Upon asking a regional office like Charlston to fulfill such requests, the regional office would call their headquarters and have them cancel that person’s original purchase and then sell them the upgraded license after subtracting the original purchase price from the new purchase price. I wish I was aware of this option several years ago as I could have given the proper advice to help many more persons upgrade their original license purchases. Unfortunately, there is no option for “downgrades”.

Regional office visits are also the only way a person can replace lost tags (usually combined angling tags). They will still be subject to the duplicate document fee which is $17.00 or the cost of the original document, if cheaper.

Tenmile Creek has been producing some steelhead around Spin Reel Park and flows are more fishable than they were last week. Eel Creek, which opened to steelhead fishing on Jan. 1st is still somewhat high but is relatively clear.

The Umpqua River is less muddy than it was last week, but more rain is scheduled for this week and those wanting to backtroll plugs may have to plunk instead.

Crabbing has been slow at Half Moon Bay with virtually all the crabs taken being undersized. Now that Douglas County has begun charging for a daily or seasonal pass to use virtually all of their boat ramps, restrooms or parking areas, one can only hope that they can come up with the funds to repair the Coast Guard Crabbing Pier. Presently, the area’s best crabbing has been in the lower half of Coos Bay near Charlston.

While surf conditions have greatly limited beach fishing options for surfperch, there has been a few calm days when fishing Winchester Bay’s South Jetty/Triangle area has been both enjoyable and productive for bottomfish.

Yellow perch fishing has improved slightly at the county park on South Tenmile Lake – the only place getting any noticeable fishing pressure directed at perch. Cold temperatures have minimized the improvement, but the several foot drop in the lake level definitely helped perch fishing success.

Now that it is 2016, anglers checking the new regulations booklet will find that they have increased options as many lakes that used to be open several months per year are now open to year round angling. One change that may have gone unnoticed by many anglers is that the trout limit at Diamond Lake is no longer eight trout, but the standard lake limit of five trout per day.

Comments Off on Pete Heley Outdoors 01 / 06 / 2016

ODFW To Hold Ice Fishing Workshop At Lake Of The Woods On Jan. 30th

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will host a workshop showing anglers how to make the best of snowy, icy conditions at a Jan. 30, 2016 Family Ice Fishing Workshop on Lake of the Woods near Klamath Falls.

The family-friendly workshop is open to adults and youth. Youth must be at least 9 years old and accompanied by a paying adult.

“If you’ve never been ice fishing, this is the perfect opportunity to learn how,” said Darlene Sprecher, ODFW outdoor skills program coordinator. “The whole family can safely participate and enjoy a great day out on the ice.”

The workshop is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants will learn all the ice fishing basics – safety on the ice, how to drill a hole, what gear to use and how to use it, and how to clean and take care of their catch. The cost of the workshop is $52 per adult and $12 per child under age 18. This includes the use of equipment, instruction and lunch. The registration deadline is Jan. 16, 2016.

Children under 12 years old do not need a fishing license to participate, but adults must have a valid Oregon fishing license and youth ages 12-17 will need an Oregon youth license. Youth must be accompanied by a paying adult.

For more information about the workshop, and to register, go to www.odfwcalendar.com.

Comments Off on ODFW To Hold Ice Fishing Workshop At Lake Of The Woods On Jan. 30th