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Contact Pete Heley
PO Box 264
Reedsport, OR 97467
Monthly Archives: February 2016
The annual Flyfishing Expo put on by the Lower Umpqua Flycasters proved to be well worth the visit as it appeared to live up to the Expos of previous years. It’s a shame that it’s a six hour long one day event. But it continues to be a great place to pick up flytying and fishing info as well as flyfishing gear and books.
I thought it was great that the Charlston ODFW office had a booth at the Expo and the numerous raffles and the free entry for a door prize were pretty neat, as well. I even found out about a flyfishing shop closer than Eugene, which I intend to check out in the near future.
Steve Godin, who happens to be the hardest-working fishing activist in our area was tying his “Steve’s Herring Streamer” which he claims catches more salmon than herring and other baitfish when trolled behind his boat.
If you are lucky enough to read this when it is first posted, you will still have more than four hours to check out this worthy event before it closes at 3 pm.
Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have discovered something disturbing with the fish in Washington’s Puget Sound. Some of them are on drugs.
In a recent study, quoted by the online website, “Wide Open Spaces”, found 81 different kinds of drugs in juvenile Chinook salmon and staghorn sculpin. There were common names like Prozac, Lipitor and even over-the-counter drugs like Advil or Tylenol. But there were also illegal drugs like cocaine.
So how exactly the fish are getting human drugs in their system? The answer seems to lay with the fact many of the fish discovered with high levels of drugs were found near wastewater (effluent) treatment facilities.
Subsequent testing of the waters near these treatment facilities revealed some surprising results about what was getting through into the ocean.
“The concentrations in effluent were higher than we expected,” Jim Meador, an environmental toxicologist with NOAA told the Seattle Times. “We analyzed samples for 150 compounds and we had 61 percent of them detected in effluent. So we know these are going into the estuaries.”
It seems the drugs are getting into the wastewater through amounts unabsorbed by the human body in human waste or in drugs disposed of in a toilet. The Seattle Times reports some of the other drugs found include things like Flonase, Paxil, Valium, nicotine, caffeine, and antibiotics. Even other chemicals like bug spray were found.
It’s uncertain if the levels of chemicals are due to more people using drugs in the area or simply the treatment process for wastewater. But it seems it is difficult to remove some of these chemicals during the wastewater treatment process. Some of them aren’t under any monitoring or regulation in wastewater.
“You have treatment doing its best to remove these, chemically and biologically, but it’s not just the treatment quality, it’s also the amount that we use day to day and our assumption that it just goes away,” Betsy Cooper, King County’s permit administrator for the Wastewater Treatment Division told the Seattle Times. “But not everything goes away.”
All in all, it makes for one wicked cocktail of chemicals. The good news is, Meador said effects on human health are probably non-existent because humans don’t eat juvenile salmon or the staghorn sculpin. However, there are concerns over what effect it may have on animals naturally preying upon the fish. Meador’s study found up to 97,000 pounds of chemicals could be getting into Puget Sound every year.
“You have to wonder what it is doing to the fish,” Meador said. Other studies by Meador have shown salmon dying at a higher rate when they swim through contaminated areas of Puget Sound.
Additionally, RT.com reports a study from Scientific America found perch exposed to drugs had altered behavior where they took bigger risks and ate faster than perch unexposed. Altered fish behavior could alter the ecosystem as it could result in algae blooms and a negative impact on the perch population as more are killed by predators.
And since effects on salmon are considered as an early warning of changes to an environment, there is a possibility there are larger-ranging effects in the ecosystem that are yet undiscovered.
For now, the Environmental Protection Agency and World Health Organization are both looking and calling for water treatment facilities to improve treatments to slow the release of these chemicals into the ocean.
Citizens are also encouraged to help out with the problem by disposing of unwanted prescription drugs through take back programs with pharmacies instead of flushing them down the toilet.
Central Washington Fish Advisory is building 100 habitat boxes to help Potholes Reservoir to add more deep water sanctuaries during our lowest water level of the year in September and October. It is a compelling need to allow the amazing walleye action to continue to be enjoyed by recreational anglers. The largemouth and smallmouth bass numbers on Potholes have also exploded. Many anglers are looking forward to the spring bass bite. Without sanctuary to hold the first and second year fish, this amazing fisher action couldn’t continue. Potholes will crash like other lakes with our level of predatory species. Consequently, we must become pro-active and increase habitat boxes each year (as our permit allows up to 620 per year). That is why we must develop deep water sanctuary for our bait fish, perch, crappie, and bluegill. As we move forward with increased habit boxes Potholes will become a recreational reservoir for families who love to fish for many years to come. Look at www.cwfac.org to learn more about our project. Get involved and volunteer to be part of the partners of the CWFAC. Call 509-346-2651.
On Wednesday at our bingo fundraiser one of our favorite MarDon customers came to play bingo. Jeff Dillon recently retired and got hooked up to Walleye fishing with another retired gentleman, Mr. Tom Pollock and they enjoyed walleye fishing and landed
The annual “Flyfishing Expo” put on by The Lower Umpqua Flycasters will be held at the Reedsport City Hall (451 Winchester Ave.) from 9 am until 3 pm. This free event has been very well attended and most impressive in years past.
Over the last several weeks, fishing has been very, very good off Winchester Bay’s South Jetty for striped surfperch.
While several hundred anglers will fish the Umpqua River’s famed “pinkfin” run, a run comprised of nearly one hundred percent female redtailed surfperch that spawn in the first three miles of river above Winchester Bay from early May through early August – a fishery that is so popular that the male redtailed surfperch that remain in the ocean near sandy beaches. are very much overlooked.
Even more overlooked is the striped surfperch fishery along the South Jetty during the three months preceding the Umpqua’s pinkfin run. When fishing conditions are calm enough to fish, surfperch catches off the jetty rival those made by boat anglers at the peak of the pinkfin run.
The average strped surfperch will weigh between one half and two pounds.
ROSEBURG, Ore – Umpqua Basin angling is in full swing and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is explaining several rules that currently apply. Below are clarifications of these rules which are in the print version of the regulations.
All regulations are being clarified online, and anglers should check the ODFW website before heading out.
South Umpqua River
Use of bait is allowed.
Tributary information is mistakenly listed under South Fork Coquille.
North Umpqua River
Anti-snagging gear restriction on the North Umpqua River extends from Lone Rock Boat Launch to the painted line upstream of Rock Creek.
The Salmon/Steelhead Bobber Rule on page 12 of the regulations does not apply to the North Umpqua. There is no leader length restriction when bobber fishing on the North Umpqua.
As the fishing seasons change, anglers need to look at the online Southwest Zone regulations for the most updated information.
Greg Huchko, 541-440-3353
Meghan Dugan, 541-440-3353
Last week, Pacific herring have entered Coos and Yaquinna bays.
Pacific herring showed up in Yaquina Bay and Coos Bay in large numbers last week, which means they could be entering the other estuaries as well. It’s spawning time and schools of this important forage fish may come and go throughout the season. Jigging for herring is a great way to introduce kids to fishing. Use a multiple-hook herring jig from a dock or pier. Many anglers catch herring this time of year to use as halibut bait; salmon, on the other hand, prefer a higher-quality(firmer) herring found in bays later in the year.
Columbia River walleye fishing has recently been very good.
Fishery managers rated walleye fishing as “good to outstanding” based on recent Columbia River creel surveys showing some excellent catch rates. Anglers generally target big walleye early in the season (Feb.-March) and larger numbers of smaller fish later on and into the summer on the Columbia River above The Dalles and John Day dams. Recent creel showed 215 anglers with a kept catch of 429 walleye – no info on walleyes caught and released.
Aquatic invasive species watercraft inspection stations open March 1 at the Ashland Port of Entry on northbound I-5 and March 3 at the Ontario rest area on northbound I-84. Watercraft inspection stations in Lakeview, Klamath Falls and Gold Beach open in mid-May.
All vehicles carrying motorized or non-motorized boats, including canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and sailboats must stop. Motorists are alerted to inspection stations by large orange “Boat Inspection Ahead” signs followed by “Inspection Required for All Watercraft.”
“It’s very important that people stop at these stations and get their boats inspected. It’s our first line of defense in keeping aquatic invasive species such as mussels, plants and snails out of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest,” said Rick Boatner, Invasive Species Coordinator.
“Stopping for a watercraft inspection takes just five to 10 minutes in most cases. You’re protecting Northwest waters and preventing yourself from possibly receiving a $110 fine for by-passing a check station,” Boatner said.
Invasives such as zebra and Quagga mussels can be difficult to spot – they range in size from microscopic to up to two inches, and attach themselves to many areas on boats that are hard to see. They can also live as long as 21 days out of water.
New Zealand mud snails are also tiny, just three to six millimeters long and easily attach themselves to boots, waders and fishing gear.
In 2015, ODFW technicians inspected 12,954 watercrafts and intercepted 12 with Quagga or zebra mussels and 270 with other types of aquatic invasives such as Eurasian milfoil and brown mussels.
Watercraft with Quagga or zebra mussels came from Lake Powell, Lake Mead, Lake Havasu, Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, Lake Ontario and the Fox River in Illinois.
“The program is working,” Boatner said. “Everyone who boats needs to make sure their boat is cleaned, drained and dried before putting in at another water body. Anglers should be vigilant about cleaning all their gear.”
Walleye fishing this winter at Potholes Reservoir, as usual, has been inconsistent – but has occasionally been very good.Fish have been primarily holding in the deeper areas – mainly the humps in the main lake from 35 to 55 feet deep.Blades, airplane jigs and traditional jigs have been the best producers with a fair amount of fish also coming on monofilament spinners and slow death rigs mainly using smiley blades .
The Sportsmen’s Act has taken many steps in its long journey toward enactment. Starting tomorrow, it will face one if its most significant steps, as it goes to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives where it will be voted upon.
This is one of the most significant legislative issues for the sportfishing industry in many years, so please take a moment to weigh in to your Representative TODAY and urge their support.
This bill protects traditional fishing equipment containing lead from unwarranted federal bans, requires federal land managers to prioritize fishing access, and blocks the National Park Service from arbitrarily closing waters to fishing without state approval (like they did at Biscayne National Park).
Here’s what you can do to help immediately:
• Call the US Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to your Representative’s office (if you don’t know who your Representative is, simply enter your zip code on this website: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/);
• When you reach your Representative’s office, ask to speak to the staff person who handles environment issues;
• When you reach the environment staffer, please convey these three points:
1. Introduce yourself (your name, about your business, where you’re located, number of employees, etc.);
2. Tell them that you strongly support HR 2406, the Sportsmen’s Act, and urge your Congressman to vote “yes.”
3. Tell them you oppose Amendment #24 by Rep. Don Beyer, which would remove an important provision that protects the states’ ability to manage state marine waters.
You can also help further spread the word by sharing this action alert with your family and friends. Click below to send an email to your elected officials and help ensure this important legislation is passed into law.