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Contact Pete Heley
PO Box 264
Reedsport, OR 97467
Monthly Archives: February 2016
On a trip to Sutton Lake on Tuesday (Feb. 23), Dwayne Schultz and I were met with with very cold temperatures and strong winds. The weather app on my computer definitely erred in its prediction of a high temperature of 64 degrees. In fact, the chill factor was enough to make my fingers numb and my shoulder and back quite painful.
Dwayne was much better prepared for the weather and fishing conditions and landed his first nice bass, a 2+ lber on a War Eagle Spinnerbait, within the first 15 minutes. During the four hour outing, Dwayne landed six nice bass from one to three pounds, while I got skunked.
But at least I was still able to say that my last bass from Sutton was a post-spawn six pounder taken a couple of springs ago.
Like most bass fisheries along the Oregon coast, Sutton tends to be underfished due to being overshadowed by Tenmile Lakes.
As for me, I’m looking forward to an end of cold weather that would not have bothered me only five years ago.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff will share a draft management plan for the new Coquille Valley Wildlife Area on Wednesday, March 2 at the Owens Building, 201 N Adams Street, Coquille from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
After a short presentation, staff will answer questions and take public comments on the proposed plan. Read the draft plan.
The five-year plan will guide management actions on the 580-acre wildlife area. The draft plan calls for ODFW to:
Protect, enhance and restore tidally influenced wetlands, riparian lands, aquatic habitats, and uplands to benefit fish and wildlife.
Build, maintain and enhance CVWA facilities.
Provide a variety of quality fish and wildlife oriented recreational and educational opportunities.
Maintain the CVWA to provide habitat benefits to fish and wildlife consistent with ODFW’s mission and neighboring land use.
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission heard the draft plan proposal at its February 12 meeting and will decide whether to adopt the final plan at their April 22 meeting in Bandon.
The majority of lands that compose the CVWA were acquired by ODFW beginning in 2013 with additional lands purchased from willing landowners in 2014 and 2015.
The CVWA is made up of the Winter Lake Tract and the Beaver Slough Tract located between Coquille and Bandon along Highway 42 and North Bank Lane.
Several Florence-area lakes received their second trout plants of the season this week. Alder Lake received 850 legal rainbows. Dune Lake received 500 legal rainbows, while Cleawox and Munsel lakes received 2,000 and 1,000 legal rainbows respectively.
Several Coos County lakes are slated to receive their initial trout plants next week. Both Lower and Upper Empire lakes as well as Bradley Lake, Saunders Lake, Johnson Mill Pond and Powers Pond are to receive 3,000 legal rainbows. 16-inchers, called trophy rainbows by ODFW personnel, are slated to be stocked next week into Lower Empire Lake (200); Upper Empire Lake (200); Bradley Lake (200); Saunders Lake (150); Butterfield Lake (150) and Powers Pond (100).
Loon Lake, like several Roseburg-area lakes, will receive their initial trout plants this year during next week. Loon’s plant will consist of 2,000 legal rainbows. Cooper Creek Reservoir, in Sutherlin, received 400 legal and 100 14-inch rainbows this week. Lake Marie is not scheduledto be stocked until the third week in March when it is slated to receive 2,000 legal rainbows – which is a healthy plant for a six acre lake.
Striped surfperch continue to be the most productive fishery along Winchester Bay’s South Jetty. Sand shrimp is the best bait for these small-mouthed saltwater panfish and have been more available the last few weeks.
Cold, windy weather preceded last Saturday’s annual “Frostbite Open” on Tenmile Lakes. The early season tournament was held at Osprey Point RV Park in Lakeside and has been tremendously productive in years past. Fishing was a little off this year, but the winning bag of five bass still weighed 19.97 pounds and about ten bass were weighed in at more than five pounds. Only one bass weighed more than six pounds, but two others missed reaching the six pound mark by less than three ounces.
There haven’t been any reports of red hot steelhead fishing, but most coastal steelhead streams will continue to produce steelhead until at least late March.
The current issue of Bassmaster Magazine mentions three new inductees to the Bassfishing Hall of Fame. Two of them are very deserving. Billy Murray, has worked for PRADCO fishing for decades and was first to introduce the concept of the traveling “hawg trough” aquarium, which adds interest to fishing seminars and outdoor shows to this very day.
Gary Yamamoto is one of the fishing industry’s most accomplished lure designers and his “senko” is considered by many to be the most effective bass lure ever invented.
One has to wonder about the third inductee. As the 41st President, George H. W. Bush is undoubtedly a very accomplished person, but none of those accomplishments had anything to do with bassfishing. He did enjoy fishing for bass, but despite B.A.S.S. founder Ray Scott’s claim to the contrary, Bush was an average, not a Hall of Fame caliber, bass angler.
We have got to stop elevating celebrities to legendary status regarding their “hobbies”. If we can do that, an induction into any Hall of Fame will actually mean something and we won’t have to agonize over such decisions as whether to induct Barack Obama into the Golf Hall of Fame or the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Deer and elk hunters have until March 31 to enter their names into the drawing for a 2016 multiple-season tag, which can greatly increase the opportunity for success in the field.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will hold the drawing in mid-April, randomly selecting names for 8,500 multiple-season deer tags and 1,000 multiple season elk tags.
Winners of the drawing will be eligible to purchase a special tag allowing them to participate in archery, muzzleloader, as well as modern firearm general hunting seasons for deer or elk in 2016. Winners who purchase the multiple season elk tag can participate in general elk hunting seasons in both eastern and western Washington. The deadline to purchase the multiple-season tag is July 31.
Winners may also choose any weapon type when applying for a special permit to hunt deer or elk.
“This is a great opportunity for hunters to extend their hunting season this fall,” said Mick Cope, game manager for WDFW. “The multiple-season tag allows more flexibility, since winners do not need to choose one hunting method over another.”
Cope noted that the tags can be used only during general seasons and in game management units open during a modern firearm, muzzleloader, or archery general season. For example, winners may not hunt during the muzzleloader general season in an area that is not open for the muzzleloader general season.
Hunters can apply only once for each species and are limited to harvesting one deer or elk.
A multiple season application can be purchased at any authorized license dealer. Contact information can be found at http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/ or by calling (866) 246-9453. The application costs $7.10 for residents and $110.50 for nonresidents.
A 2016 hunting license is not required to submit an application, but winners of the drawing must purchase one before they can purchase a multiple season tag.
Hunting licenses and multiple season tags can be purchased from authorized license dealers, online at http://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov, or by calling (866) 246-9453. Including transaction fees, multiple season deer tags cost $139.10 for residents or nonresidents, while multiple season elk tags cost $182.00 for residents and nonresidents. These prices are in addition to the cost of an annual hunting license.
Cold, windy weather preceded last Saturday’s annual “Frostbite Open” on Tenmile Lakes. The early season tournament was held at Osprey Point RV Park in Lakeside and has been tremendously productive in years past. Fishing was a little off this year, but the winning bag of five bass still weighed 19.97 pounds and about ten bass were weighed in at more than five pounds. Only one bass weighed more than six pounds, but two others missed reaching the six pound mark by less than three ounces.63 boats showed up February 20th at Tenmile Lakes. Chris Carpenter and Travis Glass had a 5 fish limit for 19.97lbs to finish in 1st place, they also had big fish of the tournament at 6.21lbs. Chris and Travis took home $2000.00 for their winning bag. Finishing in 2nd was Dan Betz and JL Neal, they had a 5 fish limit for 16.11lbs and a big fish of 5.34lbs. See results of top 20 placers below.
(1) – Carpenter / Glass 19.97 lbs – 5 bass (6.21 lbs big bass); (2) – Betz / Neal 16.11 lbs – 5 bass (5.34 big bass); (3) – Abbott / Abbott 15.12 lbs – 4 bass (5.52 lbs big bass); (4) – Warren / Sanders 14.78 lbs – 5 bass; (5) – Maderos / Carpenter 13.72 lbs – 5 bass (3.26 lbs big bass); (6) – Ulrey Sr. / Ulrey Jr. 12.15 lbs 5 bass (3.74 lbs big bass); (7) – Abbott / Hobbs 12.13 lbs – 5 bass (3.96 lbs big bass); (8) – Ramberg / Fisher 11.46 lbs – 5 bass; (9) – Emmert / Hodges 11.08 lbs 3 bass (5.97 lbs big bass); (10) – Hollen / Kadell 11.02 lbs – 5 bass;
(11) – Kennedy / Binaham 10.78 lbs – 3 bass (5.54 lbs big bass); (12) Rainey / Barris 10.78 lbs 5 bass (2.84 lbs big bass); (13) – Underwood / Zash 10.61 lbs – 5 bass; (14) O’keefe / Chin 10.61 lbs 5 bass; (15) – Hastings / Stone 10.26 lbs 4 bass (3.94 lbs big bass); (16) – Ray / Truett 10.21 lbs 5 bass; (17) – McKay / Rhodes 9.93 lbs 3 bass (5.37 lbs big bass); (18) – Floras / Kuppens 9.90 lbs 3 bass (4.02 big bass); (19) – Banker / Slaughter 9.52 lbs 5 bass; (20) – Adams / Carnes 9.28 lbs 4 bass;
This quote was recently overheard, from one of our adventurous Reedsport Community Charter School students, near the end of this year’s new Fishing Basics Class Brave’s Session. The South Coast Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association of Oregon (CCA) offered this well-received class, with an objective of providing students with the knowledge and equipment necessary to be successful anglers.
Using philosophies of “fishing is a conservation journey and luck favors the prepared”, the class was developed by Steve Godin, South Coast CCA Chapter President, and Ron Frakes, Biology Teacher at the Reedsport Community Charter School. Funding for the class was provided by the Reedsport Education Enrichment Foundation (REEF).
Many supporters came to our aid from within and outside the Reedsport community. Steve Miller engaged Tom Rumreich, ODF&W Biologist Charleston Office who donated fishing rods and reels. Evan Leonetti and Eric Himmelreich, ODF&W Biologists Roseburg Office provided the students with a strong appreciation for salmon conservation and fish habitat restoration. Doug Buck, GRWB STEP took the students on an informative tour of the Gardiner STEP Hatchery. Michael Northrup, U.S. Department of Agriculture, presented the students with an excellent USDA Fishing Guide and detailed instructions related to local waters. Bill Taylor, a skilled local angler, shared his insight on successful boat fishing techniques for local lakes. Pete Heley, Umpqua Post Outdoors Writer and local angler, provided each student with a copy of his outstanding publication Oregon Coast Fishing Maps, as well as his experience regarding fish available in local lakes. Harold Ettelt, local angler, trained students on how to make their own spinners, and generously donated all the needed tools and materials. As a result of these many donations and supporters, the students got a deep appreciation for local conservation efforts, hatchery management, how and where to fish, and the gear needed!
The Fishing Basics Class was held for half days, at the Reedsport Community Charter School starting on January 19th, and continued for eight days. It was composed of classroom instruction as well as three field trips. Instructions addressed knot tying, equipment rigging, safety, habitat, conservation, hatcheries, regulations, fish identification, fish anatomy, casting, netting, fish handling, cleaning, and cooking. Multimedia presentations were composed of a wide variety of displays, practice equipment, access to the Internet, printed materials, videos, and games. Sammy, ODFW’s three-foot plush stuffed salmon, even volunteered as the subject for a netting demonstration! There were multiple casting practice sessions too, which took place outside at the adjacent sports field and at Lake Marie. Students also had the opportunity to compete in a casting contest, where there were enthusiastic battles for some highly prized chocolates!
At the conclusion of the class, each student received their own fishing rod, reel, appropriate tackle, and instruction specific to its use. Students also had multiple opportunities to rig these rods with depth adjustable strike indicators, split shot, and knots. We accomplished our objective of providing students with all the equipment and knowledge necessary to fish. So, it sounds like it’s time to go dig some worms!
Sixteen students graduated from the Fishing Basics Class on January 28th and were encouraged to continue their pursuit of fishing and come to our South Coast Chapter meetings. Students were also invited to further develop their skills at the upcoming free-fishing day on June 5th at Lake Marie. My favorite student quote was definitely, “I don’t want this class to end.” And it won’t. Graduates are now enrolled as New Tide members in CCA and our local chapter offers them follow-on learning, networking, and fishing opportunities. Additionally, they receive a year’s subscription to the CCA newsletter publication, Rising Tide. This is a class that truly doesn’t end.
Christmas Trees for Salmon, 2016
Do you think the Reedsport Community cares about Salmon? You bet they do…
Christmas Trees for Salmon is a South Coast Chapter project of the Coastal Conservation Association, Oregon which takes a lot of cooperation and help from the local Reedsport community to make it successful. This is our second year for this project. It started with the Lions Club and the Winchester Bay Market handing out fliers and promoting the project to Christmas tree buyers before the Holidays. Christmas Trees for Salmon was further promoted by the local Umpqua Post urging people to donate their trees and posters were placed in conspicuous locations throughout Reedsport and Winchester Bay.
Reedsport City Management allowed us to collect and stage Christmas Trees on city property adjacent to the Les Schwab parking lot. This made it easier and convenient for tree donators to drop off their trees and the area was kept neat by chapter volunteers throughout January.
Once ODF&W had secured required permits and the creek water was low, dates were chosen for tree placement. Ron Frakes, Reedsport Community Charter School Teacher, arranged a student field trip.
Wednesday morning at 8:00 AM on February 10th, ten South Coast Chapter members and the Reedsport High School students converged on the Christmas tree pile at the Les Swab parking lot and loaded approximately one hundred trees on five trailers. From there we headed for Buck Creek with a short detour for the student bus for donuts. Well, it IS forty five minutes to the creek!
We arrived in force at Buck Creek where ODF&W Biologists, Evan Leonetti and Eric Himmelreich were waiting for us. Evan and Eric discussed the advantages the trees provided for fish habitat with the students setting the stage for what was to come next. Everyone got busy unloading trees from the trailers and hauling them down to locations in Buck Creek. These trees were to augment work previously completed by ODF&W and other agencies. Numerous large trees had been crisscrossed in bends along the creek, and what appeared to be barriers, were no problems for fish to negotiate. However, the large trees did slow the water and enabled gravel to build-up around them.
CDFW News – Recent Avian Disease Outbreak Prompts CDFW to Ask Public’s Help in Preventing and Reporting Bird Deaths.
Since mid-December, a fatal disease outbreak has killed increased numbers of pine siskins, a small songbird that inhabits California’s forested areas. Scientists from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) believe that infected bird feeders and bird baths are partly responsible for the spread.
These outbreaks have primarily been reported along the central and south coasts as well as near Redding. CDFW has received 138 reports since early December representing a minimum of 300 known dead birds. Scientists estimate the actual number to be more than 1,000 birds.
CDFW’s Wildlife Investigations Laboratory has evaluated carcasses from several locations and determined the cause of mortality to be Salmonellosis, a disease caused by Salmonella bacteria. Birds become infected with Salmonella bacteria when they ingest food or water, or come into contact with objects, including bird feeders, perches and soil, contaminated with feces from infected birds.
Sick birds often appear weak, have labored breathing, and may sit for prolonged periods of time with fluffed or ruffled feathers. Salmonellosis is highly fatal in pine siskins, with most birds dying within 24 hours after infection.
“There are two important things that the public can do to help prevent bird deaths,” explained CDFW Senior Environmental Scientist Krysta Rogers, an avian disease specialist. “First, they can remove all artificial sources of food and water such as bird feeders, bird baths and fountains. Secondly, they can report bird deaths to CDFW, particularly when large numbers of birds are found in an area. This information helps us to better monitor disease outbreaks so that we can take appropriate action.”
Dead birds may be reported to CDFW’s Wildlife Investigations Lab to help determine the locations and numbers of birds affected during this Salmonellosis outbreak. Mortality can be reported via this link: www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/laboratories/wildlifeInvestigations/monitoring/mortality‐report.
Outbreaks of Salmonellosis in pine siskins appear periodically in some years, with the most recent outbreak occurring in winter 2015.
“The majority of the Salmonellosis reports we receive are from locations with backyard bird feeders,” said Rogers. “These devices may aid in disease transmission between pine siskins, and possibly other bird species, by bringing the birds into closer contact than would occur normally.”
If sick birds are observed, please contact a local wildlife rehabilitation center for advice. A list of CDFW-licensed centers can be viewed at www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/wil/rehab/facilities.html.
With the warmer weather the walleye and perch fishing is just beginning. Fishing in boats has been producing many walleyes. We have been seeing limits now for four weeks. The blade baits, rapala jigging and whistle rigs (which is a two hook jig with a night crawler). This year boat fishers have also been using Fisher Brother adjustable walleye rig with a slow death hook and a night crawler, and have been catching walleye for two weeks.
In front of MarDon Resort, up near the Potholes State Park and at Medicare Beach some rainbow are hitting power bait, Pautzke’s salmon eggs and the old faithful night crawler with marshmallow float. Two families reported rainbow at Windmill Lakes and Upper Goose Lake.
One of the finest permit draw for hunting in the Pacific Northwest is near MarDon Resort. We are talking about the Desert A 200 unit. This area hosts amazing farming ground with fabulous feed and the natural desert shrub steppe, which can hide mule deer. On a fish outing in the desert hunt area, going down C Rd and sneaking up to cast a rooster tail on a good looking lake and had this amazing mule deer pop out of nowhere from 15 feet away. In years past many of these big mule deer are all over the golf course across from Potholes State Park. Each morning we take goose hunters to the blind way before daylight, you must totally be alert so you don’t miss the big mule deer. Some of these animals are totally amazing.
Tom Price from Spangle, Washington found his life’s dream. This deer is too big to be real. This buck literally lived in a corn field out near Dodson road. It did not leave the cornfield, with corn, water and sanctuary present. The life weight of the animal was 420 lbs. Tom is one very happy hunter.
Kip and Eileen Burns from Silverlake hunted some public hunt areas for these fine bucks.
Brian and Matt Baltzell and Kelly Ross, Duck and Goose guides for MarDon Resort have just finished processing and packing up the 2015/2016 duck and goose pepperoni. Many of our customers continually ask us for our duck and goose meat after the hunt. We simple sign over our guides limits with a wild ID number from your license, your name, address and the date of the kill. Then it is legal for our customers to transport for processing. In the past four years many hunters love to take them home to make many different wild game meats. This is what our goose and duck guides do with what is leftover.
Call the MarDon Store at (509) 346-2651 for more information.
The current issue of Bassmaster Magazine mentions three new inductees to the Bassfishing Hall of Fame. Two of them are very deserving. Billy Murray, has worked for PRADCO fishing for decades and was first to introduce the concept of the traveling “hawg trough” which adds interest to fishing seminars and outdoor shows to this very day.
Gary Yamamoto is one of the fishing industry’s most accomplished lure designers and his “senko” is considered by many to be the most effective bass lure ever invented.
One has to wonder about the third inductee. As the 41st President, he is undoubtedly a very accomplished person, but none of those accomplishments had anything to do with bassfishing. He did enjoy fishing for bass, but despite Ray Scott’s claim to the contrary, Bush was an average, not a Hall of Fame caliber, bass angler.
We have got to stop elevating celebrities to legendary status regarding their “hobbies”. If we can do that, we won’t have to agonize over such decisions as whether to induct Barack Obama into the Golf Hall of Fame or the Basketball Hall of Fame.