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Contact Pete Heley
PO Box 264
Reedsport, OR 97467
Monthly Archives: April 2016
Commercial and recreational rock crab fisheries are open along the mainland coast south of 36° 58.72′ N Latitude at Sand Hill Bluff, Santa Cruz County (approximately 9 miles north of Santa Cruz Harbor entrance) to the California/Mexico border. The recreational Dungeness crab fishery is now open south of 40° 46.15’ N Latitude at the northern jetty of Humboldt Bay, Humboldt County to the California/Mexico border, including ocean waters of Humboldt Bay.
Recent test results show that domoic acid levels in rock crab in Monterey and Dungeness crabs south of Humboldt Bay entrance and in Mendocino County no longer pose a significant human health risk, according to notice given today to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Fish and Game Commission (Commission) by the director of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), after consultation with the director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).
A closure for the recreational rock crab fishery remains in place north of 36° 58.72′ N Latitude and in the Channel Islands exclusion area between Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa islands (see coordinates below) while a closure for the recreational Dungeness crab fishery remains in place north of 40° 46.15’ N Latitude to the California/Oregon border.
The commercial rock crab fishery remains closed north of 36° 58.72′ N Latitude to the California/Oregon border and in the Channel Islands exclusion area between Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa islands (see coordinates below). The commercial Dungeness crab fishery remains closed north of the Mendocino/Sonoma county line.
The recreational Dungeness crab season in Humboldt and Mendocino counties is scheduled to end July 30 under regular open season regulations in the newly opened area while in counties south of Mendocino County, the recreational season closes on June 30.
Despite several weeks of test results that showed 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.
Pursuant to the emergency regulations adopted by the Commission and CDFW on November 5 and 6, 2015, respectively, the current open and closed areas are as follows:
Areas open to crab fishing include:
Recreational Dungeness crab fishery open along mainland coast south of 40° 46.15’ N Latitude, at the Humboldt Bay entrance, Humboldt County, including ocean waters of Humboldt Bay
Commercial Dungeness crab fishery open along mainland coast south of Sonoma/Mendocino county line – 38° 46.1’ N Latitude, near Gualala, Mendocino County
Commercial and recreational rock crab fisheries are open along the mainland coast south of 36° 58.72′ N Latitude at Sand Hill Bluff, Santa Cruz County (approximately 9 miles north of Santa Cruz Harbor Entrance)
Commercial and recreational rock crab fisheries are open in state waters of the Channel Islands except for an exclusion area between Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa islands (see coordinates below)
Areas closed to crab fishing include:
Recreational Dungeness crab fishery north of 40° 46.15’ N Latitude, near Humboldt Bay entrance, Humboldt County to the California/Oregon border
Commercial Dungeness crab fishery north of Sonoma/Mendocino county line – 38° 46.1’ N Latitude
Commercial and recreational rock crab fisheries are closed north of 36° 58.72′ N Latitude and in state waters between Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa islands within an exclusion area bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:
(1) 34° 7.75’ N Lat. 120° 0.00’ W Long.;
(2) 34° 7.75’ N Lat. 119° 50.00’ W Long.;
(3) 33° 53.00’ N Lat. 119° 50.00’ W Long.;
(4) 33° 53.00’ N Lat. 120° 0.00’ W Long.; and
(5) 34° 7.75’ N Lat. 120° 0.00’ W Long.
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.
Today, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) re-issued a health advisory reminding individuals to avoid eating recreationally harvested razor clams along Humboldt and Del Norte county beaches due to elevated domoic acid levels. This advisory was followed by a recommendation from the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) to close the recreational razor clam fishery in Humboldt and Del Norte counties.
The OEHHA recommendation has prompted an emergency meeting of the Commission, scheduled to take place Monday, April 25 (detailed agenda to be posted at www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings). At that time, the Commission will consider whether to close the recreational razor clam fishery in Humboldt and Del Norte counties.
Razor clams tested from Humboldt and Del Norte counties showed domoic acid levels significantly above the federal action level of 20 parts per million (ppm) with all but one of the samples (17 out of 18) exceeding that action level. One third of the samples taken showed levels above 100 ppm. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife will continue to coordinate with OEHHA and CDPH to test domoic acid levels in razor clams along the coast to determine when the fishery can safely be opened.
Domoic acid is a potent neurotoxin that can accumulate in shellfish, other invertebrates and sometimes fish. It causes illness and sometimes death in a variety of birds and marine mammals that consume affected organisms. At low levels, domoic acid exposure can cause nausea, diarrhea and dizziness in humans. At higher levels, it can cause persistent short-term memory loss, seizures and can in some cases be fatal.
The California Fish and Game Commission adopted recreational ocean and inland salmon season regulations as presented by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) on April 18. Ocean salmon season dates and management measures are set to coincide with the alternatives adopted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council for federal waters off the California coast. Inland river seasons adopted by the Commission are identical to the 2015 seasons with the exception of a reduction in the allowable harvest of Klamath Basin Chinook salmon.
“Reduced fishing opportunity in the ocean and inland areas are a reflection of lower abundance for some California salmon stocks as compared to recent years, likely as a result of extended drought and generally unfavorable ocean conditions for salmon survival,” said Jennifer Simon, an environmental scientist with CDFW’s Marine Region Salmon Team. “The 2016 seasons are intended to allow limited fishing opportunity on stocks that can support them while providing increased protection for the most vulnerable of stocks.”
An expected ocean abundance of roughly 300,000 Sacramento River fall Chinook (compared to 650,000 last year) will support recreational and commercial opportunities for ocean salmon fisheries off portions of California and Oregon. A projected return of 151,000 spawning adults allows for an inland river recreational harvest of 24,600 adult Chinook.
The Klamath River fall Chinook ocean abundance forecast of 142,200 adults is substantially lower than recent years and the primary reason for ocean fishery constraints. A projected return of 30,909 natural area spawning adults allows for an inland river recreational harvest quota of 1,110 adult Chinook salmon greater than 22 inches. In 2015 the harvest quota was 14,133.
The resulting bag and possession limits and seasons adopted by the Commission are as follows:
Central Valley Rivers:
Daily limit of two fish per day and a possession limit of four fish. On the American and Feather rivers the general season opener is July 16. On the Sacramento River below Keswick Dam to the Red Bluff Diversion Dam, the season opens Aug. 1 and closes Dec. 16. From below the Red Bluff Diversion Dam to the Carquinez Bridge, the season opens July 16 and closes Dec. 16. Please see the 2016 Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations booklet for openings and closing of specific sections of each river, as well as gear restrictions.
Daily limit of two fish per day of which only one may be greater than 22 inches, and the possession limit is six fish of which only three may be greater than 22 inches. The Klamath River fall Chinook season opens Aug. 15 and closes Dec. 31, while the Trinity River opens to salmon fishing on Sept. 1 and closes Dec. 31.
Ocean salmon recreational fisheries include a daily limit of two adult Chinook salmon with four in possession on land with varying size restrictions depending on the area. Season dates include openings in May, June, July, August and the Labor Day weekend in the Crescent City/Eureka area. Fisheries further south opened on April 2 and will continue through Nov. 13 in the Fort Bragg area, through Oct. 31 in the San Francisco area, through July 15 from Pigeon Point to Point Sur, and through May 31 south of Point Sur. For a more in-depth look at ocean salmon seasons and restrictions, please see www.wildlife.ca.gov/oceansalmon.
Long-running drought conditions, coupled with suboptimal ocean conditions, have raised serious concerns for Sacramento River winter Chinook salmon, which are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act and have experienced very low survival as juveniles in 2014 and 2015. Fisheries south of Point Arena, particularly recreational fisheries in the greater Monterey Bay region, continue to experience late-season reductions in 2016 to minimize interactions with winter Chinook.
Jennifer Simon, CDFW Salmon Team, (707) 576-2878
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. –Trout fishing can be a lot of fun, although if you are just starting out, it can also be a little daunting. To help anglers take the mystery out of what they need, where to go, and what to do, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is offering a free workshop on how to fish for trout in Oregon.
The workshop is geared for adults who are new to fishing. It will take place on Saturday, May 21 from 12:30 to 4 p.m. at the River House, located at 301 N. Adams Street in Eugene.
Fishing licenses are not required to participate. The workshop starts in a classroom setting where students will learn the basics about fishing gear, regulations, and Oregon trout. They will finish up with casting instruction, using both spin casting and fly casting gear. Casting instruction will take place outside so students are encouraged to come prepared for Oregon weather.
As graduates of the workshop students will be prepared to test out their new skills on June 4-5 when ODFW offers Oregon residents and visitors a full weekend to fish, crab and clam without having to purchase a fishing license.
The workshop is free for adults and pre-registration is required. Space is limited so early registration is advised. To register call the River House (541) 682-5329, any City of Eugene Recreation Center, or go online at www.GetRec.org; click REGISTER and search for class number #121010.
For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (541) 726-3515 ext. 28.
Spring chinook fishing on the lower Umpqua River continues to be productive for anglers casting large spinners at Half Moon Bay. The most consistent fishing is usually close to high tide, but salmon have recently been caught at all stages of the tide. In fact, more spring Chinooks have been caught at Winchester Bay this spring than any year in recent memory. Last Saturday, Reedsport resident Randy Walters, stopped by the Stockade Market while I was working to ensure that I got a good look at the salmon he had caught that morning. The 17 pounder was the fourth salmon he had landed in five days of spinner flinging at Half Moon Bay. Randy’s recent salmon-catching success has pretty much ensured that he will have company on fishing trips to Half Moon Bay in the near future.
While the lower river has been unusually productive for salmon, there is still a good number of springers being caught from Scottsburg upriver all the way to just below Winchester Dam on the North Umpqua – and the season is barely half over. The heaviest springer turned in at the Wells Creek Inn’s springer contest now stands at 39.7 pounds.
However, suspended weeds and moss are starting to become a nuisance for the Umpqua’s spring Chinook anglers fishing above Scottsburg.
Shad are in the river and are probably accounting for most of the springer fishermen’s bites that don’t result in hookups. Expect shad fishing to improve over the next several weeks as the Umpqua River continues to drop and clear.
Those redtailed surfperch caught last week above Winchester Bay have not yet turned into hordes of spawning “pinkfins”. However the run should be imminent.
The hot fishing for striped surfperch off the South Jetty at Winchester Bay has largely been replaced by improved fishing for greenlings and rockfish. Crabbing remains slow for legal crabs at Winchester Bay, but there are enough small crabs for folks to entertain their young children.
Crappies and bluegills continue to provide light tackle action at the upper end of Loon Lake, but most area waters that contain warmwater fish are fishing well. Crappies should be finished spawning very shortly – and will definitely become harder to find. The bluegills be in the shallow areas of most area lakes and be easy to see and catch through the rest of the summer. Largemouth bass are now spawning in most of the coastal lakes and fishing shallow or near-shore waters will generally produce best.
Most area waters have fair numbers of uncaught stocked rainbow trout, but the waters that will be stocked this week are Millicoma Pond and Bluebill Lake. Bluebill Lake, the extremely shallow lake on the west side of the road to Horsfall Beach, is slated to receive 3,000 legal rainbows in its only trout plant this year. Many of the lakes in Coos, Douglas and Lane counties will be stocked during the first week in May.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is hosting a series of town hall meetings around the state this month to gather public input on the agency’s proposed 2017-2019 budget.
The proposed budget, which is being developed by ODFW and an external budget advisory committee, will be presented for review and comment at the meetings listed below. All meetings will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
“This is a great opportunity for us to meet with our customers and get their feedback,” said Curt Melcher, ODFW director. “I encourage folks to attend, meet with our staff and learn more about our funding proposals to manage Oregon’s fish and wildlife.”
No major changes to the budget are being proposed. The goal of the budget proposal is to align the agency’s activities with funding sources. The proposed 2017-19 budget does not include any new increases in fees for recreational and commercial licenses.
Public comments will be used to help refine the budget before it is presented to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission on June 9. Once a proposed budget is approved by the Commission, it will be submitted to the Governor for her consideration. The budget will ultimately be determined by the 2017 Legislature.
Clackamas: Wednesday, April 27, Monarch Hotel and Conference Center, 12566 SE 93rd Avenue, Clackamas
Tillamook: Thursday, April 28, Tillamook County Library, 1716 3rd Street, Tillamook
Roseburg: Tuesday, May 3, ODFW Roseburg District Office, 4192 North Umpqua Highway, Roseburg
Coos Bay/North Bend: Wednesday, May 4, North Bend Public Library, 1800 Sherman Avenue, North Bend
Newport: Thursday, May 5, Hallmark Resort 744 SW Elizabeth Street, Newport
Klamath Falls: Tuesday, May 10, Oregon Institute of Technology, College Union Bldg., Mt. Bailey Room 3201 Campus Drive, Klamath Falls
Bend: Wednesday, May 11, Central Oregon Community College, Boyle Education Center, Room 155, 2600 NW College Way, Bend
La Grande: Tuesday, May 12, Island City Hall, Community Room, 1605 Island Ave (Island City, adjacent to La Grande)
Additional ODFW budget information can be found on the ODFW website, http://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/budget/
Comments on the agency proposed budget are welcome and can be submitted through June 1, 2016, by email to su.ro.etatsnull@stnemmoC.WFDO or by mail to ODFW Director’s Office, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr. SE, Salem, OR 7302-1142. Public testimony will also be heard at the Commission meeting on June 9 in Salem.
EUGENE, Ore. – Families interested in spending an enjoyable day outdoors with a fishing pole in their hands may want to put the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Family Fishing Event at Alton Baker Canoe Canal on their calendar for Sunday, May 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
A feature of the ODFW Outdoors Program, this free event is designed to introduce kids and their families to fishing. To improve everybody’s chances of catching fish, ODFW will release 1,300 rainbow trout the day of the event. Most fish will be 8-10” long, with some reaching 14” or more. ODFW will provide loaner rods, reels, tackle and bait free of charge, on a first-come, first-served basis. People are welcome to bring their personal fishing gear if they prefer.
Alton Baker Canoe Canal is located within Alton Baker Park, one of the most popular and multi-functional parks in Eugene. The park is located on the north bank of the Willamette River just east of Ferry Street Bridge and Coburg Road. It is accessible by foot or bike from either side of the river via the River Bank Trails. Access by car is via the Club Road underpass off Coburg Road or from Autzen Stadium off MLK/Centennial.
ODFW’s free fishing event will take place about 250 yards upstream of the bridge over the canal at the park entrance.
The event is open to the public, and no pre-registration is required. Anglers 11 years old and younger do not need a fishing license. Anglers 12-17 years of age will need a youth license, which can be purchased for $10 at any ODFW license agent, ODFW office or on-line at ODFW’s website. Everybody else must have an adult fishing license. Licenses will not be sold at the event so individuals planning to participate should obtain them ahead of time.
Alton Baker Canoe Canal is one of more than 350 water bodies in Oregon that ODFW regularly stocks with trout. Persons interested in fishing can explore many other opportunities by perusing ODFW’s stocking schedules, maps, guides and other resources at ODFW’s website, located at www.odfw.com.com under the “Fishing” tab.
To talk to a biologist about the free fishing event or other fishing opportunities, seasons or regulations in the Eugene area, feel free to call ODFW’s Springfield office at (541) 726-3515.
Action Notice: Ocean Salmon Regulations Approved by OFWC
4/22/15 ACTION NOTICE: The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission met today in Bandon, Oregon and took action to adopt the suite of ocean recreational and commercial troll salmon seasons that were recently adopted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council for waters within 3 nautical miles of shore. In addition, a number of terminal area recreational and commercial fall Chinook seasons were adopted by the Commission for ocean waters adjacent to both the Elk River and the Chetco River.
Details are available at www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/salmon/regulations/regindex.asp
The 34th Potholes Open Bass Tournament was a delightful event. Bass fishing families from all over the Northwest participated. One very special guest from Lake Fork, Texas, drove his bass boat to enjoy fishing this 2016 event. He was club president in the early years with the Potholes Bass Club. Today he owns Anglers Custom Rod’s and he donated two “Gary Lamar Memorial Fishing Rods”.
The event winners Steve Backlund and Russ Baker with twelve bass for 45.55 lbs. Second place went to Kelly Ross and Levi Meseberg with 44.78 lbs. Third place was won by Dennis Boyd and Susan Boyd of Oregon with 42.10 lbs. 955 Largemouth Bass were weighed in and 163 smallmouths. In the 34 years of this event 2979.25 lbs. of bass were weighed in to set a new record. Our local potholes bass club presented an excellent event. Many people came to MarDon just to enjoy this event
This weekend there is a bow fishing tournament at MarDon resort. This archery sport is really gaining popularity. The tournament is April 23-24, 2016.
The CWFAC habitat partners have built 232 more habitat boxes to be put on the floor of potholes reservoir, to provide a safe sanctuary for small fish to live and grow.
Walleye action has heated up this past week, with more limits. The Crab Creek area, The big dune on the westside and also the mouth of Frenchman’s Wasteway.
For event information go to www.mardonresort. com
Spring chinook fishing on the lower Umpqua River continues to be productive for anglers casting large spinners at Half Moon Bay. The most consistent fishing is usually close to high tide, but salmon have recently been caught at all stages of the tide. In fact, more spring Chinooks have been caught at Winchester Bay this spring than any year in recent memory.