Monthly Archives: October 2017

Chetco River Chinook Photos

These Chetco River chinooks were caught on bobber and bait rigs. Photos courtesy of David Castellanos.

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Oregon Shellfish Update

Crabbing is closed from the California border northward to the north jetty on the Coquille River – so while crabbing at Bandon is closed, all of Coos Bay and bay and river crabbing farther north remain open. All ocean crabbing along the Oregon coast has been closed since October 15th and will remain so through November. Where open (north of the Coquille River) crabbing is still productive in the lower tidewater areas of Oregon rivers and bays.

The recreational harvest of bay clams is OPEN along the entire Oregon coast from the Columbia River to the California border. The recreational harvest of razor clams is OPEN from the Columbia River down to Cascade Head (north of Lincoln City). The recreational harvest of razor clams is CLOSED from Cascade Head (north of Lincoln City to the California Border for elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes all beaches and all bays.

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Leptospirosis Strikes Sea Lions Along Oregon Coast: Keep Pets Away.

Oregon and California are seeing an increase in the number of stranded sea lions along the coast due to leptospirosis, a bacteria that can also sicken dogs, livestock, people and other wildlife.

“Over the past few months, we have been getting calls for multiple sick or dead sea lions daily, which is higher than normal,” said Jim Rice, an OSU Marine Mammal Institute researcher who works at the OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. At least eight cases of leptospirosis have been confirmed through OSU’s Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory since the outbreak began in late September, mostly on beaches in Lincoln, Tillamook and Clatsop counties.

While leptospirosis occurs worldwide, outbreaks occur only sporadically in marine mammals, with the last Oregon outbreak seen in 2010. The disease can spread when an animal comes into contact with urine or other bodily fluids of an infected animal and can lead to kidney failure, fever, weakness, muscle pain, and other symptoms. In Oregon, young male sea lions are typically affected and usually show signs of dehydration, depression and reluctance to use their hind flippers.

While there is a small risk of transmission to people, dogs are most at risk of becoming infected by approaching stranded sea lions on the beach or coming in contact with body fluid from sick or dead sea lions. People walking their dogs on the beach should keep their dogs on a leash and not allow them to get close to stranded sea lions.

“Pets should be kept away from sea lions as leptospirosis can cause severe disease,” said Emilio DeBess, state public health veterinarian of the Oregon Health Authority. “Note that there are vaccines available to protect dogs and horses against leptospirosis, please contact your veterinarian for more information.

If your dog becomes ill after being exposed to sick or dead sea lions, contact your veterinarian immediately,” added DeBess.

People who observe sick sea lions or other marine mammals on the beach should say at least 50 feet away from them and report them to OSP at 1-800-452-7888. (OSP shares these reports with the Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network.)

Even when sea lions are healthy, it’s never a good idea to approach them. It’s also a violation of federal and state laws to harass, disturb, touch, or feed marine mammals.

For more information about leptospirosis, visit ODFW’s fact sheet or the Center for Disease Control website. For more information about wildlife diseases, contact ODFW’s wildlife health hotline at 1-866-968-2600.

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ODFW Steps Up CWD Monitoring Efforts as “Devastating” Disease Spreads in North America.

ODFW is increasing its monitoring of deer and elk herds for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a fatal neurological disease that has never been detected in Oregon’s cervids but is spreading in North America.

The disease is caused by a protein prion that damages the brain of infected animals, causing progressive loss of body condition. It’s untreatable and always fatal. The prions that cause CWD can also last a long time in the environment, infecting new animals for decades.

ODFW has been keeping an eye out for the disease for years now, running check stations in eastern Oregon to test harvested deer and elk on the opening weekends of popular hunting seasons and requiring disease testing at captive cervid ranches. (The test to confirm CWD involves collecting an animal’s lymph nodes or brain stem and can only be conducted once an animal has died.)

ODFW sampled deer for CWD over opening weekend of rifle deer season. The department will host another two check stations this weekend for Rocky Mountain elk season (Sunday and Monday, Oct. 29 and 30 in Biggs at exit 104 along I-84 and at the ODOT weigh station one mile east of Prineville on Hwy 26). All successful hunters driving by these locations should stop and get their animal tested, which takes just a few minutes.

ODFW is also testing road-killed deer and elk and is expanding this testing to western Oregon this year. Animals that exhibit signs of wasting or neurological disorder are also tested. If you see or harvest a sick deer or elk, report it to the ODFW Wildlife Health Lab number at 866-968-2600 or by email to su.ro.etatsnull@htlaeH.efildliW and do not consume the meat.

Although CWD has not been shown to sicken people, the Center for Disease Control advises hunters not to eat meat from animals infected with CWD. It’s also always a good idea to wear latex or rubber gloves when field dressing an animal and to wash hands and instruments thoroughly afterwards.

ODFW is also asking hunters interested in having their deer or elk tested for CWD to contact their local office to set up an appointment. ODFW is most interested in deer and elk that are at least two-years-old (e.g. not spikes). To get an animal CWD tested, hunters will need to bring in the animal’s head, which should be kept cool prior to sampling if possible. ODFW will also take a tooth for aging and hunters should receive a postcard several months later with information about the animal’s age. If an animal tests positive for CWD, the hunter will be notified. (Note that samples are tested out of state and results can take several weeks.)

Hunters heading to a state with CWD are reminded they are prohibited from bringing back any parts of their deer, elk or moose that contain brain matter or spinal cord tissue (see page 29 of Big Game Regulations under “Parts Ban”). This is where the CWD prion is most concentrated.

“CWD is considered one of the most devastating wildlife diseases on the American landscape today,” said Colin Gillin, ODFW State Wildlife Veterinarian. “Once CWD enters a state and infects free-ranging deer and elk, it has been nearly impossible to eradicate with present day tools. So we want to do all we can to keep this disease out of Oregon.”

Once animals show the clinical signs of the CWD, the disease has probably already been on the landscape one or more years. It can take several years for an animal to become ill but the disease can be transmitted throughout the period of the infection.

Early detection of CWD could allow Oregon to potentially eradicate the disease before it takes root. The state of New York was successful in limiting CWD’s spread because it quickly located the first few individual animals infected and removed them, and no further cases were detected.

“If we ever document CWD in Oregon, we want to act quickly and will need the support of Oregon hunters,” Gillin. “Early detection is our best chance to keep the disease from spreading, should it enter the state. That is why we need the active involvement of hunters and all Oregonians to continue surveillance and keep an eye open for animals that appear sick.”

CWD appears to spread most quickly through movement of live animals, although it can also spread by transport of carcasses by hunters or through infected migrating deer and elk. Documented cases of CWD have occurred in Alberta, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Saskatchewan.

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Pete Heley Outdoors 10 / 25 / 2017

Although ocean crabbing is closed, crabbing is still quite good in the lower tidewater areas of virtually every decent-sized river along the entire Oregon coast. As the amount of freshwater increases in these rivers, the crabs will move closer to the ocean. However it takes more freshwater to force the crabs in the rivers to return to the ocean than it does to keep ocean crabs from entering the rivers in the first place. Decent crabbing could last into late November depending upon the amount of rain we get.

Ocean salmon fishing will close one hour after sunset on Tuesday, October 31st. Salmon fishing in the rivers is still open, but the catch is increasingly cohos and the majority of them are wild, unclipped, unkeepable fish.

There still seems to be a lot of confusion over what constitutes a jack salmon. Simply put, a jack salmon is a sub adult salmon that needs to be at least 15 inches in length, but less than 20-inches in length if a coho and less than 24-inches if a chinook. The daily limit of jack salmon is five and coho jacks must be finclipped. Jack salmon do not have to be marked on an anglers combined angling (salmon) tag.

The dam on the Siltcoos River is open and coho salmon are showing up. Like Tahkenitch and Tenmile lakes, which have yet to receive salmon this fall, the daily salmon limit on Siltcoos is one adult and one jack salmon per day – and they do not have to be finclipped..

Trout fishing is still fairly good in the Coos County lakes that were recently planted as well as some of the larger local lakes. Tenmile is giving up fair trout fishing and the salmon anglers on Siltcoos Lake always seem to incidentally catch fair numbers of good-sized trout.
The upper end of the south arm on Eel Lake has fair numbers of decent-sized rainbows with a few smaller cutthroat trout. Bradley Lake will get the Oregon coast’s last trout plant this year – this week. Some of these fall trout plants provide extended periods of decent fishing as poor weather can reduce fishing pressure and trout harvest. Recently planted Coos County lakes include Bradley, Butterfield, Upper Empire and Saunders as well as Powers Pond.

The crappie have started moving into Streeters Canal on the east side of Silver Lake in southwest Washington. While it will be a few weeks before there are reports of 300+ crappie catches, the average size is up with fair numbers of legal crappie measuring nine or more inches in length. The Silver Lake crappie fishery is best known for huge numbers of five to eight inch crappies that must be released, but are still fun to catch. The daily limit is ten crappies of at least nine inches in length per persn.

The sad news for jetty anglers is that bottomfishing is still closed inside of 40 fathoms and will remain so until 2018 when a new quota takes effect.

Last week the ODFW held a two-hour conference call with the Sport Advisory Council to discuss rockfish limits for 2018. According to their 2018 forecasts, we will exceed quota on Black Rockfish, Cabezon, Yelloweye and the Minor Nearshore Rockfish Complex (Coppers, quillbacks, China’s, etc.). To avoid another end-of-the year shutdown, a bag limit reduction is probably necessary.

The main problem is increased fishing pressure, especially in poor salmon and tuna years.

Most likely the bag limit for rockfish will be 4 or 5 fish for 2018. The lingcod limit will remain at 2 fish per day.

In a series of public meetings beginning on October 25th throughout the state of Washington, the WDFW will explore alternative structures for guide licensing, with the objectives of: (1)-Improving the fishing experience and ensuring equitable opportunity for both guided and non-guided river anglers; (2)- Managing fishing pressure to protect wild steelhead and other species and (3)-Ensuring that recreational fish guiding remains a sustainable economic contributor to rural economies.

Since these will be public meetings with input encouraged, misbehaving guides might want to pay close attention. At the scheduled meetings, WDFW will discuss current management and take suggestions for potential regulatory changes for the fishing guide industry. I would be somewhat surprised if Oregon doesn’t hold similar meetings or possibly adopt some of Washington’s revised guide management options in the future.

Pete Heley works parttime at the Stockade Market & Tackle, across from ‘A’ Dock, in Winchester Bay where he is more than happy to swap fishing info with anyone.

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CDFW News – Commercial Spiny Lobster Fishery Closed at Anacapa Island and the East End of Santa Cruz Island Due to Public Health Hazard.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director Charlton H. Bonham has enacted a commercial spiny lobster fishery closure effective immediately.

State health agencies determined that spiny lobster near Anacapa Island, Ventura County and the east end of Santa Cruz Island, Santa Barbara County had unhealthy levels of domoic acid and recommended closure of the commercial fishery. The recreational fishery for spiny lobster remains open statewide with a warning from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to recreational anglers to avoid consuming the viscera (tomalley) of spiny lobster.

The commercial closure includes all state waters around Santa Cruz and Anacapa Islands east of 119° 40.000’ W. longitude, and west of 119° 20.000’ W. longitude. State waters extend three nautical miles beyond outermost islands, reefs and rocks.

This closure shall remain in effect until the Director of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), in consultation with the State Public Health Officer at CDPH, determines that domoic acid no longer poses a significant risk to public health and recommends the fishery be open. CDFW will continue to coordinate with CDPH and OEHHA to test domoic acid levels in spiny lobster to determine when the fishery can safely be opened.

Pursuant to Fish and Game Code Section 5523, the Director of CDFW will notify the Fish and Game Commission of the closure and request that the Commission schedule a public discussion of the closure at its next scheduled meeting.

Domoic acid is a potent neurotoxin produced by a naturally occurring marine alga, whose levels can be increased under certain ocean conditions. State and federal laws prohibit the commercial distribution of seafood products that contain domoic acid levels above the federal action level, which is 20 parts per million in the viscera of spiny lobster.

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CDFW News – New Laws Enhance Poaching Penalties to Better Protect Wildlife.

As many big game hunting seasons progress into the fall, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officers have a new tool to deter poaching and punish violators for serious poaching crimes.

Legislation sponsored by the wildlife conservation community approved enhancements of penalties for the illegal take of trophy-class animals. Under Fish and Game Code (FGC) section 12013.3 penalties are significantly enhanced for any person convicted of poaching deer, elk, pronghorn, bighorn sheep and wild turkey with certain characteristics that would define them as trophy game animal.

In addition to the legislation that enhanced poaching penalties, the California Fish and Game Commission developed regulations to define those trophy characteristics. Commissioners worked with the CDFW and several outdoors, conservation and hunting organizations to define the characteristics in California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 14, section 748.6. The legislation and regulation package went into full effect on July 1, 2017.

In summary, “…the punishment for a person who knowingly violated and has been convicted of [take out of season, spotlighting, baiting, waste of meat, or take without a tag]… where the violation involved a trophy… deer, elk, antelope, or bighorn sheep shall be a fine of not less than five thousand dollars ($5,000) nor more than forty thousand dollars ($40,000), and where the violation involved a wild turkey, a fine of not less than two thousand dollars ($2,000) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or both that fine and imprisonment.”

“The first case adjudicated after the trophy law took effect exemplifies the potential benefits this enhancement law could have on wildlife protection,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of the Law Enforcement Division.

On July 5, 2017, Garrett Thomas Peacock, 22, of Yuba City, was sentenced to two years’ probation with a restriction from hunting during that time and ordered to pay $5,150 in fines and penalties. The case began months prior when wildlife officers, acting upon an anonymous CalTIP (Californians Turn in Poacher and Polluters), contacted Peacock during a follow-up investigation. The investigation revealed that Peacock unlawfully killed a trophy class “buck” deer without permission in an orchard on private property in Maxwell in Colusa County. Peacock did not possess the required deer tag at the time of the killing. Officers recovered photographic evidence, deer antlers, numerous packages of meat and a deer tag purchased after the fact from Peacock.

“Unlawfully targeting animals for their trophy qualities is an egregious violation,” said Chief Bess. “Under the enhanced penalties of this law, the punishment will more closely match the severity of these types of poaching crimes.”

Anyone with information about unlawful fishing, hunting or pollution is encouraged to contact CalTIP, CDFW’s confidential secret witness program that encourages the public to provide wildlife officers with factual information leading to the arrest of poachers and polluters. The CalTIP number, (888) 334-2258, is printed on the back of every hunting and fishing license. Tips can also be relayed by text to 847411 (tip411). Text messages allow for a two-way conversation with wildlife officers, while preserving the anonymity of the tipster. Texts should begin with the word “CALTIP,” followed by a space and the message. There is also an app for smartphones that works similarly. For more information on the program and the CalTIP app, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/enforcement/caltip.

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Baseball’s Overlooked Super Season

Want to have an absolutely great baseball season, yet be completely overlooked. Just get yourself traded mid-season to a ball club in the other major league.

Major league baseball statistics in the American League and the National League are considered separately – and that is why J. D. Martinez’s season was so overlooked.

Martinez started the 2017 season with the Detroit Tigers where he batted .305 in 200 at bats. With 13 doubles, two triples and 16 homeruns, his 126 total bases gave him a slugging average of .630 – coupled with his .388 on-base percentage, Martinez had an OPS of 1.018. But after his trade to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Martinez really shined.

In his 232 at-bats with the Diamondbacks, J.D. managed to achieve a batting average of .302, but his power numbers skyrocketed. His 13 doubles, one triple and 29 homeruns gave him a slugging average of .741 – which would have led major league baseball – in every year since Barry Bonds career was winding down. His eight official plate appearances per home run was baseball’s best – by a huge margin. Aaron Judge required 10.42 at-bats and Giancarlo Stanton, 10.02 at-bats respectively for each of their homeruns.

However Martinez’s 29 National League homeruns was only a four way tie for 19th best in the league – even though his 45 total homers was baseball’s third best. His OPS of 1.066 was also baseball’s best – except for Mike Trout’s 1.071 (Trout had even fewer at-bats than Martinez).

Martinez’s 4.15 at-bats per RBI was also a league best.

Perhaps the best way to fully appreciate J.D. Martinez’s magnificent 2017 season is to take a look at what his stat line would be if they were carried out over 600 official plate appearances.

AB – 600
RUNS – 118
HITS – 182
DOUBLES – 36
TRIPLES – 4
HOMERS – 63
RBI’S – 144
BA – .303
SA – .690
ON BASE PCT. – .376
OPS – 1.066

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WDFW News – WDFW To Stock More Than 100,000 Trout In Washington Lakes.

With thousands of rainbow trout destined for Washington lakes before November, anglers should have plenty of places to enjoy great fishing this fall and through the holiday season.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will stock at least 45 Washington lakes with catchable-size trout this fall. Additionally, the department stocks millions of smaller trout each spring, many of which will have grown to catchable size.

“Fall can be one of the best times of the year to reel in a nice-sized trout, and fishing should be terrific over the next few months,” said Steve Thiesfeld, WDFW’s inland fish program manager. “Most of the stocked trout are 13 to 15 inches long, with a few larger ones in the mix.”

Some of the lakes recently stocked include Island Lake in Kitsap County; Isabella, Island, Lost, Nahwatzel, and Spencer lakes in Mason County; Lake Sylvia in Grays Harbor County; and Gibbs, Teal and Leland lakes in Jefferson County.

Dozens of additional lakes will be stocked throughout the state in October and November providing fishing opportunities into the new year.

The complete list of lakes to be stocked, and the department’s recently updated stocking plan, are available for viewing at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/fall-into-fishing/

The fall fish plants are in response to anglers’ requests to increase fall and winter trout fishing opportunities, said Thiesfeld.

The effort also includes stocking lakes across the state for the Nov. 24 Black Friday opener, which offers anglers the opportunity to skip the shopping malls, get outside and enjoy fishing on the day after Thanksgiving.

For up-to-date stocking information this fall, anglers should follow the department on Twitter or Facebook, accessible from http://wdfw.wa.gov, or see the department’s weekly catchable trout stocking report at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/

To participate, anglers must have a current Washington freshwater fishing license valid through March 31, 2018.

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WDFW News – WDFW Water Access On Lake St. Clair Scheduled To Close For Renovations.

LACEY – The Lake St. Clair West Water Access, located in eastern Thurston County and owned by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will be closed Oct. 23 through Nov.16 for site redevelopment.

During the closure, a WDFW crew will install a new concrete plank boat ramp, a vault toilet, and a wheelchair-accessible walkway.

The project is funded through a Boating Facilities Program grant administered by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office.

While the site is closed, an unimproved WDFW water access on the east side of Rehklau Road will remain open to hand-launched boats. Concrete ramps are available for launching boats at other nearby facilities at Hicks Lake, Long Lake, and Pattison Lake.

The Lake St. Clair West Water Access is located 5 miles southeast of Lacey on Rehklau Road S.E. WDFW will provide updates on the redevelopment project at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/water_access/30588/

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