Monthly Archives: February 2018

Oregon’s First Free Fishing Weekend This Year To Be Feb. 17th and 18th.

It’s free to fish, crab or clam on the Saturday and Sunday of President’s Day Weekend, Feb. 17-18, so take a friend!

During these two days, no fishing licenses or tags (including a Combined Angling Tag and a Columbia River Basin Endorsement) are required to fish, crab or clam anywhere in Oregon. Although no licenses or tags are required, all other regulations apply including closures, bag limits and size restrictions.

“Free Fishing Weekends are a great opportunity for friends and families to get out and enjoy a day or two of fishing,” said Mike Gauvin, ODFW recreational fisheries manager. “Winter steelhead, trout, crabbing and clamming are just some of the great opportunities available.” Look for the best opportunities in ODFW’s weekly Recreation Report, which is updated every Wednesday.

Under statute set by the Oregon State Legislature, ODFW can offer eight days of free fishing each year. The six other days of free fishing in Oregon this year are listed on page 16 of the 2018 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations and are June 2-3, Sept. 1-2 (Sat.-Sun. of Labor Day Weekend) and Nov. 23-24 (the two days after Thanksgiving).

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Razor Clamming Closed on Part of the Oregon Coast.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) announce the closure of razor clamming from the south jetty of the Umpqua River, at Winchester Bay, to the south jetty of Coos Bay due to elevated levels of the marine toxin domoic acid. As a result, the recreational harvesting of razor clams is closed from Cascade Head, north of Lincoln City, to the California border.

Razor clamming remains open from the Columbia River to Cascade Head.

ODA will continue to test for shellfish toxins every other week, as tides permit. Reopening of an area requires two consecutive tests in the safe range.

For more information, call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline at (800) 448-2474.

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Winchester Bay Ling Cod Fishing Still Red Hot.

According to Bryan Gill, of “The Umpqua Angler”, fishing on “Tenmile Reef” out of Winchester Bay continues to be very, very good for lingcod of large average size with exceptional fish taken on almost every trip.

Nicky Thompson, of Bend, is very happy with her 25# ling.

Woman have been outfishing the men so far this year. Linda Howell , a nurse from Medford, is very happy with the huge lingcod she caught this week.

Evidence that the trip is not over when you return to the launch ramp.

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Smith River Steelhead Update

Although keepable finclipped steelhead are rare on the Smith River, a major tributary of the lower Umpqua River, the stream is currently in good fishing condition.

Tanya Garrison’s Smith River steelie was unclipped and promptly released.

Michael Garrison holds holds up Tanya’s steelead while she snaps a quick photo.

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WDFW News – Joe Stohr named acting director of Fish and Wildlife.

Joe Stohr, who has served as deputy director for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) for more than a decade, has been named the agency’s acting director.

During a conference call today, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission selected Stohr, 61, to serve in the post beginning Feb. 8. He will replace Dr. Jim Unsworth, who announced his resignation last week after serving three years as director of the department.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for WDFW, will soon initiate a national search for a permanent director, said Brad Smith, chair of the commission.

“In the meantime, we know we are leaving the agency in very capable hands by placing Joe in charge,” Smith said. “His leadership and extensive experience will be very helpful as we begin the search for a new director.”

A longtime resident of Olympia, Stohr joined WDFW as deputy director in 2007. In that role, Stohr oversees department operations, including budget and finance, capital project management, performance and accountability, risk management and human resources.

Before joining WDFW, he spent 21 years at the state Department of Ecology managing various programs, including water resources, oil spill prevention and response, and hazardous waste management. Prior to that, Stohr served four years with the state Department of Health.

Stohr said he has appointed Amy Windrope, WDFW’s regional director for northern Puget Sound, to fill the deputy director role while he serves as acting director.

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Ocean bottomfishing Excellent Southwest of Umpqua River Bar.

Brian Gill of the “Umpqua River Angler” reports excellent fishing for lingcod and “brown bomber” rockfish off “Tenmile Reef” about 9 to 10 miles southwest of the Umpqua River Bar at Winchester Bay. The fishing can be physically demanding – hauling up sizable fish from more than 300 feet of water. But the rewords are well worth it.

A boat limit of sizable lingcod taken on Fiday, Feb. 2nd out of Winchester Bay by “the Umpqua Angler”.

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Winter Bassin’ at Tenmile Lakes

Tried a half-day fishing trip to South Tenmile Lake last Wednesday (January 31st) and tried for everything except bullhead catfish. Tried for yellow perch for a couple of hours and caught 9 perch to slightly over 9-inches and the score was eight on worms and one on Berkley Gulp worms. Then Dwayne Schwartzm my fishing partner switched over to bassfishing and caught two nice largemouths of slightly more than two pounds in three hours of fishing a chatterbait.

The fish were fairly sluggish, but the winter bassfishing this year is possibly the the best in recent memory. Trout and perch fishing is fairly slow, but add incidentally to the bass anglers’ action.

Anglers can expect bass action to improve, dependent upon the weather, as we move into February.

A very slowly-retrieved chatterbait worked for Dwayne Schwartz on his January trip to South Tenmile Lake.

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Mardon Resort / Potholes Reservoir Fishing Report.

The current water level on the Potholes reservoir is 1043.40feet, rising almost four inches over the past week. The water temperature on the main lake is 37-39 degrees. The Reservoir is 95% ice free. The main lake and Lind Coulee are ice free and the sand dunes do have some soft ice covering the back areas. The forecast for the next several weeks is calling for highs in the low to mid-50’s. The rising temperatures will have a positive impact on the fishing!
We have had several reports of anglers doing well on trout back in the Seep Lakes both from shore and by boat. The top lakes this past week have been Upper Goose Lake and Long Lake, as well as some of the smaller lake. Anglers are using Power Bait, Marshmallows, and nightcrawlers on the bottom. Levi Rodelo and Sam Smith were fishing the Reservoir when they marked the fish on their sonar in 55 feet of water. They dropped blade baits down thinking they might be walleye – and ended up catching six Channel Catfish weighing between 5 and 10 pounds each!
Call the MarDon Store for the latest hunting and fishing info at 509-346-2651.
We are very excited to announce the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has voted to retain the current limits on perch, crappie, and bluegill on the Potholes Reservoir, Moses Lake and Banks Lake! This decision will help to ensure outstanding panfish fishing as well as excellent bass and walleye fishing for years to come. The combination of the current limits, water level management and the habitat restoration efforts of the Central Washington Fish Advisory Committee are working in concert to produce amazing fishing in the Potholes Reservoir.
We would like to thank Mike and Marilyn Meseberg and Pete Fisher of MarDon Resort, Ron Sawyer of Cascade Marine, Russ Baker of Limit Out Marine and most of all – all the folks who got involved by testifying before the commission and those who voiced their opinion on the WDFW website. This was a tremendous effort and a great success for families, sportsmen and sportswomen that fish this wonderful region.
We would also like to thank all WDFW Commissioners, Regional Fisheries Managers and all other WDFW personnel involved for actively listening to and allowing the fishing community to voice our concerns.

Levi Rodelo and Sam Smith with an impressive surprise catch of Channel Catfish caught in 55 feet of water using Blade Baits on the Potholes Reservoir!

Sam Smith shows a 10 pound Channel Catfish – one of six he and Levi Rodelo caught on January 31st, 2018!

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CDFW News – California Tough on Abalone Poachers.

he Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office has settled three major abalone poaching cases involving Fort Bragg, Sacramento and Bay Area abalone poachers, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced.

Two of the settled cases resulted in hefty fines and other penalties for restaurant owners:

Steven Yuan Qin Liang, 47, of Fort Bragg pled
Evidence seized in the Liang case.
guilty to felony conspiracy involving the purchase and black market sales of sport-caught abalone for personal profit. Liang, owner of the Asian Buffet restaurant in Fort Bragg, was ordered to serve 360 days in the Mendocino County Jail, placed on probation for 36 months and ordered to pay a fine of $15,000. He is prohibited from obtaining a sport or commercial fishing license for life.

Bryant Chiu Shiu Lee, 44, of Sacramento, pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of purchasing abalone for black market resale. Lee, owner of the Sushi Café in Sacramento, was placed on probation for 36 months and ordered to pay a fine of $40,000. He is prohibited from obtaining a sport or commercial fishing license for life.
Liang and Lee were both convicted in late 2017, following a joint investigation by the CDFW Special Operations Unit and Mendocino Coast squad that began in June 2015.

In the third case, the strange circumstances surrounding an emergency rescue led to an investigation and eventual conviction.

Justin Joseph Adams, 44, of Alameda, pled guilty to charges of conspiracy and taking abalone for black market sale. He was ordered to serve 210 days in the Mendocino County Jail, was placed on probation for 36 months and was ordered to pay a fine of $15,000. He is also prohibited from obtaining a sport or commercial fishing license for life.
Adams case April 2017
Evidence seized in the Adams case.
In April 2017, wildlife officers received information from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department, Elk Volunteer Fire Department and Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department about odd circumstances surrounding a cliff rescue in Elk, Mendocino County. Adams had been dropped off by a friend the day before at the headlands just north of Cuffy’s Cove in Elk. He climbed down a steep cliff to the water’s edge and harvested abalone during low tide, but when the tide returned, his return route was blocked. When he failed to appear at a pre-determined pick-up location, a friend called in a missing persons report. Rescuers found Adams stranded on the side of a steep cliff and extracted him around 2 a.m.

Wildlife officers suspected poaching activity may have factored into Adams’ predicament. The day after the rescue, CDFW Lt. Joel Hendricks and Warden Don Powers donned wetsuits and swam to the location below where Adams was rescued to look for evidence of poaching. In a deep cut under the bluff, directly under the location of Adams’ rescue, they found two bags containing 38 abalone. One of the bags also contained a half-consumed plastic bottle of water. After obtaining a DNA sample from Adams via a search warrant, they sent the sample and the water bottle to the California Department of Justice Forensics Laboratory. The lab matched the DNA evidence from the bottle to Adams.

Trafficking of illegally harvested abalone on the black market continues to pose a significant enforcement problem and further exacerbates the pressure on the abalone population. Black market values will likely increase with the closure of the 2018 sport abalone season. Wildlife officers continue to conduct in-depth investigations and arrest those who continue to poach and commercialize abalone.

“It is immensely important for wildlife officers to work with District Attorneys who understand the importance of prosecuting poaching crimes against the dwindling abalone resource,” said CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of Law Enforcement David Bess. “The Mendocino County District Attorney’s office has an excellent track record in this regard.”

CDFW’s wildlife officers and biologists alike hope to see the return of a recreational abalone harvest as soon as the abalone population rebounds.

Evidence seized in the Liang case.

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CDFW News – Elk Captures to be Conducted in Northern California.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is planning to capture numerous elk in northern California in late January and early February.

From Jan. 31 through Feb. 4, CDFW will capture as many as 43 adult Rocky Mountain elk (nine bulls and 34 cows) in Lassen, Modoc and Siskiyou counties in northeastern California. From Feb. 6 through Feb. 8, CDFW will capture up to 16 Roosevelt elk cows in Humboldt County in northwestern California.

The elk will be captured on lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) as well as on private properties with permission from landowners. CDFW is grateful to the USFS, timberland owners and other private landowners that are providing access to their lands for the captures.

Under the direction of CDFW veterinary staff, CDFW wildlife biologists will lead the captures. Capture crews will locate elk via helicopter, capture them with net guns and restrain the captured animals for tagging.

Each elk will be ear tagged and fitted with a GPS collar. Pregnant female elk from specific herds will receive an additional transmitter that will monitor their pregnancies and aid biologists in finding their calves in the spring. The collars will provide detailed information about elk for approximately two years. This information will enhance CDFW’s knowledge of current elk distribution, abundance, calf recruitment, survival and habitat use.

For additional information regarding captures in Lassen, Modoc or Siskiyou counties, please contact CDFW Wildlife Biologist Reid Plumb at (530) 598-6011. For information regarding captures in Humboldt County, please contact CDFW Environmental Scientist Carrington Hilson at (707) 445-6493.

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