Monthly Archives: April 2018

First Spring Chinook Caught by Spinner Flinger at Winchester Bay.

The first spring chinook salmon caught by a bank angler at Half Moon Bay on Sunday, April 29th. It fell to a green/chartreuse spinner. Fishing pressure has been light because of the slow fishing.

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WDFW News – Commission OKs Mineral Prospecting Rules and Forest Restoration Plan.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has changed the work times for mineral prospecting in and around the Sultan and Similkameen rivers to avoid periods when incubating eggs and young fish are present.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), approved the changes on Friday, April 20. The commission also authorized the department to remove 1 to 1.5 million board feet of timber from the 4-0 Wildlife Area in the Blue Mountains of Asotin County to improve wildlife habitat, restore forest health, and reduce the risk of severe wildfires.

Until recently, a section of the Sultan River in Snohomish County was open to mineral prospecting using a variety of equipment, including suction dredges, sluices, and high bankers, for more than seven months each year.

That changed in 2016, when a fish-passage project at the City of Everett diversion dam opened an additional 6.3 miles of the river to spawning salmon and steelhead, said Randi Thurston, WDFW habitat protection manager.

“Last year, the department adopted an emergency rule that prohibited the use of certain types of prospecting equipment in that area, except during August,” Thurston said. “This year, the commission adopted that new work window as a permanent rule.”

The new rule applies to the use of mineral prospecting equipment in the water, Thurston said.

In a separate action, the commission agreed to expand the work window for mineral prospecting on the Similkameen River to include the month of June from Enloe Dam to Palmer Creek in Okanogan County. That decision was based on a new study by WDFW that found no evidence of incubating trout or whitefish eggs there in June, Thurston said.

“Prospectors urged us to conduct the study, and they were right about the results,” she said.

Under the new rule, the work window for prospecting on the Similkameen River from Enloe Dam to Palmer Creek will extend from June 1 through Oct. 31.

For more information about mineral prospecting in Washington, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/mining/.

State wildlife managers plan to conduct the 4-0 forest restoration project this summer, but work may not be completed until the summer of 2019. Logging operations will be limited by fire restrictions and during periods of high recreational use, including deer and elk hunting seasons, said WDFW forest manager Richard Tveten.

In addition to the commercial logging operation, WDFW will also thin small trees from approximately 250 acres on the 4-0 property, he said. Project managers plan to burn logging debris in slash piles and will notify the public if they decide plan to conduct prescribed burns.

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OCA Meeting For May.

The Oregon Coast Anglers will meet on May 3rd at the Marina Activity Center in Winchester Bay at 6:30 PM. Delicious pizza and refreshments will be available.

Our Guest Speaker will be a member of the United States Coast Guard, Station Umpqua River. We will be informed of any new regulations or changes related to the Umpqua River. This will be a great opportunity to ask any burning questions you might have regarding safe river bar crossing.

I went to Astoria to support / defend the OCA Petition to the ODFW Commissioners to split the Central Coast Halibut Area on April 20th. There was much discussion about wolves, electronic duck decoys, crab harvest tracking (commercial) before they got around to Halibut. Lynn Mattes from ODFW presented the 2018 Halibut Regulations and there was no one to provide public comment or challenge these regulations. I think the North Coast Halibut anglers should have been there to contest the Saturday off regulations! I was the only person to offer public testimony and it didn’t relate to the proposed 2018 regulations. At any rate I presented three minutes of testimony relating to the OCA petition (attached). The good news is that there was no push back from Newport anglers (yet), no questions from the commissioners and Bob Webber, Commissioner representing our area, grilled ODFW with questions about the OCA petition. GO BOB! Our petition will continue to go forward in the complex ODFW process.

The OCA Bottom Fishing Event is scheduled for June 10th. Mark Teeter has arranged for both the Betty Kay and Chinook to be available. OCA has 40 reservations available. Please sign up soon!

There is much more to discuss at our meeting, Yelloweye Impacts, OCA Banquet (tickets will be available), OCA Bottom Fishing Event (reservations available), Halibut fishing starting May 10th, Steelhead petition to be discussed.

I’ve got some fishing stories and I’m looking forward to yours, we’ll have a raffle for some nice items and great camaraderie, so bring a friend.

Good Fishing,
Steve

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U.S. Rivers Getting Saltier

The United States has made enormous progress in reducing water pollution since the Clean Water Act was passed nearly 50 years ago. Rivers no longer catch fire when oil slicks on their surfaces ignite. And many harbors that once were fouled with sewage now draw swimmers and boaters.

But new, more complex challenges are emerging. In a study published earlier this year, we found that a cocktail of chemicals from many human activities is making U.S. rivers saltier and more alkaline across the nation. Surprisingly, road salt in winter is not the only source: construction, agriculture, and many other activities also play roles across regions.

These changes pose serious threats to drinking water supplies, urban infrastructure and natural ecosystems. Salt pollution is not currently regulated at the federal level, and state and local controls are inconsistent.

Our research shows that when salts from different sources mix, they can have broader impacts than they would individually. It also shows the importance of supporting water quality monitoring nationwide, so that we can detect and address other pollution problems that have yet to be recognized.

Only about 3 percent of the Earth’s water supply is fresh water, and only a fraction of that amount is available as liquid water. USGS
Altered waters

Our group has been studying freshwater salinization for over 15 years. In 2005 we published a paper that demonstrated that levels of sodium chloride (common table salt) were rapidly increasing in fresh waters across the northeastern United States.

Until that time, scientists thought that salinization was a serious problem mainly in arid regions where water evaporates rapidly, leaving salts behind. But we found that it was affecting major drinking water supplies, exceeding toxic levels for some aquatic organisms and persisting in the environment year-round, even in humid regions.

The main cause we found was the spread of paved surfaces, such as roads and parking lots. Communities in cold regions use de-icing salts to clear snow from roads during winter, and the more roads they build, the more treatment is needed. We found that a 1 percent increase in paved surfaces could boost salt concentrations in nearby water bodies to levels more than 10 times higher than pristine forested conditions.

In 2013, we published another study showing that rivers were becoming more alkaline across regions of the eastern United States. At that time acid rain – i.e., too much acid in rainwater, caused by air pollution – had been a well-known environmental issue for several decades. However, alkalinization was not recognized in the same way, and its effects are still poorly understood now.

Alkalinization is the opposite of acidification: It occurs when water’s pH value increases instead of falling. As water becomes more alkaline, certain chemicals dissolved in it can become toxic. For example, ammonium is a nutrient in freshwater ecosystems, but is converted to toxic ammonia gas in significant concentrations in waters with a high pH. Alkaline conditions also enhance release of phosphorus from sediments, which can trigger nuisance blooms of algae and bacteria.

Some pH values of common substances. USEPA
We found that a process we called “human-accelerated weathering” was breaking down rock and releasing minerals into rivers that were making them more alkaline. The process of weathering rocks and minerals that become exported to rivers is typically slow, but we showed that land development and decades of exposure to acid rain were speeding it. We also suggested that widespread use of geologic materials in fertilizers and concrete was a factor.

Identifying freshwater salinization syndrome

Our study on human-accelerated weathering showed that along with sodium chloride, other dissolved salts were increasing in fresh water across large regions of the eastern United States. This made us wonder whether there could be a link to our previous work on salinization in these regions.

We started to recognize that in theory, salt pollution and human-accelerated weathering could be sending increasing quantities of salts that were alkaline into rivers throughout the nation, and that this could increase their pH levels. We knew that ocean water, which is naturally salty, has a higher pH than fresh water because it has accumulated high levels of alkaline salts. After much analysis, we proposed that similar interconnected processes could influence salinity and pH in fresh water.

Many sources release alkaline salts into the environment, including weathering of impervious surfaces, fertilizer and lime use in agriculture, mine drainage, irrigation runoff and winter use of road salt. Initially, parts of these alkaline salts bind to soil. But when they come into contact with sodium – for example, excess road salt – chemical reactions occur that release the alkaline salts, which then wash into freshwater ecosystems.

We called this process freshwater salinization syndrome because it was producing multiple effects on salts, alkalinity and pH, which are fundamental chemical properties of water.

Locations of increasing, decreasing and/or no trends in specific conductance and pH in stream water throughout the continental United States. High-electrical conductivity indicates salinity because salty solutions are full of charged particles that conduct electricity. Kaushal et al., 2018, CC BY-ND
Different causes by region

Figuring out this process was a team project that required knowledge of limnology (the study of inland waters), geochemistry and geography. The causes vary from one location to another, but the outcomes can be similar.

For example, rivers are becoming more saline and alkaline in parts of North Carolina, Florida, Virginia and other states that use little or no road salt. This is likely due to human-accelerated weathering in locations underlain by limestone (which dissolves when it comes in contact with acid rainwater) and in urbanized areas with lots of concrete infrastructure, as well as urban salt pollution from sewage, water softeners or fertilizers.

Our research was supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation and drew on enormous quantities of monitoring data from ecosystems across the United States collected mainly by the U.S. Geological Survey. We analyzed long-term trends in the chemistry of rivers over five decades and compared these trends across different major river systems and regions.

We also analyzed trends in major estuaries, such as the Hudson River and the Chesapeake Bay, to investigate whether increasingly alkaline inputs from rivers could potentially influence the chemistry of coastal waters. Our results show that changes in salts can alter concentrations of pollutants such as excess phosphorus and nutrients that are bound up in sediments at these sites.

Salty water in the Flint River contributed to pipe corrosion and helped cause the city of Flint’s drinking water crisis.
Managing salt pollution

Freshwater salinization syndrome is affecting drinking water supplies in many parts of the United States. In some cases it is altering the taste of water or threatening the health of people with hypertension.

There is growing concern that salts in fresh water can corrode water pipes and release toxic metals such as lead into drinking water. They also can trigger reactions that mobilize other contaminants and pollutants from soils into rivers.

As other scientists have shown, mixtures of salts can be more toxic to aquatic life than just one salt alone. The Environmental Protection Agency does not currently regulate salts as primary contaminants in drinking water, and state and local regulation of salt releases over wide areas from activities such as road treatment are sparse and inconsistent.

We believe there is a serious need for federal regulations and regional plans to reduce salt pollution in fresh water. One strategy would be to reduce use of road salts by calibrating application and adjusting application rates based on temperature. In addition, not all salts are created equal: It may be more efficient to use certain salts as deicers at lower temperatures. Finally, organic de-icing solutions use less salt than conventional versions.

New forms of water pollution are constantly emerging, and it is important to identify how different human activities accelerate geological processes in nature. Fresh water accounts for only about 3 percent of the Earth’s total water supply (the rest is in the oceans), and there will always be a need for better understanding and management of this precious resource.

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Pete Heley Outdoors 4 / 24 / 2018

Spring chinook fishing has improved somewhat on both the Umpqua and Rogue rivers but no genuine lunkers have yet been reported on either river. Bank anglers casting large spinners for springers at Winchester Bay have yet to report any salmon taken. In the last two weeks most of the Umpqua River springers have been taken between Wells Creek and Elkton. Fishing is improving as the river drops and clears and shad could start biting at any time.

Smallmouth bass should start biting on both the Umpqua and Coquille rivers and muddy water can be both a blessing and a curse – limiting which lures are effective, but warming up much quicker than clear water. Smallmouths in Woahink Lake should be gradually moving into shallow water over the next few weeks as their spawn approaches.

With about half the bass in Woahink Lake now being smallmouths, it seems inevitable that some of them will leave the lake via the Woahink Creek outlet and end up in Siltcoos Lake – which doesn’t seem that suitable to them, but also reach the Siltcoos River outlet stream which is suitable for them. The same travel path has resulted in fair numbers of northern pikeminnows in the 100 yard stretch of stream immediately above the dam on the Siltcoos River – which is about three miles below the lake.

It looks like its going to be two to four weeks before the coastal largemouths get serious about spawning, but largemouth fisheries in the Medford area should be in their immediate pre-spawn stage, while spawning largemouths in the Roseburg area will lag their Medford-area brethren by about a week. Last week, two anglers fishing the upper end of Loon Lake, while using large rainbow trout-imitating lures accounted for six largemouth bass weighing at least five pounds. Warmer temperatures this week should allow for improved fishing in virtually all the bass and panfish lakes.

Numerous lakes in our area were planted last week and cool weather limited fishing success, so there should be plenty of stocked trout left. The only lake in our area stocked this week is Upper Empire Lake which received 2,000 trophy trout and will receive 2,500 legal rainbows next week. Other Coos County waters being stocked next week include Bradley Lake (3,000 legals); Eel Lake (3,000 legals) and the West Fork of the Millicoma River (500 legal rainbows).

Also stocked next week, Bluebill Lake gets its first trout stocking of 2018 – a plant of 3,000 legal rainbows. Other waters receiving trout next week include: North and South Tenmile Lakes with 3,000 legal rainbows each; Butterfield Lake (3,000 legals and 400 trophies) and Saunders Lake (3,000 legals). Florence-area lakes slated to be stocked next week include: Carter Lake (750 trophies); Cleawox Lake (345 legals and 1,477 trophies); Munsel Lake (1,650 trophies) and Sutton Lake (1,000 trophies).

Redtail surfperch were first reported in the Umpqua River last year during the last week in April – but then disappeared for nearly two weeks before they resumed their spawning run in earnest. Presently, anglers fishing the surf near the second parking lot south of Winchester Bay have been enjoying fair to good fishing while using two to three-inch pieces of Berkley sandworms in the camo color pattern.

With a slightly lower quota than last year, all-depth halibut for the central Oregon coast is set to begin its 3-day openers this year on May 10th. The openers for the spring season will be on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and the first four fixed or locked-in openers will be: May 10th – 12th; May 24th – 26th; June 7th – 9th and June 21st – 23rd.

As usual, every spring I write about the unfairness of the spring all-depth halibut season. People that work a regular Monday through Friday work week only get to fish one day per spring opener – if they can get out and actually fish. There are other ways the ODFW is being obviously unfair. When a separate halibut quota was being considered for the southern portion of the central coast subarea they used fish-catch data rather than fish-population data to decide how the central coast subarea quota would be divided up. Quotas that are based upon previous years’ catches heavily favor Newport which has a more friendly bar and a large halibut fleet.

However, a quota based on the actual halibut population in each portion of the central coast subarea would be fair to each portion and would likely extend the season on the southern portion of the central Oregon coast subarea.

While I am at it, I would like to repeat my annual gripe about the upper section of Mill Creek being included in the Mill Creek closure. The stream was closed because of anadromous fish snagging, but the upper 2+ miles of it are unreachable by anadromous fish – and the section between Loon Lake and Mill Creek Road, when it was legal to fish, offered very good angling for small to medium-sized largemouth bass.

A visit to the Coos County Courthouse’s Assessor’s Office indicated to me that some of the “No Trespassing Signs” between Hauser and North Bend have little validity. There doesn’t seem to be a downside to illegally posting property and actually may be a rather effective way to avoid sharing your favorite fishing spot with other anglers.
I truly wish such activity was pursued as zealously by law enforcement agencies as actual trespassing is.

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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Southwest Oregon Smallmouth Bass Update – Excluding the Medford-area waters.

COQUILLE RIVER – The Coquille now has a strong smallmouth bass population. While most of the fishing takes place on the main river near Myrtle Point, smallies are in the lower reaches of all the river’s forks including the South Fork Coquille all the way up to Powers. Because the river is often somewhat murky, many anglers opt to use larger crankbauts for the smallies in the hopes od hooking an incidental striped bass.

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR – Has small numbers of of smallmouth bass of good average size. Smallies weighing more than five pounds are possible. Try the rocky riprap along the dam – especially when the reservoir is drawn down.

COW CREEK – This major South Umpqua tributary forms a large circle entirely within Douglas County. The best fishing seems to be between the town of Riddle and where it enters the South Umpqua

DORENA RESERVOIR – Has small numbers of smallmouth bass of good average size. Smallies weighing more than five pounds are possible.

EEL LAKE – Less than ten percent of the bass in Eel Lake are smallmouth bass, but some of them are good-sized with multiple 18-inch plus smallies taken the last few years.

FORD’S POND – Located less than two miles west of Sutherlin adjacent to Highway 138, this shallow weedy lake doesn’t seem suited to smallmouth bass, but has fair numbers of them near the short rocky shoreline adjacent to the outlet.

GALESVILLE RESERVOIR – Smallmouth bass are the dominant fishery in this multi-species reservoir with lots of smallies measuring more than a foot in length, but very few weighing more than three pounds. A good early season spot is the shoreline below the boat ramp.

MILL CREEK – Unfortunately the entire stream was closed due to salmon and steelhead snagging in the lower reaches near the Umpqua River. Presently has good numbers of smallies in the lower three miles above the Umpqua River. Hopefully, future regulations will allow these bass to be fished for.

SMITH RIVER – Unlike the Umpqua River, the Smith River only has a small population of smallmouth bass. Some of them are at least 18-inches long. They seem to reside from about seven miles above Highway 101 up to Smith River Falls.

SOUTH UMPQUA RIVER – This large stream is a delight to float with a kayak, canoe or one man pontoon boat – midsummer water levels usually prohibit using anything larger. The pools are almost the same size as those on the mainstem Umpqua River – but much shallower. By early summer, anglers can almost sightfish the entire river.

UMPQUA RIVER – Possiby Oregon’s best smallmouth stream for numbers. Small bass dominate to the point of being a nuisance, but smallies weighing more than five pounds are taken every year. The best numbers of smallmouths reside above the head of tidewater at Wells Creek and smallies extend downstream as far as milepost 8 east of Reedsport and the average smallie taken in tidewater is slightly longer and heavier than those caught upriver.

WOAHINK LAKE – A sleeper for smallmouths, Woahinks bass population is about evenly split between smallies and largemouths. Most of the smallies are small, but fish to 19-inches and more than three pounds were caught last year A good lake to fish topwater lures.

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WDFW News – 100’s of Lowland Lakes to Open Saturday, April 28th.

Trout fishing in Washington reaches full speed April 28 when hundreds of lowland lakes – stocked with millions of fish – open for a six-month season.

To prepare for the opener, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) fish hatchery crews have been stocking more than 12 million trout and kokanee in lakes statewide.

“Although many lakes are open year-round, the fourth Saturday in April marks the traditional start of the lowland lakes fishing season, when hundreds of thousands of anglers are expected to turn out to fish,” said Steve Thiesfeld, WDFW’s inland fish program manager.

This is also the first lowland lakes opener in which those anglers can use the new Fish Washington mobile app to help find a fishing hole near them.

“The Fish Washington app is a planning tool that should be on every Washington angler’s smart phone,” said Thiesfeld. “It is designed to convey up-to-the-minute fishing regulations for every lake in the state.”

To obtain the new Fish Washington mobile phone app, anglers just need to visit WDFW’s website (https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington/mobile_app.html), the Google Play store or Apple’s App store.

To participate in the opener, Washington anglers must have an annual freshwater or combination fishing license valid through March 31, 2019. Licenses can be purchased online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov; by telephone at 1-866-246-9453; or at hundreds of license dealers across the state. For details on license vendor locations, visit the WDFW website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/.

April 28 also marks the start of WDFW’s annual lowland lakes fishing derby, which runs through Oct. 31.

Anglers who catch one of 1,000 green-tagged trout can claim prizes provided by license dealers and other sponsors located across the state. The total value of prizes is more than $38,000. For a list of lakes with prize fish and details on how to claim prizes, visit https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/Home/FishingDerby.

Fish stocked by WDFW include some 2.1 million catchable trout, nearly 125,000 larger trout averaging about one pound apiece, and millions of smaller trout that were stocked last year and have grown to catchable size.

Fish stocking details, by county and lake, are available in the annual stocking plan on WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/statewide/

Of more than 7,000 lakes, ponds and reservoirs in Washington, nearly 700 have WDFW-managed water-access sites, including areas accessible for people with disabilities. Other state and federal agencies operate hundreds more. Details on water access site locations can be found on WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/water_access/.

Anglers parking at WDFW water-access sites are required to display on their vehicle the WDFW Vehicle Access Pass that is provided free with every annual fishing license purchased—or a Discover Pass. Anglers who use Washington State Parks or Department of Natural Resource areas need a Discover Pass. Information on the pass can be found at https://discoverpass.wa.gov/

Before heading out, anglers should check fishing regulations on WDFW’s webpage at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/ or consult the Fish Washington app.

WDFW employees and their immediate families are not eligible to claim fishing derby prizes.

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Pete Heley Outdoors 4 / 18 / 2018

There was some good news last week regarding ocean salmon fishing. The ocean chinook season, which normally runs from March 15th through October 31st, but this year was only slated to run from March 15th through April 30th has been extended to its normal October 31st closing date. As for ocean coho salmon, the quota for finclipped cohos was increased to 35,000 from last year’s 15,000. There will also be a nonselective ocean coho season which will run on Fridays and Saturdays beginning on September 7th and run until September 29th or when the quota of 3,550 cohos is reached.
The ocean finclipped season will start on June 30th and run through September 3rd – if the 35,000 finclipped coho quota has not been reached.

Generous quotas and seasons will not ensure good ocean salmon fishing – only the opportunity to fish. The ODFW forecast for coho is down this year for both the Oregon coast and Columbia River, – largely due to poor ocean feed conditions.

Ocean salmon anglers can look forward to more opportunity this year based on recommendations made last week for federal waters (outside three miles) during a Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Portland.

The PFMC recommendations will be forwarded to NOAA Fisheries for approval and implementation. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will be asked to adopt matching rules for State waters (inside 3 mi) at their April 20 meeting in Astoria.

Unlike the full closure to salmon fishing last year, the area south of Humbug Mt to the OR/CA border will be open to sport fishing for chinook from May 19-Aug. 29. The strong forecast for Rogue River fall Chinook is a bright spot for the coast this year.

Commercial troll fishing for Chinook will be open intermittently along the whole Oregon coast from May through the summer. In 2017, all commercial salmon trolling was closed south of Florence.

Winchester Bay’s South Jetty continues to provide fair fishing for striped surfperch, greenling and rockfish and good fishing for lingcod. Muddy Umpqua River water can best be dealt with by fishing near high tide when the clearer ocean water is most evident. Fishing for redtail surfperch in the surf has been fair to good at Sparrow Park Road, near the second parking lot south of Winchester Bay – and also at Horsfall Beach near North Bend.

Trout plants this week in the Florence area include Alder Lake (850 legals, 511 trophies); Dune Lake (850 legals, 711 trophies); Perkins Lake (325 trophies); Siltcoos Lagoon (881 trophies); Siltcoos Lake (1,000 trophies) and Sutton Lake (1,500 trophies) Trout plants in Coos County include South Tenmile Lake (3,000 legals); Powers Pond (3,000 legals; and Lower Empire Lake (2,000 trophies). Upper Empire Lake is slated to receive 2,000 trophy rainbows next week. Garrison Lake, in Port Orford, was also stocked (3,000 legals, 200 trophies).

Normally, April is a productive month to catch striped bass. Because of low striper numbers in the Umpqua River-Smith River system and muddy water in the Coquille River there have been no recent reports. The small striper population that once existed on the Rogue River above Gold Beach seems to have disappeared with colder water releases from Lost Creek and Applegate reservoirs.

Recent cool temperatures has put the “kibosh” on warmwater fishing success. Spawning crappie have yet to show up at the upper end of Loon Lake or the lower end of Eel Lake.

If and when the Umpqua River clears and drops there should be fishable numbers of shad in the river.

Police are asking for the public’s help after three bald eagles were found shot to death near Albany on March 16. An Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division trooper responding to tip discovered three dead eagles in the Tangent area south of Albany. Gunshot wounds were found on each bird.

An angler that recently posted a picture of a lower Cowlitz River spring chinook on a popular online fishing site was met with numerous posts filled with anger, scorn and even derision – to the point where the angler posted even more detailed information on the catch and promised to continue to do so in the future.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) debuted a new mobile app on April 9th that promises to make determining fishing regulations for Washington waters easier and more convenient. The free “Fish Washington” app is available on Google Play, Apple’s App store and WDFW’s website (https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington/mobile_app.html), and is designed to convey up-to-the-minute fishing regulations for every lake, river, stream and marine area in the state. The exception, for now, is the app does not yet include information on shellfish and seaweed collection rules. The app release comes ahead of the season’s lowland lakes fishing opener Apr. 28, the state’s biggest fishing day of the year.

The application contains these features, among others: Interactive map-based rules to help anglers find fishing near them.;
Details on harvest limits and allowable gear for fishable species in each body of water. Links to the Fish Washington website and instructional videos designed to convey when, where and how to fish in Washington; Locations of boat launches and other fishing access points; Ability to add waypoints on maps, and report poaching in progress.

The app also features downloadable updates and offline capacity designed for those who may not have cell service in remote areas or on the water.

It is with deep regret that I received news of the passing of Patrick McManus. He once wrote me a very encouraging letter to me regarding one of my attempts at a humorous article decades ago. I consider McManus to have had the zaniest sense of humor of any outdoor writer in my lifetime – with the possible exception of Ed Zern.

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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Sturgeon Fishery Set in Columbia River Estuary Downstream From Wauna Powerlines.

Action: Allows a limited recreational retention fishery for white sturgeon in the Columbia River estuary. White sturgeon from 44-inches minimum to 50-inches maximum fork length may be retained.

Effective Dates: Monday, Wednesday, and Saturdays: May 14, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26, 28, 30, and June 2, 4, 2018. Sturgeon angling, including catch and release, closes at 2 p.m. on each open day.

Species affected: White sturgeon.

Locations: The Columbia River from the Wauna powerlines to the mouth at Buoy 10, including Youngs Bay and all adjacent Washington tributaries.

Reason for action: Increased legal-size population over the past few years has allowed for a conservative retention fishery within the lower Columbia River.

Other information: Catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon will continue to be allowed on all non-retention days.
Daily white sturgeon limit: One fish.
Annual white sturgeon limit: Two fish.
Retention of green sturgeon is prohibited.

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Sport Sturgeon Retention Season Set in Bonneville and Dalles Pools.

Action: Allow retention of white sturgeon for one day within the following slot limits:

Bonneville Pool: between 38-inches and 54-inches fork length.
The Dalles Pool: between 43-inches and 54-inches fork length.
Effective dates: Friday June 15, 2018
Species affected: White sturgeon

Locations: Fishing will be open in the Columbia River within the Bonneville Pool, The Dalles Pool, and adjacent tributaries, except within the spawning sanctuary closure areas:

Bonneville Pool: From The Dalles Dam downstream 1.8 miles to a line from the east (upstream) dock at the Port of The Dalles boat ramp straight across to a marker on the Washington shore.
The Dalles Pool: From John Day Dam downstream 2.4 miles to a line crossing the Columbia at a right angle to the thread of the river from the west end of the grain silo at Rufus, Oregon.
Reason for action: There are sturgeon available for harvest within the established guidelines for both reservoirs.

Other information: Catch-and-release will continue to be allowed, except in the spawning sanctuary closure areas.

Daily white sturgeon limit: One fish.

Annual white sturgeon limit: Two fish.

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