WDFW – A Portion of the Skagit River to Close Four Days To All Fishing.

Action: Close a portion of the Skagit River to all fishing.

Effective dates: June 28, 29 and July 2, 3, 2018.

Species affected: All species.

Location: Skagit River (Skagit Co.) from the mouth to the Highway 530 Bridge in Rockport.

Reason for action: The Skagit River will close to all recreational fishing to avoid gear conflicts with treaty fisheries scheduled on those dates.

Additional information: Additional closures are anticipated.The department will announce the area closures through emergency rule changes, which can be found online at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/. Information about sockeye seasons, fishing rule updates, and fish counts at Baker Lake is also available at https: //wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/salmon/sockeye/baker_river.html.

Information contact: Team Mill Creek, 425 775-131

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WDFW News – Recreational Salmon Fishing Gets Underway June 23 in the Ocean.

Anglers can reel in salmon off the Washington coast beginning June 23, when three marine areas open for recreational salmon fishing.

Marine areas 1 (Ilwaco), 3 (La Push), and 4 (Neah Bay) will be open daily starting Saturday, June 23. Marine Area 2 (Westport) will be open Sundays through Thursdays beginning Sunday, July 1.

Fewer chinook salmon are expected to make their way through Washington’s ocean waters this year as compared to 2017, said Wendy Beeghley, a fishery manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Beeghley said the agency anticipates a return of coho fairly similar to last year’s return.

The recreational chinook catch quota this year is 27,500 fish, which is 17,500 fewer fish than 2017’s quota of 45,000. Meanwhile, the coho quota is 42,000 fish, the same as in 2017.

Although all four marine areas are scheduled to close Sept. 3, Beeghley reminds anglers that areas could close earlier if the quota is met. Throughout the summer, anglers can check WDFW’s webpage at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/creel/ocean/ for updates.

In marine areas 1, 2, and 4, anglers will be allowed to retain two salmon, only one of which can be a chinook. Anglers fishing in Marine Area 3 will have a two-salmon daily limit. In all marine areas, anglers must release wild coho.

More information about the fisheries can be found in the 2018-19 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, available at license vendors and sporting goods stores and online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/.

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Caleb Salzman Obliterates Wyoming Largemouth Bass Record.

Wyoming used to have the smallest state record largemouth bass in the nation at seven pounds 14 ounces. That fish was caught in 1992 by Dustin Shorma, now a Wyoming game warden. But a few weeks ago, Shorma’s state record bass was topped – and by an unbelievable margin. Most new state record fish only weigh a few ounces heavier than the records they replace, but the new Montana record, at 11.51 pounds , topped the old record by nearly four pounds. – making Caleb Salzman’s lunker bass, only the third state record largemouth in Wyoming’s history, easily the most impressive.

Salzman’s bass topped the previous state record by a whopping 46 percent. Even more amazing, Salzman’s bass was not officially weighed until the next day and the lunker bass actually weighed 12 pounds and eight ounces on Caleb’s scale when first caught, The new state record, at 24.5-inches in length, was 3.5-inch-inches longer than the previous record and had a girth of 20.75-inches. Contrary to one major newspaper reporting the bass as being snagged, the bass was legally caught on a green plastic worm at Kleenburn Ponds.

Wyoming’s state record largemouth bass, once the nation’s smallest, is now heavier than the state records of eighteen other states. Had Salzman got the fish officially weighed immediately after capture, the fish would have eclipsed the state record largemouths of an additional five states.

Caleb Salzman and Dustin Shorma with Caleb’s Wyoming’s state record largemouth bass.

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WDFW News – Commission Selects Kelly Susewind as New Director of WDFW.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission today appointed Kelly Susewind of Olympia as the new director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the Governor to set policy for WDFW, voted unanimously to select Susewind after interviewing seven candidates in May and narrowing the field to three finalists, who were interviewed for a second time earlier this week.

Susewind accepted the appointment as permanent director following the commission’s vote. He will oversee an agency of 1,800 employees and an operating budget of $460 million for the current two-year budget period. WDFW is charged with conserving fish and wildlife and providing sustainable recreational and commercial opportunities.

Susewind has worked at the state Department of Ecology since 1990 in a variety of roles, most recently as the director of administrative services and environmental policy. He also worked several years during the 1980s as a private-sector environmental consultant.

Susewind received a bachelor’s degree in geological engineering from Washington State University and an associate’s degree in engineering from Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen. He grew up in the Grays Harbor area.

“All of the commissioners look forward to a fresh start for WDFW under Kelly’s leadership, particularly in the approach our agency takes to improving our working relationships with the Legislature, native American tribes, and the people of Washington to manage the state’s wonderful fish and wildlife resources,” said Commission Chairman Brad Smith.

“Today’s appointment marks the beginning of a new era in the department’s history,” Smith added. “We have an immensely dedicated, talented, and energetic staff, and we are confident that with Kelly in the director’s position, WDFW will achieve the high level of success we expect.”

Susewind said, “I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve the people of Washington at an agency whose effectiveness is critical to our ability to conserve fish and wildlife resources while providing outdoor recreation and commercial opportunities throughout the state. The public has high expectations for WDFW, and I’m excited about being in a position to deliver the results they deserve.”

Susewind’s salary will be $165,000 per year. He will assume the director’s position on Aug. 1.

After voting to appoint Susewind, the commission thanked Acting Director Joe Stohr for his service since former Director Jim Unsworth’s resignation in early February. “The commission sincerely appreciates Joe’s strong leadership over the past five months,” Smith said.

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WDFW News – Chinook Salmon Retention to Close on Lewis River; Floating Devices Allowed for Hatchery Steelhead.

Action: Regulations for chinook salmon will revert to permanent rules on the Lewis River, closing chinook retention until Aug. 1. For steelhead fishing, anglers can use a floating device on the Lewis River from Johnson Creek to the overhead power lines below Merwin Dam.

Effective date: June 18.

Species affected: Steelhead and chinook salmon.

Location: The Lewis River from the mouth to the overhead powerhead lines below Merwin Dam.

Reason for action: Chinook retention will close because additional spring chinook are needed to meet hatchery broodstock and reintroduction goals.

At the same time, broodstock goals for hatchery steelhead are expected to be met for summer steelhead on the Lewis River; therefore regulations can revert to the permanent rules for this area.

Additional information: Anglers can retain up to 3 hatchery steelhead per day. Night closure remains in effect from Johnson Creek upstream.

All other permanent rules remain in effect. Please refer to the Sport Fishing Pamphlet and continue to monitor emergency rule notifications for complete rule information.

Information contact: Tom Wadsworth, District Fish Biologist, (360) 906-6709.

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Lower Yakima River Spring Chinook Fishery to Close June 18th, Upper Section Remains Open.

Action: Closes the lower two sections of the Yakima River to fishing for hatchery spring chinook salmon but the upper section will remain open.

Effective date: June 18, 2018.

Species affected: Spring chinook salmon.

Location:

The Hwy. 240 Bridge in Richland (river mile 2.1) to the Grant Avenue Bridge in Prosser (river mile 47.0), about 1,000 feet downstream of Prosser Dam.
The Wine Country Rd. Bridge in Prosser (river mile 47.3), about 1,300 feet upstream of Prosser Dam, to the State Route 241 (Sunnyside – Mabton Hwy.) Bridge (river mile 59.8).
Reason for action: Spring chinook daily counts at Prosser have declined substantially, signaling the end of the 2018 run in this area of the Yakima River. Salmon fishing will remain open through Sunday, June 17.

Additional information: The Yakima River from the Interstate 82 bridge at Union Gap (river mile 107.1) to the BNSF railroad bridge approximately 600 feet downstream of Roza Dam (river mile 127.8) will remain open.

The regulations for this area are as follows:

Daily limit of two (2) hatchery chinook. Minimum size: 12 inches. Hatchery salmon are identified by a missing adipose fin and a healed scar in the location of the missing fin. Wild salmon (adipose fin intact) must be immediately released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release.

Terminal Gear: Up to two (2), single-point, barbless hooks with a hook gap from point to shank of 3/4 inch or less. Use of bait is allowed.

A Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement is required to participate in this fishery.

The use of two (2) fishing poles is permitted during the salmon fishery provided the participating angler has purchased a “Two-Pole Endorsement” (in addition to the freshwater fishing license and Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement).

Upstream of the Interstate 82 Bridge at Union Gap, the “Selective Gear Rules” prohibiting use of bait and knotted nets is suspended for the duration of the salmon fishery.

The upper “closed water” boundary line is moved upstream to the BNSF railroad bridge downstream of Roza Dam to provide additional opportunity to harvest hatchery chinook salmon.

Night closure is in effect.

Fishing from boats equipped with an internal combustion motor (ICM) is allowed only from the I-82 Bridge at Union Gap to the eastbound (upstream) I-82 bridge at Selah Gap. Boats with an ICM may be used for transportation only upstream of the Selah Gap bridge.

Closed to fishing for all species 400 feet upstream from the upstream side of the Yakima Ave. /Terrace Heights Rd. bridge in Yakima, including the area adjacent and downstream of the Roza Wasteway No. 2 fish barrier rack next to Morton & Sons Inc.

Information contact: Paul Hoffarth, District 4 Fish Biologist, (509) 545-2284.

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Hood Canal to Reopen for One More Day of Shrimp Fishing.

Action: Recreational shrimp fishing will reopen for one more day.

Effective date: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, 2018.

Species affected: All shrimp species, including spot shrimp.

Location: Hood Canal (Marine Area 12).

Reason for action: Sufficient recreational spot shrimp quota remains for one more day of fishing.

Additional information: Several other marine areas are open for coonstripe and pink shrimp fishing. Check WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/shrimp/ for more information.

Contact: Don Velasquez, Mill Creek, (425) 775-1311 ext. 112.

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Tenmile Lakes Lunker Rainbow Trout

Brody Sullens, son of Ryan Sullens, is proud of the jumbo rainbow trout he caught in six FOW at Tenmile Lake.

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ODFW News – Columbia River Subarea has an Additional All-Depth Halibut Day.

The Columbia River Subarea (Leadbetter Point, WA to Cape Falcon, OR) all-depth halibut fishery will be open for one additional day, Thursday, June 21, 2018. Note, this is for Thursday alone, not Saturday.

After the most recent openings in Washington, WDFW has determined that there is enough quota remaining in the Washington recreational quota to have all Washington subareas, including the Columbia River Subarea, open Thursday, June 21, 2018. Since Washington and Oregon co-manage the Columbia River Subarea, and have license reciprocity, anglers fishing out of Oregon ports in the subarea will be allowed to participate in the all-depth halibut fishery on Thursday as well. The Columbia River Subarea nearshore fishery also remains open, seven days per week until the quota is caught, or September 30, whichever comes first.

On days open to all-depth and nearshore halibut, all-depth regulations apply.

REMINDER: Descending devices are mandatory for vessels fishing for or retaining halibut or bottomfish, and must be used when releasing any rockfish when fishing deeper than 30 fathoms.

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Winchester Bay Offshore Bottomfishing Report

Long Leader bottom fish catch out of Winchester Bay on Tuesday, June 12th. – photo courtesy pf Bryan Gill (The Umpqua Angler).

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