CDFW News – A Section of the Commercial Spiny Lobster Fishery Closure Around Anacapa Island Has Been Lifted.

on December 29th, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director Charlton H. Bonham lifted the commercial spiny lobster fishery closure on the south east side of Santa Cruz Island east of 119°40.000’ W. longitude, west of 119° 30.00’ W, and south of 34°00.000’ N. latitude as recommended by state health agencies. According to the notice from the Director of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), sampling of spiny lobster and analysis of samples by California Department of Public Health (CDPH) laboratories indicates that consumption of spiny lobster taken from this area no longer poses a significant threat for domoic acid exposure.

On Oct. 24, 2017, state health agencies determined that spiny lobster in waters around 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 in this area.

The commercial closure remains in effect in all state waters around the north east end of Santa Cruz Island east of 119°40.000’ W. longitude, west of 119° 30.00’ W, and north of 34°00.000’ N. latitude and south side of Anacapa Island east of 119°30.000’ W, west of 119°20.000’ W, and south of 34°00.000’ N latitude. State waters extend three nautical miles beyond outermost islands, reefs and rocks. The recreational fishery for spiny lobster remains open statewide with a warning from CDPH to recreational anglers to avoid consuming the viscera (tomalley) of spiny lobster taken from the closed area.

This closure shall remain in effect until the Director of 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 in this area. 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 in the closed area.

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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WDFW News – WDFW seeks Public Comments on Proposed 2018-20 Hunting Seasons.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public input on proposed recommendations for the 2018-20 hunting seasons.

Through Feb. 14, WDFW will accept comments from the public to help finalize proposed regulations for hunting seasons that begin this year. To review and comment on the proposals, visit the department’s website starting Jan. 24 at

Developed after extensive public involvement, the proposed hunting season rules are based on the objectives and strategies contained in the new 2015-21 Game Management Plan, said Anis Aoude, WDFW game manager. The plan is available on the department’s website at

“We appreciate the input we’ve received over the past months and encourage everyone interested in the 2018-20 hunting seasons to review and comment on the proposed rules before final action is taken,” Aoude said.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, which sets policy for WDFW, will also take public comment on the proposed recommendations at its March 16-17 meeting at the Red Lion Hotel in Wenatchee. Final commission action is scheduled to take place at the April 12-16 meeting.

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Recreational Ocean Crabbing at Winchester Bay Still Red Hot.

While recreational crabbing in the lower Umpqua River remains very good, when crabbers can venture out into the ocean, their success gets even better – with the best success at depths of 35 too 50 feet.

A 90 minute soak netted 78 legal crabs for the Mark Helfrich family while crabbing with Bryan Gill of “The Umpqua Angler”.


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Razor Clamming Reopened on Part of the Oregon Coast.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) announce the reopening of razor clamming from the south jetty of the Umpqua River, south of Reedsport, to the south jetty of Coos Bay as domoic acid levels have dropped below the alert level.

The harvesting of razor clams remains closed from Cascade Head, north of Lincoln City, to the south jetty of the Umpqua River and from the south jetty of Coos Bay to the California border. This includes all beaches and bays.

Along with the area just reopened, 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 or visit the ODA shellfish closures web page at

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WDFW News – Beebe Springs to Close Jan. 11 Until Maintenance Resumes in Spring.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will close the Beebe Springs Unit of the Chelan Wildlife Area on Jan. 11 until maintenance can resume this spring.

WDFW Lands Operation Manager Rich Finger said that a vault toilet on the property, just east of Chelan off Highway 97 on the Columbia River, is routinely locked during the winter months when conditions limit maintenance ability. However, while the gate to the area has remained open, some highway travelers have been using the grounds as a rest stop.

That has created issues with sanitation, trash, and general public health and safety issue, Finger said.

“Typically wildlife areas like this can remain open in the winter without maintenance and not cause problems,” he said. “But because Highway 97 is a major travel corridor through Chelan County, this property is being abused. I’m sorry we have to make this closure, but we can’t allow this situation to continue.”

WDFW is looking for a long-term, fiscally-sustainable solution for Beebe Springs, but until then the department will implement a seasonal closure from Dec. 1 through March 15.

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Cleawox Lunker Largemouth

Last August 14th, John Novak was fishing Cleawox Lake hoping to encounter the jumbo largemouth that had tried to eat the stocked rainbow trout he had hooked the previous week. He was fishing with a brown senko that he had purchased specically to target the jumbo bass. But he was surprised to hook a bass large enough to possibly be that very same bass.

When he landed the fish and removed the hook, John got his second surprise. The wide-gap hook he had threaded the senko on – had straightened to the point where it seemed unlikely to land any fish – let alone a genuine lunker.

The best part of the catch was that after taking a few photos, John released the lunker bass to possibly thrill future anglers.

John Novak’s lunker bass only measured 21-inches, but weighed more than eight pounds.

The bent hook shows just how lucky John was.

And this photo shows how lucky the jumbo bass is – getting a chance to thrill other Cleawox Lake anglers in the future.

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ODFW News – Volunteers Needed to Help With Fishing Study on North and South Umpqua Rivers.

If you have a flexible schedule, love to fish and chat with other anglers, ODFW has a volunteer opportunity for you.

“We need volunteers to informally interview winter steelhead anglers on the North and South Umpqua rivers. Volunteers can work a very flexible schedule and will be stationed at boat ramps in Canyonville and between Glide and Winchester,” said Evan Leonetti, Roseburg District STEP Biologist.

This citizen science project collects information on the winter steelhead fishery including number of fish harvested, whether they are wild or hatchery, and fishing effort. Information will help ODFW prepare for a new tagging and recovery monitoring project in 2019, and also helps inform management of the fishery.

Volunteers must provide their own transportation and may be working alone or with a partner. The project runs the length of the winter steelhead season, ending about mid-April.

Anyone over the age of 18 who is interested in volunteering should call Leonetti at 541-464-2175 or email

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Mardon Resort / Potholes Reservoir Recreation Report

The current water level is 1042.10 feet on the Potholes Reservoir. The water temperature on the main lake is 32-33 degrees. The main lake is free of ice, but the sand dunes are approximately 85% frozen.
Fishing: No fishing reports this week, but now is a good time of the year to be out fishing for walleye. Fish the deeper humps off the dunes and the humps just Northwest of Goose Island. Blade Baits are the top producing bait. The face of the dam is still producing walleye on swimbaits and Blade Baits. Fish 20-30 feet of water next to the dam.
Hunting: The duck hunting been a bit tough again this week. Goose hunting in the fields has been productive this past week. Hunters have been doing well on both darker geese as well as Snow Geese.
Happy New Year form all of us at MarDon Resort!
Call the MarDon Store for the latest hunting and fishing info at 509-346-2651

The Jeff Bowers party of Chehalis with a nice bunch of geese from the fields!

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Pete Heley Outdoors 1 / 03 / 2017

Any vessel fishing for, or in possessing, bottomfish, including flatfish species, or Pacific halibut in the ocean must have a functional descending device onboard(handy), and use it when releasing any rockfish outside of 30 fathoms. Functional descending device means one that is ready to be used.

Beginning Jan. 1, the daily bag limit for Marine Fish will be 5 with a 2 lingcod limit IN ADDITION to the 5 fish marine bag limit. Yelloweye rockfish retention prohibited at all times and in all waters. An offshore longleader fishery will have a daily bag limit of 10. Check the ODFW website for keepable fish species when using this method.

The ALL-DEPTH bottomfish season runs from Jan. 1st through March 31st and from Oct. 1st through December 31st. In other words, bottomfishing at depths greater than 30 fathoms IS CLOSED from April 1st through Sept. 30th. This all-depth closure affects retention such marine fish as rockfish, greenlings, lingcods, skates and sharks.

Crabbing continues to be very good, especially in the ocean, but the reopening of the commercial crab season on Jan. 15th will undoubtedly have a negative effect on recreational ocean crabbing. However, recreational crabbing in the lower tidal reaches of bays and larger rivers should remain productive until we get a lot more rain.

For the third consecutive year the Oregon Coast Anglers will be collecting used Christmas trees this year. The trees will be placed by high school students in tributaries of the Umpqua and Smith rivers to provide more favorable habitat for young salmon and steelhead. The ODFW will coordinate with the OCA in picking the actual sites for tree placement.

Those wanting to donate a tree to the worthwhile project can stack their used trees in the vacant parking lot on the northwest corner of the Les Schwab store in Reedsport . Please remove all decorations, tinsel and fake snow flocking before dropping the tree off. LocalBoy Scout Troop #310 will also be picking up trees from the curb in front of your house on Saturday, December 30th. Same rules: no decorations, tinsel or fake snow flocking. For more information contact Steve Godin at 541 – 255 – 3383.

If 2017 is any indication of when trout plants will start in 2018 – most of the Florence-area lakes received their first planted trout during the second week of February. The Coos County lakes received their first plants during the fourth week of February and some of the Roseburg-area lakes, including Loon Lake, also received their first trout during the fourth week in February. Lake Marie received it’s first trout plant during the third week in March.

Since there seems to be a lot of griping about the nominal 2018 price increases for ODFW issued licenses, I feel compelled, in the interest of fairness, to mention a few licenses that did not become spendier. They are the youth combo license, the youth combined angling tag and the pioneer license.

I cannot believe how many Oregnians are still upset that the Pioneer License is no longer completely free.I don’t feel that I paid a “price” to live beyond age 65 and I definitely do not feel it was a heavy “burden” to live in Oregon for 50 years – and I want Oregon to get its full share of the excise taxes collected on sporting goods sales which are based on land and water area – and more importantly, fishing and hunting licenses ACTUALLY SOLD.

The amount of money collected and redistributed is considerable. In 2011 the amount was 749 million dollars and Oregon did not get its full share due to its pioneer and disabled veterans licenses being completely free. I know that a $6.00 license is not the “bargain” it was when it was completely free – but it’s still a bargain and there are so many that have more legitimate gripes concerning ODFW license prices.

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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Oregon Postpones 2018 Sport Abalone Season Until Further Evaluation.

ODFW is calling a time-out on abalone season, postponing the 2018 recreational season that was set to open on Jan. 1 until further review and Commission consideration in March.

The decision follows California’s closure of its 2018 abalone season due to concerns over the health of the population. Abalone stocks in California have fallen below target levels as abalone face ongoing environmental conditions that have reduced their food sources. Since California Fish and Wildlife closed their season on Dec. 7, ODFW has seen a dramatic spike in inquiries about the Oregon fishery, which is dwarfed by the California fishery. (Oregon issues about 300 abalone permits per year, while California issues 25,000 or more.)

Southern Oregon is on the northern edge of red abalone range and the state’s fishery is managed conservatively to protect the health of Oregon’s relatively small population. “California’s closure could lead to a large fishing effort shift to Oregon, which would cause a spike in harvest under the current rules. Yet we suspect that Oregon’s abalone population has declined from historic levels,” says Scott Groth, ODFW shellfish biologist for the south coast. “This emergency action postpones the fishery so we can hold off on issuing 2018 abalone permits until we’ve had a chance to do a more thorough review of the situation.”

ODFW staff plan to evaluate the fishery (including potential impacts from California’s closure), solicit public input, and present suggestions, including possible rule changes, to the Fish and Wildlife Commission at their March 16 meeting in Salem.

Annual regulations require recreational abalone harvesters to purchase an Oregon shellfish license and obtain a free annual abalone/scallop permit from ODFW. ODFW will continue to issue permits for scallops after Jan. 1.

Abalone are highly prized and the fishery creates a high demand, primarily among divers. While seven species exist on the West Coast, five of these have some listing status under the Endangered Species Act. Red abalone are the only species still fished in the contiguous United States, and southern Oregon and northern California are the only areas where recreational harvest has occurred in recent years. Commercial harvest is not allowed in either state.

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