Saturday, December 31, 2011

Oregon DFW Jan 6 Meeting to Update Wolves and White Sturgeon

Be sure to check out the link "2011 Oregon Wolf Management Report" below.

December 30, 2011
SALEM, Ore.—The Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet Friday, Jan. 6 at ODFW Headquarters, 3406 Cherry Ave NE, Salem.
The meeting begins at 8 am and proceeds through this agenda
The Commission is expected to take action on plans to purchase a new ODFW headquarters building in Salem. The lease on ODFW’s current location runs out Aug. 31, 2013. With assistance from the Department of Administrative Services over the last year, ODFW has conducted a search for suitable properties in Salem. Criteria for reviewing properties included cost, public access, building size and configuration, and availability of parking.
The proposed new building is located at 4030 Fairview Industrial Drive SE in Salem. The purchase will be financed by $16 million in bonds approved by the 2011 Oregon State Legislature. At the full bonding amount, the debt service on the 25-year bonds will be roughly equal to what ODFW now pays to lease its headquarters plus property taxes on the leased space. At the end of 25 years, ODFW will have full equity in the property and reduced operating costs. Like current lease payments, the bond will be repaid using hunting and fishing license and tag revenues.
The Commission will be briefed on the Governor’s 2013-15 budget process and the 2011 Oregon Wolf Management Report summarizing ODFW’s wolf management activities since January 2011.
Finally, the Commission will consider issues related to the white sturgeon fisheries in the Columbia and Willamette rivers.
On the Columbia, ODFW staff will ask for authorization to re-open negotiations with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in order to consider reducing the sturgeon harvest guideline for the upcoming season. The current Joint Accord calls for a harvest guideline of 14,625 sturgeon for 2012. However, Oregon and Washington staffs are estimating the number of legal-sized sturgeon in the Columbia in 2012 will be about 20 percent fewer than in 2011, continuing a downward trend that began in 2008. In response, managers are discussing reducing the harvest rate used to calculate the harvest guideline in 2012 and 2013, two years earlier than called for in Oregon’s conservation plan for white sturgeon in the lower Columbia River. Under one possible scenario, the harvest guideline in 2012 would be reduced to 12,514 which is 15 percent less than what the current Joint Accord calls for and over 25 percent less than the 2011 harvest guideline.
On the Willamette, staff will be asking the Commission to re-affirm the guidance it provided last year to allocate the available harvest to the spring fishing season. Under the current Joint Accord, the harvest guideline in 2012 would be 2,200 fish. Based on 2011 catches, when the harvest topped 300 sturgeon per retention day, the full guideline would be used up in only 6-8 days of fishing.
Sturgeon seasons for both rivers will be set later in January.
The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly. Agenda item exhibits are available online or at the meeting.
Public testimony will be held Friday morning immediately following the expenditure report. Persons seeking to testify on issues not on the formal agenda may do so by making arrangements with the ODFW Director’s Office, at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting, by calling 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044.
Reasonable accommodations will be provided as needed for individuals requesting assistive hearing devices, sign language interpreters or large-print materials. Individuals needing these types of accommodations may call the ODFW Director’s Office at 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Oregon's Wenaha Wolf Pack has a Pup

Dec. 23, 2011
LA GRANDE, Ore.—Photos captured on an ODFW remote camera in northeast Oregon show the Wenaha wolf pack had at least one pup this year.
The photos were taken on forested land in western Wallowa County as part of ODFW monitoring efforts for the Wenaha pack. They are the first indication that the pack’s alpha pair reproduced in 2011.
The finding means that all four wolf packs in Oregon reproduced this year. The Imnaha, Wenaha and Snake River packs all had at least one pup. The new Walla Walla pack produced at least three pups.
While any reproduction is good news for wolf conservation, only one pack, the Walla Walla, will likely be determined to be a “breeding pair” for 2011, or a wolf pack that has produced at least two pups that survive through the end of the year. Breeding pairs are an important measure of wolf conservation for wildlife managers.
The Wenaha pack was determined to be a breeding pair in 2010. It is also believed to be the first pack to reproduce in Oregon since wolves were extirpated back in the 1940s, when a July 2008 howling survey found evidence of pups.
ODFW’s efforts to find additional pups for the Wenaha and other packs will continue so the department can get a complete year-end count of all pups born in 2011.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Oregon Weekly Outdoor Recreaction Report

Hunting, Fishing, Wildlife Viewing
December 20, 2011
Hunter education registration is online now
Students can register online or at a license sales agent. New customers need to choose “New customer” under the Hunter/Angler ID# tab. List of classes and field days are here
Cougar hunting may close in Zone A (Coast/North Cascades)
Cougar take in Zone A is nearing the quota of 120 and the hunting season could be closed before the end of the year along the entire coast and in the North Cascades. Cougar hunters, keep an eye on ODFW’s website for a closure. See a map of the zones
Start planning next year’s hunting or fishing trip
2012 Sport Fishing and Big Game Regs are online and at license sales agents. Find them here.
Willamette Goose Target Area
Columbia Basin Access Program
Click to enlarge offers new hunting opportunities
Bird hunting opportunities on private land in the Columbia Basin and Willamette Valley through this program, see the website or
Great bird hunting in the Columbia Basin
Use ODFW’s new Columbia Basin Bird Hunting Guide to find out how to access the area’s 250K acres open to hunting.
Go crabbing
Crabbing has been excellent in many of Oregon’s bays and estuaries and crabbing in the ocean opens Dec. 15. Check the Marine and Southwest Zone reports for the latest updates.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oregon DFW Recreation Report

Hunting, Fishing, Wildlife Viewing
December 13, 2011
Five Wildlife Areas to require parking permits on Jan. 1, 2012
As of Jan. 1, 2012, wildlife viewers and anglers will need a parking permit at five ODFW Wildlife Areas. A daily permit is $7 an annual permit is $22. Permits can be purchased online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses or at a license sales agent.
  • Denman Wildlife Area, Central Point
  • E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area, Monmouth
  • Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area, La Grande
  • Summer Lake Wildlife Area, Summer Lake
  • Sauvie Island Wildlife Area, Sauvie Island
More information
Hunter education registration is online now
Students can register online or at a license sales agent. New customers need to choose “New customer” under the Hunter/Angler ID# tab. List of classes and field days are here
Cougar hunting may close in Zone A (Coast/North Cascades)
Cougar take in Zone A is nearing the quota of 120 and the hunting season could be closed before the end of the year along the entire coast and in the North Cascades. Cougar hunters, keep an eye on ODFW’s website for a closure.See a map of the zones
Start planning next year’s hunting or fishing trip
2012 Sport Fishing and Big Game Regs are online and at license sales agents. Find them here. offers new hunting opportunities
Bird hunting opportunities on private land in the Columbia Basin and Willamette Valley through this program, see the website or
Great bird hunting in the Columbia Basin
Use ODFW’s new Columbia Basin Bird Hunting Guide to find out how to access the area’s 250K acres open to hunting.
Go crabbing
Crabbing has been excellent in many of Oregon’s bays and estuaries and crabbing in the ocean opens Dec. 15. Check the Marine and Southwest Zone reports for the latest updates.
Elk viewing is excellent at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area
Elk have been visible throughout the day on the Fishhawk Tract at Jewell Meadows. Best viewing times are from 9 a.m. to about noon each day. Learn more on the ODFW website and in the Northwest Zone Viewing section.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Another Heifer Cow Killed By the Imnaha Wolf Pack

Dec. 13, 2011

LA GRANDE, Ore.—ODFW confirmed that another cow was killed by wolves from the Imnaha pack over the weekend. The yearling heifer was found dead on private land in Wallowa County.

This brings the total number of confirmed livestock losses by Imnaha pack wolves to 19 since spring 2010. It is the fifth confirmed livestock loss to wolves since an Oct. 5, 2011 court-ordered stay ended ODFW plans to kill two wolves from the Imnaha pack in an attempt to stop further livestock losses.

While the pack is continuing a pattern of chronic livestock depredation begun in spring 2010, ODFW wolf coordinator Russ Morgan characterizes the recent kills as a “significant” change in the pack’s behavior. Previously the pack killed mostly smaller calves, but now it has shifted to larger-sized yearling and adult cows. The timing is also new, as depredation by this pack has not been previously confirmed during the period October through December.

“The latest incident reaffirms that the pack is in a pattern of chronic depredation, which we expect to continue,” said Morgan. “While we believe the appropriate response is lethal removal of these problem wolves under the chronic depredation rule, that option is off the table due to litigation.”

The wolves targeted the ranch twice over two days. The cattle involved had recently been gathered and placed into a holding pasture near the main ranch house, as they were scheduled to be hauled on Monday. On Sunday morning, the landowner discovered that the cattle had been run through the fence and the yearling heifer was found dead a half mile away. The cattle were returned to the pasture, only to be scattered again by Monday morning. GPS radio-collar data shows that the alpha male of the Imnaha wolf pack was present at the site of the depredation and was also in the area when the cows were scattered the next day. Other wolves from the pack were likely with the alpha male, but their VHF radio-collars don’t allow such close location tracking.

The alpha male wolf was in remote country about five miles from the pasture the evening before the Sunday morning attack, yet by 2 a.m. he was only about 300 yards from the main ranch house, on the way to the pasture with cattle.

This rancher had taken a variety of non-lethal measures on different areas of his large ranch over the past two years. He had installed barrier fences with fladry (flagged fencing that can deter wolves) on parts of his ranch and has used a radio-activated guard device that makes noise when a radio-collared wolf approaches. The rancher had also increased monitoring of his livestock and has used a radio receiver to detect when a collared wolf was nearby.

“This is a good example of a situation where the landowner had done everything right,” said Morgan. “I don’t think there are other measures that could have been reasonably taken in this case, so it is a very frustrating situation for livestock producers and wildlife managers.”

ODFW continues to work with area landowners on non-lethal ways to avoid wolf-livestock problems. For example, ODFW sends twice-daily text messages about wolves’ locations to area livestock producers. A range rider funded by ODFW and Defenders of Wildlife has monitored the wolves’ location in relation to livestock.

Besides non-lethal measures, ODFW has also provided some ranchers with permits to kill a wolf they catch “in the act of biting, wounding or killing” livestock or with permits that allow them to haze wolves. The chance to use these permits is rare because wolves typically avoid people and usually attack livestock at night. None of these permits issued by ODFW has ever been used, again because it is very rare for a person to actually be present when a wolf is “in the act” of attacking livestock.

This landowner and others that have lost livestock animals to wolves are likely to be compensated for their losses. Earlier this year, the Oregon State Legislature and Governor Kitzhaber directed the Oregon Department of Agriculture to create a wolf compensation program. The program is expected to be in effect in early 2012. Ranchers that lost livestock since early September 2011 (when a compensation program funded by Defenders of Wildlife ended) will be eligible for retroactive compensation.

Summaries of the wolf investigations and confirmations can be found on ODFW’s livestock loss investigations page.

More information on wolves in Oregon.


Michelle Dennehy
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
(503) 947-6022

Washington DFW Will Enlist Anglers In Pending Battle Against Voracious Northern Pike

OLYMPIA - Concerned about the spread of northern pike in Washington waters, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is gearing up for a spring campaign to halt the advance of the voracious, non-native fish toward the Columbia River.

In the coming months, state fishery managers plan to enlist anglers to remove as many northern pike as possible from the Pend Oreille River, a conduit for pike moving downstream from Idaho and Montana.

"Anglers can play a major role in this effort," said John Whalen, WDFW’s regional fish program manager in Spokane. "Come spring, we’re going to need their help to keep northern pike from invading the Columbia River."

A new webpage ( ) on WDFW’s website outlines the rapid proliferation of northern pike in the Pend Oreille River since 2004 and the threat they pose to native fish species.

Biological surveys conducted in conjunction with the Kalispel Tribe and Eastern Washington University reveal a dramatic decline in native minnows, largemouth bass, yellow perch and other fish species that inhabit the 55-mile Box Canyon Reservoir.

"Non-native northern pike are high-impact predators of many other fish," Whalen said. "We’re increasingly concerned about future impacts to native trout and other species, including salmon and steelhead."

Fish managers have traced the movement of northern pike into the Pend Oreille River from rivers in Montana, where they were stocked illegally. Last spring, Canadian anglers reported catching them in the Columbia River near its confluence with the Pend Oreille, just north of the border between Washington state and British Columbia.

"That’s a big concern," Whalen said. "If northern pike start spreading down the Columbia River, they could create significant ecological and economic damage."

Earlier this year, WDFW held public meetings in Spokane and Newport to discuss possible options for controlling northern pike. Regardless of what other methods are used, anglers represent a major line of defense, Whalen said.

"These fish average 2-3 pounds, but can run up to 30 pounds apiece," he said, noting that there are no daily catch limits or size limits on northern pike in Washington state.

To help reduce the pike population, WDFW has proposed changing state fishing regulations to allow anglers to fish with two poles in the Pend Oreille River. The department has also proposed stripping the northern pike from its designation as a "game fish," while continuing to classify it as a "prohibited species" that cannot lawfully be transported to state waters.

"That change would help clarify our management goals," Whalen said. "Anglers could keep fishing for them, but the change in designation would signal that the priority is to control the spread of northern pike and their impact on native fish species."

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, which sets policy for WDFW, will hear public testimony on that and other proposed fishing rule changes during a public meeting scheduled Jan. 6-7 in Olympia. WDFW will also accept written comments on those proposals through Dec. 30. The commission is scheduled to take action on those proposals at a public meeting Feb. 3-4 in Olympia.

For more information on the rule-making process, see the WDFW website at .

Monday, December 5, 2011

Washington Fish & Wildlife Adopts Controversial Gray Wolf Management Plan

OLYMPIA - After four years of development and extensive public review, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission today unanimously adopted a plan that will guide state conservation and management of gray wolves in Washington state.

The citizen commission, which sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), approved the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan at a public meeting in Olympia.

Key provisions of the plan establish recovery objectives for gray wolves in three regions in Washington, along with procedures for addressing predation on livestock and impacts on ungulates such as deer, elk and caribou.

Prior to the final vote, the commission approved several changes to the draft plan, including one that modified the distribution of breeding wolf pairs needed to remove wolves from the state’s endangered species list.

Once abundant in the Pacific Northwest, gray wolves are currently classified by the state as endangered throughout Washington. They are also listed under federal law as endangered in the western two-thirds of the state.

WDFW began developing the wolf-management plan in 2007, anticipating that gray wolves would naturally migrate into the state from Idaho, Oregon, Montana, and British Columbia. Since then, five wolf packs have been documented in the state - three in northeastern Washington and two in the Cascade Mountains.

During the past four years, the plan developed by WDFW in conjunction with a 17-member citizen Wolf Working Group has been the focus of 23 public meetings, 65,000 written comments and a blind scientific peer review.

"This plan establishes recovery goals for wolves, while also giving wildlife managers and individuals the tools they need to protect livestock and wildlife populations," said Miranda Wecker, commission chair. "The goal is that wolves will no longer need special status in our state and can be managed as part of the overall ecosystem."

Key elements of the plan approved by the commission include:

  • Recovery goals: The plan establishes a recovery objective of 15 breeding pairs of wolves that are present in the state for at least three years. Before gray wolves can be removed from the state’s endangered species list, at least four of those breeding pairs must be verified in Eastern Washington, four in the northern Cascades, four in the southern Cascades/Northwest coastal area and three others anywhere in the state. The commission also allows WDFW to initiate action to delist gray wolves if 18 breeding pairs are documented during a single year.
  • Livestock protection: The plan provides a variety of management measures - from technical assistance for landowners to lethal removal - to control wolves that prey on livestock. The plan also establishes conditions for compensating ranchers who lose livestock to wolf predation.
  • Wildlife protection: The plan allows WDFW to use lethal and non-lethal measures to manage wolf predation on at-risk deer, elk and caribou populations if wolf numbers reach or exceed the recovery objective within a region where predation occurs. The commission modified the definition of "at-risk" populations to give WDFW more flexibility in responding to the effect of wolf predation on those animals.

WDFW is not allowed to import wolves from other states or seek to increase the wolf population to historic levels under the parameters set for the new wolf management plan by an associated environmental impact statement.

All aspects of the state’s plan will take immediate effect east of state highways 97, 17 and 395, where gray wolves were removed from federal protection last May. In the rest of the state, federal law will take precedence over the state plan until wolves are delisted under the federal Endangered Species Act in that area.

The draft Wolf Conservation and Management Plan is posted on WDFW’s website at . The final plan, incorporating amendments adopted by the commission, will be posted on the site by mid-January.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Avery Killer Ghillie Blind Covers



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Avery has developed the most effective layout blind concealment system by weaving highly durable, authentic raffia grass to these incredible covers. The All-Terrain, Golden Harvest and Winter Wheat color tones will allow you to adapt to any environment. Watch your layout blind disappear in almost any field setting with an amazing yet natural appearance of the Avery® Killer Ghillie Blind Cover.
For more information on the Killer Ghillie Blind Covers and other Avery products go to
Suggested retail $119.99

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

WDFW Launches New Waterfowl Website

OLYMPIA - As Washington waterfowl hunting moves into the traditionally most productive part of the year, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officials say this season may offer the best opportunity in over 50 years.

"Waterfowl biologists are predicting the best fall flights of migrating ducks since 1955," said Greg Schirato, deputy director of WDFW’s Wildlife Program. "The opportunities haven’t been this good in most hunters’ lifetimes."

Schirato said the bounty is due to good rainfall in northern waterfowl breeding grounds last summer, as well as favorable conditions here for duck and goose production.

The expected abundance of birds makes this a good season for waterfowl hunters to introduce newcomers to the sport, he said.

WDFW has launched a new waterfowl hunting feature on its website at to offer information for new or returning waterfowl hunters, ranging from the basics of duck and goose identification to details on hunting locations, equipment, licensing requirements and handling harvested waterfowl.

The department also has been working to increase land access for waterfowl hunting, Schirato said.

"We’ve been working hard to provide places to hunt on state-managed lands and working with land owners to open private lands to hunting," he said.

Waterfowl hunting opportunities increase as the season progresses, Schirato noted, with influxes of migrant birds and added hunting days. Goose management in much of eastern Washington restricts hunting to Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays, but late fall and winter bring added opportunity on holidays including the Thanksgiving holiday Nov. 24-25, the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 16.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Oregon Weekly Report

Western Oregon deer hunting wraps up Nov. 4

Take advantage of the last few days of the season. Success rates are improving as bucks move into the rut. Youth can hunt an extra weekend (Nov. 5-6). Hunters, don’t forget to return a deer tooth if you are successful.

Hunt birds in the Columbia Basin

Use ODFW’s new Columbia Basin Bird Hunting Guide to find out how to access the area’s 250K acres open to hunting.

33,000 new acres of private land to hunt in eastern Oregon

The six properties are in Baker, Grant, Harney, Morrow and Wheeler and Harney counties. See for more information.

Elliot State Forest Closure (Coos County)

Parts of the forest are closed to vehicles and/or to entry. See details on ODF’s website.

Fall trout fishing continues

Although many streams and several lakes closed to fishing after Oct. 31, there are still plenty of fall trout fishing opportunities. Check out the zone reports for a fishing spot near you.

Crabbing is good in the bays

Fall can be an excellent time to go crabbing on the Oregon coast. Never been? Here are some tips for getting started.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

GamePlan Gear Releases New Over-and-Under Backpack presents: This new camo backpack by GamePlan Gear features a 3-in-1 system designed especially for bowhunters. Comprised of an intermediate sized, low-profile camo backpack and an oversized fanny pack, the Over-and-Under 3-in-1 Pack Systemis actually three bowhunting packs in one. Like many of GamePlan Gear’s products, the Over-and-Under Pack system is based upon military pack platforms with full customization in mind. Through different combinations of the two pack parts, the fully convertible 3-in-1 system fits the needs of bowhunters from coast to coast.

Two simple connection buckles hold the entire system together and make it easy to separate each piece for individual use. One of the Over-and-Under’s most unique features is the ability to manage a full quiver of arrows in countless ways on each section of the pack. Because of its unique mounting arrangement you can attach a quiver on your hip for upright stalking or belly crawling (without your arrows waving in the air like a golf flag). You can mount your quiver in endless positions and angles while the packs front pocket is designed to drop-open and hold your quiver hood in a soft neoprene cover. A rubber PackStrap secures any brand or style of quiver onto the pack and virtually anywhere you find webbing loops. The patent-pending strap system simplifies gear attachment, and at the same time, opens up your options for setting up a pack the way works best for you. The possibilities are endless with this uber-versatile super-system.
  • Military-inspired loops sewn into both sides of the Hip Belt ‘wings’ allow you to customize the position of your quiver
  • Pull-out, waterproof Arrow Hood can hide and protect arrow fletchings
  • Zippered expansion panel can open to increase the size of the main compartment
  • Hydration-bladder detailing for a hose to pass through
  • Vented belt design for warm-weather hunts
  • Front pocket webbing loops support rubber Pack Straps for quiver attachment
  • Pack shown with the expansion panel zipped closed to make the pack even more compact
  • Top Pack can be separated from bottom Fanny Pack using two Side-Release buckles
  • Top Pack can be separated from bottom Fanny Pack using two Side-Release buckles
  • Available in Realtree AP ™
Whether your pursuits find you trekking western mountainscapes for bugling bulls with a full load of gear and a hydration bladder, following log roads to your favorite whitetail perch with a small day pack or chasing wary spring gobblers with a couple calls and a decoy in a aptly-sized fanny pack, this multifunctional camo backpack is ready to get the job done.
Read more:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Washington State Weekender Report

Put a turkey on your table -
or duck, venison, or razor clams

There’s more than one way to put a turkey on your table for Thanksgiving. As the holiday draws near, thousands of hunters are looking forward to the wild turkey season that gets under way Nov. 20th in northeastern Washington.

Then again, who says turkey has to be the center of attention on Thanksgiving Day? November is also prime time to hunt ducks, geese, elk, deer, pheasant, forest grouse and a variety of other game species around the state.

"Waterfowl hunting usually picks up around the middle of the month, when the wet and windy weather starts pushing more migrating birds into the area from the north," said Don Kraege, waterfowl manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). "That’s good news for waterfowl hunters from the Skagit Valley to the Columbia Basin."

For anglers, Thanksgiving traditionally marks the start of winter steelhead fishing in western Washington, where anglers can also reel in coho and chum salmon moving in from the ocean. On the eastside, fly fishers are flocking to a hot catch-and-release steelhead fishery on the Grand Ronde River, where anglers can retain up to three marked hatchery fish per day on the lower river starting Nov. 1.

Rather serve shellfish? Seven areas of Puget Sound are currently open for crab fishing, and two more - marine areas 11 (Tacoma) and 13 (South Puget Sound) - are scheduled to reopen Nov. 21.

In addition, four ocean beaches - Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks - will open Oct. 28-29 after noon each day for the first razor clam dig of the season. Pending the results of marine toxin tests, additional digs are tentatively scheduled Nov. 11-12 and Nov. 25-26, providing plenty of opportunities to put clams on the table for the holiday.

For more information about fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing available over the next month, see the Weekender Regional Reports posted on WDFW’s website at . These reports are updated throughout the month to provide current information about recreational opportunities around the state.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Oregon Dept. of F&W Hunting & Fishing Report

                                                   Hunting, Fishing, Wildlife Viewing
October 11, 2011
Remaining bird seasons get underway Oct. 15
Rest of duck seasons and western Oregon fall turkey open Oct. 15.
Hunt birds in the Columbia Basin
Use ODFW’s new Columbia Basin Bird Hunting Guide to find out how to access the area’s 250K acres open to hunting.
33,000 new acres of private land to hunt in eastern Oregon
The six properties are in Baker, Grant, Harney, Morrow and Wheeler and Harney counties.More information
Cascade elk opens Oct. 15
See the hunting forecast or zone reports for more information. Deer season ended in eastern Oregon and takes a break in Cascade zone. Hunting has been good thanks to wet weather.
Free orange hat for youth hunters
Get one from ODFW staff or Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife troopers in the field during hunting season. Hats are also available at field and regional offices while supplies last. Thanks to Cabela’s and Oregon Hunters Association Capitol Chapter for donating to produce the hats.More information
Elliot State Forest Closure (Coos County)
Parts of the forest are closed to vehicles and/or to entry. See details on ODF’s website.
Salmon fishing on coastal rivers
It’s fall chinook salmon season on Oregon’s coastal rivers. Get the details for this year’s seasons here.
Crabbing is good in the bays
Fall can be an excellent time to go crabbing on the Oregon coast. Never been? Here’s some tips for getting started.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Several Areas of Puget Sound Reopen for Crabbing Oct.8th

OLYMPIA – Seven marine areas of Puget Sound will reopen for recreational crab fishing Oct. 8, while two others will reopen Nov. 21, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
The openings were approved by fishery managers after summer catch assessments by WDFW indicated more crab are available for harvest, said Rich Childers, shellfish policy coordinator for the department.
Waters reopening to sport crabbing Oct. 8 at 8 a.m. include marine areas 4 (Neah Bay), 5 (Sekiu), 6 (eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca), 7 (San Juan Islands), 8-1 (Deception Pass, Hope Island, and Skagit Bay), 8-2 (Port Susan and Port Gardner), and a portion of Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet) north of a line that extends from Olele Point to Foulweather Bluff.
Marine areas 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island) and 13 (South Puget Sound) will reopen for sport crabbing at 8 a.m. on Nov. 21.
In each area, crabbing will be allowed seven days a week through Dec. 31.
Sport crabbing will not reopen this year in marine areas 10 (Seattle/Bremerton Area), 12 (Hood Canal) and the portion of marine area 9 south of line that extends from Olele Point to Foulweather Bluff. The annual quotas in those areas were reached during the summer fishery, said Childers.
The daily catch limit in Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6¼ inches. In addition, fishers may catch six red rock crab of either sex per day, provided those crab measure at least 5 inches across. Additional information is available on the WDFW website at
All crab caught in the late-season fishery should be recorded on winter catch cards, which are valid until Dec. 31. Winter cards are available at license vendors across the state. Those catch reports are due to WDFW by Feb. 1, 2012. For more information on catch record cards, visit WDFW’s website at

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wenatchee, Methow and Icicle Rivers open Oct.5 for Coho Fishing

OLYMPIA - Coho salmon fisheries will open Oct. 5 on the Wenatchee, Methow and Icicle rivers, expanding fishing opportunities already under way in those waters.

Predicting a strong return of coho to the upper Columbia River system, state fishery managers scheduled coho fisheries through Oct. 31 on all three rivers.

The Icicle River had a small coho fishery in 2009, but the Wenatchee and the Methow rivers have not opened for coho fishing in at least 30 years, said Jeff Korth, northcentral region fish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Korth said 20,000 adult coho are expected to return this year above Rock Island Dam, more than enough for spawning escapement and hatchery broodstock needs.

"Coho salmon nearly disappeared from the upper Columbia River in the early 1930s, but they’ve really made a comeback in the past decade," said Korth, crediting re-introduction programs conducted by the Yakama Nation. "This gives anglers fishing for hatchery steelhead and chinook salmon more opportunities to take home some fish."

Steelhead fishing is currently open on the Wenatchee, Methow and Icicle rivers with a daily limit of two hatchery fish per day. Anglers fishing the Wenatchee River may also retain up to three adult chinook salmon per day, including one wild chinook.

Areas opening to coho fishing Oct. 5 include:

  • The Wenatchee River, from the mouth of the Wenatchee River to the mouth of the Icicle River. Anglers should be aware that the upper boundary of the coho fishery on the Wenatchee River is downstream from the boundary for the chinook and steelhead fisheries.
  • The Icicle River, from the mouth to 500 feet downstream of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Barrier Dam.
  • The Methow River, from the mouth to the confluence with the Chewuch River in Winthrop. Fishing from a floating device is prohibited from the second powerline crossing to the first Highway 153 Bridge.

On all those rivers, anglers can catch up to three coho salmon - with or without an intact adipose fin - in addition to the catch limits for other species. Coho must measure at least 12 inches to be retained.

Selective gear rules and a night closure will be in effect to help protect wild steelhead, some of which are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.

"By law, all fisheries in these areas must close immediately if the allowable incidental impact to wild steelhead is reached," Korth said.

Anglers also will be required to release any coho fitted with a floy (anchor) tag and those with one or more round quarter-inch holes punched in their caudal (tail) fin. Motorized vessels are not allowed on the Wenatchee or Icicle rivers under Chelan County ordinances.

To participate in these fisheries, anglers must possess a valid fishing license and a Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement. Revenue from the endorsement supports salmon or steelhead seasons on many rivers in the Columbia River system, including enforcing fishery regulations and monitoring the upper Columbia River steelhead fisheries. The endorsement has generated more than $1 million annually for WDFW to maintain and increase fishing opportunities throughout the Columbia River Basin.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Washington F&W Commision Moves Location of Mtg for Wolf Mgmt Plan

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has changed the location of a special meeting scheduled Thursday, Oct. 6, on a Wolf Conservation and Management Plan recommended by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

The citizen commission, which sets policy for WDFW, will hold its public meeting in the first-floor auditorium of the General Administration Building in Olympia, rather than in the Natural Resource Building as previously announced.

As before, the meeting will start at 9 a.m.

The General Administration Building is located at 210 - 11th Ave. S.W. on the Capitol Campus in Olympia, across Capitol Way from the Natural Resources Building. Parking is available near both buildings, which are located within walking distance from one another.

"We decided we might need a larger meeting space to accommodate the number of people who have expressed interest in this issue," said Miranda Wecker, who chairs the commission.

An agenda for the meeting is posted on the commission’s website at .

At the meeting, the commission will resume its discussion about the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan recommended for approval by WDFW. Public comments will be accepted in the afternoon.

The recommended plan is designed to guide state management efforts as wolves re-establish a sustainable breeding population in the state. The plan is available online at .

The commission is expected to take action on the plan in December.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Washington Dept of F & W Receives NOAA Grant to Restore Abalone

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has received $560,000 from NOAA Fisheries Service to restore pinto abalone, an edible marine mollusk that lives in the shallow, nearshore waters of the Pacific Northwest.

The grant, awarded through NOAA’s Species of Concern Program, will be used to help restore Puget Sound abalone populations that have fallen to critically low levels.

"This funding is a big step forward for abalone restoration efforts that have been under way for the past decade," said WDFW Director Phil Anderson. "Our goal is to restore this species to healthy levels."

Historically, pinto abalone ranged from California to Alaska, but aggressive harvesting in the 1970s and 1980s substantially reduced their numbers. While Washington has never had a commercial fishery for abalone, recreational divers harvested them in large numbers until the fishery was closed in 1994.

NOAA declared pinto abalone a "species of concern" in 2004 because their numbers had fallen to critically low levels.

Bob Sizemore, a WDFW research scientist, said the NOAA grant will support hatchery and nursery programs to foster a self-sustaining population and preserve species diversity in Puget Sound. The grant will also pay to congregate abalone to foster reproduction.

"Abalone are ‘broadcast spawners,’ which means they need to be close together for successful breeding," Sizemore said. "The remaining abalone in this population are widely dispersed and are not able to reproduce in the wild."

The NOAA grant is part of a collaborative effort with WDFW, Puget Sound Restoration Fund, University of Washington, Western Washington University and others to help prevent the species from declining to the point where it needs legal protection under the Endangered Species Act.

"This effort is a great example of regional partners working together to help preempt a species’ listing," said Will Stelle, head of the federal fisheries agency’s Northwest regional office in Seattle. "We’re pleased the NOAA grant will help facilitate this necessary work. Ecosystem restoration is about more than just managing flippers and fins. Invertebrates, like abalone, play a key role in maintaining rocky marine habitats."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Free Orange Hats for Youth Hunters

Salem, Oregon—Free hunter orange hats will be given to youth hunters that plan to hunt the fall 2011 season, to help kids meet new regulations requiring they wear the color.
Hats will be given away by Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife troopers and ODFW field staff who see youth hunters in the field during hunting season. Hats are also available at select ODFW offices while supplies last (see list of offices below).
Oregon’s new law took effect Aug. 1, 2011. It requires youth hunters (age 17 and under) to wear a fluorescent orange hat or upper garment when hunting game mammals or upland game birds (except turkey) with any firearm.
Game mammals are deer, elk, bear, cougar, pronghorn antelope, Rocky Mountain goat, bighorn sheep and western gray squirrel. Upland game birds are forest grouse (blue and ruffed), chukar/Hungarian (gray) partridge, pheasants, quail (California and mountain) and sage grouse.
Cabela’s, The World’s Foremost Outfitter, which opened its first store in Oregon this year in Springfield, generously donated $10,000 towards the 15,000 hats produced. “Educating our youth about wearing hunter orange from the beginning will not only help decrease the amount of hunting incidents, but it will lay the foundation for safe hunting practices for future generations,” said Bob Fabbri, the Springfield’s store general manager. “Firearm safety and hunting go hand in hand and Cabela’s is happy to help support this effort.”
The Capitol Chapter of the Oregon Hunters Association also contributed $500 to the hats. The remaining cost of $12,750 was paid by ODFW’s Hunter Education program, which is funded by a federal excise tax on firearms and ammunition.
“We’re excited about Cabela’s being in Oregon,” said ODFW Director Roy Elicker. “We thank Cabela’s and OHA Capitol Chapter for their donation and for being part of the effort to make hunting an even safer experience for Oregon’s kids.”
Adult hunters are also strongly encouraged to wear hunter orange when in the field.
The following ODFW offices will provide hunter orange hats while supplies last. Offices are open 8 a.m.-5 p.m., except for holidays and furlough days. Some smaller field offices are not staffed at all hours so call before visiting the office.
The hats are intended for youth hunters who plan to hunt the fall 2011 season. Most hunting seasons open in September or October.
Baker City, 2995 Hughes Road
Bend, 61374 Parrell Road
Central Point, 1495 E Gregory Road
Charleston, 63538 Boat Basin Drive
Clackamas, 17330 SE Evelyn Street
Corvallis, 7118 Vandenberg Ave NE
Enterprise, 65495 Alder Slope Road
Heppner, 54173 Hwy 74
Hines, 237 Hwy 20 South
John Day, 305 N Canyon Blvd
Klamath Falls, 1850 Miller Island Road
La Grande, 107 20th Street
Lakeview, 101 N “D” Street
Newport, 2040 SE Marine Science Drive
Ontario, 3814 Clark Blvd
Pendleton, 73471 Mytinger Lane
Prineville, 2042 SE Paulina Hwy
Roseburg, 4192 N Umpqua Hwy
Salem, 3406 Cherry Ave NE
Sauvie Island, 18330 NW Sauvie Island Road
Springfield, 3150 E Main Street
The Dalles, 3701 W 13th Street
Tillamook, 4907 Third Street

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Washington Dept. of F&W Weekender Report

October 2011

Contact: (Fish) 360-902-2700
(Wildlife) 360-902-2515

Head outdoors for deer, waterfowl, salmon, sturgeon

Some of Washington's most popular hunting seasons will get under way Oct. 15, when hunters take to the field for ducks, geese and deer. Other hunting seasons opening in October include those for pheasant, quail, chukar and gray partridge.

Migratory waterfowl numbers are expected to be strong this year, said Dave Ware, game manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

"The wet winter and spring really benefitted migratory waterfowl populations," Ware said. "As usual, early hunting opportunities will be focused on resident waterfowl, then turn to migratory birds as more start arriving in November."

Big game hunts also look promising this fall, said Ware, who expects hunters' success to be similar to last year. "Overall, hunters had a decent season for elk and deer last fall," Ware said. "That should be the case this year as well."

Ware notes that area-by-area summaries of hunting prospects around the state are available on WDFW's website at .

All hunters must carry a valid 2011-12 hunting license for the species they are hunting. Detailed information on upcoming hunting seasons is available in WDFW's Big Game Hunting pamphlet and the Waterfowl and Upland Game Regulation pamphlet, both available online at .

Meanwhile, a highly anticipated fishery for hatchery steelhead is now open on the upper Columbia River above Rock Island Dam, and on the Wenatchee, Icicle, Entiat, Methow, and Okanogan rivers. Salmon fishing on the Columbia River from Wells Dam to Brewster also re-opened Sept. 28 and will run through Oct. 15.

In Puget Sound, anglers are hooking coho salmon in Puget Sound, where the best action for silvers will likely shift to the rivers later in the month.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Washington F&W Commission to Discuss Wolf Mgmt. Plan

OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will discuss the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) recommended Wolf Conservation and Management Plan during a special meeting Oct. 6 in Olympia.

The special meeting will be followed by a two-day meeting Oct 7-8, when the commission will receive briefings on issues including the status of north coast steelhead stocks and population goals for deer, elk and other ungulates.

The special meeting, the second of three scheduled on the recommended Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and final Environmental Impact Statement, will begin Oct. 6 at 10 a.m. in Room 172 on the first floor of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E. The commission will meet at the same location Oct. 7-8, beginning at 8:30 a.m. both days.

The commission, which sets policy for WDFW, will accept public comments at designated times during both meetings. Agendas for those meetings are available on the commission’s website at .

During the special meeting Oct. 6, the commission will resume its discussion on the recommended Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, focusing on wolves’ interaction with livestock and ungulates.

The recommended plan, designed to guide state management as wolves re-establish a sustainable breeding population in the state, was developed after a scientific peer review and extensive public review that drew nearly 65,000 responses.

The plan, posted online at , includes recovery objectives that would allow the state to eventually remove wolves from protection lists. The commission has scheduled the third of three special meetings on WDFW’s recommended plan Nov. 3 in Olympia.

The commission is expected to take action on the plan in December.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Columbia River Regulation Changes

COLUMBIA ZONE: Regulation Changes

Fall Salmon Season, Aug 1 – Dec 31
COLUMBIA RIVER MAINSTEM, Buoy 10 line upstream to Tongue Point/Rocky Point line
  • Open to retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead and adult (≥16”) adipose fin-clipped coho Aug 1 – Dec 31.
  • Retention of adult (≥24”) Chinook is allowed Sept 16 - Dec 31.
    • Daily bag limit Sept 16 – Dec 31 is 2 adult salmon/steelhead in combination (both may be Chinook). Coho and steelhead must be adipose fin-clipped. Jacks may not be retained in this fishery prior to Oct 1.
    • Effective Oct 1, jack Chinook and adipose fin-clipped jack coho may be retained with a daily bag limit of 5 total jacks in addition to the daily adult fish bag limit of 2.
  • Seasons may be subject to in-season modification.
COLUMBIA RIVER MAINSTEM, Tongue Point/Rocky Point line upstream to a line projected from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Oregon shore through red buoy #4 to a marker on the lower end of Bachelor Island.
  • A map of the Warrior Rock boundary line (pdf) (upstream boundary)
  • Open to retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead and adipose fin-clipped coho Aug 1 – Dec 31.
  • Retention of Chinook is prohibited in this area Sept 19-30. Daily bag limit Sept 19-30 is 2 adult coho salmon/steelhead in combination and 5 coho jacks.;
  • Retention of Chinook is allowed Oct 1 – Dec 31. Daily bag limit during these dates is 2 adult salmon/steelhead in combination (both may be Chinook), and 5 jacks.
  • Seasons may be subject to in-season modification.
COLUMBIA RIVER MAINSTEM, from a line projected from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Oregon shore through red buoy #4 to a marker on the lower end of Bachelor Island upstream to Bonneville Dam.
  • A map of the Warrior Rock boundary line (pdf) (downstream boundary)
  • Open to retention of Chinook (fin-clipped or not), adipose fin-clipped steelhead, and adipose fin-clipped coho Aug 1 – Dec 31.
  • Daily bag limit is 2 adult salmon/steelhead in combination (both may be Chinook), and 5 jacks.
  • Seasons may be subject to in-season modification.
Select Area Recreational Fisheries, including Young’s Bay, Blind Slough, Knappa Slough
  • Open for salmon and steelhead angling as under permanent rules.
COLUMBIA RIVER MAINSTEM, Bonneville Dam upstream to the Oregon/Washington border
  • Retention of Chinook, coho, and adipose fin-clipped steelhead allowed Aug 1 – Dec 31.
  • Daily bag limit is two adults and five jack salmon. All coho retained downstream of the Hood River Bridge must be adipose fin-clipped to be retained.
Columbia River Sturgeon Seasons:
  • The retention of green sturgeon is prohibited at all times.
  • Anglers are limited to the use of one single-point barbless hook while angling for white sturgeon.
  • It is unlawful to use lamprey for bait.
  • In all areas, catch-and-release sturgeon angling is allowed during non-retention periods, unless otherwise indicated.
Buoy 10 upstream to Wauna Powerlines (mainstem Columbia River from the Wauna powerlines (River Mile 40) downstream to the mouth at Buoy 10, including Youngs Bay; and all adjacent Washington tributaries)
  • This area is closed to retention of sturgeon but remains open for catch-and-release.
Wauna Powerlines (RM 40) upstream to Bonneville Dam (including all adjacent Washington tributaries)
  • Retention of white sturgeon is prohibited from Aug 1 – Sept 30. Catch-and-release fishing is allowed.
  • Retention allowed Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only October 1 – December 31, or until guideline is met.
  • Daily bag limit is 1 white sturgeon 38-54 inches FORK LENGTH.
  • The lower Willamette River remains closed to retention of white sturgeon.
Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam)
  • This area is closed to retention of sturgeon but remains open for catch-and-release.
The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam)
  • This area is closed to retention of sturgeon but remains open for catch-and-release.
John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam)
  • This area is closed to retention of sturgeon but remains open for catch-and-release.
Upstream of McNary Dam
  • This area is closed to retention of sturgeon but remains open for catch-and-release.
  • The area from McNary Dam upstream is open to retention of white sturgeon from Feb. 1 – July 31 annually.

ODFW & WDFW to Discuss Commercial Fishing Gear


September 15, 2011

SALEM, Or. – The Oregon and Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife will host a public meeting in Astoria on Wed., Sept. 21 to discuss and answer questions about their recent evaluations of new commercial fishing gear for the Columbia River.

The meeting will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Loft at the Red Building in Astoria, 20 Basin St., Suite F.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Oregon Weekly Recreation Report

Check fire restrictions before heading out

Some roads are closed or fire restrictions in effect. See Oregon Fires on InciWeb
or check the appropriate US Forest Service website or the Oregon Dept of Forestry website
for more information.
Mourning dove, band-tailed pigeon and September Canada goose hunting

See our how-to hunt mourning dove flyer and the zone reports for tips on these
September-only seasons.
Sign up for free youth upland bird hunts

Hunts are on weekends in September. Must be age 17 and under with hunter safety
certification to participate.
Elliot State Forest Closure

Parts of the forest are closed to vehicles and/or to entry. See details on ODF’s website.
Sign up for pheasant hunts in La Grande and K-Falls

The workshops are perfect for beginners and all equipment is provided.
Costs are low ($50 or less). Dates are Sept. 17-18 in Klamath Falls and Oct. 1-2 in La Grande.
Apply for a game bird hunt

Apply by mail/fax or online. Deadlines: Sept. 13 for controlled fall turkey hunts,
Sept. 18 for Sauvie Island Period A, Sept. 9 for Klamath Wildlife Area opening weekend.
Wild coho seasons open on coastal rivers

Oregon anglers will enjoy the largest wild coho fishery on Oregon’s coastal rivers
in 15 years when the season opens on Sept. 15. Rivers and lakes open for this
opportunity include the Nehalem, Tillamook Bay, Nestucca, Siletz, Yaquina,
Alsea, Siuslaw, Umpqua, Coos, and Coquille rivers and Tenmile Lakes. Established
wild coho fisheries will continue in Siltcoos and Tahkenitch lakes.
Steelhead fishing heating up on Deschutes River

Steelhead fishing has been good on the Deschutes River from Sherars down to the
mouth. Anglers should expect the number of summer steelhead entering the lower
Deschutes to increase during the rest of September.
Fall chinook moving into Columbia

Upriver bright chinook salmon are moving into the Columbia River between
Longview and Bonneville dam and effort is increasing as anglers target these
prized fish. The season should be good through the end of the month, with a
forecast of 766,000 adult fall chinook this year.

Discover Great Places to Watch Wildlife in Oregon


Pronghorn antelope can be seen at
a number of places in Eastern Or.
- Photo by Kathy Munsel-
SALEM, Ore.—The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife today introduced a new Wildlife Viewing Map to help people learn where and when to see Oregon’s fish and wildlife species. The Google-based map is available via the ODFW website and details 235 great places to see wildlife in the state.

Through the Wildlife Viewing Map, viewers can discover where to see bald eagles, migrating snow geese and sandhill cranes as well as Oregon’s large mammals including black-tailed and mule deer and Rocky Mountain and Roosevelt elk. Tufted puffins, bighorn sheep and spawning salmon viewing sites are included.

Wildlife viewing from birdwatching to tidepooling to mammal and amphibian viewing is a popular recreational activity in the state with about 1.7 million people participating each year. Watching wildlife is also an economic driver: Resident wildlife viewers contributed more than $1 billion to Oregon’s economy in 2008, the most recent year surveyed.
The new viewing map complements and extends ODFW’s current wildlife viewing products. The weekly ODFW Recreation Report includes current statewide viewing opportunities. The Oregon Viewing Facebook page offers followers a status update on native species.

Wildlife Viewing as Economic Driver in Oregon

In 2008, the most recent year surveyed, Oregonians spent $1.02 billion on wildlife viewing, including day trips, overnight travel and equipment. (Source: Dean Runyan survey: Fishing, Hunting, Wildlife Viewing, and Shellfishing in Oregon 2008 State and County Expenditure Estimates, May 2009.) The report is available on ODFW’s website.

About Oregon’s Wildlife

About 140 terrestrial mammal species, 30 amphibian species and 30 reptile species live in Oregon. About 275 species of birds breed in the state and another 85 migrate through or spend the winter here. Gray whales migrate off shore and coastal tidepools reveal the secrets of the sea floor. Salmon return from the ocean to spawn in the streams where they hatched, providing a view of an amazing life cycle. Learn where to see them on the ODFW Viewing Map on ODFW’s website,
Oregon Wildlife Viewing on Facebook

The Oregon Conservation Strategy promotes conservation of the state’s native fish and wildlife and their habitats, providing information, identifying key issues and recommending actions.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lower Hanford Reach Steelhead Fishery Opens Early

Action: Open the Columbia River to retention of hatchery steelhead between the Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco and the wooden power line towers at the old Hanford townsite
Species affected: Hatchery steelhead

Effective Dates: Sept. 16 through Oct. 31, 2011

Location: Highway 395 upstream to old Hanford townsite wooden powerline towers

Other information:

  • Mandatory retention of hatchery steelhead. All hatchery steelhead caught must be harvested and count towards the daily bag limit. Anglers may not continue to fish for steelhead after the daily limit is retained. Mandatory harvest of hatchery steelhead used as a population management tool under the Endangered Species Act to remove excess hatchery fish on the upper Columbia tributary spawning grounds.
  • Daily limit of two (2) hatchery steelhead. Hatchery steelhead are identified by a missing adipose fin with a healed scar in its location. Minimum size is 20 inches.
  • Wild steelhead (adipose fin intact) must be immediately released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release.

This action allows anglers to retain hatchery steelhead prior to the Oct. 1 opening listed in the Fishing in Washington Sport Fishing Rules (Page 77) from the Hwy. 395 Bridge to the old Hanford townsite wooden powerline towers (Lower Hanford Reach), and removes the requirement for both an adipose fin clip and ventral fin clip for hatchery steelhead retained prior to Nov. 1. The Lower Hanford Reach will remain open for hatchery steelhead fishing after Oct. 31 under the current permanent regulation listed in the fishing rules pamphlet and is scheduled to run through March 31, 2012.

Reason for action: Returns of hatchery and natural-origin steelhead to the Upper Columbia River have exceeded the run criteria of 8,300 counted over Priest Rapids Dam. This number (8,300) are required to open a conservation-based fishery under the Endangered Species Act.

Information contact: Paul Hoffarth, District 4 Fish Biologist, (509) 545-2284 (Pasco), or John Easterbrooks, Regional Fish Program Manager, (509) 457-9330 (Yakima).

Washington & Oregon Reopen Columbia Chinook Seasons

September 13, 2011

CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Fishery managers from Oregon and Washington today announced that they will reopen some chinook salmon seasons in the lower Columbia River, effective Sept. 16. The additional fishing opportunity is possible due to lower than expected catches of ESA-listed lower river wild tule fall chinook.

Under the rule change adopted at a joint state hearing Monday afternoon, chinook retention will be allowed from Buoy 10 upstream 19 miles to Tongue Point starting Sept. 16 and continuing through the end of the year. The daily bag limit from Sept. 16 through the end of the year will be two adult salmon/steelhead in combination. Coho and steelhead must be adipose fin-clipped, but chinook can either be clipped or not. Retention of jacks is prohibited in this fishery until Oct.1.

Farther upstream, from Tongue Point approximately 69 miles upstream to the Warrior Rock/Lewis River line, chinook retention will be allowed Sept. 16, 17, and 18. Chinook retention (for adults and jacks) will close again effective Sept. 19 and reopen Oct. 1 through the end of the year. The daily bag limit is two adult salmon/steelhead in combination. Coho and steelhead much be adipose fin-clipped. When chinook retention is allowed, adult and jack chinook may be retained whether fin-clipped or not.

From the Warrior Rock/Lewis River line upstream to the Oregon/Washington border, chinook retention is currently open and will remain open until the end of the year with no changes from previously adopted seasons

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Idaho F&G Plan Youth Waterfowl Hunting Opportunity

Idaho Fish and Game has scheduled three mentored waterfowl hunting opportunities for youth aged 15 and under.

The hunts are planned for September 24, the opening day of the annual youth-only waterfowl season which is open only to hunters aged 15 and under. The mentored hunting clinics will be at Boundary Creek Wildlife Management Area, Heyburn State Park and the Clark Fork River delta.

Participation will be by advance reservation, and space is limited. Anyone interested should call to reserve a spot at one of the three clinics and to obtain additional details.

For the Boundary Creek and Heyburn hunts, contact Dave Leptich at 769-1414.

For the Clark Fork hunt contact Ray Millard at 264-5252.

Young hunters will need to be accompanied by a nonhunting adult and bring a shotgun and ammunition. Young hunters will also need to secure a youth or small game license ($7.25) with a federal migratory bird permit ($1.75) before the event.

Youth participants and a guardian will have the opportunity to spend a morning hunting with an experienced waterfowl hunter. Following a morning hunt, all will be treated to a free barbeque and waterfowl hunting skills clinic.

The idea is to expose youth to a quality hunting experience and provide their guardian with enough training to repeat the experience independently.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is also soliciting experienced waterfowl hunters willing to assist with the clinics. Anyone who wants to help pass on the tradition of waterfowl hunting, may call either of the numbers listed above.

Anglers Allowed to Retain Unclipped Chinook Salmon on North Fork Lewis River

Allow anglers on North Fork Lewis River
to retain unclipped chinook salmon

Action: Open North Fork Lewis River to the retention of unclipped chinook salmon.

Species affected: Chinook salmon.

Effective dates: Sept. 10 through Sept. 30, 2011.

Location: Clark/Cowlitz Counties, from mouth to Merwin Dam.

Other information: The North Fork Lewis River contains a healthy wild population of fall bright chinook salmon. Starting Oct. 1, retention of unclipped chinook salmon is allowed. There are sufficient numbers of returning fish to allow retention of unclipped chinook prior to Oct. 1. Daily limit of 6 salmon, of which no more than 2 may be adult chinook. Minimum size 12 inches in length, release all salmon other than chinook and hatchery coho.

Reason for action: Returning fall bright chinook to the North Fork Lewis River are expected to exceed spawning production goals, and provide significant harvest opportunity. The escapement goal for the North Fork Lewis Fall bright Chinook is 5700. Over 10,000 are expected back to the river.

Free Festival Celebrates Columbia River Sturgeon

VANCOUVER, Wash. - The Columbia River ecosystem and its primitive inhabitant, the sturgeon, will be honored here Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Fifteenth Annual Sturgeon Festival.
The free, one-day festival runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Water Resources Education Center, 4600 S.E. Columbia Way in Vancouver. The festival is hosted by the City of Vancouver, with participation by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The popular event includes entertaining and educational activities for all ages. Special events include Creature Feature Reptile Zoo.

Prize drawings for the fun and interactive photo challenge - titled "Scene a sturgeon lately?" - will take place on the day of the event. Entries must be turned in to the Water Center by 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12. Details about the contest can be obtained from

Also on display will be the entries for Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's Clark County Fair coloring contest, and the Washington Federal Junior Duck Stamp contest.

In addition, teens and adults will have an opportunity to learn about recycling, watershed stewardship, and sturgeon anatomy. They will also have a chance to discuss environmental issues and career opportunities with staff from natural resource agencies and environmental organizations.

The sturgeon, prevalent in the Columbia River, is a primitive fish that has not changed substantially since it emerged in the Jurassic period. Sturgeon are a long-lived species, reaching 5 to 6 feet in length by the age of maturity. A few sturgeon in the Columbia River have been verified to be over 100 years old.