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.

McAllister Creek open to salmon retention

 Action: Open salmon retention on McAllister Creek (Thurston County).

Effective date: Immediately through Nov. 30, 2011.

Species affected: All salmon species.

Location: McAllister Creek from the mouth upstream to Steilacoom Road Bridge.

Reason for action: The fishery was approved during the North of Falcon preseason planning process, but was inadvertently omitted from the 2011/12 Sportfishing Rules Pamphlet.

Other information: Daily limit is six. Up to two adults may be retained. Selective gear rules will be in effect, except that bait is allowed.

Anglers can fish without limits in 3 Okanogan County Lakes

OLYMPIA - Starting immediately, licensed anglers can catch and keep as many game fish as they want at three lakes in Okanogan County scheduled for rehabilitation next month.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has suspended daily fishing limits at Alta Lake, Fish Lake and Schallow Pond prior to treating those waters with rotenone to eradicate undesirable fish species.

"There’s no reason why anglers can’t catch as many trout, perch and other gamefish as they can find prior to the lake treatments," said Jeff Korth, WDFW fish manager in Ephrata. "There are still some nice fish in those waters, along with the bullheads and goldfish."

The no-limits fishing opportunity will run through Sept. 30 on Alta Lake and through Oct. 22 on Fish Lake and Schallow Pond.

All three lakes will close to fishing before the treatments begin. Anglers will be prohibited from gathering fish from those waters during and after rehabilitations.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

IDFG Needing Volunteers For Clearwater River Cleanup

Volunteers are needed to help pick up litter along the Clearwater River near Kooskia and Orofino on Saturday, September 10.

Volunteers, especially those with river boats or rafts, are asked to meet at 9 a.m. at either the Pink House Recreation Site near Orofino or the Kamiah boat ramp across from the City Park at the base of the Kamiah Bridge.

Cold drinks and snacks will be provided, as well as garbage bags and ties.

The goal is to pick up litter along the river from Kooskia downstream to Long Camp and from the Pink House site downstream to Cherry Lane Bridge.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Idaho Department of Transportation will pick up the litter bags volunteers leave along the highway.

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will be sponsored by the Clearwater Management Council.

For more information, please contact Judy Culver at the Bureau of Land Management, 208-962-3796, or Don Beck at Fish and Game, 208-799-5010.

ODFW Hosts Open House Sept. 20

Let’s talk about fishing: ODFW hosts open house in Bend on Sept. 20
September 7, 2011
SALEM, Ore. –State fishery managers are inviting anglers to share their ideas, comments and concerns at an “Open House” on Sept. 20 in Bend. The open house is being held in conjunction with a meeting of the Inland Sports Fishing Advisory Committee (ISFAC).
The meeting at the Phoenix Inn Suites, 300 NW Franklin Ave in Bend, goes from 6 to 9 p.m. The agenda will focus on lake management in the High Desert Region and include an overview on the upcoming project to remove illegally introduced bullhead catfish from South Twin Lake. Public comments on the South Twin project will be accepted at the meeting.
The remainder of the agenda will be dedicated to hearing from anglers and addressing questions and concerns from attendees.
“We’re looking forward to meeting anglers and listening to what’s on their mind,” said Rhine Messmer, ODFW Recreational Fisheries Program Manager. “The open house is a good way for us to get input on a variety of fish management issues so that we can make better informed decisions.”
ISFAC was created by ODFW to help provide input and ideas on implementation of the department’s 25-year Angling Enhancement Plan (pdf). The plan has two primary goals of providing diverse, stable, and productive angling opportunities, and recruiting and retaining anglers.
The 26 members of the Advisory Committee represent a variety of fishing interests from throughout the state.
Twice a year ISFAC meetings are open to the public as a forum for interested anglers to bring their fishery management issues, thoughts and ideas to ODFW fishery managers and administrators.
Most of Puget Sound closing to crabbing;
summer catch reports due by Oct. 1

OLYMPIA - Most areas of Puget Sound will close to recreational crab fishing at sunset on Labor Day, with summer catch reports due by Oct. 1.

The only two areas of the Sound that will remain open to crab fishing after Labor Day are marine areas 7-North and 7-South near the San Juan Islands. Sport fishers who crab in those two areas from Sept. 5-30 must record their catch on winter catch record cards.

All sport fishers licensed to fish for Dungeness crab anywhere in Puget Sound are required to submit summer catch reports to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) by Oct. 1.

"Catch reports play a major role in determining how much crab is still available for harvest during the winter season," said Rich Childers, WDFW’s shellfish policy lead. "It’s important that we receive reports from everyone licensed to fish for crab in Puget Sound - whether or not they caught crab this year."

Childers said WDFW will announce winter crab seasons for Puget Sound in early October, after completing its assessment of the summer fishery.

Crabbers can submit catch record cards to WDFW by mail at CRC Unit, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091. They can also report their catch online at from Sept. 5 through Oct. 1.

Crabbers who fail to file their catch reports on time will face a $10 fine when they purchase a 2012 Puget Sound crab endorsement.

Sport crabbers who fish for Dungeness crab in any area of Puget Sound after Sept. 5 should record their catches on winter catch record cards, Childers said. Winter cards are now available at sporting good stores and other license vendors across the state.
Fishing on White Salmon River to close
one day for cleanup before dam removal

OLYMPIA - The lower portion of the White Salmon River will be closed to fishing for 12 hours Sept. 17 to allow an interagency clean-up team to remove derelict boats, camping gear and other debris before Condit Dam is breached in late October.

The fishing closure, announced by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will be in effect from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17. The affected area extends 3.3 miles from the Highway 14 Bridge to the powerhouse at the dam.

The river mouth downstream of the Highway 14 Bridge will remain open.

John Weinheimer, a WDFW fish biologist, said the clean-up effort is designed to prevent abandoned boats and debris from being swept into the Columbia River when the 125-foot dam is breached to improve passage for wild steelhead, salmon and bull trout.

"Large debris could impair fish habitat in the lower White Salmon River and present a challenge to navigation in the Columbia," Weinheimer said. "We’re pleased to be a partner in this clean-up effort."

Other partners include the Underwood Conservation District, Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group, Friends of the White Salmon River, Yakama Nation Fisheries, SOLV, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Klickitat County Solid Waste, USGS Columbia River Research Laboratory, Allied Waste, the Washington Department of Transportation, Klickitat County Sheriff’s Dept. and the Skamania County Sheriff’s Dept. dive team.

Volunteers interested in assisting with the cleanup can contact the Underwood Conservation District at 509-493-1936, or email .

Adrianne Zuckerman, Watershed Resource Technician at the Conservation District, said approximately 15 boats - some submerged or partially submerged - have been identified for removal. All have been marked with a tag notifying owners of their options.

"Dive teams are helping remove the derelict boats from underwater," she said. "But we also need volunteers to help move boats out of the water and onto shore and clean up debris at popular fishing areas."

Condit Dam, a 97-year-old structure owned by PacifiCorp, is scheduled to be breached Oct. 26, emptying the 92-acre reservoir behind it in six hours. That is expected to open up 14 miles of habitat for chinook salmon and 33 miles of habitat for steelhead. The free-flowing river also is expected to protect critical bull trout habitat and benefit bears and other wildlife that feed on salmon.

WDFW is currently working with PacifiCorp, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Yakama Tribe to collect returning salmon in large seine nets and truck them up above the dam, where they will be released into the upper river to spawn.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Washington Weekender Report

Hunters take to the field,
salmon move in from the ocean

The sun is setting earlier and there's a chill in the morning air - signs of the coming change of season. Fall is in the air, and hunters are heading out for the first major hunting seasons of the year.

Archery hunts for deer got under way around the state Sept. 1, when hunting seasons also opened for forest grouse, mourning dove and cottontail and snowshoe hare. Other seasons set to open this month include an archery hunt for elk, a black powder hunt for deer, and a turkey hunt in some areas of eastern Washington.

A youth-only hunt for ducks, geese, pheasant and other game birds runs Sept. 24-25 statewide. To participate, hunters must be 15 years old or younger and be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years old who is not hunting.

"Waterfowl populations are at record levels, but all that rain last spring took a toll on upland game birds," said Dave Ware, statewide game manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). "Hunting seasons for deer and elk look promising in most areas."

So do this month's fishing prospects. On the Columbia River, thousands of hefty fall chinook salmon are pushing upstream into tributaries below and above Bonneville Dam. Farther north, coho salmon are moving east through the Strait of Juan de Fuca in increasing numbers.

"After Labor Day we usually see a big push of ocean coho move into Puget Sound," said Steve Thiesfeld, a WDFW fish biologist. "We should see more and more of those ocean fish make their way into the Sound as the month progresses."

Regardless of where they’re bound, hunters and fishers should be aware of two changes affecting license fees and permits approved this year by the state Legislature:

License fees: Starting Sept. 1, the base price of most Washington hunting and fishing licenses increased for the first time in more than a decade. The new fees will help meet rising costs and address a shortfall in revenue for managing hunting, fishing and the fish and wildlife species that make those activities possible. New prices are posted at .

Discover Pass: A Discover Pass is now generally required for vehicle access to state parks, campgrounds, boat launches and wildlife areas - although some exceptions apply. An annual pass costs $35 and a one-day pass available for $11.50 when purchased online, by phone, or from retail license vendors. However, holders of most annual fishing and hunting licenses do not need the new pass to use WDFW lands and water-access sites. Some lands managed by the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are also exempt. For more information, see WDFW’s website at .

Meanwhile, crab fishing in most areas of Puget Sound is set to close Sept. 5, and WDFW is reminding crabbers that summer catch record cards are due to WDFW by Oct. 1 - whether or not they actually caught crab this year. Completed cards can be submitted by mail or online at from Sept. 5 through Oct. 1.