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.
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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."