Monday, October 1, 2012

Samantha's 2012 Archery Bull (By Toby Gangler)

Well...the day after I took my bull we had a storm front come in to the area and the wind was blowing a hundred miles an hour and Samantha and I were debating on even heading out for an evening hunt as we were still a bit wiped out from the hunt the day before.
Reluctantly we decided to go and head to a spot I had thought could hold elk and just check it out for the next days hunt. As we drove into the new area we both said out loud "this place should hold elk!"
We could see one drainage in particular that had a thick north slope and looked like it should have water it so we decided to check it out.
We walked over the first ridge and didn't see much for elk sign, but we were optimistic of the area ahead of us.
As we topped out we seen a really neat old tree stand that someone had built out of lodge poles way back in the day and Samantha saw it as a cool photo op. While she was taking her pictures, I decided to walk over the hill and sound off a bugle into the canyon that I was most interested in. Mind you, the wind was ripping like crazy and I didn't expect to hear a bull, even if he answered, but boy was I wrong! Right after I pulled my grunt tube away from my mouth I heard the faint sound of a bull. I looked over at Samantha to see if she heard it. Apparently she did, as she was running at full tilt in my direction!
Since we had a very definitive wind direction, we both started in the direction we need to head to attack the bull.
As we dropped down off the ridge, I bugled again to get a better idea of where the elk was. He answered back instantly so we devised a plan of attack and proceeded.
We moved down into the canyon slowly and got to a point where we felt comfortable setting up. I began to call after Samantha was ready and the bull responded like we hoped. A few minutes later I looked up and about 220 yards away I could see the bull come out of the trees. I put my Minox glass up to inspect him and its like he knew I was watching! He began to put on a show that every archery elk hunter loves to see, tearing and ripping apart an old rotted out stump and bugling up a storm. We watched with excitement and hoped the evening light would hold on.

After what seemed like an eternity, the bull started to walk back the way he had came and we knew we had to do something to get his interest. I started making a show myself, breaking limbs, racking and stopping around like a rival bull, bugling aggressively every so often. After this we moved forward another 50 yards or so and when I happen to look up I seen that my display had worked to regan his interest and that he was coming fast!
We found a small opening in the trees that would give Samantha some room for a shot and I set myself up to try and bring him to her. In just a matter of minutes I heard some brush breaking to the left of Samantha and I could see tines! At that point she drew her bow and the bull came into the opening we had hoped for. The problem was he was walking straight at her so she had to hold at full draw for a bit. At about 9 yards the bull turned broadside and stopped to look for me. At that point, Samantha's arrow was on its way and the bull had no idea what had happened! He ran down the hill 30 yards and I was able to stop him with a bugle. He stood in one spot looking for the elk that had just sounded off and then started the stagger all archery hunters hope to see after a well placed shot and took off down the hill in a crash and was down about 65 yards from our set up!
The recovery was made in the dark of night and was not the easiest we'd ever had, but the feeling of knowing we had just taken 2 elk in 2 days was as good as it gets!


Toby and Samantha Gangler

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Washington Gray Wolf Update

Gray Wolf Update
September 26, 2012
OLYMPIA – Three wolves from the Wedge Pack in Northeast Washington were killed today as the state Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) continued its effort to put a stop to persistent attacks on livestock by eliminating the pack.
Since July, Wedge Pack wolves are believed to have killed or injured at least 17 cows and calves from the herd of the Diamond M Ranch of northern Stevens County.
Department Director Phil Anderson said a WDFW marksman shot the wolves from a helicopter at about 8 a.m. The wolves were located about seven miles south of the Canadian border in the same area where two other wolves from the Wedge Pack were killed yesterday.
Anderson said a department wildlife veterinarian would perform necropsies on all five of the wolves killed this week.
For more information see the Wedge Pack Lethal Removal Actions FAQ

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Washington DFW To Eliminate Wolf Pack

WDFW plans to eliminate wolf pack to end attacks
on livestock and 'reset' stage for recovery in the Wedge

OLYMPIA - In response to ongoing attacks on livestock by a wolf pack in Northeast Washington that appears to be preying exclusively on cattle, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) today announced it plans to eliminate the pack and lay a foundation for sustainable, long-term wolf recovery in the region.
WDFW Director Phil Anderson said the plan has the support of key conservation interests and livestock operators. Two organizations that participated in developing the state's 2011 Wolf Conservation and Management Plan - Conservation Northwest and the Washington Cattlemen's Association - joined the department in issuing a statement explaining their positions. The full statement is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/attach/sep2112a_01.pdf
Anderson said two WDFW teams are in the field today with the goal of killing the members of the Wedge Pack, a group of at least eight wolves whose range includes a remote, roughly triangular area of northern Stevens County bordered by Canada and the Columbia and Kettle rivers.
Anderson said WDFW marksmen would hunt the wolves from the ground and, if those efforts are not successful, might use helicopters to increase the effectiveness of their efforts. WDFW is consulting with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services office, the Stevens County Sheriff's Office and independent wildlife biologists with extensive experience with wolf management in other Western states.
The Wedge Pack is believed to have killed or injured at least 15 cattle from the Diamond M herd, which grazes in a large area near the Canadian border. Attacks have become increasingly frequent since July, continuing even after WDFW staff killed a non-breeding member of the pack in early August. Since then, Anderson said, WDFW wildlife specialists and wolf experts from other states believe the Wedge wolves have become dependent on cattle as their primary food source.
"Once wolves become habituated to livestock as their primary food source, all of the wolf experts we've talked to agree that we have no alternative but to remove the entire pack," Anderson said. "By doing that, we will preserve the opportunity for the recovery of gray wolves in balance with viable livestock operations."
Jack Field, Executive Vice President of the Washington Cattlemen's Association, said, "We understand that as wolves re-populate the state there will be conflicts with livestock. We also understand that we need to work with WDFW to find solutions, including the use of non-lethal measures, in order to minimize losses for producers, but we need everyone else to understand that managing and killing wolves that cause problems is an important part of a healthy co-existence."
Conservation Northwest Executive Director Mitch Friedman said, "As difficult as this situation with the Wedge Pack is to accept on a personal level, we understand and agree that pack removal is the right action at this point. We have been strong advocates for exhausting all non-lethal means possible to avoid this situation and are extremely disappointed that it has come to this."
Friedman expressed a strong desire for the department and ranchers in areas with wolves to work together to avoid a repeat of this situation. "There has to be a commitment on the part of all sides to allow wolves to occupy the landscape while protecting the rancher's livelihood and maintain their ability to raise cattle," he said.
Field said the Cattlemen's Association is encouraging landowners to enter into cooperative management agreements with WDFW that specify non-lethal measures that a livestock operator will use to minimize wolf-livestock conflict.
Anderson said the management agreements would provide cost-share funding for such measures and could include "caught in the act" kill permits to enable livestock operators in Eastern Washington to protect their livestock. The department will continue to offer compensation to ranchers for wolf-caused livestock losses, he said.
"These agreements are necessary to improve cooperation between the department and livestock operators to help address the problems caused by wolves," said Field.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Oregon DFW Weekly Recreation Report

Bull elk
Joseph Miller took this bull elk on the opening day of the 2009 archery season in the Rogue Unit
Archery season opens Aug. 25
Be sure to check for any fire restrictions before you go afield. Oregon Dept of Forestry has a list of fire restrictions and closures online and InciWeb has information about current fires—or check with USFS, BLM or the appropriate landowner.
2012-13 Oregon Game Bird Regulations online
Season dates and bag limits are here and the entire booklet is here Complete 2012-13 Oregon Game Bird Regulations. Get set for another great bird hunting season!
Sign up for free youth pheasant hunts in September
ODFW hosts pheasant hunts at locations around the state in September. Space is limited. Sign up online or at a license sales agent. Dates, locations and more information
Learn to fish, hunt, crab or clam
See the ODFW Outdoors Program calendar and sign up for a class that interests you.
Fall salmon seasons are underway
There have been reports of good chinook fishing at Buoy 10, and anglers have been catching some early returners in several coastal rivers. See the special regulations for coastal rivers on the Coast Fall Salmon Seasons page.

Friday, August 24, 2012

WDFW to Conduct Controlled Burns in Northcentral and Northeast Washington

 
OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) plans to conduct controlled burns starting next month on parts of two wildlife areas in northeast and northcentral Washington to reduce wildfire risks and enhance wildlife habitat.

Depending on weather conditions, controlled burns could be conducted as early as Sept. 1 on parts of WDFW's Sherman Creek Wildlife Area on the west side of Lake Roosevelt in northeastern Ferry County and at the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area in northcentral Okanogan County.

After recent wildfires in Washington, WDFW Sinlahekin Wildlife Area Manager Dale Swedberg acknowledges that burning now may seem counterintuitive to some people.

"In fact, it's more important now than ever," he said. "Controlled burns reduce fuel loads and the risk of catastrophic, high-intensity wildfires that can destroy wildlife habitat. It's not a question of whether we'll have fires on these lands in the future, but whether they're controlled. The low-intensity burning in a controlled fire can also improve forage and other habitat for deer, moose, black bear, forest grouse and many other wildlife species."

Swedberg said the controlled burns will be coordinated by WDFW's fire project manager Tom Leuschen, a former U.S. Forest Service fire manager. The fires are permitted by the Washington Department of Natural Resources only when daily conditions are safe and fires are monitored constantly until they are out.

The controlled burns - planned for September and October - will cover about 600 total acres, and will be conducted on parcels ranging from 15 acres to several hundred acres. Other burns will be conducted in coming spring and fall seasons.

"Where there's fire, there's smoke," Leuschen said. "We will be working to minimize impacts, but smoke could make its way into some communities near these burns."

Those towns include Kettle Falls and Colville near Sherman Creek, as well as Loomis and Conconully near Sinlahekin. Signs will be posted on the wildlife areas to alert recreationists about the projects. Motorists should use caution and watch for personnel, fire equipment, and smoke on the roads in the vicinity of the burns.

Swedberg noted that the department did not receive any complaints regarding smoke or disturbance from machinery in the Sinlahekin Valley last year when controlled burns on grasslands and timber thinning slash were conducted under the Sinlahekin's ongoing Ecosystem Restoration Project.

Leuschen is coordinating resources with other agencies in the area to assist with the burning and is using private contractors with bulldozers and other equipment from local communities.

"We've been working closely with private, county, state and federal land managers to promote the use of prescribed fires, in a coordinated effort on all lands, to improve wildlife habitat and reduce wildfire fuels," Swedberg said. "This year we're extending our effort to Sherman Creek."

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Oregon DFW Opens Fishing Equipment Libraries for Kids

 

August 21, 2012

library
Kids can now borrow fishing equipment for up to two weeks from four lending libraries along the Oregon coast.
NEWPORT, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is making it easier than ever for kids 17 years of age and younger to discover the joy of fishing.
ODFW recently opened equipment lending libraries at four locations along the Oregon coast where kids have access to everything they need to get started in recreational fishing. Each library is stocked with rods and reels that can be checked out for up to two weeks, plus starter tackle kits that are the kids’ to keep. Each library also has five practice poles that are designed for indoor or outdoor casting practice by younger anglers. These poles are outfitted with rubber casting plugs that are used to reel in plastic fish that are also available at the fishing libraries.
The libraries are also stocked with free informational materials including the ODFW publication Easy Angling Oregon as well as Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation books, Oregon’s common salmon and trout identification cards, and instructions on how to clean and keep your catch. Funding for the new lending libraries was provided by ODFW’s Salmon and Trout Advisory Committee.
“We don’t want the lack of equipment to be a barrier to any child who wants to go fishing,” said Christine Clapp, ODFW fish biologist in Newport. “I hope these youth fishing libraries will help recruit a new generation of anglers and inspire kids and their parents to get outside.”
Youth fishing equipment libraries are located at the following locations:
  • Driftwood Library, 801 SW Hwy 101 #201, Lincoln City, 541-996-2277
  • Newport Recreation Center, 25 Southeast Avery Street, Newport, 541-265-7783
  • Neighbors for Kids, 634 SE Hwy 101, Depoe Bay, 541-765-8990
  • Yachats Youth and Family Activities Program, 441 Highway 101 (Yachats Commons), Yachats, 541-547-4599
Clapp recommends that persons interested in borrowing equipment from one of the fishing equipment libraries call ahead for hours and availability. First time participants must be registered by a parent or guardian with a valid driver’s license, state issued identification card or library card. Equipment check-out to pre-registered youth can be done without the accompaniment of a parent or guardian.
As a reminder, children under the age of 14 do not need an angling license to go fishing in Oregon. However, youth 14-17 years of age must have a valid juvenile fishing license, which can be purchased for $9 from any ODFW agent. For more information call Christine Clapp at 541-265-8306 ext. 253.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Oregon Offers Free Youth Upland Bird Hunts

Sign up online for free youth upland bird hunts

August 13, 2012
Meagan Jansen
Meagan Jansen of Tigard with a pheasant she got at last year’s EE Wilson Wildlife Area youth pheasant hunt.
-Photo by ODFW-
SALEM, Ore.—Youth hunters (age 17 and under) can sign up for free upland bird hunts taking place at 12 locations across the state in September.
To register, sign up online, at a license sales agent, or at an ODFW office that sells licenses. (Two of the locations, Fern Ridge and Ladd Marsh wildlife areas, don’t require advance registration.) The hunts are free, though youth hunters need a valid hunting license ($14.50) and upland game bird validation ($8.50) to hunt. Only youth already certified in hunter education are eligible to participate.
New this year, registration is through the license sales system rather than by phone and opens in early August rather than Sept. 2, which should give kids and their families more time to plan. Call the numbers listed with each hunt below if you need more information about a particular hunt.
To sign up online, do the following:
  • Go to the license sales page.
  • Enter the Hunter/Angler ID (ODFW ID#), last name and Date of Birth of the youth hunter. (If the youth hunter has never purchased an ODFW document, choose “New Customer” under the “Hunter/Angler ID#” drop down arrow.)
  • Select green “Register for a Class” tab.
  • Verify your customer information.
  • Select Youth Upland Hunt tab.
  • Select hunt of choice.
  • Continue through the checkout process.. It is not necessary to bring the receipt to the youth pheasant hunt.
ODFW and partners stock pheasants at these special hunts that give youth a head start on regular hunting seasons. Quail and dove can also be hunted. All regular bag limits apply. (Bag limits will be listed in the 2012-13 Oregon Game Bird Regulations available later in August.)
Most clinics begin with a free shotgun skills training session and have trained hunting dogs and their handlers available to accompany participants at the event.
An adult 21 years of age or older must accompany the youth to supervise but not hunt. Both hunter and supervisor must wear a hunter orange hat, eye protection and a hunter orange vest—equipment provided by ODFW to anyone that doesn’t have it. Hunters need to check in and out of the hunt. Only federally-approved, non-toxic shot is acceptable for use in many places; see pages 22-23 of the 2012-13 Oregon Game Bird Regulations (available later in August) for more information.
While most areas have a hunt both Saturday and Sunday, youth hunters may only sign up for one hunt. They are welcome to hunt stand by on the other day.
  • Baker City – Sept. 8, 9. Call 541-963-2138 for more information.
  • Corvallis (Monmouth), EE Wilson Wildlife Area, Sept. 15, 16, 22, 23. Call tel. 541-745-5334 for more information.
  • Eugene (Fern Ridge Wildlife Area): Sept. 8, 9. No advance registration needed, hunters can begin checking in at 6:30 a.m. at check station in Nielsen Rd parking lot. Call 541-935-2591 for more information.
  • Irrigon (Umatilla County): Sept. 22, 23. Call 541-276-2344 for more information.
  • John Day: Sept. 15, 16. Call 541-575-1167 for more information.
  • Klamath Falls (Klamath Wildlife Area): Sept. 8, 9. Call 541-883-5732 for more information.
  • La Grande (Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area): Sept. 15, 16. No advanced registrations needed, just check in at HQ, 59116 Pierce Rd. Check in opens 7 a.m. and hunting hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Medford/White City: Denman Wildlife Area: Sept. 15, 16. Call tel. 541-826-8774 for more information.
  • Madras (Willow Creek): Sept. 15, 16. Call tel. 541-447-5111 for more information.
  • Ontario: Sept. 8, 9. Call tel. 541-889-6975 for more information.
  • Portland (Sauvie Island Wildlife Area): Sept. 15, 16. Call tel. 503-621-3488 for more information.
  • Mid-Columbia (White River Wildlife Area, Tygh Valley): Sept. 8, 9. Call tel. 541-296-4628 for more information.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Oregon Weekender Report

Chinook Salmon
Learn to fish, hunt, crab or clam
See the ODFW Outdoors Program calendar and
sign up for a class that interests you.
Time for tuna
Tuna fishing off the Oregon coast continues to
be good with fish just 18-20 miles out on some
 parts of the coast. Charters are available through
several different ports.

Fall chinook opens Aug. 1
On both the Columbia and coastal rivers. The fishing will start really picking up later in August and we’re anticipating strong returns. See the special regulations for coastal rivers on the Coast Fall Salmon Seasons page.
Fire restrictions and access
Be sure to check for any fire restrictions before you go afield. Oregon Dept of Forestry has a list of fire restrictions and closures online and InciWeb has information about current fires.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Oregon DFW Recreation Report

                                                 Hunting, Fishing, Wildlife Viewing
July 3, 2012
Quillback Rockfish
Quillback Rockfish
- Photo by Bob Swingle, ODFW -
Answer the call of the sea
As in salmon, tuna and rockfish. Ocean coho opened July 1 and while the season has started a little slow, we’ve been getting reports of good fishing for rockfish and tuna.
Miss the May 15 deadline? You can still purchase a preference point
New this year, preference points are on sale from July 1-Nov. 30. Hunters that did not apply for a controlled hunt or purchase a pt saver by May 15 are eligible. Find out more
Choices for summer time fishing
In many parts of the state, the cool start to the summer means trout fishing continues to be pretty good at the same time warm water fishing is picking up. Decisions, decisions. Check out the zone reports for details.
Summer Wildlife Viewing
Find out where to see wildlife near you whether you are at home or on vacation. ODFW’s Wildlife Viewing Map features 235 great places to see wildlife in the state. Learn where tidepooling is good and where to see bighorn sheep and blue herons!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Women's Workshop Offers Instruction on Fishing,Hunting,Outdoor Skills

OLYMPIA - Women can learn the basics of fishing, hunting, and other outdoor skills in a September weekend workshop that includes several sessions led by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) experts and other certified instructors.

Scheduled for Sept.14-16 at Camp River Ranch in Carnation, the annual workshop is coordinated by Washington Outdoor Women (WOW), a non-profit program dedicated to teaching women outdoor skills and natural resource stewardship. WOW, now in its 15th year, is an educational outreach program of the Washington Wildlife Federation.

Twenty different classes will be offered throughout the weekend on skills such as archery, basic freshwater fishing, fly fishing and tying, kayaking and the basics of big-game hunting.

Several WDFW staff members will serve as volunteer instructors for the event. Biologist Shelly Ament will teach wildlife identification, while biologists Laura Till and Susan Cierebiej will teach map and compass skills. In all, 32 instructors volunteer their time and expertise at this WOW workshop to help women re-connect with the outdoors.

Workshop participants must be at least 18 years old and must have a current Washington recreational fishing license to participate in the fishing and fly-fishing sessions.

For information about the workshop, including registration fees, see the WOW website ( http://www.washingtonoutdoorwomen.org ) or call Ronni McGlenn at (425) 455-1986.

Unique Fish Cleaning Station, Astoria, Oregon

Astoria gains unique fish cleaning station


June 26, 2012

dock
The new fish cleaning station at Astoria’s East Mooring Basin is designed to give anglers a clean, well-lit and sanitary place to take care of their catch. Fish waste is delivered from the building to a barge which is driven out to the main Columbia River channel and emptied, providing nutrients to aquatic life.Click for larger image

ASTORIA, Ore. – Salmon and sturgeon anglers accessing lower Columbia River fisheries from the East Mooring Basin now have a unique custom-built facility where they can clean their catch. The new facility is designed with multiple goals of improving the overall fishing experience, reducing indiscriminate dumping of fish waste inside the boat basin and enhancing the aquatic food web in the lower Columbia estuary.

The Port of Astoria, in cooperation with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, recently completed construction of the $130,000 facility with funding and technical assistance from a cadre of partners. The majority of the materials, supplies, and construction services used in the project were obtained from within the local community.

The 20x16 ft. building is located at the end of 36th street between the causeway and boat ramp at Astoria’s East Mooring Basin. The covered, ADA-accessible structure has room for several anglers and features a large aluminum fish cleaning table. The facility is equipped with Teflon cutting boards, overhead lights, spray nozzles, waste receptacles, and a drop chute for delivering fish waste into a floating barge stationed below the building. The barge moored outside has a 2,500-gallon hold that when filled is taken out to the main river channel and emptied in compliance with a permit issued by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. The nutrients this material provides is essential food for fish, crabs, invertebrates, sea lions, birds and other aquatic life.

“Our goal is to enhance the fishing experience for the public who are accessing fisheries from the East Mooring Basin,” said Troy Laws, ODFW biologist and project coordinator. The facility gives anglers a viable alternative to cleaning and indiscriminately dumping fish waste inside the boat basin where it creates a mess. In years past, many anglers cleaned fish right next to the ramp. “It was getting pretty messy around there at times,” Laws explained.

One of the facility design challenges was creating an operation that would function during both low and high tides, which in Astoria can change water levels by more than eight feet. Project engineers dealt with this issue by using a suspended, 18-inch wide pipe over part of the span between the building and the barge, which itself raises and lowers with the tides. One of the benefits of using a barge as a receptacle is that by design it will keep sea lions off the vessel until it can be driven out to the main river channel and emptied.

“People up and down the coast including other ports are looking at what we’re doing here because there is interest in developing other cleaning stations like this,” said Laws. “Fish waste disposal is a central problem for most entities engaged in this activity at their facilities. Proper discarding of fish waste in a manner that is beneficial to the environment is a win-win scenario for this type of an operation.”

The Port of Astoria are the managers of this facility, which will be open during daylight hours from spring through fall. It will be closed during the winter. At 10 a.m. on Friday, June 29, the Port and ODFW will host a ceremony to commence public use of the cleaning station.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Oregon F&W Commission Sets 2012 Coho, Fall Chinook Seasons


Commission sets 2012 coastal coho, fall chinook salmon seasons
June 8, 2012
SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission
today set the upcoming
coho and fall chinook salmon seasons for coastal rivers and
streams.
The Commission meeting began yesterday with consideration
of a number of wildlife issues, and continued today with
Commissioners taking up a number of fish-related issues.
For the fourth year in a row, returns of coho salmon are strong
enough for staff to propose opening 10 coastal rivers and
one lake to the harvest of wild coho.
Under the regulations adopted today, anglers will be
able to keep one wild coho in the Nehalem, Tillamook,
Nestucca, Siletz, Yaquina, Alsea, Siuslaw, Umpqua, Coos and
Coquille rivers and Tenmile lakes.
The season on most rivers begins on Sept. 15 and will continue through November,
or until river-specific quotas have been met. All wild coho fisheries are also subject to
NOAA approval.
The continued wild coho fisheries mark an important milestone in the recovery of coho
salmonpopulations along the Oregon Coast, said Chris Kern, ODFW ocean salmon resources
manager.
“Since coastal coho were listed as threatened in 1998, an enormous amount of work has been
done to restore these populations,” he said. “Today we’re seeing the results of record returns
in recent years in recreational fisheries that allow the harvest of a small number of those fish.
“As a result of restoration efforts by Oregonians and sustainable fish management, Oregon
Coast coho are well on their way to recovery,” he added.
The Commission also approved the seasons for fall chinook, which have been rebounding since
a significant downturn in 2008. For 2012, bag limits and area closures will return to permanent
regulations for most South Coast rivers. Returns to North Coast rivers are improving but some
continue to lag, so while the Commission did restore the historic two chinook daily bag limit on
these rivers, the more recent 10 fish seasonal limit will continue.
A complete description of the 2012 coastal salmon seasons, including area closures and wild
coho quotas, can be found on the ODFW website.
The Commission approved $767,010 in grants for 12 enhancement and 8 restoration projects
through the Fish Restoration and Enhancement Program. Among the projects receiving funding
are the addition of ADA fishing piers at St. Louis Ponds near Woodburn and enhancement of
access at Vernonia Pond.
The Commission also approved a major re-organization of the commercial fishery regulations
aimed at providing clarity and consistency to make them easier for user groups to navigate.
The Commission briefly took up trapping regulations, carrying over the agenda item from
Thursday’s meeting.
Today, the Commission made clear that new limits on trapping adopted yesterday
apply only to state and federal land. The rules prohibit setting traps or snares on land within
300 feet of campgrounds, picnic areas and trailhead and within 50 feet of public trails.
The restriction applies only to trails that are marked and maintained by state or federal agencies
and are designated on agency maps. The rules were revised in response to a petition filed by the
Humane Society of the United States, Predator Defense, Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club,
Audubon Society of Portland and Cascadia Wildlands.
Finally, Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division Senior Trooper Adam Turnbo of
McMinnville was awarded the state’s top conservation enforcement honor when he was
recognized with the Shikar Safari Club International Wildlife Officer of the Year. Shikar-Safari
representative Lynn Loacker presented the award.
In making the award, Loaker cited Turnbo’s innovative use of social media to identify
and monitor the actions of wildlife violators.
The Shikar-Safari Club International, founded in 1952, is a group of international hunters
who formed first as a social group and then became motivated to make a meaningful difference
in wildlife conservation.
The agenda item regarding the sale of treaty caught Columbia River steelhead and walleye
was withdrawn and will be considered at the August Commission meeting.
The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state and
usually meets monthly. The next meeting is Aug. 3 at ODFW Headquarters in Salem.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Washington's Free Fishing Weekend

WDFW WEEKENDER REPORT
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
http://wdfw.wa.gov


June 2012

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

Catch trout, salmon, halibut
during Free Fishing Weekend

Anglers are reeling in halibut from the ocean, sturgeon on the Columbia River and trout from lakes and ponds throughout the state. Starting June 2, hundreds of rivers will also open for trout fishing, followed later in the month by some of Washington’s premiere salmon fisheries.

Sound like fun? Those interested in fishing but don’t have a fishing license will be able to get in on the action during Free Fishing Weekend, scheduled June 9-10.

During those two days, no license will be required to fish or gather shellfish in any waters open to fishing in Washington state. Also, neither a vehicle use permit nor a Discover Pass will be required that weekend to park at any of the 600 water-access sites maintained by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

"Free Fishing Weekend is a great time to revive an old hobby or to introduce friends and family to fishing," said Craig Burley, WDFW fish division manager. "Adults can introduce kids to fishing on a wide variety of waters around the state."

While no licenses are required on Free Fishing Weekend, other rules such as season closures, size limits and bag limits will still be in effect. For example, no crab fishing will be allowed in Puget Sound during Free Fishing Weekend, because no areas will be open for crabbing at that time.

In addition, all anglers will be required to complete a catch record card for any salmon, steelhead, sturgeon or halibut they catch that weekend. Catch record cards and WDFW's Fishing in Washington rules pamphlet are available free at hundreds of sporting goods stores and other license dealers throughout the state. The rules pamphlet is also available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/ .

Of course, the state’s fishing opportunities don't begin or end with Free Fishing Weekend. For Father’s Day, WDFW hatchery crews are stocking 5,000 extra triploid trout into 14 popular lakes during the weekend of June 16-17. Other key dates for anglers include:

  • June 9 - Selective fisheries for hatchery chinook salmon begin off the southern coast of Washington from Ilwaco north to the Queets River.
  • June 16 - Selective fisheries for hatchery chinook salmon begin off the northern coast. In addition, summer chinook season opens on a major portion of the Columbia River and sockeye fishing opens on a stretch of the Skagit River.
  • June 24 - Coastal salmon fisheries expand to allow the retention of wild chinook, hatchery coho and pink salmon.
  • July 1 - Crab fisheries open in most areas of Puget Sound. In addition, salmon fisheries open in several areas of Puget Sound, including the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

For more information about fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing available this month, see the Weekender Regional Reports posted on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/weekender/ . These reports are updated throughout the month to provide up-to-date information about recreational opportunities around the state.

Upper Wheeler Reservoir Open to Flyfishing Only

June 1, 2012

Upper Wheeler Reservoir open for fly fishing only

Action: Change fishing regulations at Upper Wheeler Reservoir from closed waters to "fly fishing only."

Effective dates: June 2, 2012 until further notice.

Species affected: Trout and all other game fish.

Location: Upper Wheeler Reservoir, located approximately 11 miles southwest of the town of Wenatchee (Chelan County).

Reason for action: Upper Wheeler Reservoir is owned and operated by the Wenatchee Heights Reclamation District (WHRD) and has been closed to public access. WDFW has made arrangements with WHRD and the Wenatchee Valley Fly Fishers (WVFF) to grant public access to recreational anglers under Fly Fishing Only regulations. The agreement includes fish stocking and a Land Use Agreement by WDFW and site maintenance by WVFF. While there are currently 15 other Fly Fishing Only waters throughout the state, there are no such waters open in Chelan County.

Other Information: Catch and release for Trout species only. Statewide general rules for size and bag limits apply for all other game fish. The use of motors is prohibited and the Two-Pole Endorsement is not valid at this lake. Anglers should consult the current sportfishing rules pamphlet for a definition of Fly Fishing Only regulations.

Information contacts: Travis Maitland, District 7 fish biologist, (509) 665-3337; Jeff Korth, Region 2 Fish Program manager, (509) 754-4624.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wildlife managers treat dead calf
as 'probable' case of wolf predation


OLYMPIA - State and federal wildlife managers have determined that wolves likely caused injuries that resulted in the death of a calf on a Methow Valley ranch May 18 and that the landowner would qualify for compensation.

The landowner would be the first in the state to qualify for compensation under criteria established by the state's Wolf Conservation and Management Plan adopted late last year.

Steve Pozzanghera, a regional director for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said it was not possible to say for certain that wolves caused the injuries that resulted in the death of the calf, although evidence at the scene supports that conclusion.

"The calf was mostly consumed by the time the department was called in," Pozzanghera said. "But photos of the carcass taken earlier by the rancher as well as tracks located in the area were definitely consistent with wolves."

Pozzanghera also noted that the 3,000-acre ranch near Carlton is in an area traditionally used by the Lookout wolf pack, and that remote, motion-triggered cameras had photographed two wolves on nearby National Forest land in recent weeks.

The Lookout pack is one of five wolf packs confirmed by WDFW in the state. The department is currently working to confirm other wolf packs.

Officials from WDFW met May 22 with those from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the USDA's Wildlife Services Program to examine the evidence and develop a response to the loss of the calf. All three agencies are involved, because wolves in the western two-thirds of the state are protected as an endangered species under both state and federal law.

The primary goal of the state's new wolf management plan is to protect gray wolves as they reestablish themselves in Washington, but it also includes provisions to compensate ranchers who lose livestock to wolf predation, Pozzanghera said.

Under the new management plan, ranchers can be compensated up to $1,500 per cow for wolf predation classified as "probable." The plan also allows ranchers to be paid up to twice that amount for lost livestock that are "confirmed" to have been killed by wolves on ranches over 100 acres.

In all cases, Pozzanghera urges ranchers who believe they have lost livestock to predation to contact WDFW immediately at 1-877- 933-9847.

"The sooner we can investigate the situation, the better our chances are of determining whether the incident is a wolf kill and whether compensation is warranted," he said. "We also ask that landowners protect the site from disturbances and keep scavengers away by covering the carcass with a tarp."

WDFW currently has $80,000 available to help livestock operators prevent conflicts with wolves and compensate ranchers who lose livestock to predation by wolves. Of that funding, $50,000 was provided by the state Legislature, $15,000 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and $15,000 from the non-profit organization Defenders of Wildlife.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Parts of Yakima River to Open for Spring Chinook

Two sections of Yakima River to open for
hatchery spring chinook fishing


OLYMPIA - Two sections of the Yakima River will open this week to fishing for hatchery-reared spring chinook salmon, under regulations adopted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Starting Wednesday, May 16, the lower Yakima River will open to fishing for hatchery spring chinook from the Interstate 182 Bridge in Richland to the Grant Avenue Bridge in Prosser.

On Saturday, May 19, the salmon fishery will expand to the upper Yakima River from the Interstate 82 Bridge at Union Gap to the railroad bridge below Roza Dam.

John Easterbrooks, regional WDFW fish program manager, said the lower river is expected to remain open through June 30, while fishing in the upper section will likely continue through July 31.

"The springers are running late this year, but they're finally moving into the Yakima River," said Easterbrooks, noting that fishery managers are predicting a return of approximately 5,000 adult hatchery chinook to the Yakima River.

Anglers will have a daily limit of two adipose-fin-clipped hatchery chinook. All wild salmon, identifiable by an intact adipose fin, must be released unharmed and must not be removed from the water prior to release. The same is true for all steelhead, as noted in the fishing rule on WDFW's website (http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/rulechanges/ ).

To participate in the fishery, anglers must possess a Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement (CRSSE), along with a valid fishing license. Anglers also have the option of purchasing a "two-pole endorsement" to fish with two poles during the fishery.

Revenues from the CRSSE will be used to fund monitoring and law enforcement for the fishery, and to expand the lower river fishery up to Prosser this year.

Endorsement revenues will also fund a hooking-mortality study for spring chinook salmon this year below Roza Dam, where a WDFW research team plans to radio-tag 150 wild fish that have been hooked, played and released.

"Anglers who have hooked a spring chinook may be approached by a scientific technician as they reel in the fish," Easterbrooks said. "If it's a wild fish with an intact adipose fin, the technician will offer to assist in unhooking and releasing it after tagging it and recording information on the fish."

The technicians will also be fishing to catch fish for the study, and will release all fish they catch once they have been tagged. At the end of the spawning season, survival rates for all spring chinook that have been tagged and released will be compared against a control group of fish that have not been hooked by anglers.

"This study, conducted in conjunction with the Yakama Nation, will not only be useful in estimating hooking mortality rates on the Yakima River but also on other tributaries to the Columbia River," he said. "We would appreciate anglers' cooperation as we work to refine estimates that play a key role in managing area fisheries."

Easterbrooks is also asking for anglers' cooperation in helping to maintain access across Roza Dam to the popular fishing area downstream from the railroad bridge boundary. He asks that anglers observe some basic rules established by U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which owns the facility:

  • Passage across the dam is limited to walk-in access to the right (west) bank of the river. The public is prohibited from using the railroad bridge walkway to access the left (east) bank-fishing area. Anglers can access both sides of the river by walking under the bridge abutments to access the fishing area downstream.
  • Anglers are asked to park in the designated areas on the right side of the Roza Access Road, not on private property on the left side of the road.
  • Dumpsters have been placed at the parking area and next to the Roza adult fish trapping facility. Anglers are asked to carry a trash bag and deposit their trash - along with any they find along the trail - in those dumpsters.
  • Anglers are also asked to use the portable toilets provided at the access road parking area and on the west side of the dam.

"Public access across Roza Dam is a privilege, not a right," Easterbrooks said. "We're asking anglers to do everything they can to make sure that access point remains open for their use."

2012 Summer and Fall Salmon Seasons Set for Columbia River

May 15, 2012
CLACKAMAS, Ore. –Fishery managers have announced 2012 summer and fall salmon fishing seasons on the Columbia River.

The seasons are based on results of this year’s Pacific Fishery Management Councils (PFMC) process including a series of public meetings, referred to as North of Falcon, in which fishery managers from several jurisdictions convene to plan salmon fisheries on the Columbia River and parts of the ocean off the Oregon and Washington coasts.

This year’s projected return of summer chinook is expected to be 91,000 fish with the retention season currently scheduled to run from June 16 through July 1.

“There’s a chance the season may be extended once we get a good look at what the actual return is,” according to Steve Williams, ODFW deputy Fish Division administrator. “Until then, we’re planning a conservative fishery to stay within the available quota.”

Similar to last year, sockeye salmon retention will be allowed during part of the summer with retention scheduled to open May 16-July 1 downstream of the I-5 Bridge and June 16-July 1 above the I-5 Bridge.

The fall season begins Aug. 1, and includes the popular Buoy 10 fishery near Astoria and the fall “upriver bright” season in the main stem Columbia. The 2012 predicted run sizes and fishing season for chinook are similar to last year, though managers expect sport anglers will be allowed to retain chinook through Labor Day at Buoy 10. Managers are predicting coho returns will be down from last year but not enough to affect season length.

Summary of 2012 summer and fall salmon regulations for the Columbia River

  • Sockeye Salmon
    • Retention of sockeye allowed:
      • May 16 – June 15 ** from a line projected from Rocky Point on the Washington shore through red buoy #44 to the navigation light at Tongue Point upstream to the I-5 Bridge.
      • June 16 – July 1** from Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam
      • June 16 – July 31 from Bonneville Dam upstream to the OR/WA border.
      • All sockeye count as an adult salmonid in the daily limit.

  • Summer Chinook
    • Retention of adipose fin-clipped adult (longer than 24-inches) summer chinook allowed June 16 - July 1** from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam, and June 16-July 31 from Bonneville Dam upstream to the OR/WA border.
    • Retention of adipose fin-clipped jack (12 to 24-inches long) summer chinook allowed June 16 – July 31 from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to the OR/WA border.
    • The combined daily bag limit is two adults and five jacks.

Fall Salmon Seasons

  • Buoy 10

    • Retention of adult (longer than 16-inches) adipose fin-clipped coho and adipose fin-clipped steelhead allowed Aug. 1 - December 31.
    • Retention of adult (longer than 24-inches) chinook allowed during Aug. 1-Sept. 3** and Oct. 1-Dec. 31.
    • The combined daily bag limit is two adults, only one of which may be a chinook during Aug. 1 – Sept. 3. Beginning Oct. 1 the combined daily bag limit is two adults, both of which can be chinook. Jacks may not be retained between Aug. 1 and Sept. 30 under permanent rules.
    • All other permanent rules apply.
  • Lower Columbia (Tongue Point/Rocky Point upstream to Bonneville Dam).

    • Retention of adipose fin-clipped coho and adipose fin-clipped steelhead allowed Aug. 1 – Dec. 31.
      Retention of chinook allowed:
      • Aug. 1 – Sept. 9** and October 1-December 31 from the Rocky Point-Tongue Point line upstream to a line projected from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Oregon shore to red buoy #4 to a marker on the lower end of Bachelor Island.
      • Aug. 1 – Dec. 31** from a line projected from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Oregon shore to red buoy #4 to a marker on the lower end of Bachelor Island, upstream to Bonneville Dam.
    • The combined daily bag limit is two adults and five jack salmon. During Aug. 1-Sept. 9** the daily bag limit may not include more than one adult chinook. During September 10 – December 31, the daily bag limit may include two Chinook upstream of Warrior Rock. During Oct. 1 – Dec. 31 the daily bag limit may include up to two chinook from Tongue Point to Bonneville Dam.
    • An in-season extension may be considered for the area from the Tongue Point/Rocky Point line upstream to Warrior Rock during all or part of the September 10-16 timeframe under mark-selective (ad-clipped) regulations.
  • Bonneville Dam upstream to the OR/WA border

    • Retention of chinook, coho, and adipose fin-clipped steelhead allowed Aug. 1 – Dec. 31**.
    • The combined daily bag limit is two adults and five jack salmon.
    • All coho retained downstream of the Hood River Bridge must be adipose fin-clipped.

** Seasons may be subject to in-season modification.

For a complete summary of the summer and fall fisheries on the Columbia, including salmon, steelhead, sturgeon and shad, go to the ODFW website.

Monday, May 14, 2012

ODFW to Host Fly Fishing Class on North Fork Coquille River


workshop
Participants at the 2010 fly fishing class geared up to practice their casting before hitting the river to fish.
ODFW photo.

CHARLESTON, Ore. – ODFW Outdoors will host an adult fly fishing class at LaVerne County Park on the North Fork of the Coquille River on Saturday, June 2.

The class, which will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., is designed for new or beginning fly fishers and will include sessions on equipment, casting, aquatic insects and reading the water.

According to Gary Vonderohe, ODFW fish biologist, the class will be helpful for both new and experienced anglers.

“A lot of accomplished anglers, who have been gear or bait fishing for years, have always wanted to try fly fishing,” he said. “This class will be a great way to get started.”

The class costs $40 and includes use of all necessary equipment, instruction/materials and lunch.

Go to the ODFW Web site for registration information http://www.dfw.state.or.us/outdoor_skills/workshops.asp, or call Gary Vonderohe at 541-888-5515 for more information.

ODFW and Local Fly-Casters to Host Youth Fishing Event in Bend May 19


BEND, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Central Oregon Flyfishers will host a youth fishing event at the Pine Nursery Pond in Bend on Saturday, May 19.


The free event is will last from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will offer young anglers a chance to try two different fishing techniques.

From 9 a.m. to noon the focus will be on spin cast fishing -- a great way for beginners, especially young beginners, to catch a first fish. ODFW staff and volunteers will be on hand to help young anglers learn how to bait a hook, cast a rod and land their catch. ODFW also will provide loaner fishing rods, reels, and will have bait, bobber kits and information about additional fishing opportunities.

Bend Pine Nursery Community Park
Beginning at noon the focus turns to fly fishing, and the Central Oregon Flyfishers will provide hands-on instruction in casting, fly tying, insect identification and fly fishing in the pond.

The event is free and open to all kids 17 and under. Under Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations, anglers ages 13 and under can fish for free while those 14-17 will need to have a $9 juvenile angling license available at ODFW field stations and license outlets. Licenses will not be sold on site the day of the event.

Pine Nursery Pond is stocked regularly by ODFW and offers great family fishing throughout the summer.

The Bend Pine Nursery Community Park is located in NE Bend. From Hwy 97, take Empire Blvd Exit and head East on Empire Blvd 1.5 miles. Turn left on Purcell for 1500 feet and turn right just before Ponderosa Elementary School.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Oregon Dept of Fish & Wildlife Recreation Report

Hunting, Fishing, Wildlife Viewing
May 8, 2012


Apply for your fall controlled hunt
Avoid the long lines at the May 15 deadline by applying online now.
Oregon may have a million dollar fish
If we do, one lucky angler could catch it in Crane Prairie, Dexter or Blue River Reservoir. All three are included in the nationwide “Wanna Go Fishing for Millions” contest sponsored by Cabelas, Outdoor Channel and several fish and wildlife agencies (including ODFW).
Ladd Marsh Birdathon, La Grande, May 18 – 20, 2012
Free, fun and friendly! A unique birding opportunity for all ages during the height of spring migration and nesting in the Grande Ronde Valley. Whether you are a novice or an experienced bird watcher, you’ll find much to enjoy.
Explore the outdoors: Upcoming workshops teach you how
ODFW Outdoors has openings in the following workshops being held in June: Fly Fishing (June 2), Warm Water Fishing (June 16), Muzzleloading (June 16) and Archery (June 23). We provide everything you need; you just bring your sense of adventure. For more information go to the ODFW Outdoors event calendar.
Go spring turkey hunting
Anyone can purchase a tag, anytime before going hunting. See our hunting forecast for tips for beginners and what to expect this season.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sheep killed by wolf in northern Umatilla County

May 3, 2012


PENDLETON, Ore.—A May 2 investigation by ODFW confirmed that four penned sheep (two ewes, two lambs) were killed by a wolf on private land east of Weston, Ore. in northern Umatilla County.

One additional lamb is missing and believed to have been killed by the wolf.

The incident occurred in an area not known to be frequented by one of Oregon’s known wolf packs (Imnaha, Wenaha, Walla Walla, Snake River) but by two wolves discovered last August in the northern Mt Emily wildlife management unit. Based on evidence at the scene, wildlife biologists believe a single wolf was involved in the depredation.

ODFW immediately helped the landowner install electrified fladry, a type of fencing that can deter wolves, around the sheep pens. ODFW is also working to capture and radio-collar the wolf.

This marks the first time ODFW has confirmed a wolf kill of livestock in Umatilla County. The county has an active Wolf Depredation Advisory Committee under the state’s new Oregon Wolf Depredation Compensation and Financial Assistance County Block Grant Program and the landowner is eligible to seek compensation for the loss.

The five dead sheep bring the total number of livestock animals killed by wolves in Oregon to 57 since 2009. The last confirmed wolf kill of livestock occurred March 8, 2012.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Columbia River Regulation Changes

COLUMBIA ZONE: Regulation Changes
News:
Fishery managers extend chinook season above Bonneville Dam
Salmon, Steelhead and Shad
COLUMBIA RIVER MAINSTEM, Buoy 10 upstream to I-5 Bridge
  • Permanent regulations are in effect.
COLUMBIA RIVER MAINSTEM, I-5 Bridge upstream to Beacon Rock
  • Permanent regulations are in effect.
COLUMBIA RIVER MAINSTEM, Beacon Rock to Bonneville Dam
  • Permanent regulations are in effect.
COLUMBIA RIVER MAINSTEM, Bonneville Dam upstream to Oregon/Washington border
Effective March 16 - May 6, 2012:
  • Open for adipose fin-clipped Chinook and adipose fin-clipped steelhead 7 days per week from Tower Island Power lines (located approximately 6 miles downstream from The Dalles Dam) upstream to Oregon/Washington border for boat and bank, plus BANK ANGLING ONLY from Bonneville Dam upstream to the Tower Island Power lines.
  • Daily bag limit is 2 adult salmon/steelhead in combination.
  • Up to 5 adipose fin-clipped jacks may be retained in addition to the adult bag limit.
Effective May 16 – July 31, 2012:
  • Modified the hook regulation when bank angling at Cascade Locks in the area between the boat ramp at the lower end of the locks upstream to the east (upstream) end of the lock wall so only single-point hooks are allowed
SELECT AREA RECREATIONAL FISHERIES (Youngs Bay, Blind Slough, Knappa Slough)
  • Permanent regulations are in effect.
Sturgeon
  • 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.
  • The lower Willamette River (including Multnomah Channel and the Gilbert River) sturgeon regulation updates can be found under the Willamette Zone.
COLUMBIA RIVER MAINSTEM, 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)
  • Open to retention of white sturgeon 7 days per week during January 1 - April 30, 2012, and May 12 - July 8, 2012.
  • Daily bag limit is 1 white sturgeon, 38-54 inches FORK LENGTH during January 1 - April 20, 2012 and 41-54 inches FORK LENGTH during May 12 - July 8, 2012.
COLUMBIA RIVER MAINSTEM, Wauna Powerlines (RM 40) upstream to Bonneville Dam (including all adjacent Washington tributaries)
  • Open to retention of white sturgeon on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays during January 1 - July 31, 2012 and October 20 - December 31, 2012.
  • Daily bag limit is 1 white sturgeon, 38-54 inches FORK LENGTH.
  • Angling for sturgeon is prohibited from May 1-August 31 from Bonneville Dam downstream to a line crossing the Columbia River from Navigation Marker 82 on the Oregon shore through the upstream exposed end of Skamania Island, continuing in a straight line to the Washington Shore under permanent regulations.
COLUMBIA RIVER RESERVOIRS, between Bonneville Dam and McNary Dam
Sturgeon creel sampling summaries and catch estimates for Bonneville, The Dalles, and John Day reservoirs can be found on the WDFW Website.
Bonneville Reservoir (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam
  • Open to retention of white sturgeon during June 15-16, 2012 (Friday, Saturday) and June 22-23, 2012 (Friday, Saturday).
  • Daily bag limit is 1 white sturgeon, 38-54 inches FORK LENGTH.
The Dalles Reservoir (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam)
  • Effective January 1, 2012 (permanent regulations), The Dalles Reservoir is open to retention of white sturgeon until the reservoir-specific harvest guideline is met.
John Day Reservoir (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam)
  • Effective January 1-May 20, 2012, this area is open to retention of white sturgeon under permanent regulations.
  • Effective 12:01 am Monday May 21, 2012, the Columbia River and tributaries in this area will close to the retention of white sturgeon.
  • Catch and release angling will remain open.
COLUMBIA RIVER MAINSTEM, Upstream of McNary Dam
Effective February 1 - July 31, 2012, under permanent regulations:
  • Open to retention of white sturgeon from February 1 – July 31 annually.

The 2012 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations (pdf) provide requirements for all zones. However, additional regulations may be adopted in this rule division from time to time and to the extent of any inconsistency, they supersede the 2012 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Columbia River Sturgeon Retention Updates

Sturgeon retention to end in John Day Pool,
but continue 4 extra days in Bonneville Pool


Actions:

  1. John Day Pool - The sport fishery for white sturgeon will close to sturgeon retention.
    Effective dates:
    12:01 a.m., May 21, through December 31, 2012.

    Location:
    The Columbia River and tributaries from John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam.
  2. Bonneville Pool - The sport fishery for white sturgeon will re-open to retention on four additional days.
    Effective dates:
    12:01 a.m. June 15 through June 16, 2012 (Friday, Saturday) and 12:01 a.m. June 22 through June 23, 2012 (Friday, Saturday).

    Location:
    The Columbia River and tributaries from Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam.

Species affected: White sturgeon

Reason for action:

  1. The closure date for retention of sturgeon in John Day Pool was adopted because Washington and Oregon fish managers estimate that the harvest guideline of 500 fish will be reached on May 20, 2012.
  2. The Bonneville Pool harvest guideline of 2,000 white sturgeon was not reached during the regular season, which closed February 18, 2012. A balance of 1,060 fish remains on the guideline. This action sets additional fishing time to catch the remaining balance.

Other information: Staff will closely monitor catch in Bonneville Pool once the season continues and modify the season if necessary to remain within the catch guideline.

The section of the Columbia River and tributaries between The Dalles Dam and John Day Dam remains open to sturgeon retention until the harvest guideline in that area is reached. Approximately 250 fish remain on the guideline for that area. Catch and release of sturgeon is allowed, except for within the spawning sanctuaries in John Day Pool from the Highway 395/I-82 bridge upstream 1.5 miles to McNary Dam and in The Dalles Pool from the Rufus grain elevator upstream 2.4 miles to John Day Dam, which are both closed to all sturgeon fishing May 1 through July 31.

Information contact: Dennis Gilliland, (360) 906-6733.
Spring chinook fishery extended
163 miles upriver from Bonneville Dam

OLYMPIA - Anglers will have at least four more days to fish for hatchery-reared spring chinook salmon on a section of the Columbia River stretching 163 miles upstream from Bonneville Dam.

Citing the late timing of this year’s run, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon today agreed to extend the fishery through May 6.

According to current projections, anglers will catch only about 232 of 1,689 salmon available for harvest through May 2, when the fishery was initially scheduled to close pending an updated run assessment.

"Fishing above Bonneville Dam has been slow, with the bulk of the run yet to arrive," said Cindy LeFleur, Columbia River policy manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). "Both states agree we can safely give anglers an additional four days of fishing above the dam with little risk to the resource."

The extension does not apply to salmon fishing below the dam, which has been closed since April 23 pending the run update. By then, anglers had taken about 70 percent of their initial quota of upriver chinook for that stretch of the river - most during the last week of fishing.

Above Bonneville Dam, boat and bank anglers are allowed to fish from the Tower Island powerlines to the Washington/Oregon state line, 17 miles upriver from McNary Dam. Bank anglers can also fish from the powerlines downriver to Bonneville Dam.

Anglers fishing those areas can keep two marked hatchery adult chinook per day. All wild, unmarked chinook must be released unharmed.

Prior to this year’s fishing season, fishery managers projected a strong return of 314,200 upriver spring chinook salmon to the Columbia, anticipated to be the fourth-highest on record. To guard against overestimating the run, both states have managed the fishery with a 30 percent "buffer," LeFleur said.

"We’ll have a better idea of the actual size of the run once more fish have passed Bonneville Dam," she said. "That assessment will also determine whether we can give anglers additional time to fish."

Most tributaries flowing into the Columbia River above and below Bonneville Dam are also open for spring chinook fishing under separate regulations described in the state’s 2012-13 Fishing in Washington rules pamphlet, available at license vendors and online at
http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/ .

Monday, April 30, 2012

Washington Weekender Report 30 April 2012

Fishing options sprout in May for trout, halibut, shrimp, lingcod

This is the time of year when new fishing opportunities start popping open like daffodils in the afternoon sun. Shrimp and lingcod in Puget Sound. Halibut there and off the Washington coast. Spring chinook salmon on the Chehalis and Yakima rivers.

But none of those fisheries draw bigger crowds than the lowland lakes trout-fishing season, which opened April 28 statewide. In preparation for opening day, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) planted millions of trout, ranging from 11-inch "catchables" to 11-pound jumbos.

"The weather was good, and so was the fishing," said Chris Donley, WDFW's inland fish manager. "We saw a lot of limits taken at lakes throughout the state."

But opening day is just one day of many in the state's trout season, Donley said. Now the tanker trucks are rolling again, delivering more fish to Washington lakes.

"We stock lakes with trout for the whole season, not just opening day," Donley said. "Trout fishing should be highly productive in lowland lakes through June, and then again in September. In higher-elevation lakes, fishing should be good right through the summer."

For most anglers, a valid 2012-13 fishing license is required to fish in Washington state. The exception is young people under age 15, who fish for free.

Licenses and permits are avaiIable online (https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/ ), by phone (1-866-246-9453) and from sporting goods stores and other retail license dealers around the state. A list of license vendors is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/ and from local WDFW offices.

Key dates for fisheries opening in May include:

  • May 1 - Lingcod fishing opens in Puget Sound. Also spring chinook fishing opens on the Chehalis River.
  • May 3 - Halibut fishing opens in Marine Areas 6-10 in Puget Sound. Halibut fishing also opens in Marine Area 1 off the south coast (Ilwaco).
  • May 5-7 - Last razor-clam dig of the season, at Twin Harbors only.
  • May 5 - Shrimp fishing opens in areas of Puget Sound.
  • May 6 - Halibut fishing opens in Marine Area 2 off the south coast (Westport and Ocean Shores)
  • May 10 - Halibut fishing opens in marine areas 3 and 4 off the north coast (La Push/Neah Bay).
  • May 24 - Halibut fishing opens in Marine Area 5 (Sekiu/Pillar Point)

For more information about these and other outdoor activities coming up in the weeks ahead, see the region-by-region Weekender Reports on WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/weekender/ . These reports are updated throughout the month for changes in fishing rules and other developments throughout the state.