Sunday, January 29, 2012

Oregon Youth Turkey Hunt set at April 7-9, 2012

Pictured: Elliott Jonasson of La Grande,  with a turkey taken in the Catherine Creek Unit (Union County) during the 2011 youth spring turkey season.
- Photo by ODFW -
SALEM, Ore.—This year’s youth spring turkey season will be Saturday-Monday, April 7, 8 and 9, 2012. The season dates are misprinted in the current 2011-12 Oregon Game Bird Regulations (page 15).

Due to an ODFW staff error, the regulations list April 8-9, 2012 (Sunday-Monday) as the season dates. Youth turkey season is always the weekend before the general spring turkey season which begins on April 15. The Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted a rule that will begin the season on Saturday, April 7 and extend it by one day this year due to the error.

The youth spring turkey season is open to licensed hunters age 17 and under. Youth that don’t fill their tag during the youth season can go on to hunt the general season April 15-May 31.

The youth turkey season is one of several youth-only hunts that ODFW provides to recruit the next generation of hunters.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Oregon Weekly F&W Report

2012 Winter Steelhead Guide
The guide offers the novice steelhead angler an overview of where and when to fish for winter steelhead season. For the more experienced angler, the guide also includes updates on access and regulations, and lists other changes that could affect fishing.

Report all 2011 big game and turkey tags by Jan. 31, 2012
All hunters that report hunt results on time are entered into a contest to win a special big game tag (deer, elk or pronghorn) with an extended season and expanded hunt area. The deadline for reporting hunts that end between Jan. 1-March 31, 2012 is April 15, 2012. More information

Apply early for a 2012 controlled hunt
You could win a2013 Sports Pac. More information.

Check conditions before heading out
Rain may have closed roads due to flooding or made travel off unimproved roads very difficult.

Remaining bird hunting seasons are closing
Zone 1 duck closes Jan. 29, many remaining goose seasons close Jan. 29, and the rest of upland bird seasons close Jan. 31.

Spring bear applications due Feb. 10, 2012
Apply online. As of Jan. 23, 2,436 of SW Oregon’s 4000 first-come first serve spring bear tags have been sold.

Youth spring turkey season is April 7-9, 2012
The season dates are wrong in the 2011-12 Oregon Game Bird Regulations. Hunters 17 and under can hunt Saturday, Sunday and Monday this year.

Hunter education registration is online
Students can register online or at a license sales agent. New customers need to choose “New customer” under the Hunter/Angler ID# tab. List of classes and field days are here

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Washington & Oregon Agree to Reduce Sturgeon Catch by 38% on Lower Columbia River

PORTLAND - For the third straight year, fish and wildlife directors from Washington and Oregon have agreed to reduce the catch of white sturgeon on the lower Columbia River, where the species has declined in abundance in recent years.

Under the new agreement, the total allowable harvest of white sturgeon below Bonneville Dam will be reduced from 22.5 percent of the "legal-size" fish to 16 percent in 2012.

The new harvest rate will hold the combined catch by sport and commercial fisheries to 9,600 sturgeon measuring 38 to 54 inches long. Last year's guideline for those waters was 15,640 fish, although only 14,488 were actually harvested.

This year's agreement will reduce the sturgeon harvest in the lower Columbia River by 38 percent, following a 30 percent reduction in 2011 and a 40 percent reduction the previous year.

The abundance of legal-size sturgeon has declined nearly 50 percent since 2007, according to surveys by both states. Factors often cited for the decline include increased predation by sea lions and a drop in the abundance of smelt and lamprey, which contribute to sturgeons' diet.

Concerned by these trends, the fish and wildlife commissions charged with setting policy for each state called for significant catch reductions in 2012 during separate meetings last week. The responsibility for negotiating a common catch rate fell to the fish and wildlife directors of each state.

"This was not a difficult negotiation," said Phil Anderson, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. "Both directors came into this discussion with serious concerns about the status of the resource and a commitment to make a significant reduction in the 2012 harvest level. I also heard stakeholders' concerns about the decline in the sturgeon resource and their support for taking a more conservative approach in our harvest management."

Roy Elicker, director of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, agreed, noting that the discussion quickly turned to how to best manage the 2012 fishery under the reduced harvest level.

"It's clear that recent trends in sturgeon populations warrant a more precautionary approach," Elicker said. "For 2012, the plan is to maintain the season and catch-allocation structure that has been in place for several years, but with shorter fishing periods."

Under the 16 percent harvest rate, the portion of the catch available to recreational fisheries will be allocated as follows: 4,160 fish in the estuary, 2,080 above Wauna and between 1,768 and 2,022 in the Willamette River.

The directors agreed to some flexibility in the portion of the catch assigned to the Willamette River. This flexibility may be necessary to meet Oregon's goal of four sturgeon retention days on the Willamette, Elicker said.

Projections indicate that 65,000 white sturgeon between 38 and 54 inches will be present below Bonneville Dam this year.

Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon will meet Jan. 26 in Portland to set this year's fishing seasons for sturgeon and spring chinook salmon on the lower Columbia River. Later in the year, the states plan to begin a public process involving fishermen to fully review current sturgeon management strategies on the Columbia and Willamette rivers prior to the 2013 fishing season.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Attention 2012 Idaho Wolf Tag Buyers


BOISE, Id. - Some recently issued 2012 wolf hunting tags include an incorrect telephone number for the reporting hotline.
About 4,200 tags were issued to 3,780 individuals for 2012 were printed with the incorrect number.
The correct reporting hotline number is 1-855-648-5558.
Hunters may buy two wolf tags per calendar year. They are required to report killing a wolf within 72 hours, and they must present the skull and hide to an Idaho Fish and Game office within 10 days. They may call the hotline or a local Fish and Game office to report a kill.
For information on wolf hunting and trapping seasons go to the Fish and Game website at:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Oregon DFW Weekly Recreation Report

Hunting, Fishing, Wildlife Viewing
January 3, 2012
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl
- Photo by Charlotte Ganskopp-
Keep an eye out for Arctic Snowy Owls
This rare visitor has been seen along the Oregon Coast, in the Willamette Valley, in The Dalles and near Burns. Learn more about Oregon’s Owls, with a new fact sheet Whooooo Am I?
2012 license needed as of Jan. 1, 2012
Don’t forget to get a 2012 hunting or fishing license to hunt or fish as of Jan. 1, 2012.
Hunter education registration is online now
Students can register online or at a license sales agent. New customers need to choose “New customer” under the Hunter/Angler ID# tab. List of classes and field days are here offers new hunting opportunities
Bird hunting opportunities on private land in the Columbia Basin and Willamette Valley through this program, see the website or
Great bird hunting in the Columbia Basin
Use ODFW’s new Columbia Basin Bird Hunting Guide to find out how to access the area’s 250K acres open to hunting.
Winter steelhead
Winter steelhead fishing has picked up after the recent rains. Check out the NW, SW and Willamette zones of the Report for details.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Washington's DFW Annual Survey Confirms 27 Wolves, 3 Breeding Pairs

OLYMPIA-The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's (WDFW) year-end survey of the state's five confirmed wolf packs has found three successful breeding pairs totaling at least 27 wolves.

The tally, conducted through field work and aerial monitoring, found two of the successful breeding pairs in the Eastern Washington wolf-recovery region and one in the North Cascades recovery region. A successful wolf breeding pair is defined as an adult male and female with at least two pups that survive until the end of the calendar year.

There also is evidence of unconfirmed packs in the Blue Mountains of southeastern Washington and at Hozomeen in the North Cascades, as well as transient single wolves, according to Rocky Beach, WDFW's wildlife diversity program manager.

"We will continue to follow up on all reports of possible wolf sightings," Beach said. "We will be working again this spring and summer to confirm new packs and pups and to capture and fit additional wolves with radio collars for monitoring."

The radio collars use Global Positioning System (GPS) and Very High Frequency (VHF) technology.

Under the recently adopted Washington wolf conservation and management plan, wolves will be removed from the state's endangered species list once 15 successful breeding pairs are documented for three consecutive years among three wolf-recovery regions (four pairs in Eastern Washington, four pairs in North Cascades, four pairs in South Cascades/Northwest Coast, and three pairs in any recovery region).

The gray wolf (Canis lupus ) currently is protected by the state as an endangered species throughout Washington and is federally listed as endangered in the western two-thirds of the state.

Last month's survey work yielded these details about Washington's five confirmed wolf packs:

  • Diamond Pack, in Pend Oreille County and Idaho, numbers 10 wolves, including a breeding pair with at least two pups. A 2-year-old, radio-collared, female wolf was legally trapped and killed in Idaho in December before the count was made. Another radio-collared female from the pack was last located in November in Idaho and is currently missing; a third radio-collared female remains with the pack.
  • Smackout Pack, in Stevens and Pend Oreille counties, numbers five wolves, including a successful breeding pair with three pups. None have radio collars.
  • Salmo Pack, in Pend Oreille County and British Columbia, includes three wolves. One wolf with a VHF radio collar is still being monitored.
  • Teanaway Pack, in Kittitas County, numbers seven wolves, including a successful breeding pair with at least two pups. The breeding female is equipped with a GPS radio collar and still is being monitored.
  • Lookout Pack, in Okanogan County includes two wolves with no pups; neither has a functioning radio collar.

More information on the packs and summaries of the 2011 count is available at: . WDFW also will provide state totals in a 2011 annual report to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service later this month.

Beach noted that any news of additional wolves confirmed through field work later this year will also be posted on the WDFW wolf webpage.

Reports of possible wolf sightings can be made to WDFW's wildlife reporting line by calling 1 (877) 933-9847.