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 ( ) or call Ronni McGlenn at (425) 455-1986.

Unique Fish Cleaning Station, Astoria, Oregon

Astoria gains unique fish cleaning station

June 26, 2012

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
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
“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

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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 .

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 . 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.