All posts by Andy Walgamott

Tips Sought About Moose Poached, Wasted Near Lake Wenatchee

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS FROM WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE LAW ENFORCEMENT

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Police are investigating the poaching of an adult moose near Meadow Creek, in the Lake Wenatchee area of Chelan County. Only a small number of Moose exist near Lake Wenatchee and there is no established hunting season for them.  The carcass was found in a clearing not more than 50 yards from the road. Only the head and some portions of meat were taken leaving the rest to waste.

(WDFW)

Officers are examining evidence recovered from the scene and reviewing security footage from roads in the vicinity.  They are asking anyone with information to call the WDFW Wenatchee District Office at 509-662-0452 and ask to speak with Officer Tucker. Those who provide information leading to an arrest may be eligible for a cash reward or bonus points for special permit hunting opportunities.

(WDFW8

Killing a moose out of season carries a maximum penalty of $5000 and up to one year in jail, or both.  It also carries an additional criminal wildlife penalty of $4000.

(WDFW)

 

 

Ag-world News Outlet Calls For End Of Western Wolf Protections

Is it time to end protections for Northwest wolves?

The Capital Press thinks so.

So too do a lot of hunters and others, judging from online reaction to each and every little bit of wolf news I post.

A WDFW STAFFER’S PHOTO OF THEIR BOOT BESIDE WOLF TRACKS IN THE SNOW IN ASOTIN COUNTY. (WDFW)

But if anyone can match the number of wolf stories I’ve done, it is the Press (the Spokesman-Review‘s Rich Landers probably has us both topped), which looks at the issue from a rancher’s standpoint.

In an editorial out Thursday and headlined “No protection needed for wolves,” the Salem-based news organization writes:

“Wolves are thriving in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and other states — even California. The idea that any resources or protections are required to help those populations of apex predators spread borders on laughable (sic).”

The Press isn’t saying anything WDFW, Eastside Congessmen and others haven’t already said, but it calls on Congress to delist the species in the rest of the West outside the Northern Rockies, as lawmakers did in 2011.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed doing just that.

In June 2013.

The four-and-a-half-year hold-up can be traced to a court case involving Wyoming and Great Lakes wolves. The former delisting was upheld by a federal appeals court earlier this year, the latter was not.

Though disappointed, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation said the judge’s decision still provided a “path forward.”

Even in the absence of a federal listing, there would be state protections.

Meanwhile, the wolf issue is hotter than I ever recall seeing at this point of the year, fueled by news of depredations, the shooting of a wolf by an elk hunter and commentary on it, lethal removals, litigious groups’ lawsuits, caught-in-the-act incidents, and poachings in Northeast and Southern Oregon.

Things are beginning to feel slightly out of control, and there is grave danger in over-the-top rah-rah for each illegal killing of a wolf.

The Press put it thusly:

“We did not write the law, nor do we agree that wolves should be a protected species. But to blatantly violate the law only bolsters wolf advocates’ arguments for protecting the animals.”

Wolves are going to be around a long, long time.

There is no doubt.

The faster we normalize things, the better off it will be for everyone involved, not to mention the wolves.

Oregon Man Cited For Bringing CWD-infected Deer Carcass Back From Montana

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Last week, Montana reported its first case of a free-ranging deer testing positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The deer was harvested by a Montana hunter and its carcass was brought to Oregon by the hunter’s relative, who lives in Madras.

(USGS NATIONAL WILDLIFE HEALTH CENTER)

The parties involved failed to follow regulations that prohibit certain parts of deer, elk and moose that contain central nervous system tissue (where the prion that causes CWD is most concentrated) from being brought into Oregon. People hunting in states with CWD who harvest a deer, elk or moose may only bring back parts without spinal cord or brain tissue (e.g. antlers on a clean skullcap). See page 29 of the Oregon Big Game Regulations under “Parts Ban” for more information.

ODFW and OSP contacted the relative late last week after learning from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks that the deer had tested positive for CWD. They discovered that prohibited parts containing neurological tissue had been brought into Oregon and had been disposed of in the local area following butchering. ODFW and OSP immediately retrieved these deer parts for safe disposal.

Some parts of the deer also went to a landfill. ODFW was unable to locate and retrieve these parts, as too much time had passed since their disposal. However, the parts are deeply buried and will not come into contact with deer or elk, so are considered a low risk to free-ranging wildlife.

Following investigation, OSP Fish & Wildlife Division Troopers criminally cited the relative for Unlawful Import of Cervid Parts from a CWD State. Troopers also recovered packaged deer meat as well as additional parts of the infected deer which will be safely disposed of by ODFW Staff.

“Enforcing the regulations established to protect Oregon’s fish, wildlife and other natural resources is the Division’s top priority. The cooperation with the individual who imported the unlawful parts, as well as the close coordination with ODFW, was paramount and really aided us in completing a thorough investigation” said Tim Schwartz, OSP Fish & Wildlife Division Lieutenant. “Without this cooperation and coordination, this could’ve turned out much worse.”

Chronic Wasting Disease is caused by a protein prion that damages the brain of infected animals, causing progressive neurological disease and loss of body condition. It’s untreatable and always fatal. It spreads through nose-to-nose contact between infected animals and through the animal’s bodily fluids. The prions that cause CWD can also last a long time in the environment, infecting new animals for decades, which is why Oregon has had a parts ban in place for 15 years.

“CWD is considered one of the most devastating wildlife diseases on the American landscape today,” said Colin Gillin, ODFW State Wildlife Veterinarian. “Once CWD enters a State and infects free-ranging deer and elk, it has been nearly impossible to eradicate with present day tools. So we want to do all we can to keep Oregon CWD-free.”

Oregon is still a CWD-free state. The disease has never been detected in a captive or free-ranging deer, elk or moose in Oregon. ODFW has been monitoring the state’s wildlife for the disease for years and is increasing its surveillance this year.

For example, ODFW is asking hunters interested in having their deer or elk tested for CWD to contact their local office to set up an appointment. ODFW is most interested in deer and elk that are at least two-years-old (e.g. not spikes). To get an animal CWD tested, hunters will need to bring in the animal’s head, which should be kept cool prior to sampling if possible. ODFW will also take a tooth for aging and hunters should receive a postcard several months later with information about the animal’s age.

Anyone who sees or harvests a sick deer or elk should also report it to the ODFW Wildlife Health Lab number at 866-968-2600 or by email to Wildlife.Health@state.or.us.

CWD spreads most quickly through movement of live animals, although it can also spread by transport of carcasses by hunters or through infected migrating deer and elk. In addition to Montana, documented cases of CWD have occurred in Alberta, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri,  Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Saskatchewan.

Long-term $$$ Plan Subject Of New WDFW Advisory Group’s First Meeting

Representatives from Washington fishing and hunting organizations are part of a newly launching advisory group that will assist WDFW in coming up with a long-term revenue plan and other tasks.

An edict from the state legislature coming out of this year’s marathon session, it’s billed as the agency’s “first comprehensive management, operations, and financial review in more than 10 years.”

Some names on the 20-member Budget and Policy Advisory Group you may recognize include:

Ron Garner, Puget Sound Anglers
Andy Marks, Coastal Conservation Association
David Cloe, Inland Northwest Wildlife Council
Wayne Marian, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Rachel Voss, Mule Deer Foundation
Mark Pidgeon, Hunters Heritage Council
Butch Smith, Ilwaco Charter Association

According to a press release, they and others from the timber and farming industries, as well as a number of conservation groups and others are being tasked to:

* Develop a long-term plan to balance projected expenses and revenues by providing prioritized options for spending reductions and revenue increases.

· Identify and implement management improvements and operating efficiencies.

· Conduct a “zero-based budget review” to accompany the department’s proposed 2019-21 operating budget.

“Rapid population growth and recent state and federal budget trends pose major challenges for fish and wildlife management,” WDFW Policy Director Nate Pamplin said in the release. “The advisory committee will provide valuable perspectives and recommendations about the role the department plays in conservation and the outdoor economy.”

It’s fallout from this past legislative session in which WDFW requested the first major fee increase in six years, but lawmakers led by Senate Republicans gave the agency a one-time $10.1 million budget bump instead.

The advisory group’s first meeting working on the long-term revenue plan is Dec. 4 at South Puget Sound Community College in Lacey. It is open to the public.

For more, go here.

OSP Looking For Tips On Shooting Of Wolf In Wallowa Co. This Week

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON STATE POLICE FISH AND WILDLIFE DIVISION

The Oregon State Police is asking for the public’s assistance in locating the individual(s) responsible for shooting and killing a wolf in Wallowa County. The wolf was found dead in the Chesnimnus hunt unit in an area known as Cold Springs on Wednesday November 14, 2017. The wolf was a collared wolf known as OR23 and it is believed that it died Sunday or Monday morning (November 12 or 13).

OREGON OFFICIALS ARE LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ON A WOLF SHOT DEAD IN THE CHESNIMNUS WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT UNIT THIS WEEK, THE SAME AREA THIS WOLF WAS CAPTURED AND COLLARED THIS PAST FEBRUARY. (BAKER AIRCRAFT VIA ODFW)

The Oregon State Police is investigating the incident and has found evidence that the wolf was killed by a gun shot. Due to this being an on-going investigation, no further information will be released at this time.

Poaching (otherwise known as unlawful take) of fish and wildlife, to include wolves, is a problem in Oregon and will be vigorously investigated by the Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division, says Captain Jeff Samuels. As the Division only employs 120 officers statewide, the public’s assistance greatly increases the chances of catching persons involved in poaching.

“We are upset and frustrated by the unlawful wolf killings in Oregon,” said Doug Cottam, ODFW Wildlife Division Administrator. “Poaching of any wildlife is wrong and harmful to their conservation. Please, if you know something about any of these cases, step forward and provide information to OSP, which can be done anonymously.”

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Sergeant Chris Hawkins at the La Grande Patrol Office, 541-963-7175 ex 4670. Callers can also stay anonymous by calling the Turn In Poachers (TIP) hotline at 1-800-452-7888.

Multiple Fishing Regs Pamphlets? WDFW Looks For Opinions On Idea

As the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife embarks on a project to simplify its angling regs, the agency is also asking fishermen whether they would be interested in multiple smaller pamphlets for different species and waters.

So, instead of one book covering everything from albacore to Yocum Lake, say, one covering just salmon, another focusing on shellfish, lingcod and other saltwater species, and a third an evergreen one for freshwater fishing.

This afternoon, the marketing department sent out an email with a link to an 11-question survey asking:

In your opinion, would splitting the pamphlet into multiple pamphlets (e.g., freshwater gamefish, marine fish/shellfish/seaweed, and salmon) be helpful?

A freshwater-only pamphlet would contain fishing rules for certain species in freshwater only. It would not include salmon seasons in freshwater systems. Do you prefer a pamphlet that contains only information about non-salmon freshwater species?

and:

Would you prefer a freshwater pamphlet that could remain in effect for more than one year?

That last one would likely only be possible with a freshwater book for trout, walleye and bass, the regs for which generally are static.

Meanwhile, the salmon pamphlet could come out after that annual joyfest known as North of Falcon wraps up in mid-April or whenever.

The survey also asks anglers which species they fish for most often, their age, county of residence and whether they own a boat.

To take it, go here.

Reward Grows For Info On Killing, Waste Of 3 Butte Falls Bucks

The reward for information that leads to whomever killed three blacktail bucks but took just some of the meat and left the rest of the carcasses minus the heads behind is growing.

(OSP)

The Rogue Valley Chapter of the Oregon Hunters Association is now offering $500, while Crime Stoppers of Southern Oregon is ponying up $1,000, Oregon State Police report today.

That’s on top of the standing reward of $500 from the Turn-In-Poachers Program, funded by OHA.

According to wildlife troopers, the three bucks were found discarded outside Butte Falls, northeast of Medford.

“Only the heads and some meat were taken. The deer appeared to be dead only a couple of days,” they reported.

The carcasses were investigated last Saturday, Nov. 11, so that would put time of death around Thursday or Friday of last week.

Anyone with information is being asked to call the TIP Hotline,  1-800-452-7888, or the state police dispatch number, 541-776-6111.

Nick Berreth’s Shot And Buck Of A Lifetime

Written by Nick Berreth

It all started in late June when the Washington state draw results come in. I had heard results were out, and like a child on Christmas morning I eagerly punched my login and password into the computer, hoping this would be the year.

As I went down the long list of my applications, there were a lot of “Not selected,” except one that caught my eye. “Selected,” 10 points used! Yes, this was it! Ten years putting in for this particular unit and still I couldn’t believe it!

BOWHUNTER NICK BERRETH OF SELAH, WASHINGTON, AND HIS SPECIAL PERMIT MULE DEER BUCK, WHICH HE REPORTS GREEN-SCORED 204 INCHES. (NICK BERRETH)

I instantly went to Google Maps and started looking at terrain for water, trails, cover, possible food sources, etc. I also started pestering all the people I knew who had spent time in the unit because I had never set foot there.

One friend suggested I call a guy he knows who frequently photographs the area. Calling a guy I’d never met and knowing he was a hunter I didn’t know if I could trust the info he would give me, but after talking to him I knew that this would not be the case. He was extremely helpful. He soon sent me photos of some of the bucks he had seen out there and map dots on where to start looking.

THAT LATE JUNE WEEKEND, I COULDN’T WAIT to get my boots on the ground in the areas Cortney had given me coordinates to. On Friday I went out and in the first 100 yards from the truck I saw a good buck with lots of trash! I couldn’t believe it, but unfortunately I couldn’t get a picture of him because I was not prepared to see a deer so soon. Hiking over a large sand dune I caught movement and instantly knew it was a buck, the second deer I had come across!

Both were freaks of nature, and by September, one I would later name Freight Train had put on several inches and was a definite target buck. In the meanwhile, I put out several cameras in the area I kept seeing him in and by mid-July I was set on shooting him.

(CORTNEY NALLY PHOTOGRAPHY, VIA NICK BERRETH)

However, two weeks went by without seeing him, so I started searching a wider area. One day I’d hiked all morning and into the afternoon. It was 3 o’clock and well over 100 degrees and I was looking for shade and running out of water, so I sat on the hot sand, ate my last snack bar and sipped what little water I had left and started glassing a water line in the distance. I spotted a buck and thought it had to be Freight Train.

I snuck in closer to try to get a better look and possibly some pictures to record his growth, but couldn’t find him. Desperate to spot him, I hoped to catch a glimpse of a horn in the thick willow cover I knew he would be bedded in. After checking several areas I slowly made my way over a small dune when suddenly a huge rain cloud came over and dumped huge raindrops, which felt amazing in the 100-degree heat. After enjoying the two or three minutes of rain I took a few steps more and crash! Two big bucks jumped out from right below me.

(NICK BERRETH)

That’s not Freight Train, I thought. It was another giant. This can’t be real, I thought! This buck was a true swamp donkey and instantly made me change my focus to him.

In the coming weeks I would spot this super swamper several times. I’d been sharing my pics with Cortney and he wanted to get some pics of him, so we went out looking for the buck I had named Mickey. We ended up jumping him and the three-point I had first seen him with, and Cortney was able to get a couple great pics of him with what sounded like a fully automatic camera. I could hear pics being taken faster than I had ever heard.

(NICK BERRETH)

WITH JUST THREE MORE WEEKS UNTIL opening day, I decided to give Mickey some space. But just one week out I couldn’t stay away, so back to the swamp I went, back to where I had seen him.

I snuck in, peeked over a small dune and spotted the three-point Mickey had been with weeks before. As I got my camera out to snap a couple pics, a spike that was also with the three-point stood up and acted as if he had heard something. I looked around and right below me was a giant rack. It was Mickey.

As soon as I tried to get pictures of him, the spike started to run right at me! I instantly turned to get out of there as quickly as I could, but it was no use. As I was scrambling I looked over my shoulder and saw nothing but antlers coming at me. The only thing I could do was hide in the biggest sagebrush I could and it became a waiting game.

For almost an hour the bucks knew something wasn’t right, so they investigated all around me. Pinned down, I just had to wait it out, and eventually they wandered off. But with the season only a week away I was worried; had I just spooked this buck for the last time? Would he be back? All I could do was wait through what seemed like the longest week of my life.

(NICK BERRETH)

FINALLY IT WAS OPENING DAY! I was quick to go right to the spot I had seen Mickey the week before and was met with a pleasant surprise. Across the swamp in some willows I saw a giant frame buck for just a split second. It had to be him, I thought.

I sat there all day in the 102-degree heat, waiting for the buck to reveal himself again, but he never did, leaving me disappointed. I went out the next day and didn’t see a buck, so I was even more disappointed. I thought I had pressured them too much. The next day, angry with myself, I made the 3-mile hike to the swamp Mickey had called home, and to my surprise he was there. I was so happy!

Immediately I formed a plan. As he disappeared into a thick willow patch that had sagebrush behind it, I began to make a large loop around the swamp, keeping the wind in my favor, and sneaking within 100 yards of where I had last saw him. I waited to see if the wind had changed, as the closer I got, it seemed less and less consistent. Sure of the wind I slipped off my pack and slipped on my Sneak Tec slippers and closed the distance.

Now I was right where he’d gone into the willows. I started looking around, wondering, do I just sit here all day again? Surely he would come right back out where he went in. But with my food and water supply dwindling and discouraged by the first day’s unproductive sit, I decided to be more aggressive. I looked around and saw a plastic water bottle partially buried under some sand. I thought I could put some sand in the bottle and throw it in hopes of spooking the buck out into the open, so that’s what I did.

(NICK BERRETH)

Afterwards, I heard footsteps behind the wall of willows and knew it was a deer. It started blowing at me. At that point, we couldn’t see each other, so I decided to sneak around the other side and check it out. As I got around I found the culprit: a lone doe, confused and running back and forth, not knowing where she should go.

As I snuck past her (or so I thought) she came from behind me, ran at and then right past me! At that point I let my guard down, thinking my buck had slipped away yet again. There’s no way he’s still in here, I thought, with all that noise the doe had just made.

As I slowly made my way down to the backside of the willows where he had gone in I stepped on a small stick – crack! As I looked over my right shoulder, a huge velvet-covered rack rose up 50 yards from me. I dropped below cover, drew my bow, and just as I came back up, shaking intensely, the buck showed me nothing but mass and throat patch and in an instant took off. That was the closest I had ever been to a giant buck and I thought I’d blown it.

THE NEXT WEEK I TALKED A BUDDY I work with and have known for over 30 years into giving me another set of eyes. The following week we made the 3-mile hike in and got to our glassing point. As the sun came up, we started seeing several bucks in the swamp, and then we spotted Mickey!

The plan was to separate, so I went over to where I had seen him the week before opening day. I watched as five nice bucks went off into the willows and bedded, but not Mickey; he bedded right in the middle of his food source.

I called Jason and said, “I’ve never seen him do that!” There was no cover around him, so how would I ever put a stalk on him? As we were discussing a plan of attack, something happened and the five bucks came running from 600 yards. I asked Jason if he saw them and he said he did, “Yup! They’re coming right at me!”

I told him to hold on, and as I set the phone down, Mickey stood up. He was about 400 yards away and the other bucks were closing on me fast. As I took my arrow from my quiver, the deer started running right past me. They stopped and I ranged a nice four-point, probably 170-inch buck, at 23 yards.

I looked over my shoulder and saw Mickey coming the same way these deer had, so I intentionally scared off the buck within range. Crazy, but my eye was on Mickey.

As I waited for my 23-yard shot at Mickey, he decided to go a different route. Frantically I called Jason, and he said “He’s just over the hill from you!”

The buck was right between us, so I hurried over the hill and spotted a deer feeding my way. It was a spike and was 35 yards away. Then Mickey came over the hill feeding right towards me. As I watched him make his way closer, his huge velvet-covered horns kept drawing my eye. As he lifted and lowered his head my heart rate skyrocketed. I couldn’t even keep my breath, as I was having a meltdown.

I tried ranging him several times, and as I did that I finally got a range on a bush near him. But as I did so, the spike saw me move. Like all curious spikes seem to do, he came right over to investigate. I froze; he winded me and ran right to Mickey, who jumped right behind the bush I had ranged at 55 yards.

It was now a stand-off like before. The wise buck only showed me his neck and head. And like that, they ran off straight to my buddy. Jason took a couple pictures for me and that was the last we saw of Mickey that day.

THE NEXT DAY WE WENT OUT AND GLASSED the area. As Jason spotted Mickey, I spotted another buck that we hadn’t seen in the swamp – a huge-framed buck! As I took the spotting scope and got it on him I realized it was Freight Train. I hadn’t seen him in over a month and he’d grown over 6 inches on most all of his tines.

As we watched Mickey bed in an impossible willow patch, Jason suggested I go after Freight Train, so I did. As I was looking for him, I ran into another hunter. I was surprised because I hadn’t seen anyone out here in the three months I’d been scouting or hunting. What’s more, he was within 100 yards of Freight Train and had to have seen him.

As I thought of ways to divert the guy from my honey hole, Jason texted me to say Mickey was on the move. So I gave up on Freight Train and told the guy well I was going back the same way I’d come in, and he said he’d go another way. OK, I thought, he won’t see anything over there.

I called Jason to get directions where to go and slip in on Mickey, but as I was heading that direction I saw the guy again and he was trying to cut me off. He had to have seen Mickey, as he was heading right for him! So I gave him a few recognizable hand gestures and so did Jason, and he actually turned around. With our focus on him and with me trying to close the distance, crash! the willows exploded. Mickey had been 15 yards deep in the trees and had seen me.

I cussed my spotter but soon realized he couldn’t have known where I was and the deer was, so I would have to wait another week.

(NICK BERRETH)

THE THIRD WEEK I WAS SOLO AND discouraged. I’d seen Mickey three of four hunting days but with little success. The last day I had to hunt that week was a Monday and I was going to head back to reality and work on Tuesday. But something was different that day: It was raining for the first time in months, since the first time I’d seen Mickey, in fact. And the wind was strong; it was steady and not like before, when it would go one way in the morning then change as the day got warmer.

Watching Mickey that morning he did something different: He bedded much earlier than normal, well over an hour before usual.

And he was by himself!

As I waited for other deer to bed, two really nice bucks walked right in front of me at 70 yards. Although tempting I had my mind set on one buck. As they all bedded I hurried across the swamp. Several does remained in it, but as I held up my Heads Up Decoy, they just looked at me and continued feeding, so I was able to get close to where I had last seen Mickey.

I then waited all day, trying to talk myself into staying. After hours of debating I realized time was flying. It was 3 o’clock, so I found a nice spot to sit. My wife called and talked me into staying. I was already committed, so I waited. An hour and a half went by with many thoughts going through my mind. I was very close to him; I could smell him. I thought about sneaking into the willows, hoping for a shot or throwing sticks in to spook him out, but that hadn’t worked in the past.

It was around 5 o’clock when I stood up to stretch and that’s when I saw him. Mickey was feeding 100 yards from me. The wind was still constant and blowing in my face at 20 mph. I took my binoculars and pack off, and grabbed my range finder and bow. He was in a small depression and between us there was a small hill, maybe just a foot taller than the rest of the ground, so I belly crawled to that.

The buck was now 60 yards broadside feeding towards me. My heart rate was going good, but mainly from the stalk. Otherwise, I was pretty calm compared to my prior encounters.

As I debated whether to let him get closer or not, he lifted his head and pinned his ears in the other direction. I worried that that spike or some other deer was coming. So at that moment I decided I wasn’t going to let my nerves catch up. I took all the arrows off my quiver, nocked my favorite, drew my bow, and put my pin on his back rib, as I knew the wind was going to blow my arrow at least a foot.

With the 60-yard pin on him, I let it go. I watched my arrow get half way and start jumping right. Just as I planned it, I connected: I saw my arrow pass through him.

He took three jumps, stopped and looked back at me, then fell over dead.

I was in disbelief! I had just made the best shot of my life, on the best buck of my life!

(NICK BERRETH)

What A Deal! Free Fishing In Oregon On Black Friday, Small Biz Saturday

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

ODFW is waiving all fishing licensing requirements on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving to encourage people to #optoutside with friends and family during the long holiday weekend.

(ANDY WALGAMOTT)

On Nov. 24 and 25, 2017, all fishing, crabbing and clamming in Oregon will be free for both Oregon residents and non-residents. That means no licenses, tags or endorsements are needed on those days. All other fishing regulations apply.

Below are some good bets for fishing, crabbing or clamming on Thanksgiving weekend. For more, check ODFW’s Recreation Report, which is updated on Wednesday each week. Be sure to check water conditions and the weather forecast before heading out and dress appropriately. If you’re heading to the coast, be wary of high surf.

Trout: Lakes and reservoirs across Oregon have been stocked with trout in recent weeks, and several western Oregon lakes will be stocked the week of Nov. 20 including: Waverly Lake (Albany), Emigrant Lake (Ashland), Hyatt Reservoir (SE of Ashland), Applegate Reservoir (SW of Ashland), Expo Pond (Central Point), Faraday Lake (Estacada), Blue Lake (Fairview), St Louis Ponds (Gervais), Reinhard Park Pond (Grants Pass),  Mt Hood Pond (MHCC-Gresham), Junction City Pond, Medco Pond (east of Lost Creek Lake), Willow Lake (east of Medford), Agate Reservoir (White City/Medford), Garrison Lake (Port Orford), Walter Wirth Lake and Walling Pond (Salem), Alton Baker Canal (Springfield) and Progress Lake (Tigard).

Winter steelhead: Thanksgiving usually marks the beginning of winter steelhead season on the coast, and some early returning hatchery fish have already been caught. Check the Recreation Report for the latest on conditions.

Crabbing and clamming: While some crabbing closures are in effect due to domoic acid and ocean crabbing is closed, recreational crabbing is open in bays and estuaries and on beaches, docs, and piers from the north jetty of Coos Bay to Tahkenitch Creek and from north of Cape Foulweather to the Columbia River. Always check ODA’s shellfish page before crabbing or clamming for the latest information on any closures due to domoic acid http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/programs/FoodSafety/Shellfish/Pages/ShellfishClosures.aspx  Bay clam and mussel harvesting are currently open along the entire Oregon coast and razor clamming is open on Clatsop County beaches.

For tips on how and where to fish, crab and clam, visit ODFW’s new webpage www.myodfw.com

 

Hatchery Steelhead Retention Opening For A-runs In Lower Snake

THE FOLLOWING IS AN EMERGENCY RULE-CHANGE NOTICE FROMT HE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF IFSH AND WILDLIFE

Hatchery steelhead retention to open in lower Snake River

Action: Opens lower Snake River to retention of hatchery steelhead measuring under 28 inches in length.

SNAKE RIVER ANGLERS BELOW CLARKSTON WILL BE ABLE TO RETAIN HATCHERY STEELHEAD AS OF SATURDAY, NOV. 18, BUT ONLY THOSE LESS THAN 28 INCHES. SOPHIA WITHROW CAUGHT THIS ONE IN 2012 OFF WAWAWAI. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Location:

  • Snake River from the mouth of the river (Burbank to Pasco railroad bridge at Snake River mile 1.25) to the Washington/Idaho state line, at Clarkston Wash.: Daily limit of 2 hatchery steelhead; release all steelhead 28 inches or greater in length.

Areas already open to steelhead retention:

  • Snake River from the Idaho/Washington state line (at Clarkston, Wash.) upstream to the Couse Creek Boat Ramp: Daily limit of 2 hatchery steelhead; release all steelhead 28 inches or greater in length.
  • Snake River from Couse Creek Boat Ramp upstream to the Idaho/Oregon state line: Daily limit of 2 hatchery steelhead; no size restrictions.

Dates:   Nov. 18, 2017, until further notice.

Species affected:  Steelhead.

Reason for action: Lagging steelhead returns during the summer of 2017 led fisheries managers to initially close or reduce daily limits for steelhead fisheries to protect both A-run steelhead (fish smaller than 28 inches) and B-run steelhead (those 28 inches and larger) destined for the Columbia and Snake river basins. However, A-run steelhead, both wild and hatchery-origin adults, have returned in adequate numbers to allow opening portions of the Snake River to steelhead retention, including the lower portion of the river.

Allowing retention of fish measuring less than 28 inches in length will give anglers the opportunity to harvest excess hatchery A-run steelhead, while still providing protection to the remaining B-run steelhead within this reach. WDFW will continue to monitor the steelhead run over the coming months, and either curtail the harvest of steelhead if needed, or provide more harvest opportunity if possible. Anglers fishing in this area should continue to check emergency rules for any updates.

Other Information: Anglers must use barbless hooks when fishing for chinook or steelhead in the Snake River.  Anglers cannot remove any chinook or steelhead from the water unless it is retained as part of their daily bag limit. Anglers should be sure to identify their catch because unmarked chinook salmon, coho salmon and steelhead are also in the Snake River during this fishery.

Anglers are reminded to check the 2017/2018 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for other regulations, including possession limits, safety closures, and a definition of a hatchery steelhead.  Anglers should continue to check emergency regulations for new and changing seasons.