All posts by Andy Walgamott

Pend Oreille Pike Explosion

Rich Landers covers the surprising growth of northern pike populations in Northeast Washington’s Pend Oreille River in a big article yesterday.

“Where we caught three or four fish in a net last year, we were catching six to nine or more,” WDFW biologist Marc Divens told the Spokane Spokesman-Review outdoor reporter.

WDFW and the Kalispell Tribe netted the river on two occasions this spring, catching nearly 800 of the fish, which are believed to have come downriver from Montana and Idaho and are now breeding.

About 10 years ago a friend who worked for the tribe told me about pike in the Pend Oreille. It was kind of a local secret at that point, but the fishery has become more and more known with Landers’ coverage as well as articles in the old Washington Fishing & Hunting News.

The PO used to be known for its largemouth bass angling — it plays host to the fourth of five tourneys this weekend — but more and more anglers are targeting northerns.

The majority of the anglers coming to the river are fishing for pike,” Kalispell bio Jason Connors tells Landers. “That’s a big change in just the past few years, when most anglers were after bass or other fish.”

And this fall, NW Tiger Pac will hold a northern pike derby on the river.

Leroy Ledeboer covered the spring fishing in the May issue of Northwest Sportsman:

THE PIKE DIDN’T STOP at the state line. In Washington they’ve established at least footholds, Long Lake (also known as Lake Spokane) and the Pend Oreille River.

But unless they’re keeping mighty quiet about it, very few anglers are specifically targeting Long’s northerns despite the fact that it’s held our state record, a 34-pounder since 2004. The monsters that get nailed on that reservoir usually fall to bass guys flipping the right cranks or spinnerbaits.

Long’s pike, which most likely came down the Spokane River from CDA, have a fantastic prey base but apparently haven’t found any real spawning grounds, so what you have is a fairly small number of large fish.

On the other hand, the pike in the Pend Oreille are definitely propagating, creating a fishery where the bulk of your catch will be in the 3- to 7-pound class, with a fair percentage of low to midteeners. And you’ve always got a shot at a real trophy, a mid-20’s or even 30-pound monster.

“Yes, it’s becoming better known all the time, primarily as a place you might nail that trophy pike,” notes John Norisada, manager of the fishing department at Spokane’s Wholesale Sports (509-891-1900). “Once we get into late April and May, when the river is at full pool and the turbid water disappears, you can sight fish all those back bays where the pike will be sunning themselves and lying in wait for their next meal.”

A REPLICA MOUNT OF THE 30-POUND, 48-INCH NORTHERN PIKE JENNY NORISADA CAUGHT OUT OF THE PEND OREILLE RIVER. (JOHN NORISADA)

ALTHOUGH SOME BACK BAYS have local names, Norisada says they’re not really important. The key is to motor up the main channel until you spot what looks like a good back bay then switch over to your electric and motor quietly in and get ready to cast to your target.

“You’ll want a good pair of polarized glasses to do your spotting,” he adds. “They’ll just be lying up in the 3- to 4-foot shallows, where the water is warmest and baitfish are the most plentiful.”

Originally it was bassers who came back with tales of pike hook-ups, and the spinnerbaits, cranks and spoons designed for big largemouth will still work, though tossing somewhat larger sizes for these toothy predators is now the rule.

“We’ve also had good luck with bigger swimbaits in perch, white, gold, any minnow imitation,” Norisada says. “But a lot of big spoons work well too, ones that imitate minnows, or Dardevles in a variety of colors.

“Sometimes, though, especially early on, it seems as if they won’t hit anything, but usually by May it’s ‘game on.’ Pike are ambush hunters and get pretty active when conditions are right.

Suspending jerkbaits, like the Rapala Husky Jerk or Lucky Craft Point, can be particularly effective. But we’ve gone to 80-pound fluorescent carbon leader instead of steel because when the pike are finicky, that helps.”

If you want more latitude, purchase a Kalispel tribal permit to fish the bays on the reservation at Usk and northwards, but Norisada says he’s always found plenty of opportunity without that.

Those shallow back bays should be good through May and possibly right through early June, but as summer comes on and the water recedes, it’s time to move out farther and fish the weed lines, anywhere from 7 to 10 feet.

NOW THAT THE Pend Oreille is gaining popularity as a trophy pike fishery, we can only maintain that through catch and release. Even that real prize pike, that 30 lb. behemoth you want for your wall, can be carefully measured, photographed and then released because today’s replicas are every bit as good as any dead fish mount. –Leroy Ledeboer

A SELECTION OF PEND OREILLE PIKE LURES. (JOHN NORISADA)

Whale Close In Off Edmonds

A whale is being reported between the Edmonds ferry dock and marina breakwall, according to a woman whose office is nearby.

“He is mostly on his side. He rolls over sometimes and sprays water out his blow hole. He seems pretty bummed,” says Michelle Fleming of Seattle earlier this morning. “My co-worker thinks he’s like 20 feet long. I can see his fins come up and he is moving around right out between the ferry terminal and the pier.”

WDFW Enforcement has received another report of the incident and was trying to contact NOAA.

As of 11:30 a.m., the whale was still in “pretty close in to shore,” but had not beached itself, as this blurb earlier intimated.

Plenty Of Trout Still At 2 Seattle Lakes

Who would have ever guessed that rowing very slowly around a lake all day would make a person so sore?

Not exactly a glowing endorsement for my pontoon boat’s manufacturer, I know, but it was worth it as I look back over this past weekend.

With the Missus and boys down south, I was able to spend much of Saturday and most of Sunday on a trio of Seattle lakes, catching and releasing over 30 rainbows and losing about half that many more.

I had my best luck at Green Lake — yes, that Green Lake, the one that people stroll/power walk/jog around in Seattle — in the rain yesterday, catching 18, but on Saturday, 11 came to the boat at Lake Ballinger, three at Echo Lake. Both of the latter two lakes are near the Shoreline Costco off Aurora.

Big fish at all three went about 14 inches; it was the first one I caught at Green and it nearly ripped the rod out of the boat, The Creek Company’s ODC XR 10 pontoon.

Two others were just under that mark while an 8-incher brought up the rear.

An olive Woolly Bugger did most of the damage, catching rainbows at all three lakes under sunny, overcast and raining skies, but a brown one performed well too while good ol’ Dick Nites in half-and-half and white-and-red yielded a handful at Green during a lull in the action.

While there was a whole pile of other boats trolling an array of gear at Ballinger — two guys in a raft dragging PowerBait had a pretty nice stringer going — there was only one other guy on the water at Green, a float tuber.

That guy claimed Green fishes best in the rain, and that’s what I found — good in the morning drizzle, slow around midday under just cloudy skies then better fishing when it began misting again. He caught a 16-incher on some sort of white fly that the fish destroyed.

Despite the lake’s reputation, the rainbows at Green are in beautiful shape, are chunky and most fought well while the fish at Ballinger might as well have been weeds as I reeled them in.

I worked around Green’s entire perimeter, and found fish near the bathhouse, along the north shore and in the bay by the boat rental, but the best area was south of Duck Island.

The water south of Ballinger’s island, the lake’s deepest, was also the most productive.

On Echo, it was the east side of the lake, from the dock with the blue canoe and pink Adirondack chair south 50 yards or so.

My setup at all three lakes was pretty simple: a 5-foot hank of 6-pound-test Pline leader behind an 1/8-ounce bullet weight and small barrel swivel on an ultralight trout rod.

My trolling speeds varied from just about dead as I worked the sharp dropoff on Echo’s east side to walking pace at Green to keep my setup out of the weeds. When I got home and looked up Green’s contours in my Lakes of Washington book, I was surprised to see that the water I’d primarily concentrated on was only between 10 and 15 feet deep.

From Green’s bank, there are all sorts of access points to plunk or fish with a bobber. Interestingly, though, I didn’t catch any fish while trolling in front of shore sitters.

That said, I was surprised so many fish were still available at Ballinger and Green, and I would guess that as long as it doesn’t heat up significantly, good fishing should continue at both.

Green has been planted with 21,000 8- to 12-inchers and 638 1.5-pounders, Ballinger with 5,000 catchables and Echo with 1,000 of the smaller rainbows.

WDFW Completes Eder Ranch Buy

The last part of what’s being called “literally the largest northernmost private holding of shrub-steppe habitat in the United States” was approved for purchase by Washington’s Fish & Wildlife Commission.

A short while ago, WDFW announced it had acquired the final 748 acres of the Eder Ranch in northern Okanogan County, the last part of a project to secure the 5,738-acre property just east of Oroville.

The ranch belonged to Charles and Sally Eder. The asking price for the last jag was $565,000. Funds came from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program.

The overall buy provides linkage for shrub-steppe habitat on both sides of the border and protects vulnerable land from development, WDFW says.

“This habitat type is under extreme development pressures on both sides of the lntemational boundary. Along with significant white-tail and mule deer winter range protection, this propertyhas habitat for shrub-steppe obligates, such as sharp-tailed grouse, long-billed curlews, burrowing owls, sage thrasher, loggerhead shrike, Brewer’s sparrow, lark sparrow, sage sparrow, pygmy short homed lizard, desert night snake, spadefoot toad, and pallid
bat.”

Just to the east of the ranch, the land has been subdivided into many smaller parcels.

Of note to hunters, since 2007, WDFW has conducted an annual midsummer raffle to allow a very limited number of riflemen, archers and muzzleloaders to chase deer on the ranch.

PART OF THE EDER RANCH, EAST OF OROVILLE AND NOW OWNED BY WDFW. (WDFW)

The agency began acquiring the ranch in June 2007 with a grant from BPA which allowed for purchase of 3,300 acres.  WWRP funded another 1,692-acre buy in December 2008.

The last 748 acres have also been reserved as “life estates” for the lifetime of the Eders and their children.

The area will be managed as part of WDFW’s Scotch Creek Wildlife Area.

The Commission also approved the purchase of a 448-acre conservation easement on the Hundley property along the Yakima River in Kittitas County to protect riparian habitat used as a migratory corridor for elk, deer and other wildlife.

NSIA Psyched For Summer Kings — And Not Just The Fishing

(NORTHWEST SPORTFISHING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION PRESS RELEASE)

On June 16, the mainstem Columbia River from the Astoria Bridge at the mouth to Priest Rapids Dam will open for a full season of summer Chinook fishing with a mark select fishery that is scheduled to last through the opening of the Fall Chinook fishery on August l.

In a mark-select fishery, hatchery fish-which have had their adipose fin removed-may be retained. Wild summer Chinook will be release unharmed. This will not only provide more protection of wild fish, mark-select fisheries nearly double the length of the time sport anglers can spend on the water.

Because of low return numbers, sport fishing for summer Chinook ended in 1974 and did not reopen until 2002. In 2005, the states agreed to a fishery that was catch and kill of wild summer Chinook. That decision was opposed by NSIA and the majority of sport clubs, but supported by the gillnet fleet.

NSIA has since advocated that anglers voluntarily release wild summer Chinook, and retain the adipose marked hatchery salmon, while urging the responsible agencies to prohibit retention of wild summer Chinook.

In 2002, a selective sport season provided the Northwest with the economic and cultural benefits of nearly 55,000 angler trips in less than six weeks. In contrast, the catch-and-kill wild fish policy in effect in 2007 translated into 28,000 angler trips.

Mark-select fisheries can help keep hatchery fish off spawning beds, provide more protections to wild fish and dramatically increase the economic benefits sport fisheries provide to communities.

Today’s summer Chinook are remnants of a huge race of salmon, once known as “June Hogs” for their size and strength. June Hogs, known to reach up to 70 pounds, were nearly eliminated when most of their spawning and rearing grounds were blocked by the building of the Grand Coulee Dam and from overfishing.

“It’s gratifying to know that in 2010, more wild summer Chinook will reach their spawning beds in the upper Columbia and its tributaries. Some of these mighty salmon enter the Columbia in May and June and end up spawning in Canada via the Okanogan River. It’s a real testament to the tenacity of wild fish and their genetics” said Liz Hamilton, executive director of the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association.

Buzz Ramsey, brand manager for Yakima Bait, added, “Although summer Chinook come in all sizes, they often average 25 to 35 pounds and can reach weights of 40 pounds or more. These salmon pass close to the homes of many Northwest residents, sustaining rural jobs as they move up the Columbia. And summer Chinook are accessible to those fishing from the bank or a boat. Since the reopening of this fishery in 2002 after a 29-year fishing closure, this has become a favorite fishery for many Northwest residents, including me and my family!”

Hamilton finished: “Given the unemployment rates in Oregon and Washington, having a full summer Chinook fishery, followed on August 1, by nearly three-quarters of a million fall Chinook, returns will punctuate that sportfishing means business. Policies that create full sport fisheries sustain jobs in every corner of the Northwest.”

2 More Scientists Join NSIA Board

(NORTHWEST SPORTFISHING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION PRESS RELEASE)

Retired scientists, Dr. Douglas DeHart and Dan Diggs have been appointed to the Science and Policy Board for the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association (NSIA), bringing the number of science professionals to six.

The newly expanded advisory board lends accumulative career experience of over 230 years in natural resource and fishery management expertise to NSIA.

The Science and Policy Board advises the Board, staff and Government Affairs directors on the scientific and regulatory management implications prior to the development of industry policy positions.  NSIA science advisors are unpaid volunteers.

Dan Diggs joins NSIA after a 35-year career at US Fish and Wildlife Service, retiring as the Fisheries Program Assistant Regional Director responsible for all aspects of Fisheries Program in Pacific Region.  Of great value to NSIA is his most recent focus on hatchery reform efforts throughout the Northwest, Columbia River Basin endangered species adjudication issues, development of National Fish Habitat initiatives in the Northwest, U.S. vs. Oregon policy issues, and as the FWS representative to the Columbia Basin Federal Caucus.

Mr. Digg’s latest honor was the February 2010 Oregon Chapter of American Fisheries Society’s Award of Merit for career long advancement of the principles of science in managing fisheries programs.

Dan is married, an avid angler and conservationist, with two sons and three grandchildren.

Dr. Douglas DeHart is a familiar face in Oregon natural resource management with 35 years of state and federal fishery agency experience, much of that in the Columbia Basin.

Dr. DeHart received his B.S. in Biology from Harvard University, M.S. in Fisheries from Oregon State University, and Ph.D. in Fisheries from the University of Washington.  His expertise spans fishery research, hatchery operations and reforms, and habitat restoration programs.

Career positions have included fishery research coordinator for the Corps of Engineers Portland, Bioengineering Chief for National Marine Fisheries Service, Chief of Fisheries for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and senior fishery biologist at the US Fish and Wildlife Service. He has special expertise in the design, operation, and evaluation of fish passage and screening facilities and was recently appointed by the Director to the Fish Screening Task Force for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Doug is an avid boater, has two grown sons, and maintains a small consulting firm in Oregon City.

Chair and coordinator of NSIA’s Science and Policy Board, Rod Sando welcomed the two new partners.

“It is a pleasure to apply our collective experience and knowledge to an organization at the forefront of fishery management issues in the northwest.  We welcome these extremely competent people to the science board.  This greatly strengthens the qualifications on the NSIA bench, enabling us to be even more effective in the future,”  said Sando.

June Shooting Events In NE WA Announced

Billed as the 1st Annual Northeast Washington Ultimate Shooting Events, the public is invited to a weekend of shooting competition and instruction June 13 in Colville, while members of a local NWTF chapter can also compete in a weekend-long coyote hunt in Stevens, Ferry and Pend Oreille Counties with cash prizes plus a raffle varmint rifle.

Sponsored by the Colville Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Remington Arms, Marlin Firearms and Washington For Wildlife, the shooting events will be held at the Colville Gun Club.

“The purpose of this event is to provide fun and exciting events for all levels and types of shooters,” says a press release sent out by one of the organizers, Dale Denney of Bearpaw Outfitters.

Burgers, drinks and snacks will be sold by a local 4-H shooting team which is raising money to compete at
the National 4-H Shooting Competition in late June.

If you preregister by June 7th, it’s free and insures your entry in the free events, and if you participate in at least one of the Remington shooting events and are present for the drawing at 5:00 p.m. June 13, you
will be eligible to win a $100 early bird prize.

The coyote hunt features cash prizes for the four teams who turn in the most coyotes while all participants have a chance to win a Remington Tactical Varmint Rifle donated by Remington Arms.

Coyote hunters who pre-register by June 7 will also be eligible to win the $100 Early Bird Raffle. To compete, you must be a member of the Colville chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation and register by 9 p.m. Friday, June 11. Late entries will not be accepted. Interested hunters are encouraged to join the Colville Chapter; membership is only $50.

The lineup includes:

Coyote Hunting Competition
When: June 12-13
Cost: Free, but Colville NWTF chapter membership required (join for $50)
Where: Hunt anywhere in Stevens, Ferry and Pend Oreille Counties
Prizes: Remington Varmint Rifle, cash for top 4 teams, $100 early bird raffle
More info: http://colvillenwtf.com/coyotecontest.html

Remington / Marlin Free Shooting Events
When: June 13
Cost: Free
Where: Colville Gun Club (3 mile east of Colville on Highway 20)
Prizes: Remington baseball caps and promotional gear
More info: http://hunt.info/shootingcontest.html

Ultimate Shooting Competition
When: June 13
Cost: $20 per event (categories: pistol, rifle, bow, muzzleloader, shotgun)
Where: Colville Gun Club (3 mile east of Colville on Highway 20)
Prizes: 70% cash payback on each 4- or 5-person event, 5% Ultimate Shooter Cash Purse from all events.
More info: http://hunt.info/shootingcontest.html

Remington / Marlin Free Shooting Clinic
When: June 13
Cost: Free
Where: Colville Gun Club (3 mile east of Colville on Hwy 20)
Prizes: None, this is an opportunity for individuals to learn how to shoot Remington guns and ammo under professional supervision.
More info: http://hunt.info/shootingcontest.html

Mining Puts Chetco On Endangered List: Group

American Rivers came out with their annual ranking of the most endangered rivers in America, and this year’s list includes the Chetco River, home to some whopper Chinook and steelhead — as well as gold.

A company wants to begin suction mining the Southern Oregon stream this summer, but American Rivers, calling the Chetco a “rare priceless treasure” in a sample letter, is asking people to write to the state’s two U.S. Senators as well as a House Rep to request they withdraw the National Wild and Scenic stretch as well as Rough and Ready Creek and Baldface Creek from mining activity.

OPB has a story that details more about the company’s plans, the concern of a local guide and why state biologists think summer would be an OK time to mine.

The Chetco produced a 58-pound Chinook last season for a client of guide Andy Martin.

In previous years, American Rivers has put other regional rivers on its most endangered list, including the Lower Snake last year, Rogue in 2008, White Salmon in 2007, Willamette and Boise in 2006, Skykomish in 2005, Spokane in 2004 and the Hanford Reach in 1997 and 1998.

Bumper Steelie Run Forecast

Columbia River managers have finally come out with a forecast for 2010’s upriver summer steelhead run, and it’s a doozy — 453,000 Skamanias, A-runs and B-runs, of which 73 percent will be keepable hatchery fish.

That figure is well over last year’s initial forecast for above-Bonneville-bound fish — 351,800 steelhead — though the run actually came in at just over 601,000.

(WDFW)

The forecast was made in a PDF entitled “2010 Columbia River Mouth Fish Returns Actual and Forecasts,” which is expected to be posted in a day or so.

The highlight may be a very strong return of B-run steelies. Twice as many of those big beefy battlers heading for Central Idaho as came in last season are expected this year.

A person familiar with the forecast credits “positive ocean conditions, which were reflected in last year’s strong return of Group A (mainly 1-salt fish).  We are hoping to see some of that benefit carry over to Group B (mainly 2-salt fish).”

Already this year, anglers have seen good fishing for some early Skamania-strain stocks such as those returning to the Washougal and Klickitat on the Washington side and the upper Willamette on the Oregon side.

So far this year, 10,125 steelies have gone over Bonneville, 4,000 more than the 10-year average and 5,000 more than at the same time in 2009.

Based on stats from a joint ODFW/WDFW 2009 spring and summer salmonid stock assessment, if the run of 453,000 does come in, it would be the fourth largest since 1984; if the B-run comes in as expected, it would be second only to 2002’s 129,000; if the A-run comes in, it would be the third largest to last year and 2001.

To intercept the runs, check out the June issue of Northwest Sportsman for details on fishing the Columbia River as well as four Southwest Washington tribs, plus Buzz Ramsey’s tips for scamming Skamanias.

What’s Fishin’ In Oregon

I don’t think I’ve ever seen the public pier off the Rogue Ales brewhouse in Newport so crowded as I did last weekend. On one tide, crabbers lined it from one end to the other practically.

Yaquina Bay itself was also pretty packed with boaters tending their pots.

Out on the ocean, I counted no less than 15 sport and charter boats making repeated southeasterly passes off of Lost Creek.

And up on the Siletz there were several steelheaders’ trailers at Twin Bridges, and a report of cutthroats, or bluebacks, down low.

Seems like that weekend just ended, but at midweek, we’re on the downhill slide to this weekend.

With that in mind, ODFW’s updated their weekly Recreation Report; here are highlights.

SOUTHWEST ZONE

  • Trout fishing on Applegate and Howard Prairie reservoir has been very good.
  • Many boat anglers have been catching their limit of trout on Fish Lake, which is scheduled to be stocked again this week.
  • Bass, bluegill and crappie are starting to move into shallow waters and fishing for them has been good on several lakes and reservoirs. Largemouth bass are on their spawning beds in several waters including Powers Pond and Tenmile lakes.

NORTHWEST ZONE

  • Coffenbury, Cape Meares, Town, and South lakes will be stocked with legal size rainbow trout the week of June 7, prior to free fishing weekend. Angling should be good.
  • Hatchery winter and summer steelhead have been released into Olalla Reservoir multiple times this spring and will continue into June. Hatchery steelhead are considered “trophy trout” and a hatchery harvest card is not necessary.
  • Tillamook Bay: Fishing for adipose fin-clipped spring chinook has been consistently good. Fish are available throughout the bay and tidewater. Try trolling herring along the jetties or near the coast guard station, especially on softer tide series. Spinners usually produce best in the upper bay, with bobber and eggs/shrimp productive in tidewater areas. Fishing for sturgeon has been slow. Best catches generally come from the upper bay and Tillamook River tidewater as the spring goes on.
  • Trask River: Steelhead angling has been fair. Fish are spread out through the river. Fishing for adipose fin-clipped spring chinook has been good. Fish are being caught throughout the lower river and up to the Dam Hole. Due to the apparent good return of spring Chinook, the season in the hatchery hole at Trask Hatchery has been extended through June 15.

WILLAMETTE ZONE

  • ODFW will host a free youth fishing event Saturday, June 5 at the Alton Baker Canoe Canal from 09:30 AM – 1:00 PM. The site will be stocked with 1500 legal, 250 larger sized, and 5 trophy trout. ODFW staff and volunteers will be onsite to assist youth anglers during the event.
  • Steelhead and spring chinook are being caught in the McKenzie and Middle Fork of the Willamette Rivers. Anglers should pay attention to water levels and temperatures to increase success.
  • Shad fishing is picking up on the Willamette River and Multnomah Channel.
  • Spring chinook are still being taken on the Willamette River and in the Multnomah Channel.
  • More than 42,000 spring chinook have crossed Willamette Falls and are moving into the upper Willamette and its tributaries. Try fishing at San Salvador and Wheatland Ferry on the Willamette and around the mouths of the Tualatin, Molalla, and Santiam rivers.
  • Steelhead fishing is fair on the Clackamas River, with both summers and winters being caught. A few spring chinook have been caught in the lower river over the past week.
  • Summer steelhead fishing is picking up on the Sandy River.

CENTRAL ZONE

  • There are still good hatches of golden stone and salmonflies on the Deschutes River from Maupin to Warm Springs.
  • Antelope Flat Reservoir has been stocked with trout and is open for fishing.
  • Fishing on Lake Billy Chinook has been good for both kokanee and bull trout.
  • Kingsley Reservoir has been stocked and should offer some excellent spring fishing.

GUIDE CRAIG MOSTUL'S BEEN FINDING GOOD FISHING IN CENTRAL OREGON. (CRAIG MOSTUL)

SOUTHEAST ZONE

  • Recent unstable weather has hindered fishing success throughout the zone, but persistent anglers have been rewarded.
  • Fishing on Ana Reservoir has been very good for anglers using bait.
  • Rainbow and brown trout fishing also is improving on the lower Owyhee River.
  • The Powder River is open for spring chinook with a daily bag limit of two fish.

NORTHEAST ZONE

  • Fishing for 8 to 10-inch crappie has been good on McKay Reservoir.
  • Several are lakes and ponds have been recently stocked and should provide some good fishing over the holiday weekend. Check out Kinney Lake and Marr, Honeymoon, Tepee and Wallowa Wildlife Area ponds.
  • Peach Pond and Morgan Lake have been stocked with legal and trophy-sized trout.

SNAKE RIVER ZONE

  • Brownlee: Crappie are spawning and fishing is good. Bass are biting but are fairly small. Catfish are also biting. Trolling for trout is good. The reservoir is almost full. Call Idaho Power Company’s recording at 1-800-422-3143 to get information on access at recreational sites or visit their Web site under the “Rivers and Recreation” heading.

MARINE ZONE

  • The “All Salmon Except Coho” salmon season from Cape Falcon to Oregon/California  border opened May 29 and runs through Sept. 6. Preliminary reports from Newport show a catch rate of one chinook for every seven anglers among private and charter-boat fishers. No other reports were in by the deadline. Bag Limit: Two salmon, closed to retention of coho until June 26 when the “Selective Coho Season” also opens. Only marked coho (all coho must have a healed adipose fin clip) may be retained. That season will run through Sept. 6 or until the quota of 26,000 marked coho is met, which ever comes first. The bag limit is two salmon.
  • June 3-5 is the last regular all-depth halibut fishing weekend. Fishery managers will evaluate the catch next week to determine if there is enough quota remaining for additional all-depth openings. Extra back-up dates of June 17-19, July 1-3, July 15-17, and July 29-31 are available as long as the total catch does not exceed 105,948 pounds. The summer sport halibut season will be every other Friday and Saturday from Aug. 6 to Oct. 30 or until the entire sub-area all-depth catch limit of 141,265 pounds of halibut is harvested. The near-shore season, for ocean waters inside the 40 fathom line, will be open seven days a week from May 1 until Oct. 31 or until the harvest quota of 12,284 pounds is achieved.
  • No bottom fishing reports were in before deadline. Success in catching lings and most other bottom fish improves as waves moderate.
  • June has two minus tide series in the afternoon and early evening: June 9-18 and 22-30. Razor clam diggers should watch for days when the marine forecast calls for combined swell and wind waves of less than eight feet.
  • The entire Oregon coast is now open to recreational and commercial clam harvesting.
  • Most crabbers had average catches between one and three crab. Crabbing in the ocean this time of year can be very productive, but also dangerous because of wind, sea and bar conditions.