Man, go away for a five-day camping trip and the emails sure do pile up. Here’s a little of what’s catching my eye as I catch up this morning:
WDFW press release on sockeye retention:
Sockeye retention prohibited from Bonneville Dam upstream to Highway 395 Bridge in Pasco
Action: Prohibits retention of sockeye salmon in the mainstem Columbia River from Bonneville Dam upstream to the Highway 395 Bridge in Pasco.
Effective dates: July 9, 2012 until further notice.
Species affected: Sockeye salmon.
Location: The mainstem Columbia River from Bonneville Dam upstream to the Highway 395 Bridge in Pasco.
Other Information: This area remains open through July for hatchery summer chinook.
Reason for action: The sockeye restriction is necessary because the Snake River portion of the sockeye run is listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act and non-Indian fisheries are limited to a one percent harvest rate on these fish, which is expected to be reached by July 8.
Information contact: (360) 696-6211. For latest information press *1010.
A sea lion went for an unusual journey out of Coos Bay.
My son River was freaking out about cougars and whether any lived near Alta Lake State Park, where we were camped over the Fourth. Well, yes, there are, and recently there was a cougar attack in California. Mark Freeman of the Medford Mail-Tribune looks into mountain lion attacks in this article.
ODFW will add saltwater bulletins to its email services, reports Henry Miller of the Salem Statesman.
File this under Old News, but in ODFW’s weekly recreation report from LAST WEEK — go here — the agency said:
In late June or early July a finger of warm water moves north until it is just off the Oregon coast. Ocean anglers call this “tuna water” because it brings the albacore tuna. The tuna are currently about 35 or 40 miles off parts of Oregon’s coast and scattered. The average catch for those willing and able to go that far offshore was 1.4 per angler out of Garibaldi, 1.7 out of Depoe Bay and 3.5 out of Newport. There were unconfirmed reports of catches in Charleston and other ports, but dock samplers didn’t survey the fish.
James, fishing 35 miles out of Depoe Bay on June 23, sent in a fishing report and said he and some friends caught five tuna. They found them in 60-degree water that was a “nice, blue-green color” and caught them trolling top water with cedar plugs, Mexican flag and red and white flies.
As the tuna come in, halibut goes offline for awhile. ODFW press release says:
With only about 9,500 pounds remaining in the quota, fishery managers today closed the spring all-depth Pacific halibut fishery for the central Oregon coast.
The spring all-depth Pacific halibut fishery for the central coast subarea (from Cape Falcon south to Humbug Mountain) was open 17 days (two days longer than the spring season last year), resulting in the harvest of approximately 111,000 pounds of Pacific halibut. After the most recent opening on June 29-30, only about 9,500 pounds remained in the quota—not enough to have another spring all-depth opening, according to Lynn Mattes, ODFW halibut fisheries project leader.
Instead, remaining quota will be transferred to the nearshore and summer all-depth fisheries. The summer all-depth fishery will open Aug. 3-4 with a quota of approximately 53,000 pounds. The summer season for the central coast all-depth fishery is scheduled to be open every other Friday and Saturday until the all-depth quota is taken or Oct. 27, whichever comes first.
More details on regulations can be found at: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/finfish/halibut/index.asp or in the booklet 2012 Oregon Sport Ocean Regulations for Salmon, Halibut and other Marine Species. General regulations can be found in the 2012 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet.
Among the first Web sites I looked up today — Lake Washington sockeye counts. We’re at 79,000 through the Fourth, with nearly 10,000 of those fish on that day alone. It’s not that far behind 2006′s run at this same point, but we’ll need some of that year’s 10,000 to 30,000-fish days if we’re going to have another season. Gary Chittim at KING 5 did a story on the numbers here.
Cherry Valley Wildlife Area won’t see any pheasant releases during September’s youth and senior hunts, according to WDFW, which sent out this press release on habitat work at the lower Snoqualmie Valley hunting area:
The Cherry Valley Unit of the Snoqualmie Wildlife Area will be closed to the public from July 9 through Oct. 1, when work is scheduled to remove 18 barriers to fish passage in the area.
Kraig Paulson, who manages the wildlife area for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said work is also planned to remove reed canary grass, plant streamside vegetation and make other habitat improvements within the 386-acre Cherry Valley Unit near Duvall.
Paulson said the Wild Fish Conservancy, a conservation group headquartered in Duvall, will contribute to the project by restoring a creek that flows through the unit.
“The closure is necessary to protect public safety while the area is under construction,” Paulson said. “Most of the work is designed to reduce flooding and the fish stranding that can occur when floodwaters subside.”
Fish moving through streams in the unit include salmon, steelhead and other native fish.
Once completed, the work will not affect public access to the Cherry Valley Unit, where some of the stream crossings will be replaced with foot bridges. Summer dog training, a popular activity at the wildlife area unit, will temporarily be moved to the north field of the Stillwater Unit, adjacent to the north parking lot, Paulson said.
The Cherry Valley Unit will be closed during the youth and senior pheasant hunt in September. Pheasants that would have been released at the Cherry Valley Unit will be released at the Crescent Lake and Stillwater units, Paulson said.
Here’s a Chinook fishing report from Kevin Klein up in the San Juans:
Salmon fishing has been pretty hit and miss in the San Juans. Seems like there will be a good report from one area, and the next day nothing. I’ve managed one 10-15lber every time out, and luckily no dogfish. These arches you may be seeing on your sonar at 40′ are Sockeye. I’ve seen a few jumpers come up and land on their sides. Some of the more popular places in the ‘Juans have just been hammered with too many boats in one small area and a sensory overload of flashers spinning over the fish. Get away from the crowds and try a different spot.
A couple buddy’s who happened to be cameraless caught 26.5 and 28.5lb Kings right outside Friday Harbor Sunday morning. Certified legit on the digital lie detector. Went back in the afternoon and the fish were gone. You just need to be at the right place at the right time and intersect with a school of big fish on the tide. Having caught nothing but ‘teeners so far, I’m itching for a reel screaming, line buning, forearm pumping 30 lb ‘Nookie fight!
Tickets are still available for the Bellingham Salmon Derby this upcoming weekend. Last year was epic, with the top 5 fish all over 30 lbs, and over 200 fish weighed in. Here are the winners with the 35lb beast that took the $5000 first prize. Go to the Bellingham Puget sound Anglers website for more info. See you (hopefully) at the scales!
KGW outdoor reporter Grant McOmie of Grant’s Getaways did a good piece on kayak angling in the Northwest, speaking with our Hillsboro-based columnist Mark Veary and some of his fellow kayak fishermen whose mugs and photos have graced our pages. A longer version has been posted to Travel Oregon.
There’s an interesting and amusing Q&A with WDFW’s deputy chief of enforcement in the Chinook Observer — find out what Mike Cenci’s pro wrastlin’ name might be here!
Wolf hunting season is now open year-round in various units of Idaho. More in this press release and link to a pdf here.
And EPA is standing firm on their July 23 deadline for comments on its draft assessment of the Bristol Bay watershed where a mining company would like to open a giant gash in the earth to get at billions worth of minerals.
Now … back to work.