Category Archives: Headlines

A HOOKED COHO JUMPS BESIDE NATE OLKEN'S KAYAK LAST WEEKEND. HE AND OTHER KAYAK ANGLERS WERE FISHING OFF OF SEAVIEW, WASH., ON THE LONG BEACH PENINSULA. (WRIGHT & McGILL/EAGLE CLAW PHOTO CONTEST)

After An ‘Outstanding Season,’ Areas 1, 2 To Close Early For Salmon

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

Salmon fishing will close at the end of the day Friday off Westport and at the end of the day Sunday off Ilwaco, state fisheries managers announced today.

Marine areas 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay) will close at the end of Sunday as scheduled. All ocean areas close to fishing at 11:59 p.m. the day of the scheduled closure.

A HOOKED COHO JUMPS BESIDE NATE OLKEN'S KAYAK LAST WEEKEND. HE AND OTHER KAYAK ANGLERS WERE FISHING OFF OF SEAVIEW, WASH., ON THE LONG BEACH PENINSULA. (WRIGHT & McGILL/EAGLE CLAW PHOTO CONTEST)

A HOOKED COHO JUMPS BESIDE NATE OLKEN’S KAYAK LAST WEEKEND. HE AND OTHER KAYAK ANGLERS WERE FISHING OFF OF SEAVIEW, WASH., ON THE LONG BEACH PENINSULA. (WRIGHT & McGILL/EAGLE CLAW PHOTO CONTEST)

After an outstanding fishing season, anglers are expected to meet salmon catch quotas early in marine areas 1 (Ilwaco) and 2 (Westport), said Doug Milward, ocean salmon manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). Those two areas initially were scheduled to close at the end of the day Sept. 30.

As of Sept. 14, catch total for the coho fishery had reached 85 percent of the quota and 79 percent of the chinook guideline off Ilwaco. Anglers caught 90 percent of the coho quota and 80 percent of the chinook guideline off Westport through Sept. 14. Milward estimates the remaining fish left under the quota will be caught over the next several days.

Anglers have a two-salmon daily catch limit in all four marine areas off the Washington coast. Up to two chinook may be retained in all four ocean areas. However, chinook must be released east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh Line in Marine Area 4. Anglers are allowed to keep both hatchery and wild coho in all four areas as part of their daily limit.

A portion of Marine Area 3 will open again Sept. 27 through Oct. 12.

Additional information on the ocean fishery, including minimum size limits and catch guidelines, is available in the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/

SW WA, Lower, Middle Columbia Fishing Report (9-17-14)

THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORT ORIGINATES FROM JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – Chinook are being caught between the hatcheries, summer run steelhead near the trout hatchery, and coho from the lower river.

ANNA RUNYARD SHOWS OFF A SUMMER-RUN FROM JUST BELOW BARRIER DAM ON THE COWLITZ. SHE WAS DRIFT-FISHING WITH A CORKY AND YARN. (WRIGHT & McGILL/EAGLE CLAW PHOTO CONTEST)

ANNA RUNYARD SHOWS OFF A SUMMER-RUN FROM JUST BELOW BARRIER DAM ON THE COWLITZ. SHE WAS DRIFT-FISHING WITH A CORKY AND YARN. (WRIGHT & McGILL/EAGLE CLAW PHOTO CONTEST)

During five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator, last week Tacoma Power recovered:

*   322 summer-run steelhead
*   66 spring Chinook adults and 9 mini-jacks
*   249 fall Chinook adults and 8 jacks
*   76 coho adults
*   five coho jacks
*   17 sea-run cutthroat trout

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released:

*   64 spring Chinook adults and 29 coho adults into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek
*   14 spring Chinook mini-jacks into Riffe Lake at Mossyrock Park
*   361 fall Chinook adults, 14 jacks, 5 coho adults, one jack and three cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton, WA
*   121 fall Chinook adults and three jacks at Franklin Bridge in Packwood, WA

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 4,240 cubic feet per second on Monday, September 15.

Kalama River – Bank anglers are catching some coho in the lower river.

Lewis River – Some coho and summer run steelhead are being caught in the North Fork.

Washougal River – Was good for fall Chinook in the lower river but has since slowed.

Drano Lake – Boat anglers are catching a mix of fall Chinook and summer run steelhead.

Klickitat River – Effort is heavy but anglers are catching fall Chinook.  120 vehicles were observed downstream from the Fisher Hill Bridge last Sunday morning.

Yakima River – The fall salmon fishery opened in the lower Yakima River on September 1.  This past week WDFW staff interviewed 99 anglers fishing for salmon with 2 adult chinook and 1 jack harvested.  There were an estimated 14 adult chinook and 3 jacks harvested this past week from 463 angler trips.  Fall Chinook are beginning to move into the Yakima River.  Daily Chinook counts through the Prosser Diversion are still below 100.

Buoy 10 – Reports indicate fishing for coho has improved in the past couple days.

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 1,705 salmonid anglers (including 463 boats) with 809 adult and 20 jack fall Chinook, 47 adult and 2 jack coho and 21  steelhead.

Warrior Rock line downstream

During last week’s mark selective fishery, 434 (74% ) of the 585 adult Chinook caught were released.  From the sample of 374 fish released, 367 (98%) were wild.

Warrior Rock line upstream to Bonneville Dam

212 (95%) of the 224 adult Chinook caught were kept.

Rocky Point Tongue Point line to Bonneville Dam

32 (68%) of the adult coho and 15 (71%) of the steelhead caught were kept.

Bonneville Pool – Heavy effort and lots of fall Chinook are being caught.  70-75 boats off the Klickitat each day last weekend.  80 boats off the Deschutes Saturday and 45 off the White Salmon Sunday.

Hanford Reach – An estimated 1,385 boats fished for salmon in the Hanford Reach (Hwy 395 and Priest Rapids Dam) this past week.  WDFW staff interviewed anglers from 543 boats (1,351 anglers: 7,790 pole hours).  An estimated 972 adult chinook and 125 jacks were harvested this past week.   Boats averaged just under a chinook per boat.  Harvest in most of the mid to upstream areas is better than a fish per boat.  Aquatic vegetation in the water in the downstream areas of the Reach is making fishing difficult.

Staff also interviewed 100 bank anglers (379 hours) fishing for salmon at Ringold with seven chinook harvested. There were an estimated 3,448 angler trips for fall Chinook in the Tri-cities this past week.

Loomis Elected NWIFC Chair

Lorraine Loomis has been elected to chair the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission for the next two years, the tribal organization announced this week.

Loomis, 75, replaces Billy Frank Jr. who passed away earlier this year and was the chairman for three decades.

A Swinomish member, Loomis has been NWIFC’s vice chair for several years now, and involved in local and international fisheries management since 1975.

“I am honored and humbled to be elected chair of the NWIFC,” Loomis said in a press release. “No one can ever replace Billy. It will take all of us to carry on his work.”

She will chair the organization for the remainer of Frank’s term, which was set to run through May 2016.

Shawn Yanity, the Stillaguamish Tribe’s chair, was elected to take over for Loomis as NWIFC vice chair.

 

 

ANGLER GEORG PERMIAKOV BATTLES A SALMON IN BIG CREEK. (WRIGHT & McGILL/EAGLE CLAW PHOTO CONTEST)

Big Creek Opening 2 Weeks Early For Kings, Coho

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

Thanks to strong returns of both coho and fall Chinook salmon, Big Creek will open to salmon fishing two weeks early on Sept. 17, 2014.

The popular fishing spot near Big Creek hatchery was scheduled to open to salmon fishing on Oct. 1. However, since the hatchery already has met its production goals, fishery managers decided to open the fishery early.

ANGLER GEORG PERMIAKOV BATTLES A SALMON IN BIG CREEK. (WRIGHT & McGILL/EAGLE CLAW PHOTO CONTEST)

ANGLER GEORG PERMIAKOV BATTLES A SALMON IN BIG CREEK. (WRIGHT & McGILL/EAGLE CLAW PHOTO CONTEST)

“We’ve already met our production goals on Tule Chinook and have collected over 3,000 coho last week,” said Chris Lauman, ODFW hatchery supervisor at Big Creek Hatchery. “With coho thick in the creek, we thought it would be a good opportunity for the public to get some fishing in.”

Under the rules announced today, Big Creek will be open from Sept. 17 to Dec. 31 for adipose fin-clipped coho and fall Chinook salmon with a daily bag limit of 2 adult salmon. The anti-snagging rules that normally go into effect on Oct. 1 also will go into effect on the 17th.

The anti-snagging rules include:

·         Except when fishing with a buoyant lure, terminal gear is restricted to an artificial fly, lure or bait with a single-point hook.

·         Hooks must measure 3/4-inch or less from point to shank, and must be attached to or below the lure or bait.

·         Weights may not be attached below of less than 18 inches above the lure or bait.

More Poaching Reported Along Medford-area Road

Last week, Oregon State Police put out word they were looking for info on a poached bull elk found along Lake Creek Road in Jackson County outside Medford.

This week, they’re seeking tips on three blacktail bucks discovered a ways up the road.

OSP reports that they were found near milepost 4, and that one had its head and hindquarters taken, but the rest was left to waste. The other two bucks had only their skull caps taken.

“The rate of decomposition suggests they might have been killed around the first week of September,” says OSP.

As with the bull, which was found near milepost 2, there is a significant reward, up to $5,250 (it’s $10,000 for the elk).

Anyone with info is being asked to call Nugent at (541) 727-8055, or the Turn in Poachers (TIP) hotline at (800) 452-7888.

Anonymous tips are taken as well.

In an odd coincidence, a doe was poached earlier this summer in Idaho along Lake Creek Road near Ketchum.

DistributionElkHoofDisease_Announcement_8x11v2 (3)

WDFW Requesting Public’s Reports Of Limping Elk In SW WA

If you see limping elk in Southwest Washington this hunting season (or any time, for that matter), WDFW wants to hear about it.

The agency is asking anyone who spots one between the crest of the South Cascades, southern slopes of the Olympics and mouth of the Columbia to report their observation here.

AN ELK'S HOOF AFFECTED BY THE CONDITION. (WDFW)

AN ELK’S HOOF AFFECTED BY THE CONDITION. (WDFW)

A map of public reports gathered since 2012 shows afflicted animals have been seen elsewhere in Western Washington, but managers are most interested in reports from Grays Harbor, Mason, Thurston, Lewis, Pacific, Wahkiakum, Clark, Cowlitz and Skamania Counties.

DistributionElkHoofDisease_Announcement_8x11v2 (3)

“Our focus now is on assessing the spread of the disease to other parts of the region,” said Southwest Washington wildlife manager Sandra Jonker in Vancouver. “Gaining more information about the incidence and geographical distribution of the disease will help determine how best to manage it.”

Mapping software allows hunters and others who spot limpers while afield to be able to report them via cell phones.

WDFW continues to maintain that laboratory testing shows the hoof ailment is very similar to a “contagious bacterial infection in sheep,” but freelance Seattle journalist Jon Gosch has received some media attention for his dogged investigation and questions about whether possibly herbicides used on industrial forests might play a role.

Blogged Scott Sandsberry at the Yakima Herald-Republic recently:

Civic leaders in southwest Washington communities, as well as several members of the WDFW’s citizen panel working on the issue, are demanding what Gosch and some of his supporters have been saying for months: that those crippled elk be separated and studied until wildlife biologists can actually figure out once and for all what’s behind the disease.

That seems like a no-brainer to me. (That — “a no-brainer” — is also precisely how a member of that working panel described it to Gosch.)

Seems like a good idea to me as well.

In the meanwhile, in an attempt to keep the untreatable disease from spreading, the Washington Fish & Wildlife Commission approved a rule change that requires hunters to leave the feet of ANY elk they kill in Southwest Washington’s Game Management Units 501-564, and 642-699.

(KEVIN KLEIN)

San Juans Islands Fishing Report (9-15-14)

THE FOLLOWING REPORT IS FROM KEVIN KLEIN OF THE SAN JUAN ISLANDS CHAPTER OF PUGET SOUND ANGLERS

Salmon fishing has picked up in the San Juans for Chinook and Coho. Hootchies, spoons and bait all seem to be drawing strikes. Fish the tide changes for Kings, and haunt the tide rips out deeper for Silvers. The fish in Marine Area 7 will either be East, looking to head up the Samish, Skagit or Nooksack, or West, headed for the Fraser. Prawns are now closed, but Crab remains open. Remember to get those Crab catch record cards in after Oct. 1st.

Pictures:

(KEVIN KLEIN)     (KEVIN KLEIN)

(KEVIN KLEIN)

1. This large hatchery Silver hit a Silver Horde Kingfisher Lite spoon in Irish Cream. I marked fish around a big bait ball at 160′ down in 240′ of water. Figured there were some big Kangs down thar. Dropped one side down to 175′ on the ‘rigger, and Bam! Coho show! They are where you find ‘em. These Silvers are really pounding the lure or bait off the ‘rigger. I sink my line deep in the Scotty downrigger clip, and the fish are just ripping it off. No doubts.

(KEVIN KLEIN)

(KEVIN KLEIN)

2. Erol Turanciol with a couple nice white Kings. We are seeing more Chinook show up for sure. From now until the end of September, some bigger fish may come cruisin’ through. It was 2004 that the top ten fish in the now defunct Nielsen Derby were all over 30 lbs, with a 38 taking top honors by mere ounces. That tournament was usually the third week in September. Sometimes the run is just late. May be due to higher water temps. It would be interesting to go back and look at Ocean conditions from ten years ago. Good reason to keep a journal…and/or just Google it!

(KEVIN KLEIN)

(KEVIN KLEIN)

3. Peter Schmidt holds an upper 20′s King. He knows that the fishing can be good in latter September. It was his daughter that landed the 38 to take that 2004 Derby. Lots of history there. The story of Einar Nielsen is awesome.

(KEVIN KLEIN)

(KEVIN KLEIN)

4. Joe Crisanti landed this 12lber for the BBQ. Perfect size to cut into steaks, which you don’t see much anymore.

(KEVIN KLEIN)

(KEVIN KLEIN)

5. “Turn out the lights, the party’s over!” Matt Minnis holds up a dandy 26lber at sunset.

Catch-and-release Lake Is Catch-and-keep-all-you-want Thru Sept. 30

Fishery managers are throwing most of the rule book out at a quality lake in Northeast Washington.

Through the end of September, you can use worms, salmon eggs, spoons, jigs, PowerBait, Dupont spinners — heck, whatever you want, really — at McDowell Lake outside Colville.

The 10-acre pond is otherwise governed under catch-and-release, fly-fishing-only regs, but WDFW plans to rehab it this fall due to an unwanted, uninvited guest.

“Tench, tench and more tench,” says Madonna Luers in Spokane.

In addition, there are no size or daily limits on all game fish species.

However, motorized boats remain prohibited, and of course you’ll need a fishin’ license.

This will be the second time since 2006 the lake’s been rotenoned to get rid of tench.

After the 30th the lake will be closed until next April 25.

Get here via Highway 20 and Starvation Road.

WDFW Reminding Anglers Of Tucannon Rule Changes

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH & WILDLIFE

Since Sept. 1, Tucannon River anglers have been required to comply with several changes to protect wild steelhead and the future of the fishery.

As announced  Aug. 22 in a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) emergency rule change, and NOT in the current fishing rules pamphlet:

All steelhead landed in the Tucannon River with a missing adipose fin (hatchery origin) must be retained. Catch and release of hatchery steelhead is not allowed. (As usual, all wild steelhead must be released.)

The daily limit is reduced from three to two hatchery steelhead.

Barbless hooks are required for all fishing.

The area from Marengo (at Turner Road Bridge) upstream is closed to all fishing (it had been open under selective gear rules and motor prohibition.)

The fall / winter fishery season for all game fish species closes Feb. 28, 2015 (it had been open through March 31.)

The boundary description is modified to define the Tucannon as the water lying south of a line of sight from an orange diamond shaped sign attached to the Hwy. 261 guard rail (northwest of the Tucannon and adjacent / downstream from the rest area turn off), running southeast across to the eastern, un-submerged shoreline of the Tucannon (point of land spit).  (The large embayment between the eastern shoreline of the Tucannon River and the rock bluff to the east along the south shore of the Snake River is considered part of the Snake River.)

WDFW Eastern Region Fish Program Manager John Whalen explains the reason for all the changes is because natural origin steelhead returns to the Tucannon River are not meeting management goals for conservation.

“We have to focus the fishery on removal of stray hatchery steelhead that primarily enter the Tucannon River in late summer or early fall to prevent them from spawning,” Whalen said. “We also need to provide a refuge area above Marengo to protect early returning wild steelhead, and close the fishery before March when most of the wild steelhead return to the Tucannon River.”

Whalen notes that anglers must cease fishing for steelhead for the day once they have retained two hatchery steelhead or their two trout per day limit.

Adipose fin-clipped fish must have a healed scar at the location of the missing fin.  All steelhead with unclipped adipose fins must be immediately released unharmed.  Anglers cannot remove any steelhead from the water unless it is retained as part of the daily bag limit.  Chinook and coho salmon, as well as bull trout are also present in the Tucannon River during this steelhead fishery, and must be released unharmed.  Anglers should be sure to identify their catch.

A portion of the funding to monitor the Tucannon River fishery comes via funds generated through sale of the Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsements. All anglers fishing for salmon or steelhead on the Snake River and Tributaries are required to have this endorsement.

Game fish seasons are scheduled to re-open in the Tucannon River on the first Saturday in June as described in the 2014-2015 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.

Tucannon River impoundments – small man-made lakes on WDFW’s Wooten Wildlife Area that are stocked with hatchery trout – remain open through October, as relayed in the fishing rules pamphlet.

(LAZER SHARP PHOTO CONTEST)

‘Great Season’ Expected For Wild Coho On Oregon Coast Rivers

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

Wild coho seasons on many coastal rivers and bays open Sept. 15 and, judging from the number of ocean coho being caught off the Oregon coast, fishery managers are anticipating a great season.

“The forecasts for both coastal fall Chinook and coho were strong for 2014 and ocean fisheries so far have lived up to expectations,” said Chris Kern, ODFW manager for Columbia and Marine Programs. “Fishing for coho and Chinook in coastal rivers should be outstanding.”

(LAZER SHARP PHOTO CONTEST)

JEFF ANDERSON SHOWS OFF A WILD COHO FROM THE NEHALEM RIVER, HIS FIRST AND CAUGHT A FEW SEASONS BACK NOW. (WRIGHT & McGILL/EAGLE CLAW PHOTO CONTEST)

Managers are predicting 175,000 wild coho will enter Oregon coastal basins and have set wild coho seasons in 13 of those basins: Nehalem, Tillamook, Nestucca, Siletz, Yaquina, Alsea, Siuslaw, Umpqua, Coos and Coquille rivers, Tenmile lakes and Beaver and Floras/New creeks. Most seasons begin on Sept. 15 and continue through November, but there are exceptions.  Also, some basins are only open certain days of the week, and seasonal wild coho bag limits vary.

River-specific seasons, quotas, bag limits and closed areas are described on the ODFW Web site.

This year only three basins – Umpqua, Beaver Creek and Floras/New River – will have quotas, down from six in 2013. This continues the trend away from expensive and labor intensive creels and quotas to fixed season structures, according to Mike Gray, ODFW fish biologist in Charleston.

With the wild coho season scheduled to open next Monday, Chris Knutsen, ODFW biologist in Tillamook, says wild coho already are being caught and released in Tillamook, Nehalem and Nestucca bays.

“All indications are that the run on the North Coast will be stronger than in recent years,” he said.

Wild coho also have moved into southern Oregon basins like the Coos and Umpqua.