Category Archives: Headlines

‘No Abnormalities’ Found In Exam Of Bicyclist-attacking Cougar

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

A report by Washington State University (WSU) about the examination of the carcass of the cougar believed to be involved in the death of a bicyclist this spring near North Bend revealed no abnormalities that might have contributed to the animal’s unusual behavior, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) said today.

The report by the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at WSU in Pullman was released today in response to public disclosure requests. The report is available on WDFW’s website athttps://wdfw.wa.gov/news/attach/jul1618a.pdf.

Dr. Kristin Mansfield, WDFW wildlife veterinarian, said the examination produced no significant findings to indicate why the cougar attacked the bicyclist and a companion on May 19.

She said wildlife managers are “highly confident” that the cougar was involved in the incident, because it was found so close to the attack site and because of the relatively low density of cougars in Washington. However, WDFW is awaiting the results of DNA analysis to confirm that conclusion. Those results are expected within the next month, she said.

Mansfield said the cougar was estimated to be about 3 years old. The animal was lean, but its weight and body condition fall within a normal range for a cougar of its age. She said the examination found no indication of rabies or other diseases that would pose a risk to humans.

Plan B At The Bar: Chinook Caught On Central Sound Opener

The plan was to troll the morning high tide on the southwest side of Possession Bar during today’s Central Sound hatchery Chinook opener, and yes, we did that, but while not with the firepower we’d anticipated using, the results were perhaps better.

SCENES FROM TODAY’S MARINE AREAS 9 AND 10 HATCHERY CHINOOK OPENER. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Our lone keeper king of the day, a whopping 6-pounder, came on a whole herring behind a diver of all things — plan B — while the spoons and flashers we dragged around off a downrigger at the bar were, shall we say, less successful.

(ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Judging by that and the few we saw caught in our little bubble of operations in PoBar’s salad mixing bowl, we should have just hit Kingston first thing.

(ANDY WALGAMOTT)

A boat that came in just ahead of us back at Shilshole around noon had five from there, one gent told me, and they had all been caught just north of the ferry lanes on jigs starting around the first drop at 5:45. (It wasn’t clear if they were all kings as I saw the checker only wand one.)

(ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Yes, we hit Kingston too after picking up that king, but by then it was feeding time for the dogfish, which ate through our herring supply like wolves on a kill.

(ANDY WALGAMOTT)

We had given up on trolling and were mooching. It was actually the first time I have ever mooched anything besides beers and probably a few other things, and it was an education.

SOMEBODY NEEDED TO CULL THIS SMALL KING FROM THE GENE POOL. (MARK YUASA, NMTA)

I was fishing with Mark Yuasa, a confirmed salmon moocher, and his son Tegan and friend Patrick.

EXTRA HELP WATCHES THE RODS. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Mooching is an old Puget Sound Chinook tactic involving a big banana weight and a whole herring on a two-hook rig at the end of a 5- to 6-foot leader.

(ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Yuasa, who is the grow boating rep for the Northwest Marine Trade Association, organizers of the Northwest Salmon Derby Series, and the former Seattle Times fishing reporter, uses a toothpick up the anal vent to help get the spin salmon look for in a wounded bait.

(ANDY WALGAMOTT)

The hooks are pinned through the lower jaw and side.

(ANDY WALGAMOTT)

His instructions were to let out slowly till you find bottom, crank up eight times and then let the bait sit a bit before another five cranks, maybe a 30-second pause, and repeat.

(ANDY WALGAMOTT)

If the fishfinder is showing lots of bait, stop halfway up and drop the set-up back in and repeat.

(ANDY WALGAMOTT)

There was definitely a lot of bait off Kingston but another species was quite eager to get after it, the aforementioned dogs.

But even so, salmon were being caught there. Skippers Justin Wong’s and Keith Robbins’ crews had a few, including a reputedly nice-sized one.

Back at Shilshole, one of the two WDFW checkers had seen 18 fish for 18 boats when I asked for a score update around noon.

(ANDY WALGAMOTT)

I didn’t get the other checker’s tally but hers would have improved considerably with the aforementioned five-fish boat.

Today’s king opener encompassed Marine Areas 9 and 10 outside Elliott Bay.

The quota for the former (5,663) took a hit from my circle of angling acquiantances, with one report of three from Midchannel by 7 a.m. and another of a trio from the PNP area by noon.

The latter area’s stoppage point, 4,743, well up from last year, will likely hold longer.

Whether you are heading for your local bar, eddy or elsewhere, it can pay to be prepared with a plan B and C. Thanks to Mark’s, we’re eating well tonight.

Area 11 Boat Angling For Salmon Limited To Fri.-Mon. To Stretch Fishery

THE FOLLOWING IS AN EMERGENCY RULE-CHANGE NOTICE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Action:  Closes salmon fishing from a boat in Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island) weekdays from Tuesdays through Thursdays.

Salmon fishing will remain open daily in Marine Area 11 from fishing piers and shorelines.

TACOMA ANGLERS WILL ONLY BE ABLE TO FISH FOR SALMON FROM FRIDAY THROUGH MONDAY STARTING THIS COMING WEEK, AN ATTEMPT BY WDFW TO STRETCH THE QUOTA-DRIVEN FISHERY INTO SEPTEMBER. JESSICA BOYLE CAUGHT HER FIRST BIG KING TROLLING AT POINT DEFIANCE A FEW YEARS BACK. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Effective date: Effective 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, July 17.

Species affected: Salmon.

Location:  Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island).

Reason for action:  Preliminary estimates indicate that under the current daily catch rates, the harvest quota will be exceeded prior to the Sept. 30 season closure.  This action is being taken to increase the likelihood of providing a season-long fishery while ensuring compliance with conservation objectives.

 Additional information: Anglers can fish for salmon in all other Puget Sound Marine Areas except for Area 8-1 (Deception Pass, Hope Island, and Skagit Bay), and Area 8-2 (Port Susan/Port Gardner).

Marine Area 11 fishing piers that remain open daily through Sept. 30 include Dash Point Dock, Les Davis Pier, Des Moines Pier, Redondo Pier, and Point Defiance Boathouse Dock.

For specific regulations, anglers should consult the 2018-19 Washington Sports Fishing Rules pamphlet available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/.

Anglers can check WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/reports_plants.html for the latest information on marine areas that are managed to a quota or guideline.

 

Neah Bay Chinook Limit Upped To 2 A Day

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM WDFW

Action: Anglers will be allowed to retain two chinook as part of their salmon daily limit in Marine Area 4 beginning Saturday, July 14. The current limit is two salmon, no more than one of which may be a chinook, release wild coho.

STUART ALLEN AND OTHER NEAH BAY ANGLERS WILL BE ABLE TO KEEP TWO CHINOOK A DAY STARTING SATURDAY, JULY 14. THE TRI-CITIES ANGLER CAUGHT THIS ONE SEVERAL SEASONS AGO. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Effective date:July 14, 2018.

Species affected:Chinook.

Location: Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay).

Reason for action:The fishery in Neah Bay has caught a significant portion of its coho quota, and sufficient chinook remain in the area’s guideline to allow retention of two chinook per day.

Additional information: In accordance with previously announced rules, release wild coho. Beginning Aug. 1, anglers fishing west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line in Area 4 must release chum while those fishing east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line must release chum and chinook.

Regulations for Marine Areas 1, 2, and 3 remain unchanged.

The daily limits in Marine Areas 1 and 2 remain at two salmon, no more than one of which may be a chinook, release wild coho.

The daily limit in Marine Area 3 remains two salmon, release wild coho.

Anglers can check WDFW’s webpage at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/creel/ocean/ for updates on the recreational ocean salmon fisheries.

WDFW Rolls Out Upper Columbia Chinook Closures, Sockeye Limit Bump

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

Salmon limits revised on Columbia River, tributaries between Priest Rapids Dam and Chief Joseph Dam

Action:

  • Release all adult chinook salmon
  • Increase daily sockeye limit to 3 fish

Species affected: Adult chinook salmon and sockeye.

BREWSTER POOL AND OTHER UPPER COLUMBIA SALMON ANGLERS WILL NEED TO RELEASE CHINOOK STARTING JULY 16, A DAY AFTER THE QUOTA UNDER A LOWER FORECAST IS EXPECTED TO BE MET, BUT CAN CONTINUE FISHING FOR UP TO THREE SOCKEYE A DAY UNDER AN EMERGENCY RULE CHANGE FROM WDFW. (BRIAN LULL)

Locations and effective dates:

  • Priest Rapids Dam to Rock Island Dam: July 16 at 12:01 a.m. through August 31. Daily limit 6 salmon, no more than 3 sockeye may be retained. Release all adult chinook and coho. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.
  • Rock Island Dam to Wells Dam: July 16 at 12:01 a.m. through October 15.  Daily limit 6 salmon, no more than 3 sockeye may be retained. Release all adult chinook and coho. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.
  • Wells Dam to Hwy 173 Bridge at Brewster: July 16 at 12:01 a.m. through August 31. Daily limit 6 salmon, no more than 3 sockeye may be retained.  Release all adult chinook and coho. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.
  • Hwy 173 Bridge at Brewster to Chief Joseph Dam: July 16 at 12:01 a.m. through October 15. Daily limit 6 salmon, no more than 3 sockeye may be retained. Release all adult chinook and coho. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.
  • Wenatchee River (mouth to Icicle Road bridge): August 1 through September 30. Daily limit 6 salmon. Release all adult chinook, coho, and sockeye. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.
  • Chelan River (from railroad bridge upstream to Chelan P.U.D. safety barrier below the powerhouse): July 16 at 12:01 a.m. through October 31: Daily limit 4 salmon. Release all adult chinook, coho, and sockeye. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.
  • Okanogan River (from mouth upstream to Hwy. 97 Bridge immediately upstream of mouth): July 16 at 12:01 a.m. through October 15. Daily limit 6 salmon. Release all adult chinook, coho, and sockeye.  Salmon minimum size 12 inches.
  • Okanogan River (from Hwy. 97 Bridge immediately upstream of mouth to the second Hwy. 97 Bridge in Oroville): July 16 at 12:01 a.m. through September 15. Daily limit 6 salmon. Release all adult chinook, coho, and sockeye. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.
  • Similkameen River (from mouth upstream to 400 feet below Enloe Dam): July 16 through September 15. Daily limit 6 salmon. Release all adult chinook, coho, and sockeye. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.

Reason for action: The summer chinook run was downsized to a total of 44,000, which is 35% below the preseason forecast. This reduction in the chinook run decreased the allowable catch in recreational fisheries above Priest Rapids Dam. Anglers are expected to catch their allocation by July 15, 2018.

Additional information: 

The decline in this year’s projected summer chinook run size also prompted the closure of summer chinook fisheries below Priest Rapids Dam earlier this month. The following sportfishing seasons are in effect for salmon and steelhead on the mainstem Columbia River:

Megler-Astoria Bridge to Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco: Salmon and steelhead, July 7-July 31: Daily limit 6, up to 2 adult salmon or hatchery steelhead or 1 of each may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery jack chinook and sockeye. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.

Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco to Priest Rapids Dam: Salmon, July 7-August 15: Daily limit 6, up to 2 adult salmon may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery jack chinook and sockeye. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.

The Entiat River salmon season will remain unchanged and as described in the 2018-2019 Sport Fishing Rules Pamphlet. The fall chinook seasons between Priest Rapids Dam and Rock Island Dam will remain unchanged and as described in the 2018-2019 Sport Fishing Rules Pamphlet. Anglers are reminded that the Colville Confederated Tribe will be out capturing chinook for hatchery broodstock with their purse seiner.

Information contact: Region 2-Ephrata (509) 754-4624 or Wenatchee (509) 662-0452

 

ODFW Holding 5 Shotgun Skills Classes In Coming Weeks

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

Now is a great time to learn or brush up on shotgun shooting skills before bird hunting opens in September.

(ODFW)

ODFW will host several shotgun skills workshops in Gervais, Portland and near Corvallis during July and August. The cost is $12 per participant, which is due when registering. Workshops are family-friendly with all ages welcome, though anyone under age 18 needs to be accompanied by an adult and youth participants need to be able to handle a shotgun. Register online at https://or.outdoorcentral.us/or/license or at a license sales agent.

Taking one of these shotgun skills classes is required to sign up for ODFW’s popular fall pheasant hunting workshops for adults and families. (Pheasant hunts will happen Sept. 8 and 9 at Sauvie Island Wildlife Area and Sept. 15 and 16 at EE Wilson Wildlife Area this year.) Getting the shotgun skills done before the actual hunt gives participants more time to hunt with trained bird hunting dogs in the morning, before weather gets too warm for dogs.

ODFW provides shotguns and shells at these events. Shooting coaches will work with participants individually to improve their skills, no matter their skill level. Water will be provided, but participants need to bring their own lunch.

The classes are scheduled for:

July 21, near Corvallis (EE Wilson Wildlife Area), 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Register by July 16.

July 28, Gervais (Mid-Valley Clays), 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Register by July 23.

Aug. 11, Portland (Portland Gun Club), 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Register by Aug. 10.

Aug. 18 in Gervais (Mid-Valley Clays), 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Register by Aug. 13.

Aug. 25, near Corvallis (EE Wilson Wildlife Area), 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Register by Aug. 20.

ODFW offers a variety of workshops teaching people how to hunt, fish, crab and clam. See the full list of upcoming events at https://myodfw.com/workshops-and-events

7400 Line Access Site On Wynoochee Opening Under 5-year Agreement

Washington steelheaders will again have access to a coveted section of the middle Wynoochee with the opening of a new access just below the 7400 Line bridge.

A 2016 WDFW MAP SHOWS THE LOCATION OF THE NEW ACCESS ALONG THE MIDDLE WYNOOCHEE RIVER. (WDFW)

The river is one of the Westside’s best for winter- and summer-runs, and for the next five years anglers will be able to put in their drift boats or roam the banks there, thanks to an agreement between WDFW and Green Diamond Resource Company, which owns the land.

“The fishing community, including the Department of Fish and Wildlife, has been working for years to create new opportunities to access this river, and this is a great place to launch,” said regional manager Larry Phillips. “The Wynoochee is one of the more popular fisheries we have, and we want everyone to enjoy it.”

Popular for catching and releasing wild steelhead as well, anglers kept over 1,200 winters and nearly 2,100 summers out of the ‘Nooch in 2016, according to state catch statistics .

That same year, WDFW proposed to purchase 15 acres alongside the river, but the project wasn’t ranked high enough to qualify for funding at the time, even though it would have helped harvest more fish.

At one time, the access was open to the public, but then it was gated with keys only available to a few.

The new put-in is at the end of a road cut to the gravel bar below the bridge and should work out for log truck traffic as well.

The agreement with the private timber company does come with a caveat, that “access is contingent on good citizenship of those who visit,” according to the agency.

“We know most anglers in our community are respectful of the resources and each other, and we are confident that boaters and other visitors will keep this new spot clean and safe,” said Phillips.

Camping, fireworks and alcohol are prohibited at the site and it’s only available for nonmotorized boats.

The access will be officially opened at 2:30 p.m. this Friday. Anglers and the public are welcomed to attend.

Lower, Middle Columbia, SW WA Tribs Fishing Report (7-10-18)

THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL ORIGINATED WITH BRYANT SPELLMAN AND RYAN LOTHROP, WDFW; JIMMY WATTS, ODFW; AND PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW; AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Preliminary Washington Lower Columbia River mainstem and tributary creel sampling summaries July 2-8 ,2018

Elochoman River – 8 bank anglers had no catch.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream:  2 bank rods had no catch.  Above the I-5 Br:  10 bank rods kept 2 steelhead.   19 boat rods kept 4 steelhead.

COWLITZ RIVER STEELHEADERS ARE HAVING A SLOW SUMMER, JUDGING BY CATCH STATS, UNLIKE 2012 WHEN JACOB OLSEN CAUGHT THIS ONE. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

TAC update

Here are a few highlights to today’s TAC call.

There were no changes to the mouth run sizes for sockeye (209k) or summer Chinook (44k) to last week’s updates.  Run timing appears to be 1-2 days early, with sockeye numbers potentially trending down slight, and summer Chinook ever so slightly trending up.  Allocations/catch sharing do not change from last week that led to fishery changes.  With a run size below 50k for summer Chinook, Treaty impacts are 10,627 and NT sharing of impacts in-river are:
Above PRD (90%): 3,859 (Colville (70%): 2,701; Sport: 958; Wanapum: 200)
Below PRD (10%): 429.

FYI, if you are looking at the Bonneville count numbers, you will notice summer Chinook numbers are above TAC’s updated run size.  That difference is because the Corp starts summer counts June 1, instead of June 16 that USvOR recognizes.

Lower Columbia mainstem sport update

During July 1-8, steelhead anglers on the lower Columbia made 3,950 trips and caught 668 summer steelhead (444 kept and 224 released), 24 sockeye (21 kept and three released) and 86 adult Chinook (released).

Tri-cities Area Summer Chinook Fishery (Hwy 395 to Priest Rapids Dam)

The Columbia River from Highway 395 (Pasco/Kennewick) upstream to Priest Rapids Dam opened to fishing for summer chinook on June 16. On July 1 the fishery was expanded to include the harvest of sockeye (wild & hatchery). On July 6 the fishery was closed to retention of all adult chinook upstream to Priest Rapids Dam. All sockeye greater than 12 inches in length are categorized as adults.

Between July 2 and July 8 WDFW staff interviewed 144 anglers from 71 boats with 6 adult hatchery chinook, 2 chinook jack, 74 sockeye, and 1 hatchery steelhead harvested (This area is closed to harvest of steelhead. This was an illegal take). Based on the data collected there were 569 angler trips for salmon last week with a harvest of 48 adult hatchery chinook, 16 jack hatchery chinook, 593 sockeye, and 6 hatchery steelhead. Anglers averaged 1.2 salmon per boat, 8.9 hours per fish.

There have been 1,781 angler trips for summer chinook and sockeye since the opener on June 16 with a harvest of 108 adult hatchery chinook, 20 jack hatchery chinook, and 790 sockeye. An additional 26 adult wild chinook, 117 sockeye, and 4 hatchery steelhead have been caught and released.

Sockeye numbers are declining and river temperatures are warming which will likely signal a decline the fishery this week but the fishery is likely to still be fair/good for the upcoming week.

 

WDFW Outlines Postfire Wenas, Whiskey Dick Access Restrictions

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

Following wildfires last month, sections of two wildlife areas in southcentral Washington will remain closed until at least this fall, state lands managers announced today.

HUNTERS WILL HAVE WALK-IN ACCESS TO THAT PORTION OF THE WENAS WILDLIFE AREA THAT BURNED IN THE BUFFALO FIRE. (WDFW)

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is extending previously announced closures to sections of the Whiskey Dick Wildlife Area in Kittitas County and the Wenas Wildlife Area in Yakima County to protect fragile burned areas and allow post-fire restoration work.

The Milepost 22 fire on June 20 burned 7,614 acres of the Whiskey Dick unit of the L. T. Murray Wildlife Area. The burned area remains closed through Sept. 15 to all uses while Washington Department of Natural Resources crews complete post-fire tasks. WDFW wildlife area staff will follow up with seeding, weed control, and additional restoration work on the fragile soils.

Visitors can still access the unburned sections of the wildlife area traveling north to south and from the Windfarm east to the Columbia River. The closure does not restrict motorized access from Vantage highway because Whiskey Dick Creek Road remains open although about seven miles of “Green Dot” roads on the Whiskey Dick unit remain closed.

A map of the Whiskey Dick closure is online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/lt_murray/whiskey_dick_fire_closure_2018.pdf

On the Wenas Wildlife Area, the Buffalo fire that started June 2 burned a part of the area that has burned multiple times in recent years. About 4,000 acres of the area, defined by the Yakima River and elk fence, have been closed to use, including access to the southern trailhead of the popular Skyline Trail on Lower Buffalo Road and about three miles of the trail itself.

That closure has been extended through at least Nov. 30, although hunters will have walk-in access during hunting seasons. The closure will likely be extended again into spring 2019 to allow seeded grasses to establish.

A map of the Wenas closure is online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/wenas/buffalo_fire_closure_2018.pdf.

“That area has been hit so hard with fires that those fragile soils need protection,” explained Ross Huffman, WDFW regional lands operations manager in Yakima. “Our goal is to protect wildlife habitat and accommodate wildlife recreation as best we can, which is why we’re allowing walk-in access for hunters during the limited hunting seasons.”

The annual target-shooting restrictions, which are in effect across the entire 105,000-arcre Wenas Wildlife Area, remain in place through September. More information about those restrictions is available online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/jun0618b/.

WDFW wildlife area staff have posted signs about the closures and gated closed areas on both the Wenas and Whiskey Dick wildlife areas.

Visitors to WDFW-managed lands in eastern Washington are reminded to observe the restrictions that are in place to reduce the risk of wildfire to state wildlife areas and access sites. Those restrictions can be found on the department’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/jun2918a/.

Arrow Removed From Roseburg Deer; OSP Looking For Culprit

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

Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Officers are asking for the public’s assistance in locating and apprehending the person(s) responsible for shooting a female deer in the head with an arrow on July 4, or July 5, 2018.

(OSP)

An OSP Fish and Wildlife Officer and ODFW Wildlife Biologist responded to the 800 block of San Souci Drive west of Roseburg on July 6, 2018.

The arrow was removed and the deer returned to its small fawn nearby.

Preliminary investigation has revealed that the animal was likely shot from a residence on Braunda Drive, San Souci Drive, or Bellwood Lane.

Those with information are asked to contact Sr. Trooper Stone directly at (541) 817-4472 or OSP dispatch at (541) 440-3333. Those with information can remain anonymous and a TIP reward will be offered for information leading to a citation or arrest in the case.