Category Archives: Headlines

OREGON HALIBUT ANGLERS WILL SEE A SLIGHTLY LARGER QUOTA THIS YEAR COMPARED TO LAST, UNDER 2015 SEASONS. (DAIWA PHOTO CONTEST)

Oregon Fish Commission To Decide On Salmon, Halibut Seasons Next Week

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

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will set ocean salmon and Pacific halibut seasons and discuss the status of wolves when it meets in Bend on April 24.

The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. at Deschutes National Forest Office, 63095 Deschutes Market Rd., Bend, OR 97701. See the full meeting agenda here: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/15/04_April/index.asp

The Commission will be asked to set the 2015 ocean salmon and Pacific halibut seasons for Oregon’s territorial waters from shore to three miles out. The seasons in ocean waters beyond three miles already have been set by the Pacific Management Council, and the Commission will consider similar regulations for state waters. In addition, recreational and commercial troll fall Chinook salmon target fisheries in state waters only will be considered for waters adjacent to Tillamook Bay, the Elk River, and the Chetco River.

Due to another year of strong returns of Sacramento and Klamath fall Chinook salmon stocks, ocean Chinook seasons south of Cape Falcon are similar to the relatively robust seasons of recent years. The proposed 2015 ocean salmon seasons are listed on the ODFW Website.

OREGON HALIBUT ANGLERS WILL SEE A SLIGHTLY LARGER QUOTA THIS YEAR COMPARED TO LAST, UNDER 2015 SEASONS. (DAIWA PHOTO CONTEST)

OREGON HALIBUT ANGLERS WILL SEE A SLIGHTLY LARGER QUOTA THIS YEAR COMPARED TO 2014. THE DUO WERE FISHING ON A CHARTER BOAT OUT OF NEWPORT SEVERAL SEASONS AGO NOW. (DAIWA PHOTO CONTEST)

For Pacific halibut, the total 2015 catch limit will be 970,000 pounds, one percent more than in 2014. There are a few changes to the 2015 regulations that affect the sport fisheries:

  • A shift of some harvest allocations from the Columbia River Subarea (north of Cape Falcon) and to the Southern Oregon Subarea to better match allocations with recent effort and catches.
  • In the Columbia River Subarea the all-depth fishery is combined into a single season beginning in May and running four days a week through September, or until the harvest allocation is attained. Also in this area, the nearshore fishery allocation is reduced to 500 pounds.
  • In the area north of Humbug Mt., retention of other flatfish species (such as flounder, sole and sanddabs) when Pacific Halibut are on board is allowed.

The proposed 2015 Pacific halibut seasons are posted on the ODFW Website.

Also, the Commission will be asked to appoint three new members to the Fish Screening Task Force –one to represent agriculture and two to represent fishing/fish conservation. The seven-person task force is appointed by the Commission to advise ODFW staff on fish screening program development, funding and project prioritization.

ODFW staff will present its Biological Status Review for the Gray Wolf in Oregon to the Commission. The state’s Wolf Plan calls for initiating a process to delist wolves from the state Endangered Species Act when Oregon reaches the conservation objective of four breeding pairs for three consecutive years in eastern Oregon. This objective was met in early 2015.

The Commission will use the Biological Status Review to evaluate whether to move forward with a delisting process. If they decide to do so, a final decision is still several months away, as delisting requires a public process.

“Wolves are a success story in Oregon. Their population is growing and their range is expanding,” said Russ Morgan, ODFW wolf coordinator. “The state’s Wolf Plan has measures to protect wolves into the future should the Commission decide to initiate a delisting process.”

FIVE HUNDRED RAINBOW TROUT BEARING TAGS LIKE THIS ONE WERE RELEASED INTO HENRY HAGG LAKE THIS WEEK. (ODFW)

ODFW Releasing $50 Rainbows Into Lake Of The Woods As Part Of

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

This year the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to stock 11,000 rainbow trout (including 3,000 of trophy size) in popular Lake of the Woods, and the agency would like anglers help in figuring out what happens to those fish.

To do this, ODFW will tag and release a known number of fish into the lake beginning the week of April 25, and is asking anglers who catch a tagged fish to report the information to ODFW.

FIVE HUNDRED RAINBOW TROUT BEARING TAGS LIKE THIS ONE WERE RELEASED INTO HENRY HAGG LAKE THIS WEEK. (ODFW)

FIVE HUNDRED RAINBOW TROUT BEARING TAGS LIKE THIS ONE WILL BE RELEASED INTO LAKE OF THE WOODS IN OREGON’S SOUTHERN CASCADES AS PART OF AN ANGLER CREEL STUDY.. (ODFW)

According to Bill Tinniswood, ODFW fish biologist in Klamath Falls, the goal is to replace time-consuming and expensive creel surveys – interviewing anglers – with a more cost effective way to learn more about the fishery.

“We know anglers catch a lot of fish in Lake of the Woods,” Tinniswood said. “But we don’t necessarily know if we’re stocking the lake with the optimum number of fish or using the best fish stocks to maximize angler satisfaction.”

The program in Lake of the Woods is part of a larger ODFW pilot program to find an efficient way to track the harvest, movement and growth of hatchery stocked fish. The pilot program began last spring in Wallowa Lake in Northeast Oregon and Henry Hagg Lake in the Willamette Valley.

“If every angler who catches a tagged fish reports it, we can calculate the total number of fish caught as a proportion of the number of fish released,” Tinniswood. To fine tune these calculations, a small number fish will carry a special reward tag worth $50 to the angler who turns it in.

In Lake of the Woods ODFW will release 500 tagged rainbow trout, including 36 with reward tags.

Tinniswood describes the program as a win for both ODFW and local anglers. ODFW gets valuable information to help better manage the fishery, and anglers get a chance to participate in fishery management and, perhaps, come away with $50 for that help, he said.

If you catch a tagged fish in Lake of the Woods:

  • Tagged fish can be harvested or released. If the fish is released, cut the tag off at the base rather than try to rip the tag out.
  • Anglers can report non-reward tags in person, by mail, by phone, or by using the tag-reporting page on the ODFW website.
  • Reward tags must be returned to the Klamath District Office at 1850 Miler Island Rd., Klamath Falls, OR 97603, either in person or by mail.
  • Look for “Tag Team” posters at the boat ramps for further project and contact information.

This pilot program will be funded through a grant from the ODFW Fish Restoration and Enhancement Program.

WA Wildlife Administrator Charged With Serious Crimes

A longtime Washington state employee pled not guilty to charges of rape and burglary yesterday in Thurston County Superior court, according to a local newspaper.

Gregory A. Schirato, a deputy director of WDFW’s Wildlife Program, was arrested at his home in Shelton earlier this week by Olympia police detectives following a months-long investigation into what transpired with a female coworker after a department Christmas party held after hours at an Olympia restaurant last December.

Schirato, who is 53 and has been with WDFW for over 30 years, was booked into Thurston County Jail on Wednesday on a charge of first-degree burglary and rape in the second degree, according to the Olympia PD.

According to officers, the alleged assault occurred early the morning of Dec. 18.

“The victim called police after being awaken [sic] to a [sic] unidentified intruder that sexually assaulted her while she slept,” the Olympia PD reports.

KING 5 and The Olympian report that the woman at first believed it had been her boyfriend who had been touching her, but the newspaper reports that the next morning he denied having been at her residence that night. She also found that a window at her residence had been broken.

Over a four-month period, detective Corey Johnson worked leads to develop a person of interest in the case, according to the Olympia PD.

KING 5 reports that “(t)he victim told police she had had a sexual relationship with Schirato before, referring to him and his wife as ‘swingers.’ When questioned by investigators, Schirato said, ‘we play together regularly and I’ll leave it at that.’”

According to the Olympia PD, forensic evidence allegedly “established a link between the victim and the suspect.”

Schirato was on paid administrative leave from WDFW from January to last week, and since has been placed on unpaid leave. He has worked for the agency since March 1985, serving as a wildlife biologist, regional wildlife manager for Washington’s Olympic Peninsula and in 2012, moving to Olympia as the deputy director of the Wildlife Program.

His bail was set at $35,000.

CORRECTION This originally reported that Mr. Schirato had been on unpaid leave since January. That was incorrect. Our apologies.

U.S. REP. DAVE REICHERT

Washington Rep. Sponsors Land And Water Conservation Fund Reauthorization Bill

A bill that would permanently OK an important national conservation tool was introduced by an Evergreen State lawmaker in that other Washington this week.

Rep. Dave Reichert, a Republican who represents eastern King and Pierce Counties, was one of 18 House members from across the U.S. and across party lines whose House Resolution 1814 would reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which otherwise expires at the end of this coming September.

Since 1965, LWCF has yielded half a billion dollars to Washington for conservation and access programs such as at key elk and waterfowl habitat on the Colockum, Skagit and Desert Wildlife Areas, according to the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition.

“The LWCF has played a pivotal role in preserving America’s national treasures for future generations,” Reichert said in a WWRC press release. “In Washington alone, it has helped to conserve the natural beauty of the Pacific Crest Trail, Mt. Rainier National Park, Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, and the Columbia River Gorge. These are places that attract visitors from across the country, and even from other parts of the globe. I look forward to working with my colleagues to sustain the LWCF and put it to good use in the next 50 years.”

U.S. REP. DAVE REICHERT

U.S. REP. DAVE REICHERT

His bill is a companion to one introduced in late March in the Senate by another federal lawmaker from Washington, but on the other side of the fence.

Senator Maria Cantwell was joined by one of Oregon’s Democratic senators, Ron Wyden, as well as Montana’s Jon Tester, in sponsoring S.890.

But their bill would not only permanently authorize LWCF, it would fully fund it too.

The money for the program comes from underwater oil and gas royalties.

Both bills have been referred to natural resource committees.

LWCF has been subject to political winds blowing through the U.S. capital in recent years. In summer 2013, a House subcommittee infamously zeroed it out, a move that was blasted by a state representative of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Ultimately, though, LWCF emerged the following winter with $306 million.

The fund could disburse up to the full $900 million annually collected from drillers operating off the continental shelf, but the balance is often used elsewhere.

That’s what the senators’ bill gets at.

Still, the former King County sheriff’s continuing support of the LWCF buoyed WWRC’s Vlad Gutman who said the organization was “incredibly grateful” to Reichert for his support of the state’s “strong outdoor economy,” which includes something like $1.6 billion spent annually by Washington’s hook-and-bullet crowd.

“Outdoor recreation supports nearly 200,000 jobs in Washington state,” Gutman noted. “It is important for Congress to secure full funding and reauthorization for the LWCF to preserve our economy and quality of life, and we’re fortunate to have strong leaders like Rep. Reichert leading the charge to protect our great outdoors.”

Public lands and acquisitions have come under unusual scrutiny over the past year, but WWRC says that if passed, Reichert’s bill would help preserve 165 acres of historic farm ground on Whidbey Island, secure conservation easements to forests around Mt. St. Helens, and acquire property near Lake Quinault to help protect one of the state’s last best intact watersheds.

For more on what LWCF has accomplished in Washington, go here.

YOUNG ANGLERS WILL ONCE AGAIN LINE UP ALONG THE BANKS OF CANBY POND FOR A FREE YOUTH FISHING EVENT HOSTED BY THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE  SATURDAY, APRIL 4 FROM 9:30 TO 2 P.M. (ODFW)

3 Family Fishing Events Coming Up Around Oregon This Saturday

Coos Bay, middle Willamette Valley and Hermiston families all have chances to participate in free fishing events being put on by ODFW this Saturday.

Here are the agency’s press releases:

Family Fishing event featured during Family Fun Day 1

ROSEBURG, Ore – A Family Fishing event is set for 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday, April 18 at Middle Empire Lake near Southwestern Oregon Community College. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife partners with the Bay Area Hospital’s Kids Hope Center to host the eventwhich is part of Coos Bay’s annual Family Fun Day.

Families learn about fishing by completing a clinic then kids can fish an enclosure in the lake that is stocked with 6,000 rainbow trout. ODFW provides loaner rods and reels, tackle and fun prizes.

Children 13 and under can fish for free, kids 14 to 17 and adults need an Oregon angling license to fish. All state fishing regulations continue to apply.

YOUNG ANGLERS WILL ONCE AGAIN LINE UP ALONG THE BANKS OF CANBY POND FOR A FREE YOUTH FISHING EVENT HOSTED BY THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE  SATURDAY, APRIL 4 FROM 9:30 TO 2 P.M. (ODFW)

YOUNG ANGLERS PARTICIPATE IN A FREE YOUTH FISHING EVENT HOSTED BY THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE SATURDAY, APRIL 4 FROM 9:30 TO 2 P.M. (ODFW)

Free family fishing event at St. Louis Ponds

CLACKAMAS, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will host a free family fishing event Saturday, April 18 at St. Louis Ponds, near Woodburn from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To increase the chance for anglers to catch a fish, ODFW will stock Ponds #1, #3 and #6 with a total of 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout, 200 one-pounders, and 75 trophy trout.

“This is a great opportunity for families to come out and enjoy a day of fishing at one of our most popular and accessible fishing holes,” said Jeff Fulop, youth fishing eventcoordinator for ODFW’s North Willamette Watershed.

Fulop noted that ODFW has made a number of improvements at the ponds over the past several years, including construction of a paved ADA accessible trail around one of the ponds as well as several ADA accessible fishing platforms.

In addition to stocked trout, the ponds contain several species of warmwater fish, including largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill, crappie and sunfish.

Participants who want to bring their own fishing gear are welcome to do so. However, loaner fishing rods and reels will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Fishingtackle and bait will also be available. Experienced angling instructors will be on hand to answer questions and offer assistance.

Anglers ages 13 and under can fish for free while those 14-17 will require a juvenile angling license, which are available for $9 at ODFW’s website (www.odfw.com), offices and license agents. Adult anglers will need a regular fishing license. Licenses will not be sold on site the day of the event so people planning to participate should get their licenses ahead of time.

St. Louis Ponds is a 54-acre complex of seven ponds jointly owned and managed by ODFW and Marion County Parks. It is located 13 miles north of Salem and west of Interstate 5. To get to there from I-5, take the Woodburn exit. Then go east to Hwy. 99E. At Hwy. 99E, head south to Gervais Road. Go west on Gervais Road through the town of Gervais. The road eventually changes to St Louis Road. Continue west on St Louis Road as it crosses over I-5 to Tesch Road, at the railroad crossing. Go left on Tesch Road and follow the signs to the ponds.

Join ODFW on April 18 for free kids fishing event

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and its local partners will host a free youth/family fishing event at the McNary Channel Ponds near Hermiston on Saturday, April 18.

The day will begin at 10 a.m. when youth 12-years-old and younger will get first chance to try to catch one of the hundreds of trout to be stocked for the event. The ponds will open for families to fish starting at noon.

ODFW will have loaner fishing rods and reels, and tackle and bait, for those that don’t have their own gear. Staff and volunteers also will be on hand to show youngsters, and their families, how to bait a hook, cast a rod and land a fish.

“It’s so easy to participate – we provide all the gear and instruction– that it’s a great way to introduce kids and their families to fishing,” said ODFW fish biologist Bill Duke.

The event is open to the public and no pre-registration is required. In addition to ODFW, other event sponsors include the City of Hermiston Parks and Recreation and Tom Denchel Ford.

Kids 13 years old and younger can fish for free, but youth 14-17 years of age will need to have a $9 juvenile angling license. Licenses will not be sold on site the day of the event so please plan to buy your license in advance.

The McNary Channel Ponds are easy places to take the family fishing and they will be well-stocked several more times throughout the spring. To get to the ponds from Hwy 370 in Umatilla, turn north onto Brownell Blvd. (just west of I-82). Proceed to W. Third St. Turn right on Third St. and proceed through the I-82 underpass. The ponds are north of Third St. between I-82 and McNary Dam. There are several well-signed vehicle access points.

For more information about this event, call Bill Duke, ODFW district fish biologist, at (541) 276-2344.

KIRK ST. CLAIR, A CLIENT OF GUIDE TERRY MULKEY, HEFTS AN ESTIMATED 25-POUND SPRING CHINOOK CAUGHT ON A MULKEY'S GUIDE FLASH SPINNER IN BRASS/CHARTREUSE/RED DOT AT THE WEST END OF THE COLUMBIA GORGE. (MULKEY'S GUIDE SERVICE)

SW WA, Lower Columbia, Drano, Wind Fishing Report (4-14-15)

THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORT IS FROM JOE HYMER, PSFMC

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – 35 boat anglers kept 14 hatchery steelhead and released 5 hatchery fish.  125 bank anglers kept 34 adult spring Chinook and 10 steelhead plus released 3 wild and 2 hatchery steelhead.  Most of the Chinook were caught at the barrier dam and steelhead at the trout hatchery though some fish were also caught in the lower river.  Over 200 bank anglers were counted at the barrier dam last Sunday.

Through April 12, a total of 566 hatchery and 9 wild adult spring Chinook had returned to the salmon hatchery.   The recent 18 year average is 126 fish by this time.

During five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator, last week Tacoma Power recovered:
652 winter-run steelhead, 453 spring Chinook salmon, one jack, and one cutthroat trout.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released:
35 winter-run steelhead and one cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton
14 steelhead adults into the Cispus River above Yellow Jacket Creek
Nine steelhead adults and 419 spring Chinook into Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 4,120 cubic feet per second on Monday April 13. Water visibility is 11 feet.

Kalama River – 54 bank anglers with 4 hatchery steelhead and 1 spring Chinook kept and 6 wild steelhead released.  44 boat anglers with 5 spring Chinook kept and 2 wild steelhead released.

No spring Chinook had returned to the hatchery through April 12, which isn’t really all that unusual at this time of year.

East Fork Lewis from mouth to top boat ramp at Lewisville Park and Washougal River from mouth to Mt. Norway Bridge – Open to fishing for hatchery steelhead Thursday April 16. Through the first Friday in June, selective gear rules are in effect; no bait may be used.

Lewis River – On the mainstem Lewis, 2 bank anglers released a wild steelhead.  On the North Fork, 4 bank anglers had no catch.

Through April 12, a total of 9 hatchery and 1 wild spring Chinook had returned to the Merwin Dam trap.

Wind River – At the mouth 1 bank angler had no catch.  41 boat anglers kept 4 spring Chinook.  In the gorge, 4 bank anglers had no catch.

26 four year-old and 4 five year-old Carson National Fish Hatchery (CARS) PIT tagged adults have been detected at Bonneville Dam as of April 14.  Applying the respective juvenile tag rates (2.55% for four year-olds and 2.00% for five year-olds) produces an estimate of 1,020 four year- olds and 148 five year-olds (total 1,168 adults) over Bonneville.

Over the weekend, 27 spring Chinook were passed above the Shipherd Falls trap.

Drano Lake – 25 boat and 2 bank anglers had no catch.

Closed to all fishing on Wednesdays through June. Effective April 16 through June 30, bank fishing only west of a line projected from the easternmost pillar of the Hwy. 14 Bridge to a posted marker on the north shore.

In-season update: 5 four year-old and 0 five year-old Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery (LWSH) PIT tagged adults have been detected at Bonneville Dam as of April 14.  Applying the respective juvenile tag rates (1.45% for four year-olds and 1.58% for five year-olds) produces an estimate of 345 four year-olds and 0 five year-olds (total 345 adults) over Bonneville.

There have been 2 four year-old and 1 five year-old Willard National Fish Hatchery (WILL) PIT tagged adults detected at Bonneville Dam as of April 14. Applying the respective juvenile tag rates (1.01% for four year-olds and 1.18% for five year-olds) produces an estimate of 198 four year-olds and 85 five year-olds (total 283 adults) over Bonneville.

Grand total: Little White Salmon + Willard hatcheries = 628 adults.

Klickitat River – No report on angling success.

In-season update: 1 four year-old and 1 five year-old Klickitat Fish Hatchery (KLIH) PIT tagged adults have been detected at Bonneville Dam as of April 14.  Applying the respective juvenile tag rates (3.01% for four year-olds and 3.37% for five year-olds) produces an estimate of 33 four year-olds and 30 five year-olds (total 63 adults) over Bonneville.

5 adipose clipped adults have been counted at the Lyle Falls trap. The Lyle Falls trap counts can be found at http://www.ykfp.org/klickitat/Data_lyleadulttrap.htm

For PIT tag detections at Bonneville Dam, see http://www.cbr.washington.edu/dart/query/pitadult_obsyr_detail.

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Fishing from the Washington shore just below Bonneville Dam came on strong with anglers averaging over ½ fish kept per rod last week.

Nearly 1,700 boats and 900 bank anglers were counted on the lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam last Saturday.

KIRK ST. CLAIR, A CLIENT OF GUIDE TERRY MULKEY, HEFTS AN ESTIMATED 25-POUND SPRING CHINOOK CAUGHT ON A MULKEY'S GUIDE FLASH SPINNER IN BRASS/CHARTREUSE/RED DOT AT THE WEST END OF THE COLUMBIA GORGE. (MULKEY'S GUIDE SERVICE)

KIRK ST. CLAIR, A CLIENT OF GUIDE TERRY MULKEY, HEFTS AN ESTIMATED 25-POUND SPRING CHINOOK CAUGHT ON A MULKEY’S GUIDE FLASH SPINNER IN BRASS/CHARTREUSE/RED DOT AT THE WEST END OF THE COLUMBIA GORGE. (MULKEY’S GUIDE SERVICE)

From last Wed.-Fri.  we sampled  3,026 salmonid anglers (including 955 boats) with 775 adult and 3 jack spring Chinook and 11 steelhead.  695 (90%) of the adult Chinook were kept.  We sampled 558 (80%) of the adult Chinook kept.  478 (86%) of the adult Chinook were upriver origin based on Visual Stock Identification (VSI).

8 (73%) of the steelhead caught were kept.

From Feb. 1-April 11, there have been an estimated 90,474 angler trips with 11,213 adult spring Chinook kept and 1,660 released.  8,643 (77%) of the Chinook kept were upriver origin based upon Visual Stock Identification (VSI).

Prior to the run update, allocation of upriver fish (including release mortalities) for non-Indian fisheries will be:

10,318 fish for the recreational fishery below Bonneville Dam.

Thursday April 16 is the last day to fish until the run size update, typically performed in early May.  Based on the recent ten-year average, Bonneville Dam passage is usually 50% complete by May 8.

Bonneville Pool – 10 bank anglers had no catch though a couple spring Chinook have been reported caught.

The Dalles Pool – No spring Chinook were sampled.

John Day Pool – Bank anglers are catching some spring Chinook.

Sturgeon

Bonneville Dam to The Dalles Dam including adjoining tributaries – Currently closed for sturgeon retention.  Catch-and-release angling is allowed.

2015 Bonneville Pool Recreational White Sturgeon Summer Fishery

Season:
Friday June 19 through Sunday June 21
Friday June 26 through Sunday June 28
Friday July 3 through Sunday July 5

Allowable Catch
White sturgeon between 38-inches and 54-inches fork length.

The Dalles Pool – Bank anglers are catching some legals.  Through March, an estimated 39 (39%) of the 100 fish guideline had been taken.

John Day Pool – Slow for legal size fish.  An estimated 101 (20.2%) of the 500 fish guideline had been taken through March.

Walleye and Bass

The Dalles Pool – Boat anglers are catching some walleye and bass though the number of anglers sampled was small last week.

John Day Pool – Including fish released, boat anglers averaged 4 walleye and 7 bass per rod.

THIS IMAGE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE SHOWS TWO DEAD DEER IN A FIELD IN THE BLUE MOUNTAIN FOOTHILLS EAST OF WALLA WALLA. (WDFW)

Killing Of 8 Deer Near Walla Walla Under Investigation

Washington wildlife officers are looking for leads in the shooting of eight deer just east of Walla Walla.

According to a local newspaper article out yesterday, it appears that late last week, a person or persons shot the animals off Spring Creek Road, and then left them to rot.

A WDFW image shows at least two deer in a greening field.

THIS IMAGE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE SHOWS TWO DEAD DEER IN A FIELD IN THE BLUE MOUNTAIN FOOTHILLS EAST OF WALLA WALLA. (WDFW)

THIS IMAGE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE SHOWS TWO DEAD DEER IN A FIELD IN THE BLUE MOUNTAIN FOOTHILLS EAST OF WALLA WALLA. (WDFW)

No deer seasons were open at the time, and the Tri-Cities Herald reports that officers are considering it a spree killing.

That’s a reference to a bill signed into law several years ago that allows for prosecutors to straight away charge suspects with unlawful hunting in the first degree for poaching three or more deer, elk, moose, mountain goat, caribou, cougars, black bears or grizzly bears within 24 hours or “course of events.” Previously, a person had to have another incident in the previous five years to qualify for first-degree charges.

Anyone with information on the Spring Creek Road case is being asked to call (877) 933-9847 or to email reportpoaching@dfw.wa.gov.

The Walla Walla area has previously seen a spree deer shooting. In August 2010, Kyle O’Brien was charged with poaching four deer, including at least two bucks, on the west side of Walla Walla.

This latest case is the second large illegal killing of Eastern Washington deer that’s made headlines in recent weeks.

Earlier this month, the Ellensburg Daily Record reported that Rodney Arnold Lang of the Thorp area pled not guilty to poaching numerous mule deer after game wardens found at least 20 carcasses on his property and Lang allegedly told them he’d killed “more than 30″ over the past half decade.

 

 

IDAHO STEELHEADERS HELPED STATE

Anglers Help Collect 225 Pairs Of South Fork Clearwater Steelhead For Broodstock

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME

While some people fish for fun and even food, others fish for the future.

That’s what a group of volunteers have been doing recently on the South Fork Clearwater River from Stites to Mount Idaho.

Over 100 volunteer anglers were recruited by the Idaho Fish and Game, with assistance from the Nez Perce Tribe, to help catch and collect adult steelhead from the South Fork Clearwater River for hatchery spawning needs.

IDAHO STEELHEADERS HELPED STATE

IDAHO ANGLERS RECENTLY HELPED STATE AND TRIBAL MANAGERS CAPTURE 225 SOUTH FORK CLEARWATER RIVER STEELHEAD, LIKE THIS ONE LANDED BY JOSH HATFIELD A COUPLE YEARS AGO, FOR A BROODSTOCK PROGRAM THAT SHOULD YIELD 1.2 MILLION SMOLTS FOR THE POPULAR RIVER. (DAIWA PHOTO CONTEST)

Using rod and reels, the volunteers placed hatchery steelhead they caught into perforated holding tubes in the water at popular fishing areas.  Personnel from Fish and Game’s Clearwater hatchery then collected the steelhead and transported them to the Dworshak National Fish Hatchery where they were held until spawning.

The fishing project began in late February and the goal of collecting 225 spawning pairs was completed by March 7.  The fish have been spawned, and if all goes as planned, this will allow the release of about 1.2 million juvenile steelhead – called smolts – into the South Fork the spring of 2016.

Typically weirs, a sort of water fence, are placed in the river to trap and collect adult steelhead to meet hatchery needs.  Since this is not an option in the South Fork, Fish and Game turned to anglers in 2010.

“When we first started, we didn’t know if anglers would be willing to participate or if they could catch enough,” said Don Whitney, Fisheries Biologist with Idaho Fish and Game.  “But each year, the program continues to grow and this year our volunteers collected enough spawning pairs to fulfill the entire 1.2 million smolt release goal.”

Prior to this collection effort, South Fork hatchery steelhead were entirely from steelhead collected downriver at Dworshak National Fish Hatchery.  The effort in the South Fork has allowed the transition to a steelhead that over time, should adapt to the South Fork Clearwater River.  Termed “locally adapted broodstock,” these fish should maintain the traits that have made the Clearwater steelhead such a popular fishery and allow the fish to adapt to the unique environment of the South Fork.

As smolts from previous collections return as adults, biologists will compare return success from fish produced from this new method with the adult returns produced through other hatchery strategies in the Clearwater.

“It’s a win-win,” said Whitney. “The collaborative efforts between Fish and Game, Nez Perce Tribe, Dworshak National Fish Hatchery, and ultimately the public really shed light on what we can achieve when we work together for a common goal.”

IT MIGHT NOT BE GOLD, BUT SILVER AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW WORKED OUT JUST AS WELL FOR ANDREJ MISKE, WHO CAUGHT THIS CHROME SPRINGER AFTER ONE OF SATURDAY'S STORMS CLEARED. (DAIWA PHOTO CONTEST)

Lower Columbia, Gorge Fishing Report (4-13-15)

THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORT ORIGINATED FROM ODFW’S TANNA TAKATA AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

*         Spring Chinook angling is open from Tower Island powerlines upstream to the Oregon/Washington border above McNary Dam, plus the banks between Bonneville and Tower Island powerlines.

*         Sturgeon retention is open in The Dalles Pool until the respective guideline of 100 legal white sturgeon is met.

*   Sturgeon retention is open in the John Day Pool until the respective guideline of 500 legal white sturgeon is met.

*         White sturgeon retention is closed from Buoy 10 upstream to The Dalles Dam, but remains an option for catch and release fishing. Anglers are reminded that spawning sanctuaries take effect May 1 (see special regulations for details).

*         Walleye fishing was excellent in the John Day Pool last week.

Current Columbia River regulations for salmon, steelhead, shad and sturgeon can be found at the Sport Fishing Regulation Update<http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/fishing/reg_changes/index.asp> page.

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

Salmonid catch rates decreased in some areas of the lower Columbia River while they improved in others this past weekend.  Boat anglers fishing in the gorge below Beacon Rock averaged 1.53 spring Chinook caught per boat, while anglers fishing in Troutdale averaged 0.27 spring Chinook caught per boat.  In the Portland to Westport area, boat anglers averaged 0.52 spring Chinook caught per boat, while anglers fishing in the estuary averaged 0.42 spring Chinook caught per boat.  Bank anglers fishing in the gorge averaged 0.05 spring Chinook caught per angler, while anglers fishing the Portland to Westport area averaged 0.02 spring Chinook caught per angler.  On Saturday’s (4/11) flight, 1,665 salmonid boats and 444 Oregon bank anglers were counted from the Columbia River Estuary to Bonneville Dam.

IT MIGHT NOT BE GOLD, BUT SILVER AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW WORKED OUT JUST AS WELL FOR ANDREJ MISKE, WHO CAUGHT THIS CHROME SPRINGER AFTER ONE OF SATURDAY'S STORMS CLEARED. (DAIWA PHOTO CONTEST)

IT MIGHT NOT BE GOLD, BUT SILVER AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW WORKED OUT JUST AS WELL FOR ANDREJ MISKE, WHO CAUGHT THIS CHROME SPRINGER AFTER ONE OF SATURDAY’S STORMS CLEARED. (DAIWA PHOTO CONTEST)

Gorge Bank: Weekend checking showed one adipose fin-clipped steelhead kept, plus one unclipped spring Chinook adult released for 20 bank anglers.

Gorge Boats (below Beacon Rock): Weekend checking showed 21 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook adults kept, plus two unclipped spring Chinook adults released for 15 boats (50 anglers).

Troutdale Boats: Weekend checking showed 12 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook adults kept, plus three unclipped spring Chinook adults released for 56 boats (118 anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekend checking showed one adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook adult kept for 45 bank anglers.

Portland to Westport Boats: Weekend checking showed 74 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook adults and one adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook jack kept, plus 10 unclipped spring Chinook adults released for 163 boats (444 anglers).

Estuary Bank (Clatsop Spit to Wauna Powerlines): Weekend checking showed no catch for two bank anglers.

Estuary Boats (Tongue Point to Wauna Powerlines): Weekend checking showed six adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook adults kept, plus two unclipped spring Chinook adults and two unclipped spring Chinook jacks released for 19 boats (48 anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Columbia River between Bonneville Dam and The Dalles Dam): No report.

The Dalles Pool (Columbia River between The Dalles Dam and John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for 50 bank anglers.

John Day Pool (Columbia River above John Day Dam and John Day Arm): Weekly checking showed two adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook kept for 54 bank anglers; and no catch for four boats (eight anglers).

STURGEON

Lower Columbia (below Bonneville Dam): Closed to retention, catch-and-release only. No report.

Bonneville Pool (Columbia River between Bonneville Dam and The Dalles Dam): Closed to retention, catch-and-release only.  No report.

The Dalles Pool (Columbia River between The Dalles Dam and John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed one legal white sturgeon kept, plus four sublegal sturgeon released for 20 bank anglers; and two oversize and 11 sublegal sturgeon released for four boats (10 anglers).

John Day Pool (Columbia River between John Day Dam and McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for nine bank anglers; and three legal white sturgeon kept, plus one oversize and 11 sublegal sturgeon released for seven boats (17 anglers).

WALLEYE

Bonneville Pool: No report.

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed no catch for four bank anglers; and two walleye kept for three boats (six anglers).

John Day Pool (Columbia River between John Day Dam and McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for one bank angler; and 207 walleye kept, plus 52 walleye released for 34 boats (65 anglers).

2013_turkey_hunter_sucess_map

ODFW Issues Spring Turkey Season 2015 Forecast

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

The sight and sound of a turkey’s mating display is enough to quicken the pulse of even the most experienced hunter—and makes calling in a spring tom as exciting as calling in a bull elk. So don’t miss this year’s spring turkey hunting season opening April 15.

Last year’s spring harvest of 4,229 turkeys was up 9 percent from the previous year and the highest since 2010. This year’s season could be even better.

MAPS PREPARED BY THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE ILLUSTRATE THE INCREASING SUCCESS RATES FOR TURKEY HUNTERS IN THE BEAVER STATE OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS. (ODFW)

MAPS PREPARED BY THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE ILLUSTRATE THE INCREASING SUCCESS RATES FOR TURKEY HUNTERS IN THE BEAVER STATE OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS. ABOVE, THE 1993 MAP SHOWS MOSTLY DIFFICULT HUNTING ACROSS CENTRAL AND EASTERN OREGON AND A MIXED BAG ON THE WESTSIDE, BUT BY 2013, WHAT IS LABELED GOOD HUNTING HAS RADICALLY EXPANDED IN THE WILLAMETTE, UMPQUA AND ROGUE VALLEYS AS WELL AS PARTS OF EASTERN OREGON. (ODFW)

2013_turkey_hunter_sucess_map

“With the mild winter, more turkeys survived the season, particularly in areas of eastern Oregon where winter weather can be a limiting factor,” says David Budeau, ODFW upland bird coordinator.

Mikal Moore, Pacific Northwest regional biologist with the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), agrees. “Expanding turkey populations coupled with favorable over-wintering conditions should make for a very exciting wild turkey season this spring,” she said.

All you need to spring turkey hunt is camo, a call, and a shotgun. A hen or jake decoy can also improve your odds. You can hunt for six weeks (April 15-May 31) anywhere in the state, and buy up to three turkey tags in some areas. There is no deadline to purchase a tag, just get one before you go hunting.

Visit ODFW’s Spring Turkey Hunting Forecast for tips and tactics, suggestions on where to hunt, and reports on conditions from districts statewide:

http://www.dfw.state.or.us/RR/spring_turkey_forcast/index.asp

Youth-only weekend April 11-12

Budeau encourages kids to hunt the youth-only season this weekend (April 11-12), noting last year’s success rates. “There is a high level of harvest of turkeys from kids in general, and many of those were taken during the youth-only season last year,” he said. (Youth tag holders took 781 turkeys, 290 of those on the youth-only weekend.)

This weekend’s hunt is reserved for kids age 17 and under who are hunter education certified. Kids who hunt must be accompanied by an adult 21 years of age or older. See the Oregon Game Bird Regulations for details.

More information and photos: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/RR/spring_turkey_forcast/index.asp