Category Archives: Headlines

KIRAN WALGAMOTT TAKES A TURN AT THE WHEEL OF THE MERLIN. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Wanna Help Grow Boating? Grants Available For Northwest Nonprofits

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE NORTHWEST MARINE TRADE ASSOCIATION

The Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA) is pleased to announce a grant program for non-profits seeking assistance in promoting boating in the region. The grants are being awarded through the NMTA’s Grow Boating program whose mission is to increase the number of boaters and encourage current boaters to boat more often. Since 2003, NMTA has spent more than $1.5 M to promote boating in the Pacific Northwest through various events, sponsorships and programs. The NMTA will award multiple grants up to $20,000 by April 15th, 2017. The application can be downloaded at: www.NMTA.net/grant.

KIRAN WALGAMOTT TAKES A TURN AT THE WHEEL OF THE MERLIN. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

KIRAN WALGAMOTT TAKES A TURN AT THE WHEEL OF THE MERLIN DURING A SAN JUAN ISLANDS CRABBING TRIP.  NMTA IS OFFERING GRANTS FOR ORGANIZATIONS SEEKING TO GET MORE KIDS OUT BOATING. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

“We are very excited to make these grants available to help promote boating in the region,” said George Harris, NMTA’s president. “Our own efforts and programs have introduced boating to well over a million people since 2003. These grants should help us build new partnerships in the community to spread the benefits and joys of boating to even more.”

Applications must fall into one the following categories:

  • Youth Boating Grant

Awarded to a group or organization seeking funding support for an event or program aimed specifically at getting or increasing youth participation in boating activities.

  • Discover Boating Grant

Awarded to a group or organization seeking funding support for an event or program aimed specifically at introducing new people to boating.

  • Boater Education / Safety Grant

Awarded to a group or organization seeking funding support for an event or program aimed specifically at educating new or current boaters on how to be safe on the water.

Completed applications must be received by January 31, 2017. Grants will be awarded by April 14, 2017.

To apply for a NMTA Grow Boating grant, visit www.NMTA.net or www.NMTA.net/grant and download a grant application. For questions, contact Karsten McIntosh at NMTA: karsten@nmta.net  or 206-634-0911.

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Oregon Mulls Surcharges Instead Of Higher License Fees; New ODFW Commissioner Named

Oregonians as a whole may be asked to help fund its financially struggling Department of Fish and Wildlife rather than just more increased fishing and hunting license fees for sportsmen.

A group of legislators and others looking for ways to bridge ODFW’s large projected revenue gap will meet next week to consider “either an income tax surcharge or a surcharge on beverage containers to fund the department,” according to a report from the Pamplin Media Group.

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It would need approval from the legislature, as would license fee increases if that route is chosen instead.

According to the story, either of the surcharges would bring in $86.6 million, which would cover scheduled license increases in coming years.

The idea will be discussed in further detail this coming Monday, Nov. 28, from 1 to 3 p.m. in Room 50 of the Capitol Building in Salem. Public comment will begin at 1:25 p.m.

A final recommendation on Funding for Fish, Wildlife and Related Outdoor Recreation and Education will come out of the meeting.

In other ODFW news, yesterday, Gov. Kate Brown appointed Central Point’s Jim Bittle, president of Willie Boats, to the Fish and Wildlife Commission, a move that was seen as a positive for sportfishing interests.

“I think that’s pretty good,” said Buzz Ramsey, who termed Bittle a “great guy” and “successful businessman” who cares for the resources.

According to Mark Freeman, outdoor reporter for the Medford Mail-Tribune, Bittle was encouraged to apply by Jason Atkinson, whom he is replacing on the citizen oversight panel, and by a desire to get kids more involved in the outdoors.

“I think we’re losing it to cellphones and iPads,” Bittle told Freeman. “It’s all about the younger generation.”

Gov. Brown’s press secretary called Bittle “the most qualified candidate” of nine who applied for the position, according to the newspaper.

His appointment is contingent on a state Senate hearing and confirmation.

The governor also reappointed Gregory Wolley of Portland and Laura Anderson of Newport for four more years.

It had been hoped that Brown would name Liz Hamilton of the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association to the District 3 seat occupied by Wolley as a counterbalance to Commissioner Bruce Buckmaster of Astoria, but political pressure may have scuttled that.

RAZOR CLAMMERS WORK THE BEACH DURING AN EARLY 2010 SEASON. (JASON BAUER)

Gobble Gobble! Post-Turkey Day Razor Clam Dig Coming Up At Twin Harbors

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

Razor clam diggers can return to Twin Harbors beach for a three-day opening that begins Nov. 26, state shellfish managers said today.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the opening on evening tides at Twin Harbors after marine toxin tests confirmed clams from the beach are safe to eat. No digging will be allowed before noon.

RAZOR CLAMMERS WORK THE BEACH DURING AN EARLY 2010 SEASON. (JASON BAUER)

RAZOR CLAMMERS WORK THE BEACH DURING AN EARLY 2010 SEASON. (JASON BAUER)

Diggers had plenty of success last weekend at Twin Harbors, said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager.

“Not only were most folks digging their limits but they were harvesting some good-sized clams,” Ayres said.

The upcoming dig is approved at Twin Harbors on the following dates and low tides:

Nov. 26, Saturday, 4:47 p.m.; 0.5 feet; Twin Harbors
Nov. 27, Sunday, 5:24 p.m.; 0.2 feet; Twin Harbors
Nov. 28, Monday, 5:59 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Twin Harbors

Under state law, diggers can take 15 razor clams per day and are required to keep the first 15 they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2016-17 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.

Long Beach remains closed to razor clam digging due to elevated levels of domoic acid. A natural toxin produced by certain types of algae, domoic acid can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities.

More information about razor clams and domoic acid can be found on WDFW’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/.

EXPECT NICE TROUT AT FOURTH OF JULY, HOME TO THIS 19-INCHER AND SOME AS LONG AS 22 INCHES. (WDFW)

Hatch, Hog Canyon, Fourth Of July Trout In Good Shape For Black Friday Opener

UPDATED 4:45 P.M., 11-22-16 WITH INFORMATION ON STEVENS COUNTY LAKES

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ORIGINATED WITH WDFW BIOLOGISTS RANDALL OSBORNE AND BILL BAKER

I did some pre-season sampling at Hatch Lake (Stevens Co.) today (opens on Friday).  Lots of Rainbow Trout to be had there by anglers this winter.  Average size was about 12.5 inches.  Largest fish was about 14 inches.

A NICE HATCH LAKE RAINBOW. (WDFW)

A NICE HATCH LAKE RAINBOW. (WDFW)

I did not sample Williams Lake (Stevens Co.).  It is infested with smallmouth bass and goldfish, so is on the docket for rehabilitation next fall.  Williams Lake will be supported by catchable Rainbow Trout this winter, which will run around 11-12 inches.

…………………………………………………………….

WDFW staff recently sampled Hog Canyon and Fourth of July lakes.  Fish-wise, both lakes looked pretty good.

At Hog Canyon, sampled fish ranged from 12½ to 15½ inches with plenty of fish both above and below the 14 inch mark.

A WDFW STAFFER HOLDS A HOG CANYON RAINBOW TROUT, CAUGHT DURING ANNUAL PREOPENER SAMPLING. (WDFW)

A WDFW STAFFER HOLDS A HOG CANYON RAINBOW TROUT, CAUGHT DURING ANNUAL PREOPENER SAMPLING. (WDFW)

Fish sampled at Fourth of July ran a little larger overall, ranging from 9 to 22½ inches. Fair numbers of fish on either side of the 14 inch mark there too.  Anglers should have a pretty good opener at each of these lakes.

EXPECT NICE TROUT AT FOURTH OF JULY, HOME TO THIS 19-INCHER AND SOME AS LONG AS 22 INCHES. (WDFW)

EXPECT NICE TROUT AT FOURTH OF JULY, HOME TO THIS 19-INCHER AND SOME AS LONG AS 22 INCHES. (WDFW)

Anglers fishing Fourth of July Lake are once-again going to have trouble getting any type of craft on the water due to the low water conditions, so it’s pretty much a walk-in situation there.  Those putting the effort to hike in there, though, should be rewarded with some pretty nice fish.  It’s currently a non-issue due to conditions, but keep in mind that internal combustion motors are prohibited at Fourth of July.

At Hog Canyon, anglers wishing to launch boats shouldn’t have too much trouble if they’re careful on the rocky ramp.  WDFW staff launched a couple of boats with outboards there last week.  There is also bank fishing available here too for those wanting to hike a ways.

Just a note, although ice fishing is potentially still a ways off, WDFW does not provide ice condition information to the public because there is too much liability in providing that information.  Our website has some basic information about ice safety that you worked up a few years ago.  Anglers should go and look at ice conditions themselves or visit fishing websites that can inform them of ice conditions.

 

WASHINGTON HUNTERS ARE BEING ENCOURAGED TO REPORT FERAL SWINE THEY SEE. (TEXAS A&M AGRILIFE EXTENSION)

Agencies Encourage Washington Hunters To Report Feral Swine

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON RECREATION AND CONSERVATION OFFICE

As hunters head into the woods this fall, four agencies are asking them to watch for signs of feral swine and to report them immediately if found.

The Washington Invasive Species Council, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Wildlife Services are reminding landowners, hikers, hunters and other recreationists that timely reporting of feral swine allows managers to take quick action to eradicate the animals.

WASHINGTON HUNTERS ARE BEING ENCOURAGED TO REPORT FERAL SWINE THEY SEE. (TEXAS A&M AGRILIFE EXTENSION)

WASHINGTON HUNTERS ARE BEING ENCOURAGED TO REPORT FERAL SWINE THEY SEE. (TEXAS A&M AGRILIFE EXTENSION)

“Rapid response is the most effective and cost-efficient way to prevent the spread of invasive species such as feral swine,” said Laurence Schafer, wildlife biologist for the federal Wildlife Services.

“While reports of feral swine in Washington are rare, isolated populations have been found and response has been swift,” said Justin Bush, executive coordinator of the Washington Invasive Species Council. “If you come across one, it is important to know that the swine pose a great risk to Washington’s wildlife and agriculture. The Washington Invasive Species Council should be contacted immediately.”

Some of what makes feral swine so dangerous is that they damage shorelines and wetlands and degrade water quality, harming other wildlife and the state’s investment in salmon habitat restoration, said Bill Tweit, special assistant with the Department of Fish and Wildlife. “Feral swine also prey on ground-nesting birds. Their digging and rooting erodes stream banks, impacts tree regeneration and removes vegetation.”

Feral swine’s digging and rooting also threaten crops such as potatoes, grapes, pears, apples, cherries, hay, wheat, grain and hops. The value of potentially-affected crops and livestock in Washington State is $8.5 billion.

“The threat of wild pigs to agriculture and the livestock industry should not be underestimated,” said Scott Haskell, the state Department of Agriculture’s assistant state veterinarian. “In addition to the damage they can cause to food crops, feral swine can carry more than 30 diseases and parasites, posing a risk to livestock, pets, wildlife and even people. Feral swine can contaminate livestock feed and, in some cases, even prey upon small livestock animals, like goats and newborn cattle.”

Anyone who observes or suspects the presence of feral swine should immediately call the Squeal on Pigs Hotline, 888-268-9219, or visit www.invasivespecies.wa.gov to submit an online report.

CRABBING HAS BEEN CLOSED IN YAQUINA BAY, WHERE JUERGEN ECKSTEIN AND KIRAN WALGAMOTT EXAMINE A POT EARLIER THIS YEAR, AND OTHER BAYS ON THE OREGON COAST BETWEEN TILLAMOOK HEAD AND THE CALIFORNIA BORDER, ODFW HAS ANNOUNCED. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Oregon Bays South Of Tillamook Head Closed To Crabbing

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

The Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced the immediate closure of recreational and commercial bay crabbing from Tillamook Head to the California border due to elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes Dungeness and red rock crab harvested in bays and estuaries, off docks, piers, jetties, and the ocean.

CRABBING HAS BEEN CLOSED IN YAQUINA BAY, WHERE JUERGEN ECKSTEIN AND KIRAN WALGAMOTT EXAMINE A POT EARLIER THIS YEAR, AND OTHER BAYS ON THE OREGON COAST BETWEEN TILLAMOOK HEAD AND THE CALIFORNIA BORDER, ODFW HAS ANNOUNCED. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

CRABBING HAS BEEN CLOSED IN YAQUINA BAY, WHERE JUERGEN ECKSTEIN AND KIRAN WALGAMOTT EXAMINE A POT EARLIER THIS YEAR, AND OTHER BAYS ON THE OREGON COAST BETWEEN TILLAMOOK HEAD AND THE CALIFORNIA BORDER, ODFW HAS ANNOUNCED. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Elevated domoic acid levels were found in the viscera of Dungeness crab collected between Cascade Head and Cape Falcon, triggering a biotoxin closure. The remaining areas of the coastline are being closed out of precaution while more samples are being processed. Additional sample results will be used to inform the reopening areas and the opening of the ocean crab fisheries, which are scheduled to open December 1.

Crab harvesting from Tillamook Head north to the Columbia River remains open, although it is recommended that crab always be eviscerated prior to cooking. Evisceration includes removing and discarding the internal organs and gills.
Despite the closure, crab and shellfish products sold in retail markets and restaurants remain safe for consumers.

Domoic acid or amnesic shellfish toxin can cause minor to severe illness and even death. Severe poisoning can result in dizziness, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea. More severe cases can result in memory loss and death. Shellfish toxins are produced by algae and originate in the ocean. Toxins cannot be removed by cooking, freezing or any other treatment. ODA will continue to test for toxins in the coming weeks. Removal of the advisory requires two consecutive tests in the safe range.

For more information, call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline at (800) 448-2474 or visit the ODA shellfish closures web page.

(OSP)

Two Large Bull Elk Shot, Wasted Near Elgin; OSP Looking For Tips

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

The OSP Fish & Wildlife Division is asking for the public’s help to identify the person(s) responsible for the unlawful killing of two bull elk in Union County.

(OSP)

(OSP)

On November 16, 2016, OSP was notified of two dead bull elk approximately 60 yards off of Yarrington Road, which is located northeast of Elgin in Union County. An OSP Fish and Wildlife Trooper responded and found both bull elk had been shot and left to waste. Investigation revealed the elk were most likely shot in the late evening hours of November 15 or early morning hours of November 16, 2016. Evidence was collected at the scene.

(OSP)

(OSP)

A reward of up to $500.00 is offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case. The reward is offered by the Oregon Hunters Association Turn-In-Poacher (TIP) program.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact OSP Senior Trooper Marcus McDowell through the TIP hotline at 1-800-452-7888 or email at marcus.mcdowell@state.or.us. Information may be kept anonymous.

WHETHER YOU’RE AFTER TROUT, SALMON, STEELHEAD -- LIKE THIS ONE FROM THE LOWER DESCHUTES RIVER -- OR CRAB, YOU CAN FISH FOR THEM FOR FREE ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, NOV. 25-26. (KEN LOFFINK, VIA ODFW)

Great Deal On Oregon Fishing Coming Up: 4 Free Days!

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

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife encourages Oregonians to start a new family tradition during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend – take the family fishing.

The price will be right. On Friday and Saturday, Nov. 25 and 26, fishing, crabbing and clamming in Oregon will be free. That means no licenses, tags or endorsements are needed on those days. (Though all other fishing regulations apply.)

WHETHER YOU’RE AFTER TROUT, SALMON, STEELHEAD -- LIKE THIS ONE FROM THE LOWER DESCHUTES RIVER -- OR CRAB, YOU CAN FISH FOR THEM FOR FREE ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, NOV. 25-26. (KEN LOFFINK, VIA ODFW)

WHETHER YOU’RE AFTER TROUT, SALMON, STEELHEAD — LIKE THIS ONE FROM THE LOWER DESCHUTES RIVER — OR CRAB, YOU CAN FISH FOR THEM FOR FREE ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, NOV. 25-26. (KEN LOFFINK, VIA ODFW)

  • Desperate to get the kids out the house and somewhere outside? Take them fishing – it’s easier than you think. Check out the ODFW website to help get started.
  • Stumped for a way to entertain out-of-state visitors? Take them crabbing – the free fishing weekend applies to them, too.
  • Longing for a brief escape from all of the football? Take yourself fishing – and maybe bring home fresh trout, because those turkey leftovers won’t last forever.

“Getting outside fishing and enjoying Oregon’s natural areas is a great way to spend quality family time over the holidays,” said Rick Hargrave, ODFW spokesperson.

While the weather can be challenging at Thanksgiving, fall can be a great time to go trout fishing: many ponds and lakes have been stocked this fall and fish are feeding hungrily for the winter. In addition, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is waiving day use fees at state parks (Friday only), some of which include great fishing opportunities.

“We’re hoping anglers have so much fun and success at this free fishing weekend, they’ll want to participate in a second free fishing weekend scheduled for Dec. 31 and Jan. 1,” Hargrave said.

The additional free fishing weekends were authorized by the 2015 Oregon State Legislature as a way of introducing new anglers to the sport.

For more help deciding on your holiday fishing destination, check out the ODFW Rec Report for the latest conditions.

(JASON BAUER)

WDFW Green Lights 3 Beaches For Razor Clam Digging Starting Thursday

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

Fishery managers have approved three days of razor clam digging beginning Nov. 17 at various ocean beaches.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the opening at Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks after marine toxin tests confirmed the clams on those beaches are safe to eat.

Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, said the best digging typically occurs one to two hours before low tide. No digging is allowed at any beach before noon.

(JASON BAUER)

(JASON BAUER)

“Diggers will find plenty of nice razor clams just waiting for the frying pan or to use as an addition to their Thanksgiving feast,” Ayres said.

A list of razor clam recipes is available on WDFW’s website at: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/recipes.html.

The upcoming dig is approved on the following beaches, dates and evening low tides:

  • Nov. 17, Thursday, 8:37 p.m.; -1.3 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 18, Friday, 9:28 p.m.; -0.8 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 19, Saturday, 10:22 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks

Under state law, diggers can take 15 razor clams per day and are required to keep the first 15 they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2016-17 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.

Long Beach remains closed to razor clam digging due to elevated levels of domoic acid. A natural toxin produced by certain types of algae, domoic acid can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities.

A list of proposed digs through Dec. 31 is available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html, where additional information about razor clamming is available.

WINTER-RUN STEELHEAD ARE STARTING TO SNEAK INTO THE WASHOUGAL RIVER, WHERE SAMUEL STUART CAUGHT THIS CHROMER A FEW SEASONS BACK. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Columbia, SW WA Fishing Report (11-14-16)

THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL ORIGINATED FROM TANNA TAKATA, ODFW,  AND STEPHEN GRAY AND PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW, AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Columbia River Angling Report

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

The salmonid creel program on the lower Columbia has ended for the year and will resume February of 2017

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed seven coho adults and one coho jack kept, plus one steelhead released for 20 boats (46 anglers).

WINTER-RUN STEELHEAD ARE STARTING TO SNEAK INTO THE WASHOUGAL RIVER, WHERE SAMUEL STUART CAUGHT THIS CHROMER A FEW SEASONS BACK. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

WINTER-RUN STEELHEAD ARE STARTING TO SNEAK INTO THE WASHOUGAL RIVER, WHERE SAMUEL STUART CAUGHT THIS CHROMER A FEW SEASONS BACK. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

 

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for two bank anglers; and two steelhead kept for one boat (two anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam to McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed three steelhead kept, plus one steelhead released for 13 bank anglers; and two steelhead kept, plus nine steelhead released for 14 boats (35 anglers).

John Day Arm:  Weekly checking showed no catch for six bank anglers; and two steelhead kept, plus seven steelhead released for 30 boats (78 anglers).

STURGEON

Lower Columbia River (below Bonneville Dam): Closed for retention. No report.

Bonneville Pool: Closed for retention. Weekly checking showed seven sublegal, five legal and one oversize sturgeon released for two bank anglers.

The Dalles Pool: Closed for retention. Weekly checking showed 20 sublegal sturgeon released for two bank anglers.

John Day Pool: Closed for retention.  Weekly checking showed no catch for three bank anglers; and 60 sublegal, 20 legal and six oversize sturgeon released for 14 boats (37 anglers).

WALLEYE

Bonneville Pool: Weekly checking showed no catch for one boat (one angler).

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed 248 walleye kept, plus 31 walleye released for 14 boats (29 anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam to McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed 101 walleye kept, plus 13 walleye released for 38 boats (72 anglers).

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Lower Columbia mainstem and its tributaries sport sampling summaries for Nov. 7-13

Note:  There will likely be no report next week.

Salmon/Steelhead

Mainstem Grays below the Hwy. 4 Bridge and West Fork from 300 yards below the salmon hatchery road bridge upstream to the hatchery intake/footbridge – Effective November 16, the night closure, anti-snagging rules, and stationary gear rule restrictions will no longer be in effect.

Mainstem Grays from Hwy. 4 Bridge to South Fork and West Fork Grays River from mouth to 300 yards below hatchery road bridge – Opens to fishing for hatchery steelhead, hatchery coho, and adipose and/or ventral fin clipped Chinook beginning December 1.

Green River, North Fork Toutle River, and mainstem Toutle River from mouth to forks – November 30 is the last day to fish for hatchery steelhead and hatchery salmon.

Outlet Creek (Cowlitz Co.) – November 30 is the last day to fish for hatchery steelhead and hatchery salmon.

South Fork Toutle River – From 4100 Bridge upstream, November 30 is the last day to fish for hatchery steelhead and hatchery salmon. The mouth to the bridge remains open to fishing for hatchery steelhead with selective gear rules in effect beginning December 1.

Mill Creek (tributary to Cowlitz River) – Beginning December 1, opens to fishing for hatchery steelhead, hatchery sea run cutthroats, and hatchery salmon from the mouth to the salmon hatchery road crossing culvert. Selective gear rules, night closures and anti-snagging rules will be in effect for this one month fishery.

Cowlitz River – Coho are still being caught with most of the action at the barrier dam.

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 2,392 coho adults, 365 jacks, 35 fall Chinook adults, one jack, 55 summer-run steelhead,  two winter-run steelhead, and 69 cutthroat trout in seven days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 235 coho adults and 34 coho jacks into the Cispus River upstream of the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek near Randle, 425 coho adults and 106 coho jacks at Franklin Bridge in Packwood, 480 coho adults, 54 coho jacks, 15 fall Chinook adults, one fall Chinook jack and nine cutthroat trout into the Tilton River located at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton and 487 coho adults, 45 jacks, and five cutthroat trout into Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 11,500 cubic feet per second on Monday, November 14. Visibility is at seven feet and water temperature is 52.9 degrees F.

Lewis River – On the North Fork, some coho are being caught by bank anglers and boat anglers are catching some coho and Chinook.  Mainstem Lewis is slow.

Under permanent rules, effective December 1 the night closure and anti-snagging rules will no longer be in effect from Johnson Creek (below the salmon hatchery) upstream to Colvin Creek (above the salmon hatchery)

Washougal River – No report on angling success.  Through last week, 21 hatchery winter run steelhead had already returned to Skamania Hatchery.

Wind River from Shipherd Falls upstream to Moore Bridge – The catch-and-release game fish (including steelhead) season runs through November 30.

Klickitat River – Still some coho being caught.   A decent number of adult coho (329) have been counted at the Lyle Falls Trap since the beginning of November.

Under permanent rules, the Klickitat River from Fishway #5 upstream closes to fishing for salmon and trout (including hatchery steelhead) beginning December 1. The whitefish only season from 400 feet above Fishway #5 upstream to the Yakama Reservation boundary begins December 1. Whitefish gear rules will be in effect.

The salmon and hatchery steelhead fishery from the Fisher Hill Bridge downstream to the mouth (Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge) remains open through January 31.  Barbed hooks are allowed through December 31

Hanford Reach – The Columbia River from the Hwy 395 Bridge at Kennewick upstream to the old Hanford townsite wooden powerline towers is open for the harvest of Ringold Springs origin hatchery steelhead. Steelhead released from the Ringold facility have both an adipose and right ventral fin clip.  All wild or adipose-only clipped steelhead must be released.  The fishery opened on October 1 and will be open through March 31

Fishing has been slow for steelhead in the Hanford Reach this fall.  In November, WDFW staff interviewed 69 boat anglers (30 boats) and 237 bank anglers with a total of 32 steelhead. Boat anglers averaged less than ½ a steelhead per boat (24 hours per steelhead). Bank anglers fared slightly better at 21 hours per steelhead.  To date, approximately 70% of the fish caught in this fishery have been Ringold origin and legal to harvest.

In October, an estimated 162 steelhead were caught and 108 were harvested. Released steelhead included 32 adipose only, 17 unclipped, and 5 adipose-right ventral fin clipped steelhead.

Paul A. Hoffarth
District 4 Fish Biologist
WA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife

Trout

Swift Reservoir from the dam upstream to the Eagle Cliff Bridge -Remains open to fishing through November 30. Until then, the daily limit is 10 hatchery rainbows. Landlocked salmon rules are in effect (salmon count towards the trout daily limit); however, all salmon larger than 15 inches must be released.

The reservoir is currently 22 feet below full pool.

Black Friday trout opener is coming up the day after Thanksgiving. The six lakes to be planted will be closed starting the Monday before Thanksgiving (November 21) through Thanksgiving (November 24) and reopen Friday November 25. The lakes to be planted with 2,000 very large rainbows (averaging 15 to 16 inches in length and weighing over a pound each) are:

Lewis County
Fort Borst Park Pond
South Lewis County Park Pond

Cowlitz County
Kress Lake

Clark County
Battleground Lake
Klineline Pond

Klickitat County
North Rowland Lake

………………………………….

McNary to Hwy 395 Catch & Harvest Estimates

After a two-week closure the Columbia River re-opened to fishing for steelhead upstream to the Hwy 395 bridge at Pasco/Kennewick.    Anglers averaged 18 hours per steelhead this past week.  Boat anglers averaged just under a steelhead per boat, 13 hours/fish. Bank angling slowed considerably since the closure with anglers averaging 34 hours per steelhead. The percentage of hatchery steelhead in the catch has decline to 30%.

WDFW staff interviewed 315 anglers with 48 steelhead caught and 14 hatchery steelhead harvested between Nov 5 and Nov 13. Based on the data collected, 317 steelhead were caught and 110 hatchery steelhead were harvested from 1,659 angler trips since the fishery re-opened

There have been 8,241 angler trips for steelhead/salmon in the McNary area through November 13 with a harvest of 687 hatchery steelhead.