Category Archives: Headlines

Steelie Limit Bumped Up To 3 On Cowlitz

THE FOLLOWING IS A WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE EMERGENCY RULE CHANGE NOTICE

Hatchery steelhead daily limit to increase on the lower Cowlitz River

Action:  Cowlitz River anglers may retain up to three hatchery steelhead.

Species affected:  Steelhead

Effective dates:  Aug. 22 through Oct. 31, 2014

Location:  From the Hwy. 4 Bridge at Kelso upstream to Mayfield Dam.

Reason for action:  There has been strong showing of hatchery summer run steelhead on the Cowlitz. Through mid-August, a total of nearly 7,000 hatchery summer run steelhead have returned to the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery. Also this year, a limited number of steelhead is being recycled downstream to provide additional angling opportunity.

Other information:  Release wild steelhead.

SALMON BOATS WORK BUOY 10, AT THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER EARLIER THIS MONTH. (NW FISHING GUIDES)

SW WA, Lower Columbia Fishing Report (8-19-14)

THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORT COMES FROM JOE HYMER, PSFMC

Portions of Abernathy, Cedar (tributary of N.F. Lewis, Clark Co.), Cougar (tributary to Yale Reservoir, Cowlitz Co.), Coal, Germany, Lacamas (Clark Co.), Mill (Cowlitz Co.) creeks and Coweeman River close to all fishing beginning September 1. Except for Cougar Creek, all close to protect naturally spawning fall Chinook; Cougar Creek to protect naturally spawning kokanee.

North Fork Toutle River from confluence with South Fork to the mouth of the Green River and the Green River from mouth to 400 feet below salmon hatchery rack – No report on angling success. Beginning Sept. 1, anti-snagging rule and night closure plus closed waters from 400 feet below to 400 feet above the water intake at the upper end of the hatchery.  When anti-snagging rule is in effect, only fish hooked inside the mouth may be retained.

Cowlitz River – Summer run steelhead are mainly being caught from Mission Bar upstream.

SALMON BOATS WORK BUOY 10, AT THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER EARLIER THIS MONTH. (NW FISHING GUIDES)

SALMON BOATS WORK BUOY 10, AT THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER EARLIER THIS MONTH. (NW FISHING GUIDES)

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

*   1,284 summer-run steelhead
*   115 spring Chinook adults, 17 jacks, 87 mini-jacks
*   2 fall Chinook adult 1 jack
*   1 sockeye adult
*   10 cutthroat trout

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released:

*   100 spring Chinook adults and 15 jacks into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek
*   100 spring Chinook mini-jacks into Riffe Lake at Mossyrock Park
*   2 fall Chinook adults, one jack and two cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

200 summer-run steelhead were recycled downstream to the Interstate-5 boat launch.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 4,240 cubic feet per second on Monday, August 18. Water visibility is 14 feet.

Mayfield Lake – Salmon season begins Sept. 1. Daily limit 6, no more than 2 adults may be retained. Release wild Chinook and wild coho.

Tilton River from mouth to West Fork – Sept. 1-Oct. 31: night closure and anti-snagging rule. When anti-snagging rule is in effect, only fish hooked inside the mouth may be retained.

Cowlitz River from posted PUD sign on Peters Rd. to the mouth of Ohanepecosh and Muddy Fork – Sept. 1-Oct. 31: night closure and anti-snagging rule. When the anti-snagging rule is in effect, only fish hooked inside the mouth may be retained.

Kalama River – No report on angling success though fall Chinook are in the river. Sept. 1-Oct. 31: Fly fishing only from the natural gas pipeline crossing to the deadline at the intake to the lower salmon hatchery.

North Fork Lewis River – Some summer run steelhead are being caught by boat anglers.

Washougal River – No report on angling success. Sept. 1-Oct. 31: night closure and anti-snagging rule from Mt. Norway Br. upstream. When anti-snagging rule is in effect, only fish hooked inside the mouth may be retained. Note: restrictions are already in effect from Mt. Norway Br. downstream.

Wind River – Summer run steelhead are being caught by boat and bank anglers but the problem is only about 25% were hatchery fish.

Drano Lake – Including fish released, boat anglers averaged nearly 1.4 summer run steelhead per rod.  Again, the problem is only about 31% of the fish caught were hatchery fish.  However, catch of fall Chinook is increasing.  Any Chinook and coho, adipose fin clipped or not, may be retained. There were 72 boats here last Sunday morning (August 17).

Klickitat River – River remains turbid.  No report on angling success.

Buoy 10 – Washington’s best checks of the season for fall Chinook (so far) was last Saturday with just over a fish per boat.  Coho catches are beginning to increase again.  Effort is heavy with over 1.5 hr. wait to launch a boat at times.
*         Effective August 30-September 1, all Chinook must be adipose or left ventral fin clipped.
*         Effective September 2, release all Chinook. Hatchery coho daily limit increased to 3 fish.

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Summer run steelhead remain the dominant catch though increasing numbers of fall Chinook are being caught.  In addition, a couple adult coho were found in the sample.

Last week we sampled 1,862 salmonid anglers (including 340 boats) with 62 adult and 6 jack fall Chinook, 542 steelhead, and 2 adult coho.

All of the adult Chinook and 291 (54%) of the steelhead were kept.  Both of the adult coho were wild and were released.

Bonneville Pool – Boat anglers are catching some summer run steelhead and a few fall Chinook.  Most of the effort last Sunday was found at the mouth of the White Salmon River (18 boats).

Hanford Reach – An estimated 87 boats fished for salmon in the Hanford Reach (Hwy 395 and Priest Rapids Dam) this past week.  WDFW staff interviewed 5 boats (11anglers:46 pole hours) fishing for salmon with 7 chinook. Staff also interviewed 17 bank anglers at Ringold with no catch.

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia mainstem from Marker 82 downstream – We sampled 10 sturgeon anglers (4 boats) with 8 legals released.  The section from the Navigation Marker 82 line upstream opens for catch and release angling beginning September 1.

Walleye

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – 3 walleye anglers (3 boats) were sampled with 4 walleye kept and 3 released.

Trout

Lake Scanewa and Swift reservoirs – No report on angling success. Effective Sept. 1, up to 10 rainbow trout may be retained in each reservoir. Only hatchery rainbows may be retained at Lake Scanewa.

LINCOLN COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY MICHELLE BRANAM WAS PRESENTED WITH OREGON’S WILDLIFE PROSECUTOR OF THE YEAR AWARD BY ODFW WATERSHED MANAGER CHIP DALE AND OSP FISH AND WILDLIFE DIVISION DIRECTOR CAPTAIN JEFF SAMUELS. (OSP)

Lincoln Co. DA Named Oregon’s Wildlife Prosecutor Of The Year

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

The Lincoln County District Attorney was selected recently to receive the seventh presentation of an award to a prosecutor in Oregon for their support, hard work, dedication, and efforts in enforcing fish and wildlife laws and commitment to the preservation of Oregon’s natural resources.

On August 14, 2014, Lincoln County District Attorney Michelle Branam was presented with the “2013 Wildlife Prosecutor of the Year Award” in front of her peers at the Oregon District Attorneys Association summer conference held last week in Bend. The award sponsored by the Oregon Sportsmen’s Coalition, was presented by Captain Jeff Samuels, Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish and Wildlife Division Director, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife Watershed Manager Chip Dale, and Ty Stubblefield, Field Administrator for the Oregon Hunters Association.

LINCOLN COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY MICHELLE BRANAM WAS PRESENTED WITH OREGON’S WILDLIFE PROSECUTOR OF THE YEAR AWARD BY ODFW WATERSHED MANAGER CHIP DALE AND OSP FISH AND WILDLIFE DIVISION DIRECTOR CAPTAIN JEFF SAMUELS. (OSP)

LINCOLN COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY MICHELLE BRANAM WAS PRESENTED WITH OREGON’S WILDLIFE PROSECUTOR OF THE YEAR AWARD BY ODFW WATERSHED MANAGER CHIP DALE AND OSP FISH AND WILDLIFE DIVISION DIRECTOR CAPTAIN JEFF SAMUELS. (OSP)

Michelle Branam has served for almost ten years as a Deputy and Chief Deputy for the Lincoln County District Attorney’s Office before being appointed District Attorney by Governor John Kitzhaber earlier this year.

Through her hard work and partnership with area law enforcement, she has garnered a great deal of respect for her commitment to consistently prosecuting fish and wildlife crimes. The South Coast Team of the OSP Fish and Wildlife Division has a great working relationship with DA Branam who shows support for the protection of natural resources. On her own time, Branam even attended Marine Board training to better understand recreational boating enforcement and completed both drift boat and jet boat operation training.

As Lincoln County Chief Deputy, Branam was responsible for prosecuting the bulk of serious criminal cases in the county. She was also instrumental in prosecuting several environmental cases where actions resulted in local habitat restoration projects, including a high profile water pollution case involving a local sand and gravel company which received a misdemeanor conviction of Water Pollution in the Second Degree and a $10,000 fine.

“It was a pleasure to present DA Michelle Branam with the wildlife prosecutor of the year award for her dedication and commitment to the criminal justice system and wildlife prosecution. I appreciate her willingness to work closely with local fish and wildlife troopers and to prosecute those responsible for wildlife offenses and environmental degradation,” said Captain Jeff Samuels.

Recent wildlife cases successfully prosecuted by DA Branam include:

Hunting on the Enclosed or Cultivated Land of Another/Unlawful Possession of Big Game

Disposition:
* 10 days in jail
* Three year hunting license suspension and two years’ probation
* $1,400 fines
* $400 restitution to taxidermist
* $15,000 restitution to ODFW for 7×7 bull elk
* Forfeit elk mount, meat and archery equipment

Unlawful Take of Osprey

Disposition:
* Three years hunting license suspension
* $5,000 restitution to ODFW for Osprey

Waste of Cow Elk

Disposition:
* Remington 7mm forfeited to state
* Three year hunting license suspension
* $810 in fines
* $500 restitution to Oregon Hunter’s Association for TIP reward
* $1,500 restitution to ODFW for elk

Unlawful Take of Black Bear

Disposition:
* Three years’ probation
* Forfeit bear and Remington 270 rifle
* $1,633 in fines
* $1,000 restitution to ODFW for the bear

WDFW Looking For Marketing Coordinator For Licence Div.

Are you a Washington sportsman with good ears, a gift for gab, and sales and marketing experience?

WDFW may be looking for you to fill a certain position.

No, not THAT one.

The agency is advertising for a marketing coordinator who will act as a go-between for its Licensing Division and the state’s dealers.

The full-time gig is based out of Olympia. For more, check out this link, but hurry, the post closes this Friday, Aug. 22.

 

 

 

More Emerges On NE WA Wolf Attack On Sheep Flock

It’s been quiet since last week’s wolf attacks on a Northeast Washington sheep flock.

At least in the woods.

A local livestock organization now says that WDFW failed to share locational information on the wolves blamed for killing 14 sheep in two separate attacks Aug. 11 and 12, but the state agency says that that telemetry data belongs to the Spokane Tribe, which collared the pack’s alpha male.

The Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association says the lack of data led Dave Dashiell, a brother of a county commissioner, to “unknowingly” run his large flock in the range of the Huckleberry Pack this summer.

“This situation would not have happened if the department wasn’t keeping critical information secret and was working with producers who needed that data for their ranch management,” said the group’s president Scott Nielsen in a press release.

Paraphrasing WDFW wolf manager Donny Martorello, Scott Sandsberry of the Yakima Herald-Republic writes “that the department isn’t at liberty to divulge the data because of the Spokane Tribe’s jurisdictional authority.”

“In this case, the Spokane Tribe requested the data from these collared wolves be treated as sensitive data and not be shared,” Martorello said, Sandsberry reports.

Since tribal leaders decided to hold a wolf hunt last year, very little information on wolves or wolf management on the Spokane Reservation has been forthcoming from the tribe. Trust me, I’ve tried to pry it out of them.

It’s believed that the Huckleberry Pack spend most of its time on the reservation, but an online map, based on telemetry from the collar of the alpha male and another one, which was shot during last year’s tribal wolf hunt, indicate the territory spearheads north into Stevens County a fair ways.

According to a post on retired USFWS wolf manager Carter Niemeyer’s Wolfer Facebook page, Dashiell’s sheep were roughly 3 miles from the wolves’ summer rendezvous point.

The cattlemen estimate the loss of the 14 confirmed wolf-killed sheep and nine others too far decomposed to determine a cause of death to be a $5,000 blow to the herder.

If the flock has to be moved again, penned and fed hay, it could amount to a $35,000 bill, they say.

But that assumes that the pack will follow the sheep, like the Wedge wolves followed the McIrvin’s cattle out of the hills in late summer 2012.

According to WDFW, Dashiell immediately began moving the flock off his lease on private timber land and out of the pack’s range, and extra human presence was brought in to assist with the herding and night watch.

Both the cattlemen and WDFW agree that Dashiell has been proactive in trying to prevent wolf-sheep conflicts.

“The Dashiells have been involved in sheep production for nearly 30 years and regularly utilize predator deterrents for their herds including several guard dogs, a herder(s) who maintain a consistent human presence in the area and rotational grazing of the herd over the course of the summer months,” says the press release.

Bottom line, as collaborative and proactive as WDFW has become with producers in the wolf woods, and while appreciating issues of tribal sovereignty and ongoing scientific research on predator-livestock conflict, better communication on all things wolves is needed. The tribe needs to be a better neighbor.

Meanwhile, in Oregon, ODFW reports one confirmed and one probable wolf attack on a calf and ewe in Wallowa and Umatilla Counties.

AMBRE ENERGY WANTS TO BUILD A TERMINAL NEAR BOARDMAN, ORE., TO BARGE COAL DOWN TO ANOTHER TERMINAL AT ST. HELENS WHERE CARGO SHIPS COULD HAUL THE MATERIAL TO ASIA.

Tribes Hail Oregon Decision To Reject Coal Terminal Permit

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE COLUMBIA RIVER INTERTRIBAL FISH COMMISSION

Tribal leaders from the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission are applauding the Oregon Department of State Lands’ decision to reject Ambre Energy’s permit application for its proposed Morrow Pacific coal export project along the Columbia River. The decision was made partly on evidence of federally protected treaty fishing activities that occur in that stretch of the river and the negative impact the proposed project would have on those activities. This decision is a significant setback to Ambre Energy’s proposal.

“Today’s landmark decision reflects what is in the best interest of the region, not a company’s pocketbook,” said Carlos Smith, chairman of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission and a member of the Warm Springs Tribal Council. “This decision is one that we can all celebrate. It reaffirms the tribal treaty right to fish, is in the best interest of the Columbia Basin’s salmon populations, and our communities. It is a reflection of what is best for those who would be forced to live with the consequences of Ambre’s proposal, not what is best for those who would profit from it. This is the beginning of the end for this toxic threat – the Tribes will stand with the State to protect its sound decision.”

AMBRE ENERGY WANTS TO BUILD A TERMINAL NEAR BOARDMAN, ORE., TO BARGE COAL DOWN TO ANOTHER TERMINAL AT ST. HELENS WHERE CARGO SHIPS COULD HAUL THE MATERIAL TO ASIA.

AMBRE ENERGY WANTS TO BUILD A TERMINAL NEAR BOARDMAN, ORE., TO BARGE COAL DOWN TO ANOTHER TERMINAL AT ST. HELENS WHERE CARGO SHIPS COULD HAUL THE MATERIAL TO ASIA.

The tribal treaty fishing right is secured by treaties signed with the United States government in 1855. The treaties of 1855 have been recognized as the supreme law of the land and the tribal treaty fishing right upheld by the United States Supreme Court on multiple occasions.

The proposed Morrow Pacific coal terminal has been opposed by tribal leaders, local communities, and members of the general public since it was proposed. The tribes maintain that the proposed terminal would interfere with tribal fishing activities in the area. 

 

Westport Salmon Fishing Reports (8-18-14)

Editor’s note: We’ve got a pair o’ salmon fishing reports for Westport anglers, the first from the Westport Charterboat Association on the summerlong Chinook derby, the second from SaltPatrol

by Bob Codiga, Westport Charterboat Association

One of the many beautiful chinook caught during the past week netted angler Richard “Wink” Winkelman of Olympia a daily derby prize of $500.  Fishing Saturday with Captain Kevin Vasereno on the Charterboat Gold Rush “Wink” managed to haul in this 27 pound 15 ounce chinook winning the derby prize with ease.

(WESTPORT CHARTERBOAT ASSOCIATION)

(WESTPORT CHARTERBOAT ASSOCIATION)

There are a lot of these chinook to be caught before the salmon season ends at the end of September.  Effective Monday, August 18 the daily limit will change to the point that you may retain two chinook as your daily limit or one plus a coho (hatchery) or two coho.

Our current monthly chinook leader is still Mindee Rawson of Bonney Lake with a chinook weighing 29 pounds 13 ounces and our coho leader is Paul Koehl of Seattle at 10 pounds 10 ounces.  The current tuna leader is Ted Schultz of Palo Cedro, California at 34 pounds 6 ounces and on the ling cod front Jeremy Hageness of Libby, Montana remains on top with a ling weighing 42 pounds.

by John Keizer, SaltPatrol.com

Fished Westport this past weekend with Jerry Henderson and Roger Chapman. Saturday the ocean was like a mill pond, a little AM thick fog but a great day. We fished north up by Ocean Shores in 40ft of water. We had all but one salmon in the box by 8 AM and ran out and did some bottom fishing. Took a few limits of sea bass and ling cod. We ran back up on the beach and fish for our last king. They were there, we hooked up two and but both came unhooked. We then landed a nice hatchery coho and ended the day.

JERRY HENDERSON WITH A NICE OCEAN CHINOOK. STARTING MONDAY, AUG. 18, THE LIMIT IS UP TO TWO KINGS A DAY. (SALT PATROL)

JERRY HENDERSON WITH A NICE OCEAN CHINOOK. STARTING MONDAY, AUG. 18, THE LIMIT IS UP TO TWO KINGS A DAY. (SALT PATROL)

The charters have been running south off the Willapa in 300ft of water about 27 miles down and having good success.

Sunday weather changed and we had a little lump and wind chop with thick fog. Fished the same area and took a couple of kings and some coho. You really had to fish the little pockets of bait and stay on them to hookup on any salmon. The Lowrance Structure Scan set on 50ft Side Scan help a lot locating the bait. Still a great fishing day.

Most of our action was on a whole herring behind a Fish Flash. The herring were brined in Pro-Cure Brine N Bite Complete in green. The other setup was a green Silver Horde Gold Star squid behind a flasher. The squid was scented with Pro-Cure Bloody Tuna Jell scent.

(JOHN KEIZER, SALT PATROL)

(JOHN KEIZER, SALT PATROL)

For you tuna guys lots of great tuna action happening the fish are starting to move in closer in again.

WESTPORT JOINS LA PUSH AND NEAH BAY AS OPEN FOR TWO KINGS A DAY STARTING AUG. 18. DAVE ANDERSON'S BOAT PICKED UP THIS BRACE LAST SEASON. (WRIGHT & McGILL/EAGLE CLAW PHOTO CONTEST)

Two-king Limits Off Westport Start Aug. 18!

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

Starting Monday, Aug. 18, anglers fishing in ocean waters off Westport can keep up to two chinook salmon as part of their two-salmon daily limit.

With that change, anglers will be allowed to keep two chinook per day in ocean waters off Westport (Marine Area 2), La Push (Marine Area 3) and Neah Bay (Marine Area 4).

WESTPORT JOINS LA PUSH AND NEAH BAY AS OPEN FOR TWO KINGS A DAY STARTING AUG. 18. DAVE ANDERSON'S BOAT PICKED UP THIS BRACE LAST SEASON. (WRIGHT & McGILL/EAGLE CLAW PHOTO CONTEST)

WESTPORT JOINS LA PUSH AND NEAH BAY AS OPEN FOR TWO KINGS A DAY STARTING AUG. 18. DAVE ANDERSON’S BOAT PICKED UP THIS BRACE OUT OF THE WASHINGTON COAST HARBOR LAST SEASON. (WRIGHT & McGILL/EAGLE CLAW PHOTO CONTEST)

Those fishing Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco) will continue to be limited to one chinook as part of their two-salmon daily limit.

All ocean areas are open to salmon fishing seven days per week. Wild coho must be released in all four areas.

Ron Warren, fisheries policy lead for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said the previous daily limit of one chinook off Westport was designed to ensure the fishery would remain open the entire season.

“We’ve kept a close eye on the pace of catch in the area,” Warren said. “With sufficient quota remaining, we want to maximize the recreational fishing opportunity through the rest of the season.”

Ocean salmon fisheries are scheduled to continue through Sept. 30 in marine areas 1 and 2 and through Sept. 21 in marine areas 3 and 4. However, a portion of Marine Area 3 will reopen Sept. 27 through Oct. 12.

Fishery managers will continue to monitor the ocean salmon fishery throughout the season and will announce any other changes on WDFW’s website at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/rules_all_saltwater.j .

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

MATT BAUDER OF CANBY (LEFT) RECEIVES A NEW SAVAGE .17 HMR RIFLE FROM MATT KEENAN, ODFW ACCESS AND HABITAT PROGRAM COORDINATOR, AT THE GUN BROKER IN CLACKAMAS THE RIFLE WAS THE PRIZE IN A DRAWING FROM COMPLETED HUNTER SURVEYS SPONSORED BY THE OREGON HUNTERS ASSOCIATION REDMOND CHAPTER. (ODFW)

Oregon Hunter Scores Brand-new Varmint Rifle For Just Filling Out A Form

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

It pays to be a conscientious hunter.

Matt Bauder can attest to that. He was awarded a brand new Savage .17 HMR rifle for completing a permit designed to help ODFW better manage private hunting lands.

MATT BAUDER OF CANBY (LEFT) RECEIVES A NEW SAVAGE .17 HMR RIFLE FROM MATT KEENAN, ODFW ACCESS AND HABITAT PROGRAM COORDINATOR, AT THE GUN BROKER IN CLACKAMAS THE RIFLE WAS THE PRIZE IN A DRAWING FROM COMPLETED HUNTER SURVEYS SPONSORED BY THE OREGON HUNTERS ASSOCIATION REDMOND CHAPTER. (ODFW)

MATT BAUDER OF CANBY (LEFT) RECEIVES A NEW SAVAGE .17 HMR RIFLE FROM MATT KEENAN, ODFW ACCESS AND HABITAT PROGRAM COORDINATOR, AT THE GUN BROKER IN CLACKAMAS THE RIFLE WAS THE PRIZE IN A DRAWING FROM COMPLETED HUNTER SURVEYS SPONSORED BY THE OREGON HUNTERS ASSOCIATION REDMOND CHAPTER. (ODFW)

Bauder’s name was drawn from a pool of hunters who filled out daily use permits last year at ODFW’s Access and Habitat areas. The rifle was purchased by the Oregon Hunters Association Redmond Chapter and offered as an incentive for hunters to complete the permits when they hunt on private A and H program lands.

Access and Habitat areas are private lands open to hunting through an agreement between ODFW and the landowners. The A and H Program is interested in knowing which properties hunters use and like the most. A and H pays landowners for hunter access, either in cash or by providing wildlife habitat improvements on site. The program also funds law enforcement projects on industrial timberlands open to public hunting.

“Daily use permits are a good tool for helping us decide where to invest in access,” said Matt Keenan, ODFW’s Access and Habitat Program Coordinator.

ODFW now places self-serve permit stations at the entrances to private lands enrolled in the Access and Habitat Program to estimate hunter use and satisfaction. Bauder hunted at the Lost Valley Ranch near Fossil and filled out one of the A and H permits when he and his buddies were hunting. Bauder gave the area high marks, even though he didn’t bag an elk.

The A and H program was established in 1993 by the Oregon Legislature, and is funded primarily by a $4 surcharge on all hunting licenses and the sale of deer and elk auction and raffle tags. It currently operates on an annual budget of about $1.25 million, which is used to maintain public access to approximately 5 million acres of private land each year.

For more information about the Access and Habitat program and hunter access to private lands, visit the program website at www.AccessAndHabitatHunts.com

Chance To Comment On WDFW Hunt Proposals Next Week, Beyond

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

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking comments on proposed alternatives for 2015-17 hunting seasons, and has scheduled several meetings this month to discuss the proposals with the public.

The alternatives will be posted by Aug. 18 on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/seasonsetting/, where people can also provide comments. The Game Management Plan and scoping criteria for the 2015-17 season-setting process is available on the website as well.

WDFW is accepting comments on the alternatives through Sept. 20.

The department has also scheduled a series of public meetings in August to discuss the alternatives. The meetings will run from 7-9 p.m. and are scheduled for:

·         Aug. 19 – Spokane: Centerplace Regional Events Center, 2426 N Discovery Place, Spokane Valley, Great Room.
·         Aug. 20 – Moses Lake: Big Bend Community College ATEC Building, 7611 Bolling St. NE, Moses Lake, Masto Conference Center.
·         Aug. 21 – Ellensburg: CWU Campus 400 E University Way, Ellensburg, Wellington’s Event Center.
·         Aug. 26 – Everett: Holiday Inn Downtown, 3105 Pine St., Everett, Everett Ball Room 2.
·         Aug. 27 – Tacoma: Pacific Grill Event Center, 1530 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, Chinook/Klickitat Conference Room.
·         Aug. 28 – Vancouver: Heathman Lodge, 7801 NE Greenwood Dr., Vancouver, Pacific Ballroom

Issues currently under consideration by the department for upcoming seasons include:

·         Setting spring and fall black bear seasons.
·         Early archery elk seasons.
·         Modern firearm mule deer seasons.
·         Hunting equipment, including non-toxic ammunition, expandable broadheads and crossbows.
·         Special permit drawings.
·         Baiting big game.

Dave Ware, WDFW game program manager, said comments received from the public will be used to develop specific recommendations for 2015-17 hunting seasons, which will be available for further review in January.

Final recommendations will be presented to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission for adoption next spring.