Category Archives: Headlines

Drawing For Chance To Bowhunt Deer On Medford Ranch

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

Six adult archery deer hunters will get the chance to hunt on the 9,500-acre C2 Ranch near Medford during the late archery deer season this year.

To enter this special drawing, hunters need to fill out the application at the link below and return it to Vince Oredson. It must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 26.  Applications can be submitted by fax, email, mail or hand delivered to ODFW’s office in Central Point. Winners will be drawn on Oct. 27.

http://www.dfw.state.or.us/lands/AH/docs/C2_Application.pdf (C2 Ranch Hunt Application)

Hunters who apply need to have a general season archery deer tag. Hunters who win are entitled to an unguided three-day hunt on C2 Ranch property during late archery deer season (Nov. 15-Dec. 7) in the Rogue Unit.

The hunt is made possible through ODFW’s Access and Habitat program, which provides hunting access and improves wildlife habitat on private land.

With Strong Salmon Runs, ODFW Opens Trask’s Hatchery Hole Early

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

A popular Trask River fishing hole will open early this year to give anglers more opportunity to capitalize on continued strong returns of Chinook and coho salmon.

The Hatchery Hole will open to fishing Oct. 16 under temporary rules adopted this week by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The Hatchery Hole is a popular section of the Trask River located 200 feet above and 900 feet below its confluence with Gold Creek, approximately six miles southeast of Tillamook. It normally remains closed through November to protect hatchery broodstock but will open early this year in response to returns in excess of hatchery needs on the Trask River.

“With observed and anticipated continued good returns of hatchery coho and fall Chinook we are implementing this additional opportunity,” said Robert Bradley, ODFW fish biologist in Tillamook, whonoted that the opener will coincide with forecast rains that should bring more salmon into the Trask river basin.

Anglers may keep up to two adult salmon or steelhead per day in any combination. Both clipped and unclipped Chinook salmon may be retained whereas coho and steelhead retention is restricted to adipose fin-clipped fish. See the 2014 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations or the ODFW website for further details.

(BROWNING PHOTO CONTEST)

More Reports From Washington’s Opening Weekend

Well … maybe the reason I didn’t spot a legal buck over in the Methow Valley this past weekend was that I was looking at my phone for updates from a friend who’d decided to hunt on the Westside this year.

We were emailing over Facebook. To wit:

Andy: Lots of shots in our area. Wonder if the deer I just barely saw moving after most recent one was a buck. One of only two I’ve seen so far

Eric: 2 more than I’ve seen. Have wind now, rain earlier. Heard one shot at 5:55am. Sounded weird, almost muffled. Wonder If some fool was testing his safety in his vehicle. Heard a commotion at the edge of a cut, waited it out but nothing. Don’t know what it was. There is a big bear up here with an irritated colon.

Andy: Just saw a buck, 2pt, with a doe moving up. Sprinkling

Eric: No eye guards eh? Damn. Had rain, wind, thunder, lightning and hail today. I’m home now and It’s sunny. Only thing I saw was a mountain beaver eating on the side of a road. He didnt know I was there and I just stood over him in a downpour. Ran into 3 guys walkin out. Wearin jeans and tennis shoes. They weren’t having fun. They were beat.

Fortunately, some Washington hunters were actually paying more attention to what was hopping and bopping around the woods, fields and waters. Here are their reports:

WDFW spokeswoman Madonna Luers says that opening weekend saw 81 hunters with nine deer at the Deer Park check station northwest of Spokane.

“It is very, very, very dry and warm here,” she says. “I think if it had been cool and rainy it would have been better.”

That compares with 91 and 12 from last year, but state fish and wildlife officers she’d heard from indicated about the same amount of effort afield.

Luers points out that November’s late hunt is typically more popular with Northeast Washington deer chasers.

Jeff Miller of Field N’ Marsh Outfitters & Kennels and the Blue Ridge Ranch collective near Benge reported one successful huntress took a nice muley with a 270-yard shot, but it’s been anything but easy so far.

ALLYSSA MEYER AND HER BUCK. (FIELD N' MARSH OUTFITTERS)

ALLYSSA MEYER AND HER BUCK. (FIELD N’ MARSH OUTFITTERS)

“Hunting has been hard, big deer hanging very tight. When we get moisture, or if we do, hunting will improve,” Miller emailed.

That looks to be on the way tomorrow.

A little to the southeast, Kristina Anderson also put her tag on a muley, but a doe she’d drawn a second permit for.

“Seeing a lot of deer here around Colfax past Colton,” reported her husband, Dave. “Kristina and I filled our doe tags at the same time. Pretty awesome as Kristina pulled off a beautiful 289-yard shot with her Remington .260.”

(BROWNING PHOTO CONTEST)

(BROWNING PHOTO CONTEST)

Sunday, Kristina’s dad, Maury Kinannon, notched his tag with a nice whitetail buck that had been hiding in some trees.

(BROWNING PHOTO CONTEST)

(BROWNING PHOTO CONTEST)

It wasn’t just the opening of deer season — waterfowl was a go too, and reader Gary Lundquist had a great cast-and-blast at Potholes Reservoir.

“Ducks, bass, trout and lots and lots of perch,” Gary reported “Hunted and fished the Potholes Reservoir for the opener with son Wyatt, Ron Sorenson, Mike Sommer and his faithful companion Cabo. Haven’t done that in years.”

(BROWNING PHOTO CONTEST)

(BROWNING PHOTO CONTEST)

“It was Cabo’s first duck hunt! Mike has been working with Cabo for a year and a half for this moment. Cabo did very well on singles, doubles and a long retrieve or two,” he emailed.

(BROWNING PHOTO CONTEST)

(BROWNING PHOTO CONTEST)

Hunting on her ranch in the western Palouse, Katie Pearl downed a three-point muley on Monday with a 309-yard shot, according to William Erickson, who forwarded the image of his friend.

(IMAGE VIA WILLIAM ERICKSON)

(IMAGE VIA WILLIAM ERICKSON)

Young Ryan Donahue wasted little time bagging his first buck. After recently passing hunter ed, he tagged this Central Washington muley on the opener, matching his brother Jack’s feat a couple seasons back.

(BROWNING PHOTO CONTEST)

(BROWNING PHOTO CONTEST)

“It was an awesome moment for the three of us and I have a hunch Jack is equally proud of his younger bro too,” reports their father, Mike Donahue.

(You may recall Jack as the cover boy on our October 2010 issue.)

Our Jason Brooks just returned from a North-central Washington perch that got pelted in Saturday’s storm. He reports lots of sign, but no deer sightings, though son Adam continued a successful season of upland bird hunting.

And our Brian Lull and Dave Workman bagged bucks southwest of Pullman (no, no wolf sightings, though another hunter did report a track near Colfax). Brian’s was a 3-pointer while Workie’s was a 3×2.

photo

And how’d your opener go? Email me a report and pics, and I’ll tack it onto here!

 

Wolf Delisting Could Begin By April 2015, ODFW Says

Wolf delisting, more cougar tags, a “torrent” of trout , and an extension on public comment for a mess or rule-change proposals made the news while yours truly was away at deer camp.

Here are the lowdowns from ODFW and WDFW:

Commission adopts big game regulations and plan to hire new director

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission today adopted the 2015 Oregon Big Game Regulations, which includes increasing the statewide cougar quota.

Major changes include several modifications to archery season regulations as a result of the recent Archery Review Public Advisory Committee process, including:

·         Adding three controlled archery deer hunts in Walla Walla, Mount Emily and Wenaha units, and removal of the requirement to have a controlled elk archery tag to deer hunt. The tag will also be valid during the general archery season.
·         Adding a new November controlled archery white-tailed deer hunt in the Wenaha unit (estimate 30 tags, will be the hunters only archery deer opportunity).
·         Severing the link between archery deer and elk tags in Sled Springs, Chesnimnus, Maury, and Warner units, meaning an archery elk tag will no longer be required to hunt deer.
·         Adding new Maury and Warner unit controlled archery elk hunts. Tags will also be valid during the general archery season.
·         Returning Sled Springs, Chesnimnus, and Steens Mountain units to the general archery deer season.

Other changes include:
Increasing the statewide cougar quota from 777 to 970 to reflect increasing cougar populations, more damage and public safety issues from cougar in some areas, and deer and elk populations that are below objectives in many areas.
Adding one week to the Saddle Mountain unit late archery deer hunt and ending a long-standing closure for deer hunting in the unit north of the Burlington Northern tracks. The area was closed years ago to protect Columbian White-Tailed deer. The deer population has expanded, making the closure unnecessary.
Added the Keating unit and removed the Stott Mountain unit from areas where archery hunters and hunters with a disability permit may take an antlerless elk during bull seasons.

The Commission turned down a staff recommendation to add a new spring bear hunt in Southwest Oregon. The Siskiyou Plus hunt would have added 250 tags to the spring season.

The Commission also adopted a recruitment plan for a new agency director. The plan calls for a national search to replace Roy Elicker who recently retired to take a position with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The recruitment will be open from November 3 through December 5, 2014.  Finalists will be interviewed by the Commission in February. The recruitment process will begin with a public survey regarding the characteristics and qualities the new director should have. The public will also have the opportunity meet the final candidates in February. The survey and the recruitment plan will be available on the ODFW website next week.

The Commission was also briefed on potential delisting of wolves in eastern Oregon from the state Endangered Species Act. The Oregon Wolf Plan, adopted in 2005, calls for considering delisting when eastern Oregon has four breeding pairs for three consecutive years. Staff has documented at least four packs reproducing in the previous two consecutive years. If that trend continues, the delisting process would begin in April 2015. Before delisting could occur, the Commission must determine that wolf populations in eastern Oregon are not likely to become endangered, existing state and federal regulations are adequate to protect wolves, and that other criteria are met.

In other business, the Commission:
·         Approved a three-year pilot program that will allow the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to make specific short-term repairs to culverts in western Oregon without having to meet all requirements for fish passage. As part of the pilot program, ODOT would improve fish passage at each site they repair, and pay $1.8 million into an ODFW-managed account that would fund high priority fish passage projects. In addition, ODOT would fund a new transportation liaison position, managed by ODFW, to coordinate implementation of the agreement. ODOT and ODFW staff described the pilot as a “win-win” that allows ODOT to make critical culvert repairs at a lower cost while protecting public safety, fish passage and watershed health.
·         Held a joint meeting with the California Fish and Game Commission. Thursday’s meeting included briefings on Klamath Basin Restoration, ocean acidification and temperature changes, the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and other issues of interest to both states.
·         Recognized the contributions of the Bob and Phyllis Mace family to wildlife in Oregon. The Mace family established a trust fund to benefit fish and wildlife and contributed millions of dollars to watchable wildlife efforts, including the Bob and Phyllis Mace Watchable Wildlife Center at the Jackson County Fairgrounds.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in Oregon. It usually meets monthly. The next meeting is Dec. 5 in Salem.

WDFW to release torrent of trout;
nearly four times more fish stocked this fall

OLYMPIA – With some 340,000 trout scheduled for stocking in western Washington lakes, area anglers should have an excellent chance at phenomenal fishing this fall and through the holiday season.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will stock 47 western Washington lakes with catchable-size trout. That includes 19 lakes where the catch limit will be increased to 10 trout beginning Oct. 18.

“Our fish stocking plans entail releasing nearly four times more fish than were released last fall in western Washington,” said Chris Donley, WDFW’s inland fish program manager. “Fishing at dozens of lakes throughout the region should be great over the next few months.”

Lakes stocked as of Oct. 1 include Island, Lost, Nahwatzel, and Spencer Lake in Mason County, Kitsap Lake in Kitsap County, Rattlesnake Lake in King County, and Gibbs, Leland and Teal Lakes in Jefferson County. Additional stocking efforts will focus on different regions and counties in western Washington and will continue through October and November.

A list of lakes to be stocked, those lakes offering the bonus bag limit, and the department’s recently updated stocking plan is available for viewing at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/fall-into-fishing/ .

WDFW has a higher number of fish to stock into lakes this fall because of a legal settlement last spring that prevented releasing early winter hatchery steelhead into most Puget Sound rivers in 2014.

More than 300,000 of those steelhead, an ocean going form of rainbow trout, will instead be released into western Washington lakes in the coming weeks.

“We realized these fish presented a unique opportunity for Washington’s anglers,” said Donley. The department held the steelhead over the summer and reared them to “catchable trout size” to be released into lakes in the Puget Sound area for harvest this fall.

Donley said he expects angling to be great throughout the fall and winter months at all of these lakes. “Most of the trout are 11 to 13 inches long, with a few larger ones in the mix,” he said.

The fall fish plants are in response to anglers’ requests to increase fall and winter trout fishing opportunities in western Washington, said Donley. That effort also includes stocking lakes in southwest Washington for the Nov. 28 Black Friday opener, which offers anglers the opportunity to skip the shopping malls, get outside, and enjoy fishing on the day after Thanksgiving.

For those fishing closer to the Puget Sound area, thousands of trout are available in lakes that can be pursued throughout fall and winter, said Donley. “We encourage anglers young and old, inexperienced or well-seasoned, to get out and take advantage of these great fisheries,” he added.

For up-to-date stocking information this fall, anglers should follow the department on Twitter or Facebook, accessible from http://wdfw.wa.gov , or see the department’s weekly catchable trout stocking report at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/ .

Anglers must have a current Washington freshwater fishing license valid through March 31, 2015, to participate in these events.

Licenses can be purchased online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov ; by telephone at 1-866-246-9453; or at hundreds of license vendors across the state. For details on license vendor locations, visit the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/ .

Deadline extended for public comment on proposed Columbia River Basin fishing rules

OLYMPIA – The public will have more time to review proposed changes to fishing rules for the Columbia River Basin under an extended comment period announced today by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Under the new timeline, WDFW will accept written comments through Nov. 13 on the proposed rules – about a month longer than previously announced.

In addition, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has postponed a public hearing on the proposals until its Dec. 12-13 meeting in Olympia. Written testimony can also be submitted during that time.

The commission, which sets policy for WDFW, is scheduled to take action on the proposed rule changes in a January meeting.

Fisheries managers have recommended 32 of the proposals submitted by the public in May move forward for additional review. To review and comment on the proposed rules, visit WDFW’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals. The webpage has more information about the proposals as well as those not recommended for further consideration.

Upper Columbia Rivers, Hanford Opening For Steelhead Retention

THE FOLLOWING ARE EMERGENCY RULE-CHANGE NOTICES FROM THE WASHIGNTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Upper Columbia River and selected tributaries to open for hatchery steelhead fishing

Action:  Allow retention of hatchery steelhead.

Species affected: Hatchery steelhead

General Rules:

1)    Mandatory retention of hatchery steelhead, identified by a missing adipose fin with a healed scar at the location of the clipped fin.

2)    Daily limit two (2) hatchery steelhead.

3)    Selective gear rules and night closure are in effect for all steelhead fishery areas, except the use of bait is allowed on mainstem Columbia River.

4)    Adipose present steelhead must be released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release.

5)    Release all steelhead with a floy (anchor) tag attached and/or one or more round 1/4 inch in diameter holes punched in the caudal (tail) fin.

6)    Motorized vessels are not allowed on the Wenatchee and Icicle Rivers (Chelan Co ordinance 7.20.190 Motorboat restrictions)

Effective dates and locations:

1)  The mainstem Columbia River from Rock Island Dam to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam; October 8, 2014 until further notice.

2) The Wenatchee River from the mouth to the Wenatchee River at the Icicle Road Bridge, including the Icicle River from the mouth, to 500 feet downstream of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Barrier Dam; October 8, 2014 until further notice.

3) The Entiat River from the mouth to approximately ½ mile upstream to a point perpendicular with the intersection of the Entiat River Road and Hedding Street; October 8, 2014 until further notice.

4) The Methow River from the mouth to the confluence with the Chewuch River in Winthrop; October 8, 2014 until further notice. Fishing from a floating device is prohibited from the second powerline crossing (1 mile upstream from the mouth) to the first Hwy 153 Bridge (4 miles upstream from the mouth).

5) The Okanogan River from the mouth to the Highway 97 Bridge in Oroville; October 8, 2014 until further notice.

6) The Similkameen River, from its mouth to 400 feet below Enloe Dam; November 1, 2014 until further notice.

Reason for action: Hatchery-origin steelhead in excess of desired escapement are forecast to return to the upper Columbia River. The fishery will reduce the number of excess hatchery-origin steelhead and consequently increase the proportion of natural-origin steelhead on the spawning grounds. Higher proportions of naturally produced spawners are expected to improve genetic integrity and stock recruitment of upper Columbia River steelhead through perpetuation of steelhead stocks with the greatest natural-origin lineage.

Other information:

Anglers should be aware that fishing rules are subject to change and that rivers can close at any time due to impacts on natural origin steelhead. Adhering to the mandatory retention of adipose clipped steelhead is vital in allowing the fishery to continue and to provide the maximum benefit to natural origin fish.

All anglers must possess a valid fishing license and a Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement to participate in these fisheries. Revenue from the endorsement supports salmon or steelhead seasons on many rivers in the Columbia River system, including enforcing fishery regulations and monitoring the upper Columbia River steelhead fisheries. The endorsement has generated more than $1 million annually for WDFW to maintain and increase fishing opportunities throughout the Columbia River Basin.

Hanford Reach steelhead fishery opens early for retention of any hatchery steelhead; additional area opened upstream to Priest Rapids Dam

Action:     Open the Columbia River to retention of any hatchery steelhead between the Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco and Priest Rapids Dam

Species affected:  Hatchery steelhead

Locations and Dates:

Area 1: Highway 395 Bridge upstream to old Hanford townsite wooden powerline towers; Oct. 8, 2014 – Oct. 31, 2014.

Area 2:  Old Hanford townsite wooden powerline towers to Vernita Bridge; Oct. 8 – Oct. 22, 2014.

Area 3:  Vernita Bridge to Priest Rapids Dam; Oct. 8 – Oct. 22, 2014 and Nov. 27, 2014 – until further notice.

Special Rules for Areas 2 and 3:

•      Mandatory retention of hatchery steelhead.  Adhering to the mandatory retention of adipose clipped steelhead is vital in allowing the expanded fishery to continue and to provide the maximum benefit to natural origin fish on upper Columbia tributary spawning grounds.

•      Selective gear rules are in effect, except the use of bait is allowed.

Other information:

•      This action removes the requirement for both an adipose fin clip and ventral fin clip for hatchery steelhead retained prior to November 1st in Area1. Fishing in Area 1 for any hatchery steelhead continues by permanent rule from Nov. 1 through Mar. 31, 2015 (see Page 73 in 2014-15 fishing rules pamphlet).

•      Daily limit of two (2) hatchery steelhead.  Hatchery steelhead are identified by a missing adipose fin with a healed scar in its location.  Minimum size is 20 inches.

•      Wild steelhead (adipose fin intact) must be immediately released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release.

•      All anglers must possess a valid fishing license and a Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement to participate in these fisheries. Revenue from the endorsement supports salmon or steelhead seasons on many rivers in the Columbia River system, including enforcing fishery regulations and monitoring the upper Columbia River steelhead fisheries. The endorsement has generated more than $1 million annually for WDFW to maintain and increase fishing opportunities throughout the Columbia River Basin.

Reason for action:  Steelhead fisheries for hatchery steelhead (adipose clip only) have opened in the upper Columbia and tributaries, thus allowing early retention of adipose fin clip only steelhead in the Hanford Reach.  Hatchery-origin steelhead in excess of desired escapement are forecast to return to the upper Columbia River. The fishery enhancements in the Hanford Reach will reduce the number of excess hatchery-origin steelhead and consequently increase the proportion of natural-origin steelhead on the spawning grounds.

NORTHWEST SALMON DERBY SERIES YOUTH BOAT WINNER JACKSON GIRARD, 6, HIS SISTER, ASHLEY, AND PARENTS STEPHANIE AND ARICK WITH N.M.T.A.'S TONY FLOOR (LEFT). (NMTA)

NMTA Delivers Northwest Salmon Derby Series Raffle Boats To Winners

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

Joel Clark was thinking about football, not fishing, when he got a call that caught him off-guard.

Clark was watching the Seattle Seahawks game on Sunday, Sept. 21, when a friend called from the awards ceremony at the Everett Coho Derby, the grand finale of the Northwest Salmon Derby Series. The friend had good news: Clark had won the series’ grand prize, a fully outfitted 21-foot River Hawk aluminum fishing boat with trailer worth around $65,000. Clark was shocked.

“I never win anything,” said Clark, who lives in Monroe, Wash. “I don’t even win on scratch [lottery] tickets.”

JEFF CLARK, LEFT, WITH N.M.T.A. PRESIDENT GEORGE HARRIS AND HIS NEW 21-FOOT RIVERHAWK, WON LAST MONTH AT THE CULMINATION OF THE NORTHWEST SALMON DERBY SERIES. (NMTA)

JEFF CLARK, LEFT, WITH N.M.T.A. PRESIDENT GEORGE HARRIS AND HIS NEW 21-FOOT RIVERHAWK, WON LAST MONTH AT THE CULMINATION OF THE NORTHWEST SALMON DERBY SERIES. (NMTA)

Twenty-some miles away in Lynnwood, Wash., the Girard family was also about to get some happy news. Jackson Girard, 6, won the derby series’ kids division boat, a 14-foot River Hawk on a trailer valued at around $18,000. When the family got the call, jubilation erupted.

“Both my kids were freaking out, and I thought I was going to pass out,” said Arick Girard, Jackson’s father. “We were super excited.”

NORTHWEST SALMON DERBY SERIES YOUTH BOAT WINNER JACKSON GIRARD, 6, HIS SISTER, ASHLEY, AND PARENTS STEPHANIE AND ARICK WITH N.M.T.A.'S TONY FLOOR (LEFT). (NMTA)

NORTHWEST SALMON DERBY SERIES YOUTH BOAT WINNER JACKSON GIRARD, 6, HIS SISTER, ASHLEY, AND PARENTS STEPHANIE AND ARICK WITH N.M.T.A.’S TONY FLOOR (LEFT). (NMTA)

The two winners were chosen by raffle from among 6,500 youth and adult anglers who fished in 14 derbies from last November through September. The boats are given away at the Everett derby since it’s considered the granddaddy of the series, typically drawing upward of 2,000 anglers over its two days.

The Northwest Salmon Derby Series was started in 2004 by the Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA) to promote salmon fishing in the region. It had six derbies the first year, eventually growing to the current 14. The NMTA has expanded the series with derbies that are wild fish-friendly, held when hatchery chinook and coho are available. Some derbies have been restricted to hatchery fish only, and organizers work with government agencies to protect wild stocks.

“We are committed to ensuring that the derby series is sustainable for both anglers and wild fish stocks,” NMTA President George Harris said. “A collaborative approach, working alongside regulatory agencies, is the way to achieve that.”

River Hawk Boats, based in White City, Ore., has been one of the series’ main sponsors for four years, providing grand prize boats each year and adding a kids division boat this year for the first time in an effort to cultivate the next generation of anglers. Company President Phillip Cam said the Northwest’s rich variety of boating opportunities makes the derby series “the premier” event of its type in the United States.

“The amount of water resources that we can use for boating in the Northwest is unparalleled, whether it’s just cruising and enjoying a family day on the water, crabbing or chasing salmon around,” he said. “This is a great opportunity to promote boating here.”

The series’ other sponsors include Allstate Boat Insurance, Mercury Marine, BoatUS TRAILER ASSIST, HarborWare and FishUSA.com.

For Clark, the boat win was a bright light during a difficult time. His 6-month-old daughter, Grace, was recently diagnosed with blindness caused by a rare eye disease. Clark decided to participate in the derby after learning about the Everett Central Lions Club’s annual derby for blind people.

The boat, Clark said, will provide a way for the family — including his wife and their 3-year-old son — to spend some quality time outdoors together.

“We’re going to use it to go fishing and camping with the kids,” he said. “We’re excited.”

Girard said he’s been trying to convince his wife for years that the family of four needs a small fishing boat, but to no avail.

“She wasn’t buying off on that,” he said, laughing. “Now we’ll be able to get out fishing a lot more often, which is fantastic. Both of our kids love fishing.”

Douglas Co. Ranch WDFW Acquiring Won’t Be Open For Deer Season 2014

Yes, the state has begun buying a huge Douglas County ranch; no, that ground won’t be open to the public for the start of rifle deer hunting this weekend.

That’s the word from WDFW’s Region 2 about the 4,200 acres of the Grand Coulee Ranch that the Fish & Wildlife Commission approved purchasing earlier this fall.

THE GRAND COULEE RANCH SPRAWLS ACROSS 20,000 ACRES ALONG 14 MILES OF LAKE RUFUS WOODS NEAR SOME OF THE NETPENS. (DAVID VOLSEN, WDFW)

THE GRAND COULEE RANCH SPRAWLS ACROSS 20,000 ACRES ALONG 14 MILES OF LAKE RUFUS WOODS NEAR SOME OF THE NETPENS. (DAVID VOLSEN, WDFW)

They say that the sale won’t actually close till the end of the year, meaning that the land is still being managed by the consortium that owns it.

“The property will not be open to public hunting until next year, and it will have to be posted and management plans developed,” says Dave Volsen, district wildlife biologist in Wenatchee.

ANOTHER VIEW OF THE PROPERTY. (DAVID VOLSEN, WDFW)

ANOTHER VIEW OF THE PROPERTY. (DAVID VOLSEN, WDFW)

But when that land and the rest of the 20,000-acre spread along 14 miles of Lake Rufus Woods is available to hunters, it should be something to check out.

We have more on that and why WDFW is acquiring the land in our November issue of Northwest Sportsman!

OREGON'S FEDERAL LANDS INCLUDE THE EAGLE CAP WILDERNESS ABOVE LAKE WALLOWA. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

RMEF To Those Who Want To Sell Off Public Lands: No.

THE FOLLOWING IS AN ON-THE-MONEY PRESS RELEASE FROM THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK FOUNDATION

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is concerned about the continuing rhetoric and political posturing surrounding the wholesale disposal, sale or transfer of federal land holdings, and stands in opposition to such potential action.

“Federal public lands are vitally important habitat for elk and many other species of wildlife. They are also where we hunt, camp, hike, and in some cases, make our living,” stated David Allen, RMEF president and CEO, in a recent letter to all members of Congress across the West. “The notion of transferring ownership of lands currently overseen by the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management or any other federal land manager to states, or worse yet to private interests, is not a solution to federal land management issues and we are opposed to this idea.”

OREGON'S FEDERAL LANDS INCLUDE THE EAGLE CAP WILDERNESS ABOVE LAKE WALLOWA. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

OREGON’S FEDERAL LANDS INCLUDE THE EAGLE CAP WILDERNESS ABOVE LAKE WALLOWA. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

RMEF maintains that transferring public lands to states to manage will not work for two primary reasons. The first reason is states are not equipped or prepared to manage these additional lands. The costs are enormous. Most states in the nation are in the red financially and do not have the funds to fight wildfire, treat noxious weeds and improve access. That shortfall will lead to the potential sale of public lands. The second major reason is transferring ownership of public lands does not address the real issues such as the lack of management or the constant barriers put forth by litigious groups.

“Calls for transfers of federal land are rooted in disappointment and disgust with the lack of balanced use and management of these lands today. Over the past decade, there has been a shift in the multiple use approach for the benefit of the most people and wildlife to a preservationist agenda advocated by small radical groups. Actively managed lands benefit people and wildlife, and in a specific case, reduce the impacts of wildfire, a national crisis at this time,” stated Allen.

RMEF calls on all members of Congress to stand up for the ongoing federal ownership of land and to further improve the situation by enacting legislation that creates specific strategic goals for the Departments of Agriculture and Interior to implement sound, active federal management.

“Federal public lands have always afforded the opportunity for Americans to hunt, hike, fish and enjoy the outdoors,” added Allen. “The RMEF wants it to remain that way.”

SW WA, Columbia Fishing Report (10-6-14)

THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORT CAME FROM JOE HYMER, PSMFC SUPERVISING FISHERIES BIOLOGIST

Salmon/Steelhead

Mainstem Grays River from the Hwy. 4 Bridge to South Fork and West Fork Grays from mouth to boundary markers 300 yards below the hatchery road bridge – Under permanent rules, closes to all
fishing from Oct. 16?Nov. 30. These areas will reopen for hatchery salmon and hatchery steelhead beginning December 1.

Cowlitz River – Boat anglers are primarily catching coho from the I-5 Bridge downstream while bank anglers at the barrier dam are catching coho and fall Chinook plus summer run steelhead at the trout hatchery.

During five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator, last week Tacoma Power recovered:
*   271 summer-run steelhead
*   1,301 fall Chinook adults and 85 jacks
*   7,884 coho adults
*   775 coho jacks
*   60 sea-run cutthroat trout

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released:
*   1,184 coho adults and 64 jacks into Lake Scanewa
*   252 coho adults and 20 jacks into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek
*   553 fall Chinook adults, 55 jacks; 507 coho adults, 24 jacks and eight cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton
*   306 fall Chinook adults and nine jacks; 688 coho adults and 40 jacks at Franklin Bridge in Packwood
*   One cutthroat trout was released in the upper Cowlitz River basin

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 4,220 cubic feet per second on Monday, September 29.

Kalama River – Bank anglers on the lower river did well on coho though nearly half the fish were released.

Lewis River – North Fork Lewis bank anglers are primarily catching coho and a few fall Chinook.

Washougal River – Light effort and catch on the lower river.

Drano Lake – No report on angling success.  Drano Lake is closed to all fishing from 6 p.m. Tuesdays to 6 p.m. Wednesdays in October.

Buoy 10 – The creel census program may have concluded for the year.  Bank anglers off the North Jetty are reported to be doing well on coho as are boats around the bridge.   Angler participation is pretty high for this time of the year.

Anglers should also be aware that portions of the North Jetty at the mouth of the river will be closed for construction work in October. See the public notice<http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Currentprojects/MouthoftheColumbiaRiverjetties.aspx> on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website for more information.

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – During the first 5 days of October we sampled 215 salmonid anglers (including 46 boats) with 35 adult and 7 jack fall Chinook, 24 adult and 1 jack coho and no steelhead.

34 (97%) of the adult Chinook caught were kept although it was legal to retain all fish (angler thought it was mark selective).  21 (87%) of the adult coho caught were kept.  We did not sample any steelhead.

Still pretty high effort with over 300 boats and 200 bank anglers counted during the Saturday October 4th flight.  The majority of the effort was from the Cowlitz River upstream.

Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam – No report on angling success.  Effective Oct. 16, the anti?snagging rule is lifted.  In addition, the night closure in Bonneville Pool is removed the same day.

(WDFW)

ODFW Asking For Reports Of Elk With Hoof Problems

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

Hunters and others who spend time in the outdoors in northwest Oregon are asked to be on the lookout for elk hoof disease, a problem for southwest Washington’s elk that could also be affecting Oregon’s elk.

Elk hoof disease is a bacterial-associated syndrome causes severe lameness in elk. Elk with the disease have deformed and overgrown or broken sloughed hooves, abscesses in the hoof soles and chronic laminitis.

(WDFW)

(WDFW)

IMG_0027_high_res

(ODFW)

Report elk with hoof disease online at ODFW’s new elk hoof disease reporting page which can also be found off the Hunting Resources webpage under Hot Topics. If you can’t use the online reporting page, email WildlifeHealth@state.or.us or call 1-866-968-2600 with the information.

Elk hoof disease first appeared in southwest Washington elk herds between 2002-2005 and became more widespread in 2007-08. In some of the area’s elk herds, 20-90 percent of the animals are showing lameness.

ODFW wildlife veterinary staff and biologists are part of the working group investigating the disease in Washington. They are keeping a close eye on Oregon’s elk as well, particularly in northwest Oregon, as there is known interchange between Oregon and Washington elk across the Columbia River.

“We really appreciate hunters and anyone else who spends time in the outdoors being on the lookout for this disease,” says Colin Gillin, ODFW wildlife veterinarian. “This information will help us determine if the disease is becoming a threat to Oregon’s elk and work to limit its spread.”

About elk hoof disease

ODFW wildlife biologists and veterinarians are working to understand exactly what is causing the emergence of elk hoof disease. Hoof diseases in ungulates are complicated because there are many reasons an animal could develop the lesions associated with hoof disease (including bacterial, viral, parasites, nutritional imbalance, or traumatic injury). The wet conditions of western Oregon and Washington also contribute to the growth of several types of bacteria that can cause the deformities.

Initial lab results identify the bacteria from the genus Treponema as contributing to hoof disease in southwestern Washington’s elk. Historically, Oregon has seen sporadic cases of hoof disease and confirmed the presence of multiple species of bacteria in several elk with hoof infections. Recently several elk in Oregon have been observed with diseased hooves that look very similar to the affected Washington elk. Laboratory confirmation of Treponema requires special handling and testing; future Oregon samples will undergo this testing.

Though antibiotics, foot baths, cleaning pens and other methods can help treat similar problems in livestock, there are no practical ways to treat free-ranging elk with hoof disease.

Note that hoof disease does not affect the meat of elk or other ungulates; nor is there evidence to suggest elk hoof disease poses a risk to human health. Hunters do not need to be concerned about personal health problems due to any contact with animals showing signs of elk hoof disease. However, chronically lame elk may be in poorer body condition and appear thin.

ODFW’s veterinary staff asks that any hunter who harvests an elk with infected or overgrown hooves collect the damaged hooves and report online. Email our wildlife health staff at WildlifeHealth@state.or.us or call 1-866-968-2600 to arrange collection of the hooves.

Oregon’s big game hunting seasons are happening now through the end of the year. Rifle deer season begins statewide tomorrow, Saturday Oct. 4. Oregon’s elk seasons happen in mid-October and November.

Images of diseased elk hooves from Washington elk can be found online at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/health_program/elk_hoof_disease/