Category Archives: Headlines

2,000 Upper North Fork Lewis Smolts Die In Mishap

“Human error” was unfortunately to blame when a steady stream of dead and dying smolts began drifting past Dan Moir and his wife early last month.

A JUNE 1 VIDEO TAKEN BY DAN MOIR SHOWS DOZENS OF DEAD OR DYING SALMON AND STEELHEAD SMOLTS FLOATING DOWN THE NORTH FORK LEWIS RIVER. (DAN MOIR)

They were fishing the North Fork Lewis just below Merwin Dam on June 1 when they noticed dozens upon dozens of the young fish float by their boat.

“They are kinda trying to wiggle, but I think they’re not going to make it,” Moir narrates in the 80-second video he took and shared with Northwest Sportsman magazine. “Some of them made it, but most of them, it looks like they’re dead.”

A tanker truck can be seen just upstream, and according to a report submitted by PacifiCorp to federal fishery overseers 11 days later, some 2,000 smolts died as a result of low oxygen levels in the vehicle’s holding tanks.

The rig was transporting 5,725 coho, spring Chinook and winter-run steelhead — part of an ongoing effort to reseed the upper North Fork — from the utility’s Floating Surface Collector at Swift Dam to a release site on the mainstem Lewis near Woodland.

According to a June 12 letter from PacifiCorp’s Mark Sturtevant, vice president of renewable resources, to National Marine Fisheries Service biologist Josh Ashline, the loss was attributed to oxygen volumes that weren’t adjusted by the driver as the tanker was being loaded with more fish.

Catching his mistake before leaving Swift, he checked on the fish twice en route. The first time they “looked fine,” according to the letter, but down the road at a weigh station pulloff, he “noticed that some of the fish had died and others were distressed.”

Once in cell phone service, he called a manager who advised him to drive to the Merwin Boat Ramp just below the dam, and there they “observed numerous fish mortalities and stressed fish” in the tank.

“(The manager) then directed the truck driver to release the fish into the river,” the report states.

Those were the smolts that the Moirs saw floating downstream.

A check of the rig’s oxygen and water aeration mechanism’s found it to be “functioning as designed.”

“It is something we feel terrible about and don’t want it to happen again,” said PacifiCorp spokesman Spencer Hall yesterday afternoon.

The report details proactive steps taken with drivers and loading protocols to prevent another mishap.

Hall describes it as the “only incident of this nature” since the utility began operating its $63 million surface collector on the uppermost of the three North Fork Lewis impoundments.

It’s part of a federal dam relicensing agreement to open up more than 100 miles of stream habitat in the watershed above Swift Reservoir.

Moir worried in the video that the dead and dying smolts had come from a hatchery release gone very wrong. While it’s likely that most of the fish’s parents did come from a production facility, these young fish were spawned in the wild.

All but 95 of the salmon and steelhead in the tanker truck that day were coho.

The truck driver and manager initially collected around 300 dead fish at the boat ramp, with PacifiCorp biologists recovering another 1,700 in the following days.

It’s primarily a potential setback for the utility’s bid to get a steady stream of 9,000 silvers back to the headwaters, according to a 2012 article in The Daily News that also noted the goal includes 2,000 springers and 1,500 winters.

In its 2018 annual report, PacifiCorp stated that last year it transported 7,060 adult late and early coho, 1,225 winter steelhead and 700 spring Chinook into Swift.

The utility also reported moving 55,336 smolts — 73 percent coho, 14 percent steelhead, 12 percent spring Chinook and 2 percent cutthroat trout — from the FSC to the lower Lewis last year.

Lewis springers have been identified as being among the most important feedstocks for struggling southern resident killer whales.

“While this event is extremely unfortunate, PacifiCorp is proud of the Lewis River Fish Passage Program and its continued success in operations and its contribution to establishing salmon and steelhead populations upstream of Swift Dam,” said Hall.

Editor’s note: The last name of Dan Moir was misspelled in the original version of this blog. Our apologies.

Columbia River Salmon Policies Subject Of Aug. 1 Public Meeting

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

The public is invited to attend a meeting of members of the Washington and Oregon fish and wildlife commissions to discuss next steps in the review of salmon management on the Columbia River.

A GUIDE BOAT HEADS IN TO THE WEST MOORING BASIN AT ASTORIA. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

The meeting is scheduled for Aug. 1 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Room located at 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr. S.E. in Salem.

The public is welcome to attend, but public comment will not be taken at the meeting. This meeting will include providing a significant amount of background material. The meeting will also be streamed online.

The Joint-State Columbia River Fishery Policy Review Committee (PRC), made up of members from each state’s commission, is working to find common ground for jointly managed fisheries, and emphasizes having concurrent regulations in these jointly managed waters.

The PRC group began meeting in January, and three additional meetings have been held. Materials from previous meetings can be found at https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/joint-policy-review-committee.

“Since the first meeting of this group, department staff from both Oregon and Washington have provided informational material and analysis for review,” said Ryan Lothrop, Columbia River policy coordinator with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

The Aug. 1 meeting will include an overview of Columbia River fishery management, progress to date from the past PRC meetings, and discussions on ways to improve policy and regulatory concurrence between the two states in 2020 and beyond.

The committee is also expected to discuss a schedule for future meetings.

In 2018, WDFW finalized its five-year performance review of the Columbia River Basin Salmon Management Policy of 2013. That review can be found at https://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/02029/.

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Hood Canal Shrimpers Get 2 More Days In Late July

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

Hood Canal to get two additional days for recreational shrimp fishing

Action: Opens Marine Area 12 for two more days of recreational spot shrimp harvest.

A DAY OF SHRIMPING WITH GREAT GRANDFATHER GENE BIRDYSHAW REALLY PAID OFF FOR BELLA AND ROWAN ANDERSON. THEY WERE WORKING HOOD CANAL DURING A PAST SEASON. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)


Effective date: July 23, 2019 and July 24, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day.

Species affected: All shrimp species including spot shrimp.

Location: Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal).

Reason for action: The target share for recreational spot shrimp has not been taken in this area. Additional days of fishing are being added to take the target share of spot shrimp.

Additional information: Some marine areas, including 4 (east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5, 6 (outside the Discovery Bay Shrimp District) and 7 West remain open for spot shrimp fishing. Several other marine areas are open for coonstripe and pink shrimp fishing. Check WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/shrimp/ for more information.

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Researchers Study How Far North Oregon Coast Dungeness Roam

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Dungeness crab is Oregon’s leading commercial seafood product, bringing in an estimated $75 million in 2018, yet little is known about how far crabs will venture in search of food.

RESEARCHER SARAH HENKEL PREPARES TO RELEASE A DUNGENESS CRAB WITH AN ACOUSTIC TRANSMITTER. (OSU)

Oregon State University marine ecologist Sarah Henkel is hoping to change that. Last year, she and a colleague from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration glued acoustic tags onto several legal-sized Dungeness crabs near the mouth of the Columbia River and off Cape Falcon, then deployed acoustic receivers north and south of the two locations to learn more about their movements.

Their goal was to learn how frequently and how far crabs move in sandy versus rocky habitat – data that will help inform decision-making on potential impacts of wave energy testing and marine reserves.

What they found out about the crabs surprised them. What they discovered about great white sharks in Oregon waters from listening for the signals emitted from the crab tags intrigued them even more.

First, about the crabs. The researchers deployed 10 tagged crabs in sandy habitat near the Columbia and they all fled the region within a week, taking with them the tags that cost $300 apiece. Crabbers usually target sandy areas for deploying pots because they are less likely to get tangled on the seafloor.

“It’s interesting because I’ve done a lot of sampling of benthic habitat and there just isn’t a lot of food down there,” said Henkel, who works out of OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. “There’s usually only very small worms and clams, yet there’s an enormous crab harvest each year and most of that is from sandy-bottomed regions.”

DUNGENESS CRABS OUTFITTED WITH ACOUSTIC TRANSMITTERS. (OSU)

So Henkel tagged an additional 20 crabs and dropped them into the water near Cape Falcon, which has rockier habitat and is about 10 miles south of Cannon Beach on the Oregon coast. Only four of those crabs left the region right away, while the other 16 stayed an average of 25.5 days. One stayed for 117 days, she noted.

“Even though it’s a small sample size, it’s clear that habitat can influence crab movement,” Henkel said. “The crabs in the rocky areas had more to eat, but they often also have mossy bellies, which may not be as desirable commercially. Commercial crabbers like to target migrating crabs in sandy areas that tend to have smooth bellies.”

Henkel’s theory is that Dungeness crabs may travel far and wide in search of food, and when they find it, they’ll stay put.

“We heard from a fishermen who caught one of our tagged crabs in 70 meters of water near Astoria Canyon, who then let the crab go,” Henkel said. “A few days later, another crabber caught the same crab in Grays Harbor, Washington.”

Studies by Henkel and others have shown that Dungeness crabs will range an average of 11.5 miles, and some extend that range to more than 50 miles. Research has also shown that crabs don’t seem fazed by power lines or cables on the seafloor that may transmit wave energy or are used for telecommunications.

Now about those other signals: While listening for crabs, Henkel and her colleagues picked up some other signals from transmitters. When they contacted other researchers, they learned that 35 of the acoustic “pings” came from green sturgeon that had been tagged for other studies.

Seven additional “pings” came from great white sharks near Cape Falcon.

“The great white sharks were tagged in northern California and we detected them – up here in December and January,” Henkel said. “They were very close to shore, which is interesting. In the three years we had acoustic receivers at a site about seven miles off the coast near Newport, we never detected a single shark.”

Her study was supported by the Eder Family Dungeness Crab Research Fund through OSU’s Marine Studies Initiative.

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SW WA, Lower Columbia Fishing Report (7-9-19)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS FORWARDED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN, WDFW

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River mainstem

During Saturday’s flight 66 salmonid boats and 203 Washington bank anglers were counted from Cathlamet upstream to Bonneville Dam.

WHILE PLUNKING FOR STEELHEAD AROUND THE MOUTH OF THE COWLITZ HIGHLIGHTS THE CATCH IN THE LATEST WDFW SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON FISHING REPORT, HUNTER HIGGINBOTHAM LANDED THIS LANDLOCKED COHO A LITTLE HIGHER IN THE SYSTEM. HE WAS TROLLING AT RIFFE LAKE. “THE GEAR OF CHOICE WAS THE #000 FAST LIMIT DODGER IN THE GLO/PL COLOR TAG TEAMED WITH A TIGHT LINES KOKANEE RIG IN GLITTER PINK TIPPED WITH A SALAD SHRIMP COLORED UP WITH PRO-CURE’S BADAZZ PINK DYE AND BLOODY TUNA OIL. SPEEDS WERE FROM 1.2 TO 1.5MPH AND FISH CAME BETWEEN 40 TO 80 FEET,” REPORTED HUNTER’S DAD JAROD, WHO GAVE A NOD TO BILL HERZOG FOR TIPS ON THE FISHERY. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Shad:

Sunday’s (6/30) count was just over 80,000 fish, which pushes the season total over 7.0 million shad passing Bonneville Dam.

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries 

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream: 12 bank rods kept 1 steelhead.

Above the I-5 Br:  12 bank rods kept 2 steelhead.  32 boats/108 rods kept 34 steelhead and released 1 steelhead, 2 Chinook and 2 jacks.

Kalama River – 11 bank anglers had no catch.

Lewis River – 16 bank anglers had no catch.  4 boats/9 rods kept 1 steelhead and released 5 jacks.

Wind River – 1 boat/2 rods had no catch.

Drano Lake – 1 boat/1 rod released 1 steelhead.

Klickitat below Fisher Hill Bridge – No anglers sampled.

Klickitat above #5 Fishway – 2 bank anglers had no catch.

 

  •       Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted.

 

Lower Columbia Mainstem Sport July 1-7

Salmon and steelhead:

Bonneville bank: 11 anglers with 1 steelhead kept
Camas/Washougal bank: 0 anglers with nothing, obviously
I-5 area bank: 12 anglers with 1 steelhead released
Vancouver bank: 37 anglers with nothing
Woodland bank: 70 anglers with 5 steelhead kept and 1 adult Chinook and 4 steelhead released
Kalama bank: 81 anglers with 1 steelhead kept and 1 adult Chinook, 5 steelhead and 1 sockeye released
Longview bank: 320 anglers with 28 steelhead kept and 1 adult Chinook, one jack Chinook, 11 steelhead and 2 sockeye released
Cathlamet bank: 45 anglers with 5 steelhead kept and 2 steelhead released
Private boats/bank: 5 anglers with 1 steelhead released

Bonneville boat: Nothing
Camas/Washougal boat: 5 anglers with 2 steelhead kept and 1 adult Chinook, 2 steelhead and 2 sockeye released
I-5 area boat: 2 anglers with nothing
Vancouver boat: 28 anglers with 1 steelhead kept and 1 adult Chinook and 2 steelhead released
Woodland boat: 2 anglers with nothing
Kalama boat: 19 anglers with nothing
Cowlitz boat: 4 anglers with nothing
Longview boat: 63 anglers with 11 steelhead kept and 1 adult Chinook, 1 jack Chinook, 12 steelhead and 3 sockeye released
Cathlamet boat: 11 anglers with 5 steelhead kept and 1 steelhead released
Private boats/bank: 4 anglers with nothing

Shad:

Bonneville bank: 18 anglers with 38 kept and 3 released

Sturgeon:

Bonneville bank: No report
Bonneville boat: No report
Camas/Washougal bank: No report
Camas/Washougal boat: No report
I-5 area bank: No report
I-5 area boat: 2 anglers with 5 sublegals and 1 legal released
Vancouver bank: No report
Vancouver boat: No report
Woodland bank: No report
Woodland boat: No report
Kalama bank: No report
Kalama boat: 6 anglers with 20 sublegals released
Cowlitz bank: No report
Cowlitz boat: No report
Longview bank: No report
Longview boat: 2 anglers with 3 oversize released
Cathalmet bank: No report
Cathlamet boat: No report
Chinook/Elochoman bank: No report
Chinook/Elochoman boat: No report
Ilwaco bank: No report
Ilwaco boat: No report
Ilwaco charter: No report

Walleye:

No report

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Salmon Recovery Board Announces $45 Million In Grants For Puget Sound Habitat Work

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

Efforts to restore Chinook salmon, a critical food source for endangered southern resident orcas, and other Puget Sound salmon populations just got a boost thanks to more than $45 million in grants announced today.

AMONG THE $45 MILLION IN PUGET SOUND-RELATED SALMON GRANTS ANNOUNCED BY THE STATE IS $160,000 TO COME UP WITH FINAL DESIGNS TO PLACE LOGJAMS IN JIM CREEK, A TRIBUTARY OF THE SOUTH FORK STILLAGUAMISH RIVER, TO IMPROVE HABITAT FOR CHINOOK AND STEELHEAD. THE STILLY IS ONE OF THE WORST OFF RIVERS IN TERMS OF FISH HABITAT, AND ITS CHRONICALLY LOW RETURNS OF KINGS IMPACT PUGET SOUND FISHERIES, AND TRYING TO INCREASE THE SYSTEM’S HABITAT CAPACITY TO PRODUCE MORE FISH IS ONE WAY OF EASING CONSTRAINTS. (RCO)

The Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board, in partnership with the Puget Sound Partnership, awarded 64 grants in counties surrounding Puget Sound, Washington state’s biggest estuary. The grants focus on improving salmon habitat and conserving pristine shorelines and riverbanks.

“When we invest in salmon recovery, it’s not just salmon that we’re saving,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “Whether you live near, love to play in, or simply care about Puget Sound, this funding is a cornerstone of doing that—and investing in that habitat kick starts a suite of other benefits. We’re also preserving our Pacific Northwest legacy, our way of life, our jobs, our neighborhoods, and our communities.”

“We know that restoring salmon to levels that support our environment, other wildlife, and people, takes time, effort, and of course, sustained funding,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, which houses the Salmon Recovery Funding Board. “That’s what makes this continued investment so important, and we’re looking forward to seeing it play out in the shovel-ready projects teed up across Puget Sound.”

“The Puget Sound Partnership is committed to recovering salmon populations in this region and we are thrilled to see this funding come through,” said Laura Blackmore Puget Sound Partnership’s executive director. “Salmon are integral to the identity and traditions of the Pacific Northwest and are a vital part of the Puget Sound food web. This funding will support projects that help recover salmon populations and feed our struggling southern resident orcas.”

Grants were awarded in the following counties (click to see project details):

Clallam County………………………. $6,498,354

Island County……………………………. $342,815

Jefferson County………………………. $601,529

King County…………………………… $7,850,587

Kitsap County………………………… $1,560,967

Mason County……………………….. $3,829,757

Pierce County………………………… $2,254,211

San Juan County………………………. $333,253

Skagit County………………………… $3,771,928

Snohomish County…………………. $4,029,908

Thurston County…………………….. $1,376,658

Whatcom County………………….. $12,953,156

Multiple Counties………………………. $397,969

In 1991, the federal government declared the first salmon in the Pacific Northwest endangered under the Endangered Species Act. In the next few years, 14 additional species of salmon and steelhead and 3 species of bull trout were listed as at-risk of extinction.

By the end of the decade, wild salmon had disappeared from about 40 percent of their historic breeding ranges in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California. In Washington, the numbers had dwindled so much that salmon, steelhead, and bull trout were listed as threatened or endangered in nearly three-fourths of the state.

Recovery efforts in the past 20 years have started to slow, and in some cases, reference the declines. Puget Sound steelhead populations are showing signs of recovery but Chinook salmon populations continue to decline.

The grants awarded today include projects that will remove a diversion dam to open 37 miles of habitat on the Pilchuck River, reconnect nearly a mile of the Dungeness River with 112 acres of its historic floodplain, and open up 16 miles of habitat on the Nooksack River.

Projects are prioritized by local watershed groups, called lead entities, as well as regionally ranked by the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Council. The Puget Sound Partnership, the state agency responsible for leading the Puget Sound recovery effort, coordinates project ranking.

Funding comes from the legislatively approved Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration Fund, supported by the sale of state bonds.

Since its inception in 2007, the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration Fund has leveraged $78 million federal and other matching funds and created more than 2,600 jobs. Fund investments have protected more than 3,000 acres of estuary, 80 miles of river for migrating fish and 10,000 acres of watershed habitat.

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Neah Chinook Limit Drops To One A Day

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

Change to daily limit for Chinook salmon in Neah Bay

Action: Anglers may retain only one Chinook as part of their two-salmon daily limit in Neah Bay beginning July 8.

ANNIKA MILLER LANDED THIS NICE CHINOOK AT SWIFTSURE BANK OFF NEAH BAY OVER THE LONG HOLIDAY WEEKEND. STARTING MONDAY, JULY 8, THE LIMIT DROPPED FROM TWO KINGS A DAY TO ONE, WHICH STATE MANAGERS SAY WILL STRETCH OUT THE FISHERY. NEARLY 30 PERCENT OF THE QUOTA HAD BEEN CAUGHT IN THE SEASON’S FIRST NINE DAYS. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Effective date: July 8, 2019.

Species affected: Chinook salmon.

Location: Marine Area 4, Neah Bay.

Reason for action: The Neah Bay subarea landed 28 percent of its Chinook guideline for the season through July 1. Reducing the daily limit for Chinook should increase the amount of time the area can remain open under its guideline.

Additional information: Waters of Marine Area 4 east of a true north-south line through Sail Rock are closed. Regulations for other ocean areas remain unchanged.

Anglers are reminded to always check for emergency rule changes prior to fishing. Rule changes can be found on the website at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/ or by calling the fishing hotline at 360-902-2500.

Editor’s note: For ocean salmon catch stats, see this WDFW page.

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Fishing Access, Salmon Habitat Among Projects Receiving $126 Million In State Grants

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE

The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board today announced the award of more than $126 million in grants to a suite of 333 projects that build and maintain outdoor recreation facilities and conserve wildlife habitat and working farms and forests around the state.

WDFW WILL RECEIVE A $1 MILLION GRANT FROM THE STATE TO BUY MASON’S RESORT AT SEKIU, PREVIOUSLY KNOWN AS OLSON’S, PROVIDING CONTINUED ACCESS TO PRIME FISHING WATERS IN THE STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA. (RCO)

“Not only do these grants support our state’s parks, forests and farms, but they also fuel a powerful outdoor recreation economy that puts about 200,000 people to work and generates more than $26 billion in spending every year,” Governor Jay Inslee said. “At a time when public lands are more and more at risk of being developed or lost altogether, these grants prioritize our outdoor spaces so that current and future generations can continue to enjoy and protect them.”

“The funding creates more places to play, expands habitat for fish and other wildlife, supports clean air and water, and upholds healthy communities across Washington state and improves our quality of life,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director at the Recreation and Conservation Office, which administers the grants.

ANOTHER GRANT WILL ALLOW WDFW TO UPGRADE ACCESS AT ROSES LAKE NEAR CHELAN. (RCO)

“As one of the state’s biggest investors in the outdoors, the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board has had a part in thousands of projects across Washington state, from the park down the street to backcountry campsites and other destinations,” said Ted Willhite, chair of the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board. “It’s part of what makes Washington such a great place to live and play.”

With the Legislature’s recent approval of the capital budget, grants are being distributed to cities, counties, state and federal agencies, tribal governments, and nonprofit organizations for projects in 37 of the state’s 39 counties.

FUNDING IS ALSO INCLUDED TO RENOVATE A PAIR OF GRANDE RONDE RIVER ACCESSES. (RCO)

The grants were awarded through seven different grant programs. Revenue comes from a mix of federal grants, the sale of state bonds, gas taxes and user fees.

Click below to see descriptions of each grant.

Asotin County……………………….. $260,000

Adams County………………………. $347,000

Benton County……………………… $867,024

Chelan County………………….. $4,685,565

Clallam County………………….. $5,179,179

Clark County……………………… $5,484,836

Columbia County……………………. $74,950

Cowlitz County…………………… $1,475,739

Douglas County……………………. $554,390

Ferry County………………………. $1,801,550

Franklin County…………………. $1,010,839

Garfield County…………………….. $108,000

Grant County……………………… $2,764,649

Grays Harbor County…………. $1,890,500

Island County…………………….. $1,069,325

Jefferson County……………….. $3,730,191

King County…………………….. $13,460,721

Kitsap County…………………….. $7,231,220

Kittitas County……………………. $1,544,297

Klickitat County…………………….. $197,600

Lewis County………………………… $850,000

Mason County……………………. $3,391,517

Okanogan County……………… $3,038,579

Pacific County……………………. $1,818,625

Pend Oreille County……………….. $62,930

Pierce County……………………. $9,986,502

San Juan County………………. $3,987,448

Skagit County…………………….. $1,952,942

Snohomish County……………. $8,552,692

Spokane County………………… $6,248,960

Stevens County……………………. $183,450

Thurston County……………… $12,354,329

Walla Walla County………………. $434,500

Whatcom County……………….. $3,568,100

Whitman County………………… $3,994,323

Yakima County………………….. $7,925,769

Multiple Counties………………. $3,994,298

All of the funded projects were evaluated and ranked through a competitive process in which citizen committees with expertise in recreation and conservation issues evaluated the grant proposals and created ranked lists for the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board to consider for funding.

“Because we have funding for only about half of the applications that come in, we have to be strategic with our investments, selecting only the best projects,” Cottingham said.

The office accepted applications for 562 projects, requesting nearly $232 million. Most of the grant programs require grant applicants to contribute matching resources. This year, the matching resources totaled nearly $142 million, more than doubling the state’s investment in Washington’s outdoor recreation and conservation efforts.

Of the more than $126 million in grants, more than $47 million goes to build or improve parks, more than $16 million goes each to improve facilities for boaters, $20 million to maintain trails, more than $5 million goes to conserve working farms and another
$36 million goes to protect important wildlife habitat.

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SW WA, Lower Columbia Fishing Report (7-2-19)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS FORWARDED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN, WDFW

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River mainstem

During Saturday’s flight 66 salmonid boats and 203 Washington bank anglers were counted from Cathlamet upstream to Bonneville Dam.

Shad:

Monday’s (7/1) count was just over 60,000 fish, which pushes the season total over 7.1 million shad passing Bonneville Dam.

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream: 12 bank rods kept 1 steelhead.

Above the I-5 Br:  12 bank rods kept 2 steelhead.  32 boats/108 rods kept 34 steelhead and released 1 steelhead, 2 Chinook and 2 jacks.

SOME STEELHEAD ARE BEING CAUGHT IN THE COLUMBIA AROUND LONGVIEW — WHERE JASON LUCAS AND ADAM DADDINO TEAMED UP TO LAND THIS ONE SEVERAL SEASONS AGO — BUT PRIMARILY FROM SHORE. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Tacoma Power employees recovered 22 spring Chinook adults, three spring Chinook jacks, 71 spring Chinook mini jacks, and 62 summer-run steelhead adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released five spring Chinook adults into the Cispus River located near Randle.

To date, Tacoma Power employees have recycled 130 summer-run steelhead to the lower Cowlitz River.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 2,970 cubic feet per second on Monday, July 1. Water visibility is 10 feet and the water temperature is 50.8 F.

Kalama River – 11 bank anglers had no catch.

Lewis River – 16 bank anglers had no catch.  4 boats/9 rods kept 1 steelhead and released 5 jacks.

Wind River – 1 boat/2 rods had no catch.

Drano Lake – 1 boat/1 rod released 1 steelhead.

Klickitat below Fisher Hill Bridge – No anglers sampled.

Klickitat above #5 Fishway – 2 bank anglers had no catch.

 

  •       Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted.

Lower Columbia Mainstem Sport June 24-30

Salmon and steelhead:

Bonneville bank: 12 anglers with nothing
Camas/Washougal bank: 1 angler with nothing
I-5 area bank: 23 anglers with 2 steelhead kept, and 1 steelhead and 2 sockeye released
Vancouver bank: 32 anglers with 1 adult Chinook and 1 sockeye released and 1 steelhead kept
Woodland bank: 14 anglers with nothing
Kalama bank: 17 anglers with 1 steelhead kept and 2 steelhead and 1 sockeye released
Longview bank: 140 anglers with 1 adult Chinook, 9 steelhead, 1 sockeye and 1 “other” fish released, and 26 steelhead kept
Cathlamet bank: 26 anglers with 1 jack Chinook and 1 steelhead released, and 3 steelhead kept
Private boats/bank: 11 anglers with 1 steelhead kept

Bonneville boat: 2 anglers with nothing
Camas/Washougal boat: No report
I-5 area boat: No report
Vancouver boat: 4 anglers with 1 steelhead kept
Woodland boat: No report
Kalama boat: 5 anglers with nothing
Cowlitz boat: No report
Longview boat: 19 anglers with 2 steelhead kept
Cathlamet boat: 12 anglers with 1 jack Chinook and 3 steelhead released and 10 steelhead kept
Private boats/bank: 6 anglers with 1 steelhead kept

Shad:

Bonneville bank: 76 anglers with 151 kept and 12 released
Bonneville boat: 9 anglers with 13 kept
Camas/Washougal bank: No report
Camas/Washougal boat: No report
I-5 area bank: No report
I-5 area boat: No report
Vancouver bank: No report
Vancouver boat: No report
Woodland bank: No report
Woodland boat: No report
Kalama bank: No report
Kalama boat: No report
Cowlitz bank: No report
Cowlitz boat: No report
Longview bank: No report
Longview boat: No report

Sturgeon:

Bonneville bank: No report
Bonneville boat:
Camas/Washougal bank: No report
Camas/Washougal boat:
I-5 area bank: No report
I-5 area boat:
Vancouver bank: No report
Vancouver boat:
Woodland bank: No report
Woodland boat:
Kalama bank: No report
Kalama boat: 2 anglers with nothing
Cowlitz bank: No report
Cowlitz boat:
Longview bank: No report
Longview boat: 3 anglers with 6 sublegals and 6 oversize released
Cathalmet bank: No report
Cathlamet boat: No report
Chinook/Elochoman bank: No report
Chinook/Elochoman boat: No report
Ilwaco bank: No report
Ilwaco boat: No report
Ilwaco charter: No report

Walleye: No report

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NWIFC’s Loomis Pans Patagonia’s Anti-Hatchery Movie

A major voice in Western Washington’s salmon fishery management world says that Patagonia’s new Artifishal movie is a “misguided documentary full of misinformation about the role hatcheries play in salmon recovery.”

Lorraine Loomis, chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, adds that it doesn’t use “accurate science” to back up its claims that Chinook, coho and other stocks reared at state, tribal and federal facilities are the reason why wild stocks are declining, and because of that production at them must end.

LORRAINE LOOMIS, CHAIR OF THE NORTHWEST INDIAN FISHERIES COMMISSION. (NWIFC)

“What we know for certain is that eliminating hatcheries would be the end of salmon fishing for generations. More than half of all the salmon harvested in western Washington come from hatcheries,” writes Loomis in her monthly “Being Frank” column distributed around the region.

It comes as backers of the 75-minute movie screen it across the Northwest and elsewhere, and it appeared in early June at the recent Seattle International Film Festival.

I didn’t go see it, but an article in The Guardian describes it as not just about salmon production but also is “a swerve into the metaphyscial (sic), framing the salmon emergency as a question about the human soul, about what it needs – about what we need – to survive.”

But even as the movie “explores wild salmon’s slide toward extinction, threats posed by fish hatcheries and fish farms, and our continued loss of faith in nature,” Loomis writes that hatcheries not only produce fish for harvest, including tribes’ reserved by federal treaties, but help reduce pressure on weak stocks and serve as gene banks for imperiled ones, and that all facilities are operated with management plans to protect unclipped salmon.

The release of the movie comes as efforts ramp up to save Puget Sound’s orcas, which are suffering in part because there’s no longer enough Chinook for them to eat.

That’s in part due to massive habitat degradation, from the mountaintops all the way down to the estuaries, that has reduced waters’ capacity for adults to spawn and young fish to rear, but possibly also the longterm decline of releases of fin-clipped Chinook at particularly state facilities due to hatchery reforms and budget issues.

While hundreds of millions dollars’ worth of work is going on to bolster rivers and the inland sea for salmon, it will take decades if not centuries to really boost numbers of wild fish, time that the southern resident killer whales may not have and which means they’ll be dependent on robust, well-executed hatchery production for the foreseeable future.

A PUGET SOUND ADULT CHINOOK SALMON SWIMS THROUGH THE BALLARD LOCKS. (NMFS)

To that end, a Washington Fish and Wildlife Commissioner has called for the release of 50 million additional Chinook smolts.

Meanwhile, even as Loomis does find common ground over farming Atlantic salmon with the outdoor apparel company that’s made environmental issues a core concern, she disagrees that hatcheries are just like the floating sea pens.

“Patagonia could be doing a real service to the resource and all of us by advocating for habitat protection and restoration so that we are no longer dependent on hatcheries,” she states.

Instead, they appear to want to pick a fight on a bridge, burning it in the process.

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