Category Archives: Headlines

Idaho Steelheading Will Remain Open, Outside Of Salmon, SF Clearwater Stretches

THE FOLLOWING IS AN IDFG PRESS RELEASE

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission on Friday, Dec. 7 approved an agreement to keep most steelhead seasons open, but steelhead fishing in two areas will close effective 11:59 p.m. Dec. 7, 2018.

THE NORTH FORK CLEARWATER IS AMONG THE AREAS THAT WILL REMAIN OPEN FOR STEELHEAD FISHING IN IDAHO AFTER PARTIES REACHED A SETTLEMENT TO STAVE OFF A FEDERAL LAWSUIT. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Closures include:

  • The Main Salmon River between Warren Creek and the Copper Mine Boat Ramp.
  • South Fork of Clearwater River upstream of the Mount Idaho Grade Bridge. (See maps below)

The commission also acted to continue the one steelhead daily bag limit through the end of 2018 and into the 2019 spring season.

“I’m glad our anglers and outfitters can continue steelhead fishing,” Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore said. “It’s unfortunate that a delay in receiving federal authorization for our recreational steelhead fisheries created contention and hardship for river communities and anglers. This resolution achieves the commission’s objective to limit impacts to steelhead fishing as much as possible while we remain focused on finally receiving federal approval of our steelhead fishery plan for the long term.”

The continuance of steelhead fishing results from an agreement between Fish and Game, the Idaho River Community Alliance, Inc. and five groups that threatened to sue Idaho officials over the lack of federal authorization for steelhead fishing in the Snake, Salmon and Clearwater River systems.

Moore said he appreciates various parties working together, and commended Idaho Rivers United for dropping its involvement in a potential lawsuit and helping forge the agreement among the various groups.

The agreement is in effect until the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) approves Idaho’s steelhead fisheries plan under the Endangered Species Act, or March 15, 2019, whichever date is earlier.

As part of the agreement, members of the Idaho River Community Alliance, Inc. will voluntarily take a few additional measures when steelhead fishing. These measures are separate from the commission’s decision, and they are not Fish and Game rules.

Idaho sought renewal in 2010 for an expiring NMFS authorization for wild steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act that could potentially be harmed during Idaho fisheries for hatchery steelhead. NMFS’ permitting backlog delayed approval for years, but Idaho steelhead fishing seasons continued with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency’s (which NMFS is within) knowledge and consistent with Fish and Game’s submitted plan.

Earlier this year, NOAA began reviewing the plan, and an updated plan is available for a  public comment through Dec. 13, 2018. Fish and Game expects NMFS approval of its plan later this winter.

In October, a group of six organizations threatened a lawsuit over Fish and Game’s lack of formal federal authorization from NMFS. To avoid the potential for court-ordered changes and payment of these organizations’ legal costs, Fish and Game commissioners voted on November 14 to suspend the most steelhead fishing effective at the end of Dec. 7. That is the earliest day the organizations could file a lawsuit under the Endangered Species Act, but that suspension is now voided except in the new closure areas.

Salmon River closure

_salmonriver_closure

Creative Commons Licence
IDFG

South Fork Clearwater River closure

steelhead_clearwater_closure

Creative Commons Licence
IDFG

 

DFO Proposes New Orca Critical Habitat Areas

Editor’s note: This blog has been updated from an earlier version that was in places unintentionally overbroad, causing concerns outside of the new proposed southern resident killer whale critical habitat areas, and has been sharpened to reflect that. 

Canadian fishery overseers want to designate large areas around southern Vancouver Island as critical habitat for orcas, and that’s leaving some in salmon ports on the island’s south side worried.

This week’s proposal for SRKWs includes the fishy Swiftsure and La Pérouse Banks off the island’s west side and Washington’s Neah Bay, as well as most of the BC side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and San Juan Islands.

(DFO)

Earlier this year, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans closed salmon fishing seasonally on the central Strait of Juan de Fuca, Gulf Islands and at the mouth of Fraser, three key SRKW foraging areas, to “help increase the availability of this critical food source,” Chinook.

That hurt the summer fishing season. In Sooke, a famed salmon port on the south side of Vancouver Island, a local lodge owner and president of a tourism bureau said that business was off 80 percent.

Now the worry is that the new critical habitat areas will lead to much larger angling closures.

According to DFO spokesman Dan Bate it is not as cut and dried.

“Under the Species at Risk Act, activities themselves within critical habitat are not prohibited — it is the destruction of critical habitat that is prohibited,” he said via email.

Disturbance from boat traffic, the build up of pollutants and low numbers of Chinook salmon have been identified as major reasons why SRKWs are struggling in recent years.

After the new habitat designations were proposed, a consortium of 17 southern Vancouver Island chambers of commerce issued a statement, cautioning DFO “to carefully weigh potential management measures that could harm their coastal communities, destroy thousands of business and jobs, and impact tourism revenue across Vancouver Island.”

Bate said his agency works with sportfishing and other industries to meet SARA goals while minimizing its impact on stakeholders.

“All efforts will be made to minimize the economic impact of any reductions on coastal communities, and to work with implicated sectors to ensure their activities do not result in critical habitat destruction,” he said.

What it all might mean for next year’s Chinook seasons will be part of upcoming discussions with Indigenous groups and fishermen, Bate said.

Stay tuned.

Idaho Fish Commission To Meet On Steelhead Season This Evening

Idaho steelhead season is on the agenda of an unexpected Fish and Game Commission teleconference set for tonight, just hours before a fishing closure is otherwise set to go into effect.

What does that mean?

IDAHO STEELHEADERS WILL BE PAYING CLOSE ATTENTION TONIGHT TO FIND OUT IF THEY CAN DROP THEIR LINES INTO ANY RIVERS TOMORROW, OR IF THE PENDING CLOSURE REMAINS IN PLACE. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

“Whatever you want to read into it” is the official word from IDFG spokesman Roger Phillips in Boise.

However, outdoor reporter Eric Barker at the Lewiston Tribune who has been doing an excellent job covering the situation reports that state officials, environmental groups that threatened the state with a federal lawsuit if it didn’t close the season, and the newly formed Idaho River Community Alliance of anglers and others were discussing the situation yesterday “in an effort to reach a settlement.”

The agenda for the 7:30 p.m. Mountain Time, 6:30 p.m. Pacific time meeting is stamped with the words “Action Item” in red which suggests that the seven-member commission will be voting on something.

In mid-November, the commission was forced to suspend the fishery starting Dec. 8 because of the state’s lack of a NMFS permit to hold steelhead season. IDFG long ago applied for a new one, but as the feds worked on other priorities it left Idaho vulnerable to a lawsuit, which Wild Fish Conservancy and five other groups took advantage of.

One, Idaho Rivers United, has subsequently backed out of the group, saying its goal of getting NMFS to start working on the fisheries permit had been accomplished. The comment period on that has now been extended from yesterday to Dec. 13.

Whatever decision the commission makes this evening, Phillips says he plans to send out a press release right after that occurs.

Meanwhile, IRCA this morning reported on its Facebook page that anglers and boats have already begun showing in Riggins for a planned Saturday protest.

Tips Needed In ‘Major’ Whatcom Co. Waterfowl Wastage Case

Washington game wardens are looking for whomever strew more than 60 dead ducks and geese across a rural part of Whatcom County recently, a “major wastage.”

(WDFW)

The mallards, Canadas and other waterfowl were found on and along stretches of Weidkamp and West Badger Roads, which are just west of Lynden and a couple miles south of the US-Canada border.

It’s believed the birds had been shot several days before but were not processed at all.

“None of them were breasted and they appeared to have been dead for several days. The birds were spread out singly. It appears they were thrown from a vehicle traveling up the road,” WDFW Police reported on Facebook this afternoon.

The Northwest Washington Waterfowl Association reported that on  Friday, Nov. 30, one of its members came across a warden collecting the birds.

They were initially spotted by a school bus driver earlier in the day, according to a Bellingham Herald article out this morning.

Anyone with information is being asked to call WDFW’s poaching tip line at (877) 933-9847.

Anonymous texts can also be sent to 847411, entering WDFWTIP and then providing details.

SW WA Fishing Report (12-5-18)

THE FOLLOWING WDFW FISHING REPORT WAS TRANSMITTED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN

December 4, 2018

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Grays River – 9 bank anglers released 2 steelhead.

Skamokawa Creek – No anglers sampled.

Elochoman River – 38 bank anglers kept 6 steelhead and released 4 steelhead, 2 coho and 11 coho jacks.  1 boat/2 rods had no catch.

Abernathy Creek – 4 bank anglers had no catch.

Mill Creek – No anglers sampled.

Germany Creek – 6 bank anglers had no catch.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream: 14 bank rods kept 1 coho jack and released 1 steelhead.

Above the I-5 Br:  6 bank rods had no catch.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 691 coho adults, 273 coho jacks, 26 cutthroat trout, three fall Chinook adults and four summer-run steelhead adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power released 106 coho adults and 45 coho jacks into the Cispus River near Randle and they released 179 coho adults, 61 coho jacks and one cutthroat trout into Lake Scanewa in Randle.

Tacoma Power released 34 coho adults and 44 coho jacks at the Franklin Bridge release site in Packwood and they released 189 coho adults, 119 coho jacks, one fall Chinook adult and five cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 4,740 cubic feet per second on Monday, Dec. 3. Water visibility is 11 feet and the water temperature is 49.8 degrees F. River flows could change at any time so boaters and anglers should remain alert for this possibility.

Kalama River – No anglers sampled.

Lewis River – 2 bank anglers had no catch. 2 boats/4 rods had no catch.

East Fork Lewis River – 7 bank anglers kept 1 coho.  1 boat/2 rods had no catch.

Salmon Creek – 41 bank anglers released 1 steelhead.

Wind River – No anglers sampled.

Klickitat River –No anglers sampled.

Ollie Damon’s Closing Its Doors Dec. 29, Ending Decades-long Run

Owners who are “way past retirement age” and a decline in fisheries are combining to close the doors at a Portland repair shop that’s specialized in fixing reels and more outdoor gear for decades.

Susan and Rich Basch say Saturday, Dec. 29, will be the last day Ollie Damon’s is open for business, ending a run that began in 1945 with the Damon family and the last 25 years under their ownership.

PORTLAND’S OLLIE DAMON’S WILL CLOSE ITS DOORS AT THE CLOSE OF THE BUSINESS DAY, SATURDAY, DEC. 29, MARKING THE END OF AN ERA FOR AN ENTERPRISE THAT BEGAN IN 1945 AND HAS SEEN TWO CHANGES IN OWNERSHIP. THE CURRENT PROPREITORS, RICH AND SUSAN BASCH, SAY THEY WANT TO RETIRE AND THAT THE DECLINE IN FISHERIES IS LEADING TO SLOW BUSINESS. (OLLIE DAMON’S)

“No plans for a party at this point,” the Baschs said in an email to Northwest Sportsman, “just hoping some of our customers will come by the store during the month to say goodbye.”

They won’t be completely walking away from fishing reels as Rich and Susan, 70 and 71 now, say part of the reason for closing is that they would “like to enjoy some time traveling and spending time with our kids and grandkids, not working six days a week,” and that will include getting out on the water with family.

At the same time they point to poor fishing up and down the West Coast recently as among the factors that are forcing them to make the hard decision to walk away from Ollie Damon’s.

OLLIE DAMON’S MIGHT BE BEST KNOWN AS WHERE TO GO TO GET FISHING REELS REPAIRED, BUT IT ALSO SERVICED COLEMAN, CROSMAN, SCOTTY, CANNON, MINNKOTA AND OTHER OUTDOOR EQUIPMENT. THIS IMAGE AND OTHERS WITH THIS STORY WERE TAKEN IN SPRING 2016 WHEN THE OWNERS MOVED IT FROM GRAND TO HALSEY. (OLLIE DAMON’S)

There have been dropoffs with Alaskan, Columbia River and other fisheries — “the decline in sturgeon mostly from sea lions depleting the population and reduced opportunities for even catch and release” — along with bad ocean conditions, they say.

And they point to the number of “disposable reels” now on the market, products that are cheaper to replace with a new one than get repaired.

The Baschs have been trying to sell for several years now, and last fall they posted an ad on Craigslist offering the shop for $200,000, but there apparently were no takers, despite a great interview and story on KXL Radio in Portland.

The store was opened by father and son Ollie Damon XII and Ollie Damon XIII in 1945 and originally specialized in toys and hobby items. Fishing tackle was added the next year and then airguns, according to a company history.

FISHING TACKLE INCLUDING LURES AND RODS WAS ALSO ON OFFER. (OLLIE DAMON’S)

“Ollie himself never threw anything away, so this inventory is literally 70-plus years old and we always have something to fix what is wrong,” Rich said during the radio interview.

In the 1950s it became the country’s first Crosman repair center, then Coleman was added. It’s also the “second oldest Shimano warranty center” in the U.S., the Baschs note.

After Ollie Damon XIII suffered a heart attack, ownership changed hands in 1984 and several years later Susan and Rich came along.

“Just since 1992 when we bought the business, the average was 5,000 to 6,000 reels per year, hundreds of Minnkota trolling motors, Cannon and Scotty downriggers, and airguns,” they say of how many pieces they and their team of experts repaired annually.

“That count has diminished because of the fish runs; we’re not even getting the hundreds of reels down from Alaska in the past two years,” they add.

When times were good, Susan found herself mailing parts or repaired equipment across the country — even around the world.

“I’ve shipped parts to Iraq, to a soldier who was stationed in Saddam Hussein’s old compound where he had a manmade lake, and that’s where he fished. He couldn’t go outside the compound to fish because he’d get shot, but he would fish inside the compound but he needed his parts,” she recalled in that radio interview.

In 2016 the Baschs made the decision to move Ollie Damon’s from Grand, just a few long blocks from the Burnside and Morrison Bridges over the Willamette, east 6 miles to Halsey just off where I-84 meets I-205.

They reported that it initially produced more foot traffic, new customers and support from longtime patrons.

GOVERNORS, SPORTS STARS, MEMBERS OF THE HOOK AND BULLET PRESS, LOCAL BUSINESSMEN AND OTHER PERSONALITIES ARE AMONG THOSE WHO HAVE PERUSED THE GOODS AT OLLIE DAMON’S OR SENT THEIR GEAR IN FOR REPAIR THERE. (OLLIE DAMON’S)

Besides regular fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts, some notable names have come through Ollie Damon’s doors through the decades.

“Oregon Governors John Kitzhaber and Ted Kulongoski; former mayor of Portland Bud Clark; Mort Bishop, owner of Pendleton Woolen Mills; Dave Salesky, Portland TV meteorologist; Bill Long, chairman of Winco Foods; sportscaster Doug Lamier; Jim Conway, fishing show host; Hobart Manns, outdoor writer; and several Portland Trailblazer basketball players,” the Baschs tell Northwest Sportsman.

Others would come in with Zip-Lock baggies and shoe boxes filled with parts, they related in the radio interview.

“We will miss our customers immensely,” the Baschs say. “That’s what has kept us at this for so long; that and the great fish stories. Our concern has been where will fishermen get their repairs done. We didn’t want to leave them with nowhere to go since we’re the only reel repair center in Oregon and Washington.”

Unless you have one of the 100 reels at the shop now, though, anglers in need of a repair will have to send their levelwinds, spincasters and fly reels back to the factories or authorized shops near them, the Baschs say.

They’re selling off all of their parts and remaining inventory, along with the fishing rod and product racks.

“It’s sad for us but we can’t work forever,” they say.

As a writer I’d like to wrap this up with some sort of sappy reel-related term twist, but all I can think of is the seized gears on my beloved Curado 201s and wonder why in hell I never sent them to Ollie Damon’s to get fixed.

Sometimes you don’t know what you’re losing until it’s gone.

The Point? There’s A Lot Of Good Spots For Winter Blackmouth — Yuasa

Editor’s note: The following is Mark Yuasa’s monthly fishing newsletter, Get Hooked on Reel Times With Mark, and is run with permission.

By Mark Yuasa, Director of Grow Boating Programs, Northwest Marine Trade Association

The holidays are a time where one needs to not only enjoy all the food and festivities, but to soak in the fun and enjoyment of what the Pacific Northwest fishing scene has to offer.

Instead of constantly fretting about what goes under the Christmas tree let us have a sneak peek at what you can find swimming around Puget Sound and other waterways in the weeks and months ahead.

LOGAN SMITH DID WELL ON THE DECEMBER BLACKMOUTH OPENER IN MARINE AREA 8-2. FISHING WITH HIS DAD, CHAD, THEY ALSO CAME IN WITH A SECOND RESIDENT CHINOOK PLUS SIX DUNGENESS CRABS. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Many salmon anglers are waiting to ring in New Year’s Day by hitting the winter chinook opener on Jan. 1 in northern and central Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands (Areas 7, 9 and 10), but you can get a jump start on bringing home a fresh salmon from some other locations.

Hatchery chinook for the holiday dinner table are free game right now in south-central Puget Sound (11); the east side of Whidbey Island (8-1 and 8-2); Hood Canal (12); and southern Puget Sound (13).

Top choices include the Clay Banks off Point Defiance Park in Tacoma; Point Dalco on south side of Vashon Island; Elger Bay; Camano Head; Hat Island; Onamac Point; Fox Point; Point Fosdick; Anderson Island; Lyle Point; and Devil’s Head and Johnson Point.

A good sign is the WDFW fish check from Sunday (Nov. 25) at the Point Defiance Park Boathouse in Tacoma that showed nine boats with 12 anglers taking home five chinook and one chum.

Another great way to gauge how success will be since chinook fishing in Areas 8-1 and 8-2 has been closed for quite a long time – since early spring of 2018 to be precise – is the Everett Salmon & Steelhead Club and Puget Sound Anglers Salmon Derby on Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 1-2). The derby headquarters is Bayside Marine in Everett. Cost for the Everett Steelhead & Salmon Club’s side pot is $10 per angler, and Puget Sound Anglers side pot is $100 per boat. Weigh-in station is the Everett boat launch on Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday between 12:30-1 p.m. You must be in line by 1 p.m. There will be a potluck on Sunday. Details: 425-530-0017 or 4salebydavemiller@gmail.com or 425-501-4024 or 206-730-0469 or rgarner@aol.com.

The sleeper spot that doesn’t garner as much attention during the winter is Hood Canal (Area 12). Look for hungry blackmouth around Misery Point, Hazel Point, Pleasant Harbor, Toandos Peninsula, Seabeck Bay and Seal Rock.

Those who hold out for the New Year’s Day festivities should try Possession Bar; Pilot Point; Point No Point; Midchannel Bank off Port Townsend; Double Bluff off southwest side of Whidbey Island; Pilot Point; Jefferson Head; West Point; Point Monroe; Southworth; and Allen Bank off Blake Island.

In the San Juan Islands put your time in around Waldron Island; Parker Reef; north side Orcas Island; Rosario Pass; Tide Point; Decatur Pass; Obstruction Pass; McArthur Bank; Point Lawrence; and Thatcher Pass.

If you get my “point” there’s a lot of “points” mentioned in the previous three paragraphs to get on the water during the holidays. No “point” pun intended!

Keep in mind that encounter rates and catch guidelines will dictate how long each area stays open so I’d go sooner than later.

In Area 7, WDFW set the bar of not exceeding 3,176 total unmarked chinook encounters and/or exceed 11,867 total encounters. In Area 9, the encounter ceiling prediction is 10,004; and in Area 10 it is 3,596. WDFW will provide in-season catch estimates between Jan. 11 and 18.

Those heading out before Dec. 31 should bring along some crab pots to set in some parts of Puget Sound. Marine areas open daily are Strait of Juan de Fuca east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line to Port Angeles; San Juan Islands; east side of Whidbey Island; and a section of northern Puget Sound/Admiralty Inlet except for waters south of a line from Olele Point to Foulweather Bluff.

Word on Tengu Blackmouth Derby

There is a small group of anglers who brave the elements every winter during the Tengu Blackmouth Derby – an event that began shortly after World War II in 1946 – that is held on Elliott Bay.

Normally the derby (the oldest in Puget Sound) starts during October when Area 10 opens for winter hatchery chinook.

However, this year’s non-retention of chinook delayed the event to coincide with the Jan. 1 reopener of Area 10.

(TENGU BLACKMOUTH DERBY CLUB)

The derby has been tentatively set to be held on Sundays from Jan. 6 through Feb. 24 at the Seacrest Boathouse (now known as Marination) in West Seattle.

“We’re trying to figure out specifics related to the derby like costs, logistics and if Outdoor Emporium can sell our derby tickets for us,” Doug Hanada, the Tengu Derby president, said of what will be the 73rd year of the derby.

The derby is named after Tengu, a fabled Japanese character who stretched the truth, and just like Pinocchio, Tengu’s nose grew with every lie.

Last year, a total of 18 blackmouth were caught and the winning fish of 9 pounds-15 ounces went to Guy Mamiya. Justin Wong had the most fish with a total of five and followed by John Mirante with four fish.

To further test your skills, only mooching is allowed in the derby. No artificial lures, flashers, hoochies (plastic squids) or other gear like downriggers are permitted.

In past years, the derby runs from 6 a.m. until 11 a.m. every Sunday. Hanada was checking to see if rental boats and motors will be available this season. Last year, the membership fee was $15 and $5 for children age 12-and-under.

Halibut fishery blooming this spring

The Pacific Fishery Management Council wrapped up meetings in San Diego during early November to decide halibut fishing dates that will enable anglers to make preliminary plans although catch quotas won’t be finalized until later next month.

The tentative halibut fishing dates for Neah Bay, La Push, Westport, Puget Sound and Strait of Juan de Fuca (Areas 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10) are May 2, 4, 9, 11, 18, 24 and 26; and June 6, 8, 20 and 22. At Westport (2) the tentative dates are May 2, 5, 9, 12 and 24.

At Ilwaco (1) the opening dates will be decided through consultation with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife although the Washington subarea dates proposed are May 2, 5, 9, 12, 24 and 26.

If quota remains the Ilwaco subarea would reopen two days per week (Thursday and Sunday) after May 26.

Additional fishing dates could be added to an area if their sport catch quotas aren’t achieved.

The IPHC will meet Jan. 28-29 in Victoria, B.C. to set catch quotas from California north to Alaska. The National Marine Fisheries Service will then make its final approval on fishing dates sometime in March or sooner.

Exciting news for 2019 NW Salmon Derby Series

The 2019 NW Salmon Derby Series calendar has been set with 15 events from January through November of 2019.

First up are the Resurrection Salmon Derby on Jan. 4-6 in Anacortes (http://www.resurrectionderby.com/); Roche Harbor Salmon Classic on Jan. 17-19 (https://www.rocheharbor.com/events/derby), there is currently a waiting list; Friday Harbor Salmon Classic on Feb. 7-9 (http://fridayharborsalmonclassic.com/); and Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby on March 8-10 (http://gardinersalmonderby.org/).

I’m really stoked about our new grand prize boat valued at $75,000, which is a Weldcraft Rebel 202 Hardtop Series from Renaissance Marine Group in Clarkston powered by a Yamaha 200 and 9.9hp motors on an EZ Loader Trailer.

Other sponsors who make the derby series a major success are Raymarine Electronics; Dual Electronics; WhoDat Towers; Scotty Downriggers; Silver Horde Lures; Harbor Marine; Master Marine and Tom-n-Jerry’s; Salmon, Steelhead Journal; NW Sportsman Magazine; The Reel News; Sportco/Outdoor Emporium; and Prism Graphics. For details, go to www.NorthwestSalmonDerbySeries.com.

There is a full-blown list of places to go during the holidays so take a break from the frenzied shopping sprees, mall madness and giftwrapping chores to go out and fish.

I’ll see you on the water!

Bull Moose Poached North Of Enterprise

One of Oregon’s rare moose was poached earlier this month in Wallowa County and state fish and wildlife troopers are looking for information on the case.

They say the bull was killed between Nov. 8 and Nov. 11  north of Enterprise.

OREGON’S MOOSE POPULATION WAS LAST ESTIMATED AT 60 TO 70. (PAT MATTHEWS, ODFW)

“Preliminary investigation revealed that the moose was shot and partially cut up off of the USFS 46 Road between Teepee Pond and mile marker 35 in the Chesnimnus Big Game Unit,” the Oregon State Police report.

They say the animal’s carcass was accessed from a campsite off the north side of that road in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

“Additionally, a side-by-side UTV was used to haul the moose meat and parts from the kill site back to the campsite,” OSP reports.

They’re asking anyone who was in the area near Teepee Pond and MM35 around November’s second weekend and who might have info to call Senior Trooper Mark Knapp (541-426-3049), the Turn In Poachers hotline (800-452-7888) or *OSP(677).

Tipsters stand to gain $1,000 through the TIP program or, in a new option, five preference points for controlled hunts applications.

This is at least the second moose poached in Northeast Oregon in recent years. Thadd J. Nelson was charged in early 2015 with unlawfully killing one in mid-2014. He was later killed by robbers.

According to ODFW’s hunting pamphlet, there are 50 to 60 moose in the Wenaha and Walla Walla Wildlife Management Units, with more being seen in nearby hunting units, including Chesnimnus.

In 2013, a state biologist told the Medford Mail Tribune, “We don’t see them growing exponentially like we’d expect them to do to become healthy enough to sustain hunting pressure.”

Poaching them certainly won’t help.

 

Plan To Boost Duwamish Fall Chinook Production By 2 Million Going Out For Comment

Federal fishery overseers are laying out how much orcas and fishermen would benefit under a proposal to boost hatchery Chinook production in the Green-Duwamish River by 2 million smolts.

FEDERAL OVERSEERS WILL CONSIDER A PLAN TO BOOST PRODUCTION OF DUWAMISH-GREEN FALL CHINOOK BY 2 MILLION. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

According to a NOAA draft supplemental environmental statement that will soon go out for public comment, the increase would provide an additional 8,750 adult salmon for the starving Washington whales to snack on, recreational and tribal fishermen to catch, and for broodstock purposes.

That and other hatchery salmon and steelhead programs already approved for the King County river system “would have a moderate positive effect on the diet, survival, distribution, and listing status of Southern Resident killer whales,” the DEIS states.

It’s the second time this particular set of Chinook, coho, chum and winter- and summer-run steelhead programs is being scrutinized in recent years.

Earlier, four alternatives proposed by WDFW and two local tribes were analyzed, but with this year’s major focus on ailing orcas, it was resubmitted with an “Alternative 5.”

Green-Duwamish Chinook were identified as among the most important current feedstocks for orcas.

NOAA’s new DEIS says the additional smolts would yield nearly 3,300 more sport fishing trips and around $580,000 in expenditures, mostly in the region the agency is calling the South Puget Sound subregion, but also in the North Sound and Straits.

And it would yield around 2,300 more Chinook for mostly local tribal fishermen.

The extra salmon would be reared at WDFW’s Soos Creek Hatchery and released upstream at Palmer Ponds.

“Alternative 5 would not affect the overall trend in cumulative effects on salmon and steelhead, although it may increase the adverse cumulative effect on the genetics of natural-origin fall-run Chinook salmon. However, this cumulative impact would not substantially add to the cumulative impacts compared to the other alternatives because the increase in production would represent a small component of the total abundance of fall-run Chinook salmon in the cumulative effects analysis area,” the DEIS states.

Overall hatchery Chinook production  in the watershed would be 6.2 million smolts.

The comment period begins Dec. 7 and runs for 45 days through Jan. 22. You can send your thoughts three ways:

Email:
GreenHatcheriesEIS.wcr@noaa.gov

Mail:
Allyson Purcell, Comment Coordinator
NMFS, West Coast Region
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
1201 Northeast Lloyd Boulevard, Suite 1100
Portland, OR 97232

Fax:
(503) 231-6893

Next Round Of Washington Razor Clam Digs Set

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

Razor clam diggers can return to various ocean beaches for a four-day opening beginning Dec. 6.

(JASON BAUER)

State shellfish managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the dig on evening low tides after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat. No digging will be allowed on any beach before noon.

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

  • Dec. 6, Thursday, 6:01 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 7, Friday, 6:40 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 8, Saturday, 7:16 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 9, Sunday, 7:53 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, recommends that diggers hit the beach about an hour or two before low tide for the best results.

Diggers want to be sure to come prepared with good lighting devices and always keep an eye on the surf, particularly in the fall when the best low tides come after dark, he added.

WDFW has tentatively scheduled another dig for Dec. 20-23, pending results of future toxin tests. More information on planned digs can be found on WDFW’s razor clam webpage at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/.

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2018-19 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.

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