Category Archives: Headlines

Askew, Monroe Tackle Fall Turkeys

Northwest Sportsman columnist Wil Askew went hunting with The Oregonian‘s Bill Monroe for a little post-Thanksgiving gobble-gobble recently.

“It’s much easier to get permission in the fall,” Askew told Monroe in the article. “And you can get out and stalk them a little more because there aren’t many other hunters around.”

Monroe’s story details how they both brought down birds.

WIL ASKEW AND DAUGHTER BRYCE WITH POP'S FINAL FALL TURKEY FOR 2009. (WIL ASKEW)

SW WA Fishing Report

SALMON/STEELHEAD

Cowlitz River – At the barrier dam, 47 bank anglers kept 1 adult coho and 1 steelhead plus released 1 adult chinook.

Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 1,521 coho adults, 74 jacks, 234 sea-run cutthroat trout, 112 winter-run steelhead, 36 summer-run steelhead, four fall Chinook adults and one chum salmon during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the week Tacoma Power employees released 299 coho adults, 20 jacks, two fall Chinook adults, two winter-run steelhead and nine cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton, 338 coho adults and 12 jacks into Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam, 260 coho adults and 23 jacks into the upper Cowlitz River at the Skate Creek Bridge in Packwood, and 166 coho adults and eight jacks into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellowjacket Creek.  In addition, 275 hatchery-origin sea-run cutthroat trout were recycled downstream to the Barrier Dam boat launch.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 8,030 cubic feet per second on Monday, November 30. Water visibility is seven feet.

Lewis River – On the mainstem Lewis, 6 bank anglers kept 1 steelhead.  At the salmon hatchery, 39 bank anglers kept 8 steelhead and 6 adult coho plus released 8 adult and 1 jack coho.  Four boat anglers released 1 adult chinook, 1 adult coho, and 1 jack coho.

Effective December 16, anglers will be allowed to fish from floating devices from Johnson Creek upstream.  In addition, fishing for hatchery coho and hatchery steelhead opens from Colvin Creek upstream to the overhead powerlines below Merwin Dam.

Klickitat River – 8 bank anglers from the Fisher Hill Bridge downstream kept 14 adult coho and released 9.

Ringold – From Paul Hoffarth, WDFW District 4 Fish Biologist in Pasco – An estimated 1,080 steelhead were caught during the month of November. Of these, 811 hatchery steelhead were harvested and 119 wild steelhead were caught and released. Effort and catch has begun to slow as winter approaches.

To date, 2,952 steelhead have been caught and 2,054 steelhead have been harvested.

STURGEON, TROUT

No reports.

Report courtesy Joe Hymer, PSFMC

Tribal Officer’s Reasoning Released In Brinnon Elk Case

The latest twist in the investigation of why two Port Gamble S’Klallam officers detained nontribal elk hunters near Brinnon is revealed in an article by Eric Hidle of the Peninsula Daily News.

It’s based on officer Gus Zoller’s account of what led him to believe the men had poached the bull.

His comments are part of a 168-page report released by the Jefferson County Prosecutor’s Office, brought about by one of the hunter’s filing a complaint of illegal detention. It includes WDFW and the county sheriff’s investigations.

The tribe is still preparing its report.

The county prosecutor has not decided whether to press charges or not.

 

New OR Boating Fee Begins Soon

(OREGON STATE MARINE BOARD PRESS RELEASE)

Oregon boaters will soon be on the front lines of a war against aquatic invasive species. Beginning Jan. 1, 2010, operators of manually powered boats (paddle craft) 10 feet or longer and all registered boats (power and sail) and are required by a new law to purchase an Aquatic Invasive Species Permit to fund prevention and control programs.

The environmental protection law, created by the 2009 Oregon Legislature, is designed to protect Oregon’s waters from destructive invaders including the quagga and zebra mussels that are rapidly spreading across the nation degrading water quality, depleting native fish and waterfowl populations and costing millions of dollars in maintenance of water and power facilities. The new program will be implemented by the Oregon State Marine Board and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

New Fees

  • Registered boaters will pay an automatic $5 surcharge as part of their boater registration.
  • Out-of-state motorboat operators need to purchase an annual permit for $22 ($20 permit plus $2 agent fee) through ODFW license agents, ODFW offices that sell licenses and on the ODFW Web site. Out-of-state permits will not be sold through boat registration agents or the Oregon State Marine Board.
  • Non-motorized boat operators (canoes, kayaks, sailboats, drift boats, etc.) will need to purchase and carry an annual permit. Permits can be purchased starting Dec.1 at ODFW license agents, ODFW offices that sell licenses and on the ODFW Web site for a cost of $7 ($5 permit plus $2 agent fee). Permits are required for both residents and nonresidents and are transferable to other non-motorized craft, but every vessel on the water must have a permit.
  • Guides, outfitters, livery operations and boating clubs should purchase their permits directly from the Oregon State Marine Board.

The Oregon State Marine Board and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife are implementing the new Aquatic Invasive Species Program, which will include education outreach, voluntary boat inspections and decontamination of infected boats to stop the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species.

For information about the new Aquatic Invasive Species Program, visit www.boatoregon.com/OSMB/programs/09LawsFAQs.shtml. To purchase permits online, visit ODFW’s Web site, http://www.dfw.state.or.us/online_license_sales/index.asp

Wallowa Trophy Muley Poached

(OREGON STATE POLICE PRESS RELEASE)

Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish & Wildlife Division is asking for the public’s help to solve the unlawful killing of a mule deer buck in the Minam Unit in Wallowa County.  A reward of up to $250 is offered by the Oregon Hunter’s Association for information related to this case that leads to an arrest.

(OREGON STATE POLICE)

According to OSP Senior Trooper Kreg Coggins, the investigation indicates the mule deer buck was killed November 13th above Big Canyon in Littlefield Orchard off Deer Creek Road.  Coggins encourages anyone with information regarding suspicious activity, persons, or vehicle in that area during the time should contact OSP.  The caller may remain anonymous.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to call the TIP (Turn in Poachers) line at 1-800-452-7888.

Clam Dig A Go Next Weekend

(WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH & WILDLIFE RULE CHANGE NOTICE)

Action: Opens razor clam season

Effective dates: 12:01 p.m. Dec. 2 through Dec. 5, 2009

Species affected: Razor clams

Days and times:

  • Wednesday, Dec. 2 (6:32 p.m. -1.2 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Thursday, Dec. 3 (7:18 p.m. -1.4 ft.) Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
  • Friday, Dec. 4 (8:04 p.m. -1.3 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
  • Saturday, Dec. 5 (8:51 p.m. -0.9 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch

Locations:

  • Long Beach, which extends from the Columbia River to Leadbetter Point.
  • Twin Harbors Beach, which extends from the mouth of Willapa Bay north to the south jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor.
  • Copalis Beach, which extends from the Grays Harbor north jetty to the Copalis River, and includes the Copalis, Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis areas.
  • Mocrocks Beach, which extends from the Copalis River to the southern boundary of the Quinault Reservation near the Moclips River, including Iron
    Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Pacific Beach and Moclips.
  • Kalaloch Beach, which extends from the South Beach Campground to Brown’s Point (just south of Beach Trail 3) in the Olympic National Park.

Reasons for action: Harvestable surplus of razor clams are available.

Information Contact: Dan Ayres (360) 249-4628.

Change Would ‘Alter Foundation Of Angling’

With public comment on a host of sport-fishing rule change proposals coming up before the Washington Fish & Wildlife Commission next weekend, Doug Huddle of the Bellingham Herald outlines some of the important issues for North Sound anglers to pay attention to.

“One, if adopted by the commission, will alter the foundation of sport angling for gamefish in this state,” the longtime outdoor scribe writes in yesterday’s paper.

Tuna Limit For WA?

While public comment on a broad range of sport-fishing rule proposals may be the most cantankerous item at the Washington Fish & Wildlife Commission’s Dec. 4-5 meeting, there’s another brief that’s just starting to raise eyebrows.

Michelle Culver, director of WDFW’s coastal region, will give a presentation on the status of the state’s offshore albacore fishery.

“The question before the Commission is,” she says, “Do they want to consider a bag limit for recreational anglers? We’re not making a recommendation one way or the other.”

OLYMPIA ANGLER MIKE QUIMBY IS AMONG A GROWING CORPS OF WASHINGTON ANGLERS WHO HEAD WELL OUT TO SEA FOR ALBACORE TUNA. (MIKE QUIMBY)

Currently, there is no limit as more and more Evergreen State anglers and an increasingly dialed-in sport fleet pursue the species.

To the south this year, Oregon enjoyed its second most successful sport fishery ever. According to ODFW’s Eric Schindler in Newport, 42,055 were brought back to harbors up and down the coast. Only 2007’s catch of 58,000-plus was bigger.

Culver says she’ll be giving Washington’s Commission background on how other states and NMFS manage the species. In Oregon, basically the daily limit is 25 as part of a mixed bag of pelagic species. California has a split bag: 25 in the north, 10 in the south.

She says that as part of NMFS’s rule-making process for the 2011-13 seasons, albacore issues are being looked at next year.

If NMFS were to adopt a limit, they would ask states to follow suit.

States can be more restrictive than the feds, but not more liberal, Culver says.

While some may bristle at limits, in Oregon, where tuna fishing’s better, very few anglers load the boat. In fact, says Schindler, the average fisherman only brings back four a trip.

But that potential high bag limit is “like a casino,” he notes.

It helps draw customers to charters and coastal towns– even though the odds of hitting a big payout are small.

“The majority of people are never going to get to 25,” Schindler says. “The majority of people are going to be happy with ten or less.”

DEANNA VU'S ALBIE WAS AMONG THE FIRST COUPLE THOUSAND LANDED DURING OREGON'S STELLAR SUMMER TUNA FISHERY. OVERALL, 42,055 WERE BROUGHT BACK TO WINCHESTER BAY, CHARLESTON, NEWPORT, GARIBALDI AND OTHER PORTS THIS YEAR. (LAZER SHARP PHOTO CONTEST)

From what he’s hearing, there’s not really a big push on to impose recreational limits either, but there is some federal concern about commercial efforts on the highly migratory species.

Right now, it’s an unlimited commercial fishery, without trip limits or vessel limitations, he says.

“The jist we’re hearing from NOAA is capping effort, not increasing it,” Schindler says.

Albacore stocks are considered high right now, but the commercial effort on them “is not deemed sustainable going into the future if stock levels go back to average,” he says.

Culver says that if the Washington Fish & Wildlife Commission is interested in setting a limit, it could be brought up again at their February or March meetings. NMFS has it on their calendar for June meetings.

‘Anti-vehicle Device’ Found In Wildlife Area

(IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF FISH & GAME PRESS RELEASE)

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game recently discovered an anti-vehicle device on Craig Mountain Wildlife Management Area south of Lewiston.

The homemade device, a truck tire filled with concrete and rebar spikes, was concealed in an area commonly used for illegal off-roading and was likely placed to discourage this activity. Motorized travel on Fish and Game lands is allowed only on open, established roads.

“We understand the public’s frustration with those who don’t follow the motorized rules, but this is taking it too far by putting public safety at risk,” said Justin Barrett, Fish and Game habitat biologist who manages the area.

Mud-bogging, the ritual of driving vehicles through wet areas has caused significant long-term damage in the area. Mountain meadows and streams are especially appealing to mudboggers because of the availability of water and moist soils, yet these areas are very important for wildlife.

Anyone with information regarding this device or who witnesses illegal off-roading on Craig Mountain are encouraged to contact the Fish and Game office at 208-799-5010.

Much of Craig Mountain was purchased as mitigation for the loss of habitat from the inundation of Dworshak Reservoir. Cooperative agreements among conservation groups and several state and federal land management agencies ensure that public lands on Craig Mountain are managed to benefit wildlife and natural habitats while providing diverse recreational opportunities.

Unfortunately, mud-bogging is not conducive to maintaining habitats suitable for wildlife in this area. In fact, the long-term damage caused by off roaders is one of the main reasons some areas have been closed to motorized vehicle use.