Category Archives: Headlines

Comments On Sound Rockfish Plan Sought

(WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH & WILDLIFE PRESS RELEASE)

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is accepting public comment through Nov. 19 on a new draft conservation plan for rockfish in Puget Sound and has scheduled four meetings to discuss the plan with the public.

The draft conservation plan is the preferred alternative among several presented in a draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), which is required by the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).

The DEIS and draft conservation plan are available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/management/rockfish/ . Those who would like a copy of the plan on a compact disc or in print can call (360) 902-2844.

The draft conservation plan provides the framework for new strategies and actions in areas including fisheries, monitoring and education to conserve and protect rockfish populations in Puget Sound. Three species of rockfish in Puget Sound – bocaccio, yelloweye and canary rockfish – currently are being considered for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Comments can be submitted by email to SEPAdesk2@dfw.wa.gov , by FAX to (360) 902-2946, or by U.S. Mail to: WDFW SEPA Desk, 600 Capitol Way N. Olympia, WA 98501-1091.

In addition, people can submit comments, as well as discuss the draft plan with WDFW staff, during public meetings scheduled for:

  • Oct. 29 – From 7-9 p.m. in Mill Creek at WDFW’s Mill Creek office, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd.
  • Nov. 2 – From noon-2 p.m. in Friday Harbor in the Commons Room at the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor laboratory, 620 University Road.
  • Nov. 4 – From 7-9 p.m. in Olympia in room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E.
  • Nov. 6 – From 4-6 p.m. in Port Townsend in the Raven Room at Skookum Inc., 385 Benedict St.

NWS Scribe, Friends Limit At Spencer

While I was out deer hunting in Eastern Washington this past weekend, Northwest Sportsman contributor “Uncle Wes” Malmberg was working the trout over in Mason County.

He, his brother and a friend all limited out at Spencer Lake on pound-plus rainbows yesterday.

They were, of course, dragging around a fly.

“Olive Bugger was the king,” Wes reports.

It took them just three hours to catch the 15 trout, most of which went 12 to 14 inches, but the biggest one was 16 inches, he says.

“Got off the lake to see Minnesota win again. Gotta love Brett Favre.”

And you gotta love the stocking truck. WDFW recently planted Spencer, which is northeast of Shelton and about a mile off Highway 3 via East Pickering Road,with around 5,750 1-pound-and-better rainbows in recent weeks.

“There’s plenty of parking, there’s an outhouse, but the launch is a little rough,” Wes says of the lake’s facilities.

Spencer isn’t the only Mason County lake brimming with fresh fish. In recent weeks, the state has also planted Lake Kokanee (803), Lost Lake (1,254) and Nahwatzel Lake (4,600).

POST SCRIPT: Wes returned to Spencer today, Tuesday, Oct. 20, and reports limiting on 14- to 16-inchers in an hour and 30 minutes, all on size 4 Woolly Buggers. He says there were four or five other boats on the water.

Update On Tribal Arrest Of Legal Elk Hunters

A county sheriff sergeant says they didn’t, but a Washington tribe insists it had the legal right to arrest and detain three nontribal elk hunters who’d legally taken a bull on private property near Brinnon in early October.

The statement came out yesterday in an article in the Peninsula Daily News, following up on an article by the Port Townsend Leader which was there when Port Gamble S’Klallam tribal police approached Don and Danny Phipps and Adam Boling with guns drawn, arrested and held them for two hours on Oct. 3.

“Natural Re-sources Enforcement officers are mandated to respond when a possible violation is reported within the tribe’s usual and accustomed fishing and hunting grounds, and are expertly trained to handle these situations,” reads a statement from the tribe.

Boling has filed a complaint with Jefferson County, which is investigating the matter.

The Daily News reports:

“Jefferson County Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Stringer, who is a former officer with the Suquamish tribe, has said that all tribal officers have jurisdiction only on tribal land, or if they are dealing with tribal members or if they have a cross-commission from the sheriff.

WDFW is also investigating, and may issue a report later this week, the newspaper reports.

WA Wolf Meetings Start This Week

If you’re heading for the Clarkston, Richland or Yakima areas for deer hunting this week — or are a hunter who lives nearby — you might swing into town on an evening. WDFW will hold 6:30-9 p.m. public-comment meetings on its draft wolf management in each city Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

For an update on the scope of the plan, check out KC Mahaffey’s article in the Wenatchee World.

And see Scott Sandsberry’s piece on the “Great Wolf Debate” in the Yakima Herald-Republic.

This week’s meetings will be held:

  • Clarkston, Tuesday, Oct. 20, Walla Walla Community College lecture hall, 1470 Bridge St.
  • Richland, Wednesday, Oct. 21, Pacific NW National Laboratory auditorium, 904 Battelle Blvd.
  • Yakima, Thursday, Oct. 22, Red Lion Hotel Yakima Center, 607 E. Yakima Ave.

Next week, meetings will be held in Colville, Spokane, Vancouver and Aberdeen.

For the full schedule, click here.

Head’s Up, Rufus Woods Fans

Anton Jones weekly fishing report for Lake Chelan and North-central Washington waters includes the following update on Rufus Woods triploids:

We need to talk about Rufus.  I think that everyone needs to re-think their expectations for this fishery.  I spoke with the Colville tribal fish biologist to find out about triploid numbers this year.  I will try to distill this discussion down to it’s essentials.  First, during 2006 and 2007, the previous owner released around 300,000 extra triploid rainbows into the system.  This created a “bubble” in this fishery that has led to angler success that was not sustainable and expectations that are not realistic.  The tribe targets releases of 2,000 fish per month or 24,000 per year.  The new owner of the pens is a professional seafood company and is much less susceptible to inadvertent releases.  Because of an inadvertent 30,000 fish release in May there are no more scheduled releases for a while.  The silver lining in all this is that eventually, a lot of fisherman will go elsewhere which will reduce the pressure and allow for the growth of those double-digit triploids that we all crave.

New Area Opens On Methow For Steelhead

(WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH & WILDLIFE RULE CHANGE)

Additional section of the Methow River
to open for steelhead fishing Oct. 21

Action: Open the Methow River from the second powerline crossing upstream of Pateros to the first Highway 153 Bridge.

  • The daily limit will be four adipose fin-clipped, hatchery steelhead, 20-inch minimum size.
  • Mandatory retention of adipose fin-clipped hatchery steelhead.
  • Selective gear rules apply, no bait allowed.
  • A night closure is in effect for the duration of the fishery.
  • Release any steelhead with one or more round holes punched in the caudal (tail) fin.
  • Boats with motors are not allowed.

Location: The Methow River from the second powerline crossing upstream of Pateros to the first Highway 153 Bridge.

Effective date: Oct. 21, 2009.

Species affected: Steelhead.

Other information: Anglers are required to release all steelhead with an adipose fin.  Any steelhead caught with an intact adipose fin may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

Reason for action: Sufficient numbers of wild steelhead have moved upriver from this section, allowing anglers additional opportunity to harvest adipose fin-clipped steelhead with minimal impact to wild fish. 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.

Information contacts: Jeff Korth, Region 2 Fish Program Manager, (509) 754-4624, Bob Jateff, District 6 Fish Biologist, (509) 997-0316.

Swift Reservoir Season Extended

(WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH & WILDLIFE RULE CHANGE)

Action: Keeps Swift Reservoir open to fishing for the public.

Effective date: Nov. 1 through Nov. 30, 2009

Species affected: All game fish and salmon

Location: Swift Reservoir (Skamania County)

Reason for action: In previous years the reservoir closed at the end of October to reduce the handling of stocked fingerling rainbow trout.  Rainbow trout are now stocked in the spring just prior to opening day (last Saturday in April). There is a proposal in the agency Sport Fishing Rule Change process for 2010-2012 to make this a permanent change.  There is insufficient time to adopt permanent rules.

Other Information: The boat ramp will not be maintained during the extension. Anglers should be aware of floating debris in and around the boat dock area. If vandalism, too much snow or the reservoir level becomes an issue, the boat ramp will be closed down.

From dam to markers approximately 3/8 mile below Eagle Cliff Bridge, landlocked salmon rules remain in effect.

From markers approximately 3/8 below Eagle Cliff Bridge, selective gear rules except motors allowed, remains in effect.  Landlocked rules apply.

Information Contact: Stacie Kelsey, Inland Fish Program 360-906-6706

‘A Little Bit Of Greed’: 1 Tag, 2 Bulls

The Daily News of Longview reports on elk poaching charges filed against four Kelso residents.

A year after allegedly shooting two Blue Mountains bull elk, a 6×6 and a 6×7, Christopher Mayeda is due in a Columbia County court in December to face trial for “unlawful hunting of big game, unlawful transportation of wildlife, hunting license violations and providing false information,” according to the paper.

The article states that Mayeda had a muzzleloader permit for the Dayton Unit, but after shooting the first bull, he put the tag of his wife, Tracey, on it and had her come over and get it. Then he went back to hunting and bagged the second elk.

“There’s just a little bit of greed getting involved there,” WDFW warden Bill Lantiegne told the paper.

Mrs. Mayeda is also due in court in December.

Two others, Steven Hamm and Jason Ford, also face charges from the incident.

For an interesting read, be sure to scroll through the 50-plus comments in response to the newspaper’s article, some real gems.

Grays Salmon Season Extended

(WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH & WILDLIFE RULE CHANGE NOTICE)

Action: The mainstem and West Fork of the Grays River will remain open to fishing for hatchery salmon and steelhead through October 25

Species affected: Hatchery coho, hatchery chinook, and hatchery steelhead

Effective dates: Immediately through Oct. 25, 2009

Location:

  • Mainstem Grays River from mouth to South Fork
  • West Fork Grays River from the mouth to the hatchery intake/footbridge.

Daily limits: Salmon daily limit is 6 fish of which no more than 2 adult chinook may be retained.  Release chum, wild coho, and wild chinook.  All chinook must be adipose and/or ventral fin clipped to be retained.

In addition, up to 2 hatchery steelhead may be retained. Wild steelhead and all other game fish must be released.

Reason for action: Based upon recent field observations, large numbers of early stock coho have been holding in the lower Grays.  Originally, the salmon and steelhead season was scheduled to close Oct. 15.  This extension will allow additional opportunity to harvest surplus hatchery fish.  However, it will close before larger numbers of chum salmon listed under the federal Endangered Species Act are typically present.

Other information: Night closure, anti-snagging rule, and stationary gear restrictions are also extended through Oct. 25.

Information contact: (360) 696-6211.  For latest information press *1010.