Category Archives: Headlines

18-year-old Arrested In Walla Walla Co. Deer Spree-killing Case


The Walla Walla County coyote hunter knew the modern firearm mule deer season didn’t open until October 16, and yet he was staring at two dead bucks just north of Woodward Canyon Road. He did the right thing and called Fish and Wildlife Enforcement.

Officer McQuary could tell from a distance that the animals were well on their way toward spoilage from their bloated bellies. Obviously the shooter didn’t care about the meat……, this was probably about antler hunting and things only a psychologist can explain. McQuary called his partner, Mike Johnson, and they agreed to set up surveillance after dark in hope the bad guy would come back for trophies he didn’t deserve. Just before 11:00 p.m. the officers watched a car drive up a nearby road shining a spotlight out of the window.

Spot-lighting. Jack-lighting, Shining. It all means the same thing – a technique used by poachers. The hours of darkness are an active time for big game animals, especially when they need to escape the blistering Eastern Washington heat. It’s also an active time for poachers as they search fields, logged off areas and hillsides in an effort to find, blind and kill these animals. When faced with searing lights more brilliant than a million candle power shining into their eyes, they are immobilized and an easy target. Definitely not fair chase, and definitely not something any sportsman or woman would do.

Officer McQuary heard the crack of a gun- shot pierce the night. Over the course of two minutes he heard 6 more. Because the location was close to the two animals that had brought him here, he expected that this was their suspect. As he closed in on him with his blacked out patrol truck, he heard Officer Johnson’s voice over the police radio. The suspect just went by Johnson’s location at a high rate of speed, and he was still using the spotlight.

Dealing with armed poachers is always risky, and the officers took him down with that in mind. They found a 30.30 rifle with an empty shell casing in the chamber and live rounds in the magazine. It didn’t take long for the 18 year old to confess. And why not? It’s wasn’t as if there was much to hide here – he had been caught in the act. He admitted to shooting four deer total………the two the officers were investigating, plus two more. It was 2:00 a.m. at this point, and despite their best efforts, the dog tired officers were only able to find three out of the four deer. After some badly needed sleep, they located the fourth deer the next day. All were bucks, and one was a 5×5, classified as a trophy by Washington state law. This kid is in some real trouble. And I don’t mean just because he was caught poaching.



NW Basser Hobbs Moves Up To 7th At FW Cup

Ron Hobbs Jr. of Orting, Wash., brought in the day’s second largest haul of bass to move up five places at the Forrest Wood Cup in Georgia.

His 13 pounds, 5 ounces — only 3 ounces behind Larry Nixon’s limit today — also improves on yesterday’s 10 pounds, 14 ounces.

Cody Meyer of Grass Valley, Calif., leads with a total of 27 pounds, 6 ounces through day two of the four-day event held on Lake Lanier.

Jay Yelas, now of Corvallis, also moved up to 20th from 29th with an 8-pound, 11-ounce day.

Two other Northwest bassers, Rick Correa and Sean Minderman were eliminated, but go home with some prize money.

The Forrest Wood Cup is pro bass fishing’s most prestigious award; the winner stands to take home up to $600,000.

NW Basser In 12th Place After Day 1 At Forrest Wood Cup

Ron Hobbs Jr. of Orting, Wash., is tied for 12th place after day one of the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Lanier in Georgia, landing 10 pounds, 14 ounces of bass to the weigh scale.

That’s 4 pounds, 2 ounces fewer than leader Kevin Hawk of Ramona, Calif.

Hobbs is fishing in his first FLW championship, one with a $500,000 payday.

Other Northwest bassers at the event include Jay Yelas, formerly of Texas but now residing in Corvallis and making his seventh appearance at the event. He weighed in 8 pounds, 11 ounces and is tied for 29th place.

Rick Correa of Sherwood, Ore., brought in three bass worth 5 pounds, 13 ounces, putting him in a tie for 43rd.

Sean Minderman of Spokane is tied for 65th with 3 pounds, 11 ounces.

Sequim Retirees Shocked At Town Name’s Hunting Link

Retirees who flocked to what they thought were the “quiet waters” of Sequim were horrified to learn that the northern Olympic Peninsula town’s Indian name actually means place to go shootin’ critters.

The Peninsula Daily News today reports that an expert in dying languages recently determined the word’s true origin based on interviews with Klallam tribal elders.

As to the “quiet waters” translation, (Timothy) Montler (a linguistics professor at the University of Texas) said: “That’s something that somebody made up.”

It set off a great wailing across the broad, lavender plain of the Dungeness River, where Klallam warriors used to hunt ducks and elk.

“I simply will not live in a place linked in any way to the despicable activity known as hunting,” said an elderly man in a Seattle T-shirt who would only give his nickname, “Nordy.”

“To think of all those poor old innocent mallards and Roosevelt elks killed makes my heart cry,” added a female friend, who wore a badge of the Vegan/Vegetarian Club of Sequim.

They were out walking matching well-coiffed toy poodles along Quiet Place above this town of 8,000 but then had to beat a hasty retreat after a giant bull elk approached too closely.

A cougar then chased the elk, but was divebombed by some Canada geese. A state Fish & Wildlife enforcement officer rushed to the scene to keep the peace.

But informed of Sequim’s new translation, he drew his .40-caliber Glock and dropped all the animals.

It also set off much hand-wringing at the chamber of commerce where “Quiet waters’ is written on every piece of literature” ever written about the town, one staffer told a Seattle blogger.

Undoubtedly, captains of commerce in other cities with Indian names across the Northwest worry that Professor Montler will soon be working in their neighborhoods.

What’s Fishin’ In Oregon

Halibut rejoin the saltwater bag limit starting this Friday off Oregon, but onshore, bass, summer steelhead, trout and walleye await Beaver State anglers.

Here are more highlight from ODFW’s weekly Recreation Report:


  • Bass fishing has been good throughout the mainstem and South Umpqua River.
  • Surfperch fishing has been good in Winchester Bay.


  • Summer steelhead and spring chinook have moved into the North Santiam River around Stayton.
  • Good catches of kokanee have been reported recently on Green Peter Reservoir.
  • Summer steelhead are in the Willamette River town run between Springfield and Eugene.
  • Trout stocking of most local valley lakes and ponds has come to an end for the summer due to warm water conditions. Lower and mid-elevation Cascade lakes are still being stocked and provide a good opportunity for trout fishing.
  • July and August are peak months to target largemouth bass in Fern Ridge Reservoir.
  • The cool waters of Breitenbush River, combined with a generous stocking schedule, should mean good trout fishing throughout the summer.


  • Fly fishers looking for something different might try carp fishing on Taylor Lake.
  • The summer steelhead fishing season on the Deschutes River is off to a strong start and fishing has been good.


  • Trout fishing on Campbell Reservoir has been excellent. Also check out nearby Deadhorse Lake to make a day of it.
  • Brown and rainbow trout fishing has been fair to good on the Lower Owyhee River.
  • Fourmile Lake has been fishing well for rainbow, brook and lake trout.
  • Fishing in the high Cascade lakes for brook trout remains excellent.


  • While the kokanee in Wallowa Lake have retreated to 40-60 feet deep, fishing remains for kokanee remains fair. The trout fishing, though, has been good.
  • Trout Farm Pond is stream-fed and trout fishing remains good during the warm summer months. It was stocked last week.
  • Warmwater enthusiasts might consider the John Day River where smallmouth bass and channel catfish fishing have been good.


  • Walleye fishing is good in the Troutdale area.
  • Steelhead angling has been good, especially for anglers fishing in the gorge.
  • Fall chinook season opened Sunday August 1 from Buoy 10 upstream to the Oregon/Washington Border above McNary Dam.
  • Sturgeon retention is closed from Buoy 10 upstream to Marker 82 in the Gorge from Sunday August 1 through Thursday September 30. Sturgeon angling is prohibited between Marker 82 and Bonneville Dam to protect the Oregon/Washington border above McNary Dam.


  • The colder nearshore water generated by the upwellings kept tuna well off shore. They are still between 30 and 40 miles offshore. Tuna catches landed in ports on the central coast averaged between two and three fish. The good news is the average size of the tuna is up over last year.
  • Fishing for salmon off the Columbia River was good last week with one in four anglers getting a chinook and nine out of 10 getting a coho. Anglers fishing Cape Falcon to the Oregon/Washington border are now allowed to keep up to two chinook salmon in the bag limit. Daily bag limit is now two salmon per day, and all retained coho must have a healed adipose fin clip.
  • The summer halibut season from Cape Falcon to Leadbetter Point, Wash., will open three days a week, Friday-Sunday, Aug. 6 through Sept. 26 or the total sub-area harvest reaches 13,436 pounds. On the Oregon coast south of Humbug Mountain, halibut fishing will be open seven days a week, through Oct. 31.
  • The summer sport all-depth halibut season south of Cape Falcon will be open every other Friday and Saturday from Aug. 6 to Oct. 30 or until the entire sub-area all-depth catch limit of 141,265 pounds of halibut is harvested.
  • The statewide daily bag limit on halibut is one fish, with an annual limit of six fish.
  • Even with the fishery moved in to the 20-fathom line, most anglers reported limits or near limits of rockfish. Only about one in five anglers caught lingcod. The fishery beyond the 20-fathom line (as defined in regulation) is closed to minimize catch-and-release mortality of yelloweye rockfish. Anglers may occasionally catch, but cannot keep, yelloweye rockfish while fishing for other species. Yelloweye, along with canary rockfish, are considered overfished by NOAA Fisheries and a certain percentage of those caught and released must be reported as mortality Yelloweye rockfish generally live in deeper waters so bringing the fishery inside 20 fathoms will protect that population while allowing anglers to continue to fish for other bottomfish such as black rockfish and lingcod.
  • The cabezon fishery closed to retention on July 23 because the harvest cap of 15.8 metric tons was met. Sport boat anglers may continue to harvest other legal species such as black rockfish, lingcod and greenling, while shore anglers may still keep cabezon.
  • Waypoints for the 20-fathom line may be found at

Algae Advisories Lifted At Fishing Lakes

Algae advisories have been lifted at Diamond and Lemolo Lakes in Oregon’s Cascades this week.

Both waters are known for their trout fishing.

“The lake is clear and beautiful; and the fishing remains very good,” says Rick Rockholt in an email sent to reporters this morning.

Diamond had fallen under an advisory July 15, but it was lifted yesterday, Aug. 3.

Lemolo’s, which took effect July 1, was lifted the day before.

Advisories remain in place at Willow Lake, Willow Creek Reservoir, Fish Lake and Fairview Lake, according to Oregon Public Health.

And a mosquito advisory remains at Diamond — Rockholt reports they’re “still out and hungry.”

As for the fishing, he says boat anglers are coming back to shore with limits of 13- to 19-inch rainbows that are biting a variety of baits.

“Trollers are using pulling flashers followed by a red or green wedding rings tipped with chunks  of colored  flatfish.  Late  evening  trollers  pulling dark  colored  flies  75  feet  behind  their  boats  are drawing heavy, rod slapping strikes,” he adds.

Coos Bay Launderers Lead Tuna Classic Series


The Port of Ilwaco was buzzing with excitement as the community rolled out the red carpet in anticipation of the arrival of a record 80 teams of fishermen for the second leg of the Oregon Tuna Classic Tournament Series. Welcome signs were everywhere greeting participants, volunteers and spectators. Community leaders figured 1,600 to 1,800 people were in town for this event which gives a huge boost to the local economy.

The offshore conditions leading up to this event was an issue again and people had their fingers crossed waiting for the announcement on Thursday whether they would be fishing. As the weekend got closer mother nature blessed them with calm seas and plenty of fish. Saturday morning 68 teams motored out of the Ilwaco channel and at the end of a very long day 49 teams handed over 5,505 pounds of fresh albacore to the local food banks of Clatsop County and Ilwaco.

Saturday evening the tent was packed with over 500 people as we crowned a new champion for the Ilwaco leg of the tournament series.

Top honors went to a very deserving team, one that has fished all of the OTC events from the very beginning and one that has been a big supporter of what this is all about. A team we are very proud to crown this year’s top dogs of Ilwaco…Team Just Keep Fishing with 126.25 lbs.


Our second place is on a roll as this is the second time in two events they have made the podium..Team Green Lightning Laundry came in with 122.65lbs. Third place was our port captain and his crew for this event. What a great way for being rewarded for doing an excellent job organizing the logistics for this ports event…Team Key West with 120.30lbs.

The leader in the points standings for the official invite to the IGFA Offshore World Championships is now Team Green Lightning Laundry followed closely by Team Just Keep Fishing and Team Engage.

–Del Stephens

For Want Of 8 Measly Steelhead

Last year’s outlandishly high steelhead catch on the Lower Columbia River was nearly beaten last month.

A preliminary estimate of July 2010’s creel from Bonneville Dam to Astoria shows that anglers kept 8,213 of the hatchery sea-run rainbow trout, eight fewer than the 8,221 bonked in July 2009 — the most since the early 1970s, it’s believed.

But remember, notes Joe Hymer, a fisheries biologist in Vancouver who watches all these numbers like a fish hawk, that the 8,213 figure is not final.

Washington-side bank anglers actually had the best luck this season, keeping 4,110 of the 8,213 while their counterparts standing on the southern shore harvested 1,063. Boat anglers from both states put 3,040 in the fish box.

Both summer’s summer runs have been fueled by very large runs, over 600,000 in 2009 and 197,512 since April 1 as of yesterday, Aug. 2. The 10-year average is 126,081.

Interestingly, over 46 percent of this year’s run so far has been wild steelhead, and Oregon bankies and sledders both released more unclipped fish than they kept.

Since June 16, a total of 10,115 steelhead have been kept, 7,961 released.

Anglers released five times as many sockeye as they kept during that period; retention didn’t begin until June 26, however.

Group Calls For National Lead Sinker, Ammo Ban

As WDFW again mulls banning lead tackle at 13 lakes supporting loons, a petition was filed with the EPA today to get lead out of fishing sinkers and hunting ammunition across the United States.

“Over the past several decades we’ve wisely taken steps to get lead out of our gasoline, paint, water pipes and other sources that are dangerous to people. Now it’s time to get the lead out of hunting and fishing sports to save wildlife from needless poisoning,” said Jeff Miller of the Center for Biological Diversity in a press release, one of five signers of the petition that pins its hopes on the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Lead shot has been banned for waterfowl hunting since the early 1990s (though is still found in the bellies of dead swans and other geese and ducks in Washington’s Skagit Valley), but the New York Times reports that Larry Keane, vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, terms the petition “fundamentally flawed as a matter of science.”

The Associated Press reports that NSSF also calls it “anti-hunting attack on traditional ammunition.”

An online article by Northwest Sportsman gun columnist Dave Workman finds further-reaching effects of lead bans, including “not only much higher ammunition prices, but a dramatic loss of revenue for the Department of Fish & Wildlife, because declining ammunition and tackle sales translates to a decline in federal excise tax revenues, which in turn will result in a decline in federal monies apportioned to this and other states through the Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson federal wildlife and fisheries restoration programs.”

The ban is supported by California hunter Anthony Prieto of Project Gutpile, who calls compliance with his state’s nonlead ammo regulations to protect condors “simple.”

“I still get to hunt, there is no toxic impact on wildlife or my health, and copper bullets shoot better,” he said in the press release.

However, it may be difficult for some hunters to get behind the new petition considering the fact that in late July, the Center called on the Federal government to come up with gray wolf recovery plans throughout the country.

Other petitioners include American Bird Conservancy, Association of Avian Veterinarians and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

Sport use of lead has been an issue in Washington in recent months, vigorously debated online this past winter. That’s when WDFW’s Fish & Wildlife Commission passed on approving rules prohibiting the use of lead weights weighing less than half an ounce or lead jigs measuring less than 1.5 inches to protect loons on 10 lakes in North-central and Northeast Washington and three in Western Washington.

They called for more study to be done, so the agency formed an 11-member advisory committee and held two public meetings this summer.

The AP reports that EPA has 90 days to deny or grant the nationwide petition.

SW WA Fishing Report



Washington Columbia River tributary fall salmon regulations approved during the 2010 North of Falcon Process:

Camas Slough, Drano Lake, Cowlitz, Green (Cowlitz Co.), Toutle (mainstem and North Fork), Washougal, Wind, White Salmon rivers  – New for 2010 – All wild fall chinook (adults and jacks) must be released. Most if not all age classes of returning fall chinook are now mass marked.

Elochoman and Kalama rivers – Like last year, all wild chinook (adults and jacks) must be released.  All ages of returning  fall chinook are mass marked.

Lewis River (including North Fork) – Like last year, hatchery fall chinook may be retained in August and September. Some stray hatchery fall chinook are found in the Lewis River. This  allows opportunity to keep adipose clipped chinook during the hatchery early stock coho fishery.

Beginning October 1, all chinook must be released on the Lewis (including North Fork) and fishing from any floating device will be prohibited on the North Fork Lewis River from Johnson Creek upstream to Colvin Creek.  The wild fall Chinook return to the Lewis in 2010 may just barely meet the 5,700 natural spawn escapement goal.  Recent flooding and poor juvenile production causes some concern for future returns and increases the importance of meeting the goal this year.

Cispus, Cowlitz, Deep, Elochoman, Grays, (including West Fork), Green (Cowlitz Co.), Kalama, Lewis (including North Fork), Tilton, Toutle (including North Fork) and Washougal rivers – Up to six adult hatchery coho may be retained. Based on pre-season ocean-abundance forecasts, hatchery escapement goals are expected to be met.  Tributary sport harvest rates are typically low (<10%).  This regulation will hopefully encourage anglers to fish for and harvest the surplus hatchery coho.

Klickitat River – Up to 6 adult coho may be retained on the Klickitat River.  Not all hatchery coho returning to the Klickitat this fall will be adipose fin clipped hence the any fish.

Harvest of hatchery late stock coho and stray hatchery fall Chinook will be allowed during the winter steelhead season on the Grays River (including West Fork). Adult late stock hatchery coho will begin returning in 2010.  The additional salmon season matches the  existing hatchery winter run steelhead season.  In addition, it allows additional opportunity to harvest stray hatchery fall Chinook.  Fall chinook must be adipose and/or ventral fin clipped to be retained.

Grays (including West Fork) and Elochoman rivers – New for 2010 – The anti-snag rule and night closure begins August 1. Beginning last year, the fall salmon fishery opens one month earlier.  This regulation makes it consistent with the opening date.

Cedar Creek (North Fork Lewis tributary) closed to all fishing in September and October to protect naturally spawning fall Chinook and coho.

Lower Lacamas Creek (Washougal River tributary) from footbridge downstream closed to all fishing beginning in September. Stream flows are increased in the fall when the water behind Round/Lacamas lakes is lowered for annual maintenance on the dam.  This increase in flows sometimes attracts fall Chinook to spawn naturally in the creek.

Fishing report:

Cowlitz River – Fishing is slow.  Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 985 summer-run steelhead, 352 spring Chinook adults, 55 jacks, 122 mini-jacks, four sockeye salmon and three sea-run cutthroat trout during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

Tacoma Power employees released 78 spring Chinook adults and 19 jacks into the upper Cowlitz River at the Skate Creek Bridge in Packwood, Washington, 209 spring Chinook adults and 28 jacks into the Cispus River, and 113 spring Chinook mini-jacks into Riffe Lake at Mossyrock Park during the week.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 3,530 cubic feet per second on Monday August 2. Water visibility is over eleven feet.

Wind River from 400’ below Shipherd Falls downstream – No report on angling success.  Salmon daily limit is 6 fish.  Up to 2 adults may be retained.  Release wild chinook and wild coho.  Anti-snag rule is in effect through October.

Drano Lake – Effort and catch have increased.  There were about 50 boats here last Saturday July 31.  80% of the boat anglers sampled had caught a steelhead though over half the fish were wild and had to be released.

Salmon daily limit is 6 fish.  Up to 2 adults may be retained.  Release wild chinook and wild coho.  Anti-snag rule is in effect through the end of the year.

White Salmon River – Boat anglers are catching some steelhead.

From the powerhouse downstream, the salmon daily limit is 6 fish.  Up to 2 adults may be retained.  Release wild chinook and wild coho.  Anti-snag rule is in effect though the end of the year.

Buoy 10 – Slow on the Aug. 1 opener.  At the ports of Chinook and Ilwaco,  37 boats/105 anglers had 1 chinook.  Daily reports should be available on the department’s web site @

Effective August 1 through August 31 (chinook and coho catch expectation 12,500 and 11,900 fish, respectively), the Columbia River mainstem from Buoy 10 line upstream to the Tongue Point/Rocky Point Line is open for adult chinook (greater than 24 inches), hatchery coho (greater than 16 inches), and hatchery steelhead.  The daily bag limit is two salmon or hatchery steelhead or one of each.  Only one may be a chinook.  Any chinook, adipose fin clipped or not, may be retained.  Wild coho and all other salmon must be released.

During September 1 – December 31, this area will be open to the retention of hatchery coho and hatchery steelhead.  All chinook must be released.

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – During the last six days of July we sampled 1,661 salmonid bank anglers from Bonneville Dam downstream with 1 adult and 1 jack summer Chinook, 463 steelhead, and no sockeye, an average of a salmonid kept/released per every 3.6 rods based on mainly incomplete trips. In addition, we sampled 505 salmonid boat anglers (234 boats) with 3 adult summer Chinook, 203 steelhead, and no sockeye, an average of a salmonid kept/released per every 2.4 rods based on mainly completed trips.  Overall, 25% of the adult Chinook and 63% of the steelhead caught were kept.

On the first day of the fall salmon season (August 1) we sampled 318 salmonid bank anglers from Bonneville Dam downstream with 49 steelhead and no fall chinook or coho,  an average of a salmonid kept/released per every 6.5 rods based on mainly incomplete trips. In addition, we sampled 92 salmonid boat anglers (37 boats) with 24 steelhead and no fall chinook or coho, an average of a salmonid kept/released per every 3.8 rods based on mainly completed trips.  Overall, 75% of the steelhead caught were kept.

Effective August 1 through December 31 (chinook catch expectation 17,200) the Columbia River mainstem from the Tongue Point/Rocky Point Line upstream to Bonneville Dam is open for fall chinook, hatchery coho, and hatchery steelhead.  The daily limit is 6 fish.  Up to two may be adult salmon or hatchery steelhead or one of each.  Only one may be a chinook.  Any chinook, adipose fin clipped or not, may be retained.  Wild coho and all other salmon must be released.

Beginning September 12, chinook retention will be prohibited from the Tongue Point/Rocky Point Line upstream to a line projected from Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Oregon shore to Red Buoy #4 to the orange marker atop the dolphin on the lower end of Bachelor Island on the Washington shore.

Bonneville Pool – Very windy last weekend with just 4 boats off the White Salmon River and 8 off Drano Lake.

The Dalles Pool – Including fish released, bank anglers averaged 2/3 fish per rod.  Most of the catch were wild steelhead that had to be released.

John Day Pool – Very light effort and no catch was observed.

Effective August 1 through December 31 (chinook catch expectation 2,500), the mainstem Columbia from Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam is open for fall chinook, coho, and hatchery steelhead.  Daily limit is 6 fish.  Up to two may be adult salmon or hatchery steelhead or one of each.  Any chinook, adipose fin clipped or not, may be retained.  Wild coho must be released between Bonneville Dam and the Hood River Bridge.  All other salmon must be released.

Night closure and anti-snag rule is in effect for salmon and steelhead through mid October.


Lower Columbia from the Wauna powerlines downstream – At the Deep River and Knappton ramps, boat anglers averaged 0.74 legals kept per boat.  Bank anglers sampled in the estuary did not catch any fish. The ports of Chinook and Ilwaco data should be picked up later today.

All sturgeon must be released through the end of the year.

Lower Columbia from the Wauna powerlines to Marker 82 – A few legals were caught by boat anglers in the Kalama to Cathlamet area.   Above Wauna powerlines is closed to white sturgeon retention until October 1.

John Day Pool – Catch and release only.  Boat anglers averaged a sturgeon for every 6.1 hours fished.


The Dalles Pool – The few boat anglers sampled did not catch any walleye.

John Day Pool – Boat anglers averaged over a walleye kept/released per rod.  In addition, walleye anglers handled nearly 2 bass per rod.


Mayfield Lake and Swofford Pond – Light effort and catch.

Riffe Lake – The fishery for landlocked coho has slowed.