Category Archives: Industry News

Northwest Winners At ICAST

Two Northwest fishing tackle manufacturers won best of show awards at the recently concluded ICAST Show in Las Vegas.

Southwest Washington rodmakers Lamiglas won top honors in the rod and reel category for its part in a joint venture with two other U.S. companies on the Fishouflage Bass fishing combo, and G.Loomis took overall best of show and best freshwater rod for its NRX fly rod.

Lamiglas, based in Woodland, built the Fishouflage rod while Ardent, of Macon, Missouri, supplied the baitcasting reel and Outdoor Identities of Greenville, Wisc., creator and licensee of Fishouflage angler patterns which are derived from the freshwater aquatic environment, provided the finish.

The rod is constructed upon a 7-foot, fast-action Certified Pro XC 704 blank. Lamiglas’ most popular bass fishing rod, a custom split-grip handle design advances performance while the Fishouflage Bass finish creates a distinct identity.

John Posey, Lamiglas’ National Sales Manager, sees expanding opportunities for U.S. manufactured products.

“The value proposition continues to change at a rapid rate,” said Posey, “The incredible price differences that used to exist between domestic and imported product have narrowed dramatically. While avid anglers have always shown a preference for the technically-precise performance of U.S. manufactured Lamiglas rods, we’re now able to compete in the mid-range price points that have been driven up by the rising costs of overseas manufacturing.”

The Fishouflage Bass pattern cosmetically richens and unifies the Ardent and Lamiglas product. A mixture of green reeds and coontail, combined with broken grey and brown logs, laid over a natural background, the images of trophy bass hidden in the background are the icing on the cake.

“Our company is driven by identity,” explained Paul Bernegger, president of Outdoor Identities. “Fishouflage patterns serve a consumer base that prides itself on rugged independence. There’s nothing more independent than the American spirit that is the cornerstone of the Ardent, Lamiglas and Fishouflage brands.”

Another big winner was the Stormsuit FXE, which won Best of Show in the Apparel category, made by Frabill, a large advertiser in Northwest Sportsman.

Designed by Chris Leonard, an independent engineer based in Central Minnesota, the jacket-and-bib set builds upon his Snosuit, considered by some to be the benchmark in cold-weather gear for ice fishermen, and is Frabill’s first for open water fishing.

The biggest difference between the two suits, says Leonard, is that input from a team of 50 anglers – including Al Lindner – engineers and Frabill staffers went into refining the original design into the final waterproof, windproof, breathable shell sealed by DuPont™ Teflon® fabric protector.

“A lot of attention went into sealing this suit up to entry points for water,” he says.

Leonard also borrowed an idea from his firefighting gear – he’s a volunteer for the Crosslake Fire Department – for the Stormsuit’s bibs. “A cam buckle allows you to get in and out of the suit without having to unbuckle.”

But perhaps the Stormsuit’s most innovative design can be found at the crotch.

“Our patent-pending design … is a completely waterproof crotch and you’re able to take a pit stop without taking everything off,” Leonard says.

Think of the latter feature as dry-bag technology meets elephant trunk.

“Unroll the tube, pee, roll up and velcro back up,” he says. “Frabill broke the mold with this design.”

Other ICAST New Product Showcase Award Winners included:

Electronics: Lowrance-Navico for the Lowrance Elite-5 DSI

Eyewear: Maui Jim Sunglasses for the Guy Harvey Collection

Fishing Accessory: Adventure Products, Inc. for the EGO S2 Slider Landing Net

Giftware: Boating Expressions, Inc. for the Fishfenders

Kids Tackle: Pure Fishing for the Pflueger-Spinning Combo-Apprentice

Line: Rapala for the Sufix 832 Advanced Superline

Soft Lure: Koppers Fishing & Tackle Corporation for the Live Target Hollow Body Frog

Hard Lure: Shimano American Corporation for the Waxwing Sub-Surface Swimming Jig

Marine: Minn Kota-Johnson Outdoors, Inc. for the Talon-Shallow Water Anchor

Freshwater Reel: Shimano American Corporation for the Stella FE

Saltwater Reel: Shimano American Corporation for the Trinidad A

Saltwater Rod: Shimano American Corporation for the Terez

Tackle Management: HYI, Inc. for the Openwater Tackle

BackpackTerminal Tackle: Sebile Innovative Fishing for the Soft Weight System

Pautzke Adds 5th Color in Nectar Line

Pautzke Bait Company announced today that it’s adding a fifth color to its Nectar line of liquid bait enhancement products, just in time for the height of summer steelhead and salmon fishing seasons.

“Due to high demand … we’ve decided to come out with purple Nectar,” says Chris Shaffer, the Ellensburg, Wash., company’s director of operations, in an email to outdoor media. “It’ll be ready to ship and available in about two to three weeks.”

Other colors already available include original (red), blue, yellow and orange.

Nectar is made from cooked salmon eggs — the natural juice that runs off the Pautzke patented egg-cooking process — and can be squirted straight onto bait and lures or soaked in baits. In areas where chumming is legal the Nectar is often mixed in with sour milk, grains and bran.

“It’s no different than the other Nectars,” says Shaffer of the new shade, “but does do a great job dying things purple, i.e. prawns, coon shrimp, anchovies, herring, octopus, alewives, etc. Those of you fishing inland Chinook in California can use it to dye and scent the baits you are trolling for kings too.”

The addition should help anglers otherwise trying to create purple tint by mixing other colors.

WA Special Hunt Permit Aps, Sales Up Sharply

Earlier today we posted news that WDFW’s fishing license revenues jumped by over $2 million in the 2009-10 license year as the agency sold nearly 940,000 freshwater, saltwater, combo, shellfish and other permits.

A reader on our Facebook page wondered about how special hunting permit sales went, so we got back with a source at WDFW who just emailed us this:

“I’m pleased to tell you that we sold 230,000 special hunt permits this year, raising $1.1 million,” says Craig Bartlett, a spokesman in Olympia. “That’s up from 125,000 permits and $654,000 last year.”

Applicants are now allowed to make more choices than ever when applying to hunt deer, elk and other big game. In previous years, hunters could only apply for all deer — buck or antlerless — on one application, but this year, they could apply for bucks on one, antlerless on another.

Each application costs $6.50 for residents, $4.10 for youth under 16 years of age and $60.50 for non-residents.

“All of those additional revenues will be used to increase hunter access to private lands and improve habitat for game animals,” WDFW game division manager Dave Ware said. “We’ve already started working with landowners around the state to achieve those goals.”

Bartlett promises a news release later today.

WDFW Coffers Get Boost During Recession

Just as their angling brethren south of the Columbia took to the water when the economy tanked, so too did Washington fishermen — and WDFW’s coffers benefitted by a couple million bucks.

A whopping 939,455 bought fishing permits of all kinds during the April 1, 2009-March 31, 2010 license year, a 14 percent jump over the year before, and the most going back to at least 2001-2002, according to state figures obtained by Northwest Sportsman today.

“Whether that’s due to the economy, a new-found appreciation of fishing or a combination of factors is anyone’s guess,” says WDFW spokesman Craig Bartlett in Olympia.

While the statewide unemployment rate in 2009 was 8.9 percent, last summer saw very large returns of pink salmon to Puget Sound, coho to the Skagit River, and silvers and steelhead to the Columbia River system.

In fact, so many steelies returned to the upper Columbia and Southeast Washington that fishery managers required anglers keep every single hatchery fish they caught on the former and boosted limits to five a day on the latter.

Oregon, of course, shared in much of that same fishing bounty, and ODFW also saw best-of-the-decade freshwater resident fishing license sales during the state’s Jan. 1-Dec. 31 license year.

Even with unemployment as high as 11.6 percent, the agency sold 303,267, 30,000 more than the next closest year, 2007, when unemployment bottomed out in the low 5s, and 50,000 more than the lowest license sales year, 2005, when 6 percent were laid off.

Interestingly, the 2005-06 license year also saw the lowest sales of the decade in Washington too, 768,593, according to state stats.

The Idaho Department of Fish & Game reported their highest fishing license sales since 1999, nearly 473,600 last year as well.

The nearly 940,000 licenses Washington sold include freshwater, saltwater, combo, shellfish and other permits, and raised $20.4 million, nearly $2 million more than the next closest year, 2004-05, and $2.7 million more than 2009-09. A 10 percent surcharge approved by the state Legislature that went into effect late last July probably contributed to the total, though how much is unclear.

In WDFW’s $432 million 2007-09 operating and capital budgets, user fees such as commercial and recreational fishing and hunting licenses, fines and forfeitures, etc., contributed $65.8 million. The Federal government pumped in $128.7 million, the state general fund $110.4 million, and the balance came from local revenues, bonds and other sources.

Commercial and recreational fishing and hunting license fees,
fines and forfeitures, and miscellaneous revenue.

Group Hails ‘Salmon Stimulus Plan’

It wasn’t just ODFW that benefited financially from increased fish runs in the Northwest. A regional angling organization says the “Salmon Stimulus Plan” has helped out a number of businesses during otherwise difficult economic times.

“Boat sales are improving, which is helping regional boat builders and dealers,” says the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association. “Retail tackle sales have been brisk. Rod, reel and tackle manufacturers are ramping up, adding workforce and looking forward to a much better year. And fishing guides, hotels, restaurants have all been the beneficiaries of fishing opportunity that provided much-needed stimulus to those businesses that depend on salmon and steelhead fishing opportunity around the region.”

While 2009 saw Oregon unemployment as high as 11.6 percent, according to the state Employment Department, ODFW sold the most fishing licenses of the decade, 303,267, 30,000 more than the next closest year, 2007, when unemployment bottomed out in the low 5s, we reported in May.

According to the press release, one two-store Portland outdoors store began “seeing significant gains in business volume” around the time the Buoy 10 Chinook and coho fishery at the mouth of the Columbia started picking up steam.

“It really hasn’t slowed down,” added Dan Grogan, president of Fisherman’s Marine & Outdoor, in a press release statement. “Fall fishing was OK, but the winter steelhead fishery this past January, February and March along with the anticipation of a large return of spring Chinook kept people coming through our doors and spending money. I can’t stress how important these fisheries are to our business and all of our vendors’ businesses … it’s huge.”

As for boat sales, uncertainty with the spring Chinook fishery last year combined with a severe economic downturn produced a “punishing one-two blow” to Stevens Marine in Portland, said president Paul Mayer.

“The fact is, that when there’s meaningful fishing opportunity for salmon and steelhead in the Northwest we sell boats – lots of them,” he stated in the release.

The same good fishing last summer seems to have carried over to this year and has anglers thinking about buying boats again, Mayer said.

“Followed by the news that spring Chinook fishing was expected to be good – that really tipped the market over and we’ve seen a much better business climate and results in 2010 than we had in 2009,” he said.

This year’s expectations are also high, starting with the first Chinook fishery in two years off most of the Oregon coast, a very large forecasted summer steelhead run up the Columbia as well as over a month of fishing for summer kings in the big river.

“We’ve dubbed this year ‘The salmon stimulus plan,’ thanks to consistently good fishing that is putting hundreds of people back to work and creating important business opportunities that had been lost the past couple of years,” said Liz Hamilton, NSIA’s executive director.

She hoped Oregon legislators would see the economic benefits the fisheries were generating, “literally tens of millions of dollars to this state and millions more in added tax base, and move quickly to assure the future of these iconic Columbia Basin salmon runs that feed so many communities.”

Hamilton said the state’s leadership in pushing for spilling more water in the Columbia River to aid the downstream passage of salmon and steelhead smolts and fishing policies and seasons that produce big returns “really does pay off.”

NSIA Psyched For Summer Kings — And Not Just The Fishing

(NORTHWEST SPORTFISHING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION PRESS RELEASE)

On June 16, the mainstem Columbia River from the Astoria Bridge at the mouth to Priest Rapids Dam will open for a full season of summer Chinook fishing with a mark select fishery that is scheduled to last through the opening of the Fall Chinook fishery on August l.

In a mark-select fishery, hatchery fish-which have had their adipose fin removed-may be retained. Wild summer Chinook will be release unharmed. This will not only provide more protection of wild fish, mark-select fisheries nearly double the length of the time sport anglers can spend on the water.

Because of low return numbers, sport fishing for summer Chinook ended in 1974 and did not reopen until 2002. In 2005, the states agreed to a fishery that was catch and kill of wild summer Chinook. That decision was opposed by NSIA and the majority of sport clubs, but supported by the gillnet fleet.

NSIA has since advocated that anglers voluntarily release wild summer Chinook, and retain the adipose marked hatchery salmon, while urging the responsible agencies to prohibit retention of wild summer Chinook.

In 2002, a selective sport season provided the Northwest with the economic and cultural benefits of nearly 55,000 angler trips in less than six weeks. In contrast, the catch-and-kill wild fish policy in effect in 2007 translated into 28,000 angler trips.

Mark-select fisheries can help keep hatchery fish off spawning beds, provide more protections to wild fish and dramatically increase the economic benefits sport fisheries provide to communities.

Today’s summer Chinook are remnants of a huge race of salmon, once known as “June Hogs” for their size and strength. June Hogs, known to reach up to 70 pounds, were nearly eliminated when most of their spawning and rearing grounds were blocked by the building of the Grand Coulee Dam and from overfishing.

“It’s gratifying to know that in 2010, more wild summer Chinook will reach their spawning beds in the upper Columbia and its tributaries. Some of these mighty salmon enter the Columbia in May and June and end up spawning in Canada via the Okanogan River. It’s a real testament to the tenacity of wild fish and their genetics” said Liz Hamilton, executive director of the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association.

Buzz Ramsey, brand manager for Yakima Bait, added, “Although summer Chinook come in all sizes, they often average 25 to 35 pounds and can reach weights of 40 pounds or more. These salmon pass close to the homes of many Northwest residents, sustaining rural jobs as they move up the Columbia. And summer Chinook are accessible to those fishing from the bank or a boat. Since the reopening of this fishery in 2002 after a 29-year fishing closure, this has become a favorite fishery for many Northwest residents, including me and my family!”

Hamilton finished: “Given the unemployment rates in Oregon and Washington, having a full summer Chinook fishery, followed on August 1, by nearly three-quarters of a million fall Chinook, returns will punctuate that sportfishing means business. Policies that create full sport fisheries sustain jobs in every corner of the Northwest.”

2 More Scientists Join NSIA Board

(NORTHWEST SPORTFISHING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION PRESS RELEASE)

Retired scientists, Dr. Douglas DeHart and Dan Diggs have been appointed to the Science and Policy Board for the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association (NSIA), bringing the number of science professionals to six.

The newly expanded advisory board lends accumulative career experience of over 230 years in natural resource and fishery management expertise to NSIA.

The Science and Policy Board advises the Board, staff and Government Affairs directors on the scientific and regulatory management implications prior to the development of industry policy positions.  NSIA science advisors are unpaid volunteers.

Dan Diggs joins NSIA after a 35-year career at US Fish and Wildlife Service, retiring as the Fisheries Program Assistant Regional Director responsible for all aspects of Fisheries Program in Pacific Region.  Of great value to NSIA is his most recent focus on hatchery reform efforts throughout the Northwest, Columbia River Basin endangered species adjudication issues, development of National Fish Habitat initiatives in the Northwest, U.S. vs. Oregon policy issues, and as the FWS representative to the Columbia Basin Federal Caucus.

Mr. Digg’s latest honor was the February 2010 Oregon Chapter of American Fisheries Society’s Award of Merit for career long advancement of the principles of science in managing fisheries programs.

Dan is married, an avid angler and conservationist, with two sons and three grandchildren.

Dr. Douglas DeHart is a familiar face in Oregon natural resource management with 35 years of state and federal fishery agency experience, much of that in the Columbia Basin.

Dr. DeHart received his B.S. in Biology from Harvard University, M.S. in Fisheries from Oregon State University, and Ph.D. in Fisheries from the University of Washington.  His expertise spans fishery research, hatchery operations and reforms, and habitat restoration programs.

Career positions have included fishery research coordinator for the Corps of Engineers Portland, Bioengineering Chief for National Marine Fisheries Service, Chief of Fisheries for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and senior fishery biologist at the US Fish and Wildlife Service. He has special expertise in the design, operation, and evaluation of fish passage and screening facilities and was recently appointed by the Director to the Fish Screening Task Force for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Doug is an avid boater, has two grown sons, and maintains a small consulting firm in Oregon City.

Chair and coordinator of NSIA’s Science and Policy Board, Rod Sando welcomed the two new partners.

“It is a pleasure to apply our collective experience and knowledge to an organization at the forefront of fishery management issues in the northwest.  We welcome these extremely competent people to the science board.  This greatly strengthens the qualifications on the NSIA bench, enabling us to be even more effective in the future,”  said Sando.

June Shooting Events In NE WA Announced

Billed as the 1st Annual Northeast Washington Ultimate Shooting Events, the public is invited to a weekend of shooting competition and instruction June 13 in Colville, while members of a local NWTF chapter can also compete in a weekend-long coyote hunt in Stevens, Ferry and Pend Oreille Counties with cash prizes plus a raffle varmint rifle.

Sponsored by the Colville Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Remington Arms, Marlin Firearms and Washington For Wildlife, the shooting events will be held at the Colville Gun Club.

“The purpose of this event is to provide fun and exciting events for all levels and types of shooters,” says a press release sent out by one of the organizers, Dale Denney of Bearpaw Outfitters.

Burgers, drinks and snacks will be sold by a local 4-H shooting team which is raising money to compete at
the National 4-H Shooting Competition in late June.

If you preregister by June 7th, it’s free and insures your entry in the free events, and if you participate in at least one of the Remington shooting events and are present for the drawing at 5:00 p.m. June 13, you
will be eligible to win a $100 early bird prize.

The coyote hunt features cash prizes for the four teams who turn in the most coyotes while all participants have a chance to win a Remington Tactical Varmint Rifle donated by Remington Arms.

Coyote hunters who pre-register by June 7 will also be eligible to win the $100 Early Bird Raffle. To compete, you must be a member of the Colville chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation and register by 9 p.m. Friday, June 11. Late entries will not be accepted. Interested hunters are encouraged to join the Colville Chapter; membership is only $50.

The lineup includes:

Coyote Hunting Competition
When: June 12-13
Cost: Free, but Colville NWTF chapter membership required (join for $50)
Where: Hunt anywhere in Stevens, Ferry and Pend Oreille Counties
Prizes: Remington Varmint Rifle, cash for top 4 teams, $100 early bird raffle
More info: http://colvillenwtf.com/coyotecontest.html

Remington / Marlin Free Shooting Events
When: June 13
Cost: Free
Where: Colville Gun Club (3 mile east of Colville on Highway 20)
Prizes: Remington baseball caps and promotional gear
More info: http://hunt.info/shootingcontest.html

Ultimate Shooting Competition
When: June 13
Cost: $20 per event (categories: pistol, rifle, bow, muzzleloader, shotgun)
Where: Colville Gun Club (3 mile east of Colville on Highway 20)
Prizes: 70% cash payback on each 4- or 5-person event, 5% Ultimate Shooter Cash Purse from all events.
More info: http://hunt.info/shootingcontest.html

Remington / Marlin Free Shooting Clinic
When: June 13
Cost: Free
Where: Colville Gun Club (3 mile east of Colville on Hwy 20)
Prizes: None, this is an opportunity for individuals to learn how to shoot Remington guns and ammo under professional supervision.
More info: http://hunt.info/shootingcontest.html

Mixed News On Boat Sales Front

Boat buying tanked when the recession bit in the Northwest — but hope is on the horizon for dealers.

New figures from the National Marine Manufacturers Association show that new jet, inboard and outboard boats, engines, trailers and accessory sales dropped 13.3 percent in Alaska between 2008 and 2009, 15.9 percent in Washington, 18.3 percent in Idaho, 18.7 percent in Oregon and 21.2 percent in Montana.

“Last year was the worst year of all time,” said one salesman who calls on numerous boat dealers around the Northwest.

That said, first quarter 2010 data from NMMA also shows a nationwide slowing in the sales declines of new powerboats – down 12 percent compared to a decline of 35 percent during the first quarter 2009 – as well as a 2 percent increase in boat services such as repairs/services, storage, insurance, taxes and interest payments worth $6.3 billion.

Sales of pre-owned powerboats increased 7.7 percent to 780,300 and increased 5.4 percent in dollars for a retail value of $8.5 billion in 2009 too.

Leading this new-boat sales recovery are small aluminum outboard boats, says a press release from NMMA. Sales of those in the 18-foot range increased 30 percent during the first quarter 2010.

The jump is said to provide an early indicator that a recovery in new boat sales is coming — though the rise was most pronounced east of the Rockies.

“Consumer spending and consumer confidence increases in March and April have helped boost new aluminum outboard powerboat sales, leading a recovery for the recreational boating industry as overall new powerboat sales declines slow,” says Thom Dammrich, president of NMMA, in a press release. “This growth can signal a return of the entry-level boater and the outdoors enthusiast and angler to boating and overall growing trend in fishing.”

The top ten states for aluminum boat sales last year were, in order, Texas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois and Georgia.

“We anticipate 2010 new powerboat sales to remain flat with 2009 as the economic indicators that impact our industry – consumer confidence, housing and credit markets, as well as unemployment— start to improve and open the door for boat sales to begin increasing in 2011 and 2012,” notes Dammrich. “The growth in the aluminum outboard boat market is consistent with recent trends showing increased fishing license sales and is an indicator of the beginning of a turnaround for new boat sales. Consumer spending has been increasing for seven months and recreational boating will get its share of new consumer spending as the economy continues to recover.”

That would be good news for Northwest boat dealers such as Three Rivers Marine & Tackle, Auburn Sports & Marine, Master Marine, Boat Country, Bob Feil, Lake Union Sea Ray, Verle’s and Valley Marine in Washington and Stevens Marine, Sigler’s Marine and Y Marine in Oregon, among other outlets for Wooldridges, Alumawelds, Hewescraft, Arimas and more.

Washington boaters of all types spent $338,733,741 on their watercraft, engines, trailers and more in 2009, down from $402,881,675 in 2008 and well off 2005’s $638,026,034.

Oregon recorded $148,255,108 in sales last year, down from $182,273,601 the previous year and a high of $404,682,021 in 2004.

However, at the same time, Beaver State anglers didn’t let the recession stop them from fishing. They purchased over 303,000 licenses in 2009 , the most in the 2000s, despite unemployment of up to 11.2 percent.

Elsewhere in the region, California boat and accessory sales were off by nearly 30 percent, Utah’s by 33.8 percent.

In the national survey, only one state, Iowa, showed an increase last year, up 3.5 percent.

Sig Sauer Joins Ranks Of Many NWS Advertisers On Facebook

With the mushrooming growth of Facebook, it should come as no surprise that those in the fishing and hunting world are showing up on the site. For instance, Northwest Sportsman.

We joined back in February, but this past weekend, SIG SAUER officially got on board. The New Hampshire-based company, which makes firearms for military, law enforcement and commercial use, and which advertises in our magazine, made the announcement during last weekend’s NRA annual meeting in Charlotte.

“With the explosion of Social Media over the past few years as a way to directly interact with your customers, a decision was made at SIG SAUER to join the revolution and open a Facebook Fan Page,” the company said in a press release. “The goal of the page is to create a place for fans to interact directly with the company and with other enthusiasts, where they can discuss and review SIG’s various products, its shooting team, Academy and learn about upcoming events.”

Bud Fini, SIG SAUER’s vice president of marketing said his company’s excited about tapping into the site.

“Companies around the world are beginning to realize the benefits of connecting directly with their customers through social media platforms, including Facebook,” he says.

You can find their fan page by typing in SIGSAUERInc on Facebook’s search page.

And that got us to wondering, what other Northwest Sportsman advertisers could you can find on Facebook? So we started punching in company names and found:

Pautzke Bait Company

Three Rivers Marine & Tackle

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Dick Nite Spoons

Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association

Brandon Glass of Team Hook-up Guide Service

Ocean Charters

Victoronix

Plano

Pavati Marine

Stevens Marine

Lyons Ferry Marina

Honda Marine

Rockaway Beach, Oregon

Nootka Sound Resort

Wooldridge

Clackacraft

Michelle Nelson Taxidermy

Wholesale Sports

Benchmade

Doug’s Boats & Outdoor

Bearpaw Outfitters

Bonneville Power Administration

Silverthorn Resort

Shandy & Sons Charters

Wild Strawberry Lodge/Alaska Premier Charters

Togiak River Lodge

Fred Meyer