Tag Archives: fish

Completed RMEF-WDFW Merrill Lake Acquisition Highlights Value Of ‘Partnership … Collaboration, Shared Conservation Values’

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK FOUNDATION

An effort to permanently protect 1,453 acres of prime wildlife and riparian habitat in Washington is complete after the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation recently conveyed the final parcels of land to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

AN IMAGE FROM THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK FOUNDATION SHOWS SOME OF THE LAND AROUND MERRILL LAKE. (RMEF)

The Merrill Lake project is now in the public’s hands and open for hunters, anglers and others to use and enjoy. To date, RMEF and WDFW completed 16 land protection projects.

“Nearly seven years in the making, this is a win for conservation, wildlife and a big win for public access,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “We appreciate the good work of our partners at WDFW for the work it took to acquire state grant funding to complete the three phases of this project. We also appreciate and recognize the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office for funding to make this a reality.”

“This acquisition is a great example of partnership and collaboration in service of shared conservation values. It received tremendous public support and funding,” said Kessina Lee, WDFW southwest Washington regional director. “With its unique combination of listed species, unusual geology, spectacular falls, artesian springs and other features, this is a unique opportunity to address ecological, recreational and educational goals, and provide landscape scale connectivity of forested lands in conservation. WDFW appreciates the work of RMEF and the partnership to acquire this property.”

ANOTHER RMEF IMAGE SHOWS A WATERFALL ON THE UPPER KALAMA RIVER IN THE PROJECT AREA. (RMEF)

In late 2012, RMEF began work with Merrill Lake Properties LLC and WDFW to initiate the first phase of the project acquiring 297 acres at the foot of Mount St. Helens that also included Merrill Lake’s northern shoreline.

In late 2016, RMEF and WDFW completed another phase that came short of acquiring the entire property. With time running short due to a purchase deadline, RMEF stepped up to acquire the additional acreage saving it from the potential of development.

“This is a critically important project because of the diversity of habitat and the species that benefit from it,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “It includes both old growth tree stands and early seral forest growth that provide winter range and year-round habitat for elk. It also benefits black-tailed deer, black bears, cougars, salmon and steelhead.”

In addition to funding from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program managed by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, generous RMEF donors made the final transaction possible.

Washington Gillnet, Fee Hike Bills Set For Public Hearings In Oly

With few new fish- or wildlife-related bills introduced in Washington’s halls of power, it was a nice, slow week for the Olympia Outsider™ to recover from last week’s grievous shoulder owie (and get into rehab for his little muscle relaxant habit).

BILLS ADDRESSING SALMON HATCHERIES, SALMON HABITAT, SALMON PREDATORS AND SALMON CATCHING ARE ACTIVE IN WASHINGTON’S STATE LEGISLATURE.,  (NMFS)

Most of the action came as senators and representatives held public hearings on previously submitted legislation or lawmakers amended bills, including one addressing in part the game fish status of walleye, bass and channel catfish, or gave them do-pass recommendations.

One bill of note was dropped, SB 5824 from Sen. Doug Eriksen, a different take on recovering southern resident killer whales.

“Tearing down dams, major land grabs and land-use restrictions are not the answer,” the Ferndale Republican said in a press release out yesterday. “A more robust hatchery system not only would mean more food for orcas, but also more opportunities for commercial and recreational fishermen, more tourism, and more good-paying jobs in our communities.”


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It would fund construction of a new public-private facility on Bellingham’s waterfront that would operate similar to how some in Alaska are, self-funded through the sale of returning adult pink and coho salmon, as serve as a test for more expansive use of nonstate hatcheries.

At this writing the bill hadn’t been assigned a hearing, nor had another new one (SB 5871) reauthorizing the Columbia River endorsement fee or a third addressing state land management (HB 1983).

Assuming the Great Glacier doesn’t surge out of the Great White North and shove Washington’s capitol into Black Lake over the next few snowy days, next week could still be an interesting one for watchers of state politics, as well as even the occasionally attentive Olympia Outsider™.

The nontribal gillnet phaseout and WDFW’s fee hike bills will be heard before both chambers’ natural resource committees, and who knows what other legislation is waiting in the wings.

Here’s more on those and other bills that are showing signs of life, though sadly the one designating Bainbridge Island (The Wolfiest!™) a sanctuary for wolves has not followed the lead of Punxsutawney Phil and reared its head above ground in any committee yet.

SALMON

Bill title: “Banning the use of nontribal gill nets,” SB 5617
Status: After garnering cosponsorship from 27 of Washington’s 49 state senators at its late January introduction, it is slated for a 1:30 public hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Sportfishing groups like NSIA are calling it a “historic bill” and are urging members to bundle up, chain up, and snowshoe their way to Room 3 of the J.A. Cherberg Building to sign in as “pro.”

LICENSES

Bill title: “Concerning recreational fishing and hunting licenses,” HB 1708 / SB 5692
Status: With a letter of support from 13 state sporting and conservation groups, WDFW’s fee hike bill has been scheduled for a 10 a.m. Feb. 15 public hearing before the House Committee on Rural Development, Agriculture, & Natural Resources, which should provide an even better gauge for how much support it has.

Bill title: “Broadening the eligibility for a reduced recreational hunting and fishing license rate for resident disabled hunters and fishers,” HB 1230
Status: Lawmakers liked this bill, which would set the cost of licenses for resident sportsmen with a permanent disability confirmed by a doctor, a physician’s assistant or a nurse practitioner at half what Washington hunters and anglers pay, giving it a unanimous do-pass recommendation out of House Committee on Rural Development, Agriculture, & Natural Resources. Next stop: House Appropriations.

ORCAS

Bill title: “Implementing recommendations of the southern resident killer whale task force related to increasing chinook abundance,” HB 1579 / SB 5580
Status: While primarily addressing hydraulic code enforcement and saltwater forage fish habitat, a portion targeting walleye, bass and channel catfish for declassification was amended to retain game fish status but directing the Fish and Wildlife Commission to liberalize limits on the species where they swim with salmon this week by the House Rural Development, Agriculture, & Natural Resource.

Bill Title: “Concerning the protection of southern resident orca whales from vessels,” HB 1580 / SB 5577
Status: Had a public hearing before the House Committee on Rural Development, Agriculture, & Natural Resources and is scheduled for an executive session next week.

Bill title: “Addressing the impacts of pinnipeds on populations of threatened southern resident orca prey,” HB 1824
Status: This bill directing WDFW to apply to NOAA for a permit to take out the maximum number of sea lions to increase salmon survival for orcas has been scheduled for an 8 a.m. Feb. 14 public hearing with the House Committee on Environment & Energy.

HUNTING

Bill title: “Concerning visible clothing requirements for hunting,” SB 5148
Status: Hunter pink received a unanimous do-pass recommendation from the Senate Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks Committee and was sent to Rules Committee where it’s set for a second reading before placement on the Senate Floor calendar.

WILDLIFE

Bill title: “Concerning wildlife damage to agricultural crops,” HB 1875
Status: Dropped this week by a pair of elk country lawmakers, Reps. Eslick and Dent, this bill changing who is on the hook for agricultural damage from deer and wapiti from hunters to the state general fund is scheduled for a 10 a.m. Feb 15 hearing before the House Committee on Rural Development, Agriculture, & Natural Resources.

PREDATORS

Bill title: “Establishing a nonlethal program within the department of fish and wildlife for the purpose of training dogs,” SB 5320
Status: Enjoyed a lot of supportive baying during a public hearing and the Senate Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks Committee gave it a 6-1 do-pass recommendation and sent it to Rules for a second reading. House version (HB 1516) receives a public hearing today.

OTHER

Bill title: “Designating the Pacific razor clam as the state clam,” HB 1061
Status: Could get a “show” of hands, or at least ayes and nays, after a Feb. 15 executive session in the House Committee on State Government & Tribal Relations.

Bill title: “Concerning payments in lieu of real property taxes,” HB 1662 / SB 5696
Status: Received public hearings in both chambers, with wide support for changing how counties are reimbursed for lands WDFW wildlife area acquisitions take off property tax rolls. Scheduled for an executive session with the House Committee on Rural Development, Agriculture, & Natural Resources next week.

Bill title: “Ensuring compliance with the federal clean water act by prohibiting certain discharges into waters of the state,” HB 1261 / SB 5322
Status: Public hearings held in both chambers’ environmental committees on this bill addressing suction and other mining in critical salmon habitat, with executive session scheduled by the House panel next week.

ALSO ACTIVE

SB 5404, “Expanding the definition of fish habitat enhancement projects,” would include eel grass beds, scheduled for an executive session by Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks this afternoon, assuming Snowmaggedon The Reckoning stays away.

HB 1341, “Concerning the use of unmanned aerial systems near certain protected marine species,” given a do-pass recommendation by House Committee on Innovation, Technology & Economic Development and sent to Rules 2 Review

SB 5525, “Concerning whitetail deer population estimates,” addresses Northeast Washington herds, scheduled for a 1:30 p.m., Feb. 14 public hearing before Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks

Chance To Chat With WDFW Bios, Managers On Region 2 Fish, Wildlife Issues

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

Residents of northcentral Washington interested in fish and wildlife issues can talk with local Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) staff at a public meeting Tuesday, Sept. 19 in Pateros.

The meeting is scheduled from 68 p.m., at the Howard*s on the River Central Building, 233 Lakeshore Drive.

(ANDY WALGAMOTT)

WDFW Northcentral Region Director Jim Brown said the last few years of wildfires, drought, and low fish returns have affected fish and wildlife populations and the local fishing and hunting economy.

These trends have challenged area residents and WDFW resource managers alike, he said.

“This is an informal opportunity to talk with our fish and wildlife biologists and enforcement officers about these issues, whether they relate to post-wildfire habitat recovery, this summer’s new wild chinook salmon fishery, or other concerns area residents might have,” Brown said.

Brown said WDFW staff will provide updates on some issues, but that most of the meeting will be dedicated to questions, comments and discussion with attendees.

WDFW’s Northcentral Region includes Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan counties.

ARSC announces Costa Rica expansion!

Merry and I would like to officially announce that we are the new owners of the Sportfishing operation Pelagic Pursuits Costa Rica and the 31′ Luhrs Go Fish.  The boat is located at the world renowned Los Suenos Marina and Resort near Jaco, Costa Rica on the central pacific coast.
We now offer Offshore fishing for Sailfish, Blue Marlin, Black Marlin, Stripe Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, Dorado, and Wahoo. If Inshore fishing is your game then you’ll love the Rooster fish, Cubera, Grouper, Jacks, Snook, and Tarpon.
Together with Captain Randall, mates Luis and Abrancy, we plan to offer our clients, friends, and family the same quality of experience we’re known for in the PNW! You can also expect to see and use the best products from Okuma, Raymarine, Tuf-line, P-line, and more.
Dedicated to customer service, reliable charter boats, friendly crew, and CATCHING FISH, we plan to bring our charter fishing experience to the table in Costa Rica!
Getting there is easy!  Most major airlines (including Alaska Airlines) fly to San Jose International Airport (SJO).  From there the drive SW to the Jaco area is less than 90 minutes on modern highways.  Rental cars are inexpensive as are transfers if you prefer not to rent a car.  Transfers, lodging and fishing can all be reserved through Merry or myself.
What about All Rivers & Saltwater Charters???  Everything will be business as usual at ARSC with plans only to continue and improve our 13 year charter service in Washington State!  Merry and I will be in Washington State May-October, managing ARSC on the ground, and travel back and forth every other month to Costa Rica November-April.  We will always be available via email, and phone 365 days a year.

Take a look at this HD Video of one of our Offshore fishing trips!

The Go Fish!

Over the next year the Go Fish will get quite a make-over.  To name just a few things on the list:

  • – Install the full compliment of Raymarine Electronics, including high power CHIRP Sonar, and a large display.
  • – Outfit the boat with new Okuma fishing rods & reels, and many other cutting edge products.
  • – Re-upholster the cockpit bolsters, tower seat cushions, and client seating area.
  • – Have on-hand mission critical back-up parts that will reduce down time when break-downs occur.
 

Pricing:

  • Year-Round, Full-Day Offshore or Inshore…$1350, 4 ppl, $50 add’l for a fifth person, 5 max.
  • Year-Round, Half-Day Inshore…$1150, 4 ppl, $50 add’l for a fifth person, 5 max.
  • Full-Day Tortuga Island, no fishing, $1150, 4 ppl, $50 add’l passengers, 6 max.
  • Half-Day, Tortuga Island, no fishing, $1050, 4 ppl, $50 add’l passengers, 6 max.
  • Sunset Cruise, $300 (max 6 passengers)
  • *Peak Season Charter, December 24thJanuary 4th, Add $100 per trip. 
  • *Don’t forget fishing licenses (purchased at the dock for $), and gratuities for crew, 20% is customary and the guys really work for you to earn it.
“We look forward to getting you out fishing again!”
Mark & Merry Coleman – Pelagic Pursuits Costa Rica
“Go Fish”, Los Suenos Marina, Slip 12, Herradura, Puntarenas, CR
+506-4001-8430 (CR) (Let it ring)
info@pelagicpursuitscr.com (We respond FAST!)