Tag Archives: ODFW

ODFW Holding 5 Shotgun Skills Classes In Coming Weeks

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

Now is a great time to learn or brush up on shotgun shooting skills before bird hunting opens in September.

(ODFW)

ODFW will host several shotgun skills workshops in Gervais, Portland and near Corvallis during July and August. The cost is $12 per participant, which is due when registering. Workshops are family-friendly with all ages welcome, though anyone under age 18 needs to be accompanied by an adult and youth participants need to be able to handle a shotgun. Register online at https://or.outdoorcentral.us/or/license or at a license sales agent.

Taking one of these shotgun skills classes is required to sign up for ODFW’s popular fall pheasant hunting workshops for adults and families. (Pheasant hunts will happen Sept. 8 and 9 at Sauvie Island Wildlife Area and Sept. 15 and 16 at EE Wilson Wildlife Area this year.) Getting the shotgun skills done before the actual hunt gives participants more time to hunt with trained bird hunting dogs in the morning, before weather gets too warm for dogs.

ODFW provides shotguns and shells at these events. Shooting coaches will work with participants individually to improve their skills, no matter their skill level. Water will be provided, but participants need to bring their own lunch.

The classes are scheduled for:

July 21, near Corvallis (EE Wilson Wildlife Area), 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Register by July 16.

July 28, Gervais (Mid-Valley Clays), 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Register by July 23.

Aug. 11, Portland (Portland Gun Club), 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Register by Aug. 10.

Aug. 18 in Gervais (Mid-Valley Clays), 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Register by Aug. 13.

Aug. 25, near Corvallis (EE Wilson Wildlife Area), 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Register by Aug. 20.

ODFW offers a variety of workshops teaching people how to hunt, fish, crab and clam. See the full list of upcoming events at https://myodfw.com/workshops-and-events

Congress Moves Closer To OKing States, Tribes To Lethally Remove More Columbia Sea Lions

Efforts to reduce sea lion predation on ESA-listed Columbia River salmon and steelhead got a big boost today with the passage of a bill that would provide state and tribal managers more latitude to deal with the hungry pinnipeds.

A CALIFORNIA SEA LION CAPTURES A SPRING CHINOOK. (BRYAN WRIGHT, ODFW, VIA NMFS FLICKR, HTTPS://CREATIVECOMMONS.ORG/LICENSES/BY-NC-ND/2.0/

HR 2083, introduced by a pair of Lower Columbia Congressmen from either side of the river and political aisle and which would allow sea lions to be culled in parts of the mainstem and its tribs to save fish, sailed out of the U.S. House of Representatives on a 288-116 vote this afternoon.

Cosponsors Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA3) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR5) were joined by every single one of their fellow Washington and Oregon representatives, as well as both of Idaho’s, in voting for the measure.

The move comes just days after similar legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate, making action now suddenly more likely after previous versions of the House bill had stalled.

Herrera Beutler said it was the result of a “team effort” and credited Schrader for getting the Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act to a vote, Washington U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D) and Idaho U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R) for introducing one in the upper chamber, and “all the local and tribal agencies and fishermen who have trumpeted the plight of our salmon for years.”

A SEA LION SURFACES NEAR A FISHING BOAT DURING 2017’S LOWER COLUMBIA SPRING CHINOOK SEASON. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Along with testimony from the Columbia River Inter-Tribe Fish Commission last year, the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association has lent its strong support.

An exultant Liz Hamilton, NSIA’s executive director, called this “truly a good day for salmon, steelhead and sturgeon!”

She said lawmakers’ action offered “huge progress … giving fishery managers another tool to prevent extinction and help with recovery.”

Essentially, the bill would expand the scope of removals by, according to a Coastal Conservation Association of Washington press release, amending a portion of the “Marine Mammal Protection Act to authorize the Secretary of Commerce to provide states and local tribes the tools necessary to humanely manage sea lions on the waters of the Columbia River and its tributaries as long as the sea lions are not classified as an Endangered Species Act listed species.”

Between 2008 and 2016, as predation at Bonneville Dam increased, ODFW and WDFW were allowed by NOAA to remove 161 California sea lions, euthanizing 139 of those and finding zoos and aquariums for another 15.

But they’re smart critters and know where the food is at and readily return to unnatural pinchpoints.

In a joint letter, the heads of CRITFC, IDFG, ODFW and WDFW said passage of HR 2083 was “critical to ensuring we can manage the ever-increasing issue of predation on sturgeon, lamprey, and Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed salmon and steelhead in the Columbia Basin,” according to a press release.

Back in April, ODFW took the strongest stance, specifically calling on Congress to act, pointing out that male sea lions gathering below Willamette Falls were driving the basin’s steelhead “closer to extinction,” not unlike what Herschel did at the Ballard Locks to Lake Washington’s stocks.

Earlier this year, federal researchers said that California sea lions had reached their “optimal sustainable population,” a triggering point in the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act and a high enough level that West Coast states could begin to take over management.

“The California sea lion population has experienced a huge population recovery in recent years; unfortunately, that population has now grown to numbers totally inconsistent with its historic range, posing a very serious threat to the endangered salmon and steelhead throughout the Columbia River system,” Rep. Schrader said in a press release.

Even as passage of HR 2083 put the focus on pinnipeds, that’s not to say that NOAA issuing one-year take permits to CRITFC, IDFG, ODFW, WDFW, and the Nez Perce, Umatilla, Warm Springs, Yakama and Cowlitz Tribes to take out up to 100 of the Chinook-, steelhead- and sturgeon-munching marine mammals is a be-all, end-all solution to fish run woes.

“Salmon recovery isn’t about just one issue, and the data is crystal clear that this [sea lion predation] is an important component, just as dam removal must be,” said angler Chase Gunnell, a Wild Steelhead Coalition boardmenber. “We can’t ignore the real short term threats from unnaturally high predation on endangered salmon and steelhead, even if Bonneville and other dams have exacerbated the situation. Pragmatic, strategic conservationists and wild fish and river advocates should celebrate this sensible policy, just as we should continue working to remove the lower Snake River Dams. It’s not either/or.”

But in the short term it is progress.

NSIA’s Hamilton thanked all three states’ Congressional delegations,  especially Herrera Beutler and Schrader, and also urged fellow fishermen to show gratitude to their representatives.

ODFW Dropping General Marine Bag Limit From 5 To 4 After Strong Spring Catches

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

The daily bag limit for general marine fish (rockfish, greenlings, skates, etc.) will be reduced from 5 to 4 beginning July 1.

THE BAG LIMIT ON BLACK AS WELL AS BLUE ROCKFISH LIKE THESE SWIMMING AROUND A PINNACLE IS BEING REDUCED FROM FIVE TO FOUR TO KEEP FISHERIES INSIDE QUOTAS. (ODFW, FLICKR, CC 2.0)

“Participation in this fishery has been really good so far this year with effort higher than even record years seen in two of the past three years,” said Lynn Mattes, Project Leader, ODFW. “Reducing the bag limit to 4 fish on July 1 is necessary to keep black rockfish, other nearshore rockfish and yelloweye rockfish catches within annual limits.”

Cabezon retention also opens on July 1 with a 1-fish sub-bag limit (meaning that of the 4-fish marine bag, no more than 1 can be a cabezon). Bag limits for lingcod, flatfish and the longleader fishery remain the same.

Anglers this year made 40,619 bottomfish trips through May (17,750 in May alone), compared to 24,080 for January-May last year, which until 2018 was the highest effort year on record. Angler effort is only expected to increase as summer fishing peaks.

Last year, recreational bottomfish closed on Sept. 18 after the annual quotas for several species were met early, the first in-season closure since 2004. The closure disrupted coastal charter businesses and anglers. (Typically, recreational bottomfish fishing is open all year, though effort significantly drops off after early fall.)

ODFW has been working to avoid another early closure this year by providing effort and catch rates at more frequent intervals and modeling impacts of various bag limit scenarios.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission heard testimony from coastal sportfishing businesses before deciding on the 5-fish bag limit when it set regulations back in December, with the understanding that in-season adjustments could be necessary to keep the season open through the end of the year.

Get the latest on marine fishing regulations and opportunities at https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/marine-zone

Lower Columbia, Gorge Pools Fishing Report (6-12-18)

THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORT ORIGINATED WITH ODFW AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY TANNA TAKATA, ODFW, AND JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Current & Upcoming Fishing Opportunities:

*         Spring Chinook angling is open through Friday June 15 to both boat and bank anglers from Tongue Point upstream to Bonneville Dam; and from Tower Island Power Lines upstream to the Oregon/Washington border above McNary Dam, plus the banks only between Bonneville Dam and Tower Island Power Lines.  The bag limit is two adult salmonids.

*         Angling for shad is open from Buoy 10 upstream to Bonneville Dam.

CONNOR THUN SHOWS OFF A LOWER COLUMBIA STURGEON HE CAUGHT ON — GET THIS — PEANUT BUTTER AND SAND SHRIMP. (VIA BUZZ RAMSEY)

*         White sturgeon retention is closed from Buoy 10 upstream to McNary Dam but remains an option for catch and released fishing.  Anglers are reminded that spawning sanctuaries are in effect (see special regulations for details).

*         On Friday June 15, Bonneville and The Dalles pools will be open to the retention of white sturgeon (see special regulations for details).

*         The McNary Pool is open to the retention of legal white sturgeon through July 31.  Anglers are reminded that spawning sanctuaries are in effect (see special regulations details).

*         Walleye angling is good in The Dalles and John Day pools.

Columbia River regulation updates for salmon, steelhead, shad and sturgeon can be found above.

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

Salmonid angling effort was low this past weekend, most likely due to the poor weather conditions.   Boat anglers fishing in the gorge averaged 0.33 Chinook caught per boat, while anglers fishing the Westport to Buoy 10 area averaged 0.09 steelhead caught per boat.  Bank anglers fishing in the Portland to Westport area averaged 0.06 Chinook and 0.10 steelhead caught per angler.

Gorge Bank: Weekly checking showed five adult Chinook kept for 22 bank anglers; and weekend checking of shad anglers showed 2,564 shad kept, plus 51 shad released for 191 shad anglers.

Gorge Boats (below Beacon Rock): Weekend checking showed one adult Chinook kept for three salmonid boats (11 anglers); and 685 shad kept for 11 shad boats (33 anglers).

Troutdale Boats: Weekend checking showed no catch for one salmonid boat (three anglers); and no catch for one shad boat (two anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekend checking showed three adult Chinook and five steelhead kept for 52 bank anglers.

Portland to St. Helens Boats: Weekend checking showed no catch for four salmonid boats (nine anglers).

Goble to Beaver (Clatskanie) Boats: No report.

Wauna Powerlines to Clatsop Spit Bank: No report.

Westport to Buoy 10 Boats: Weekend checking showed one steelhead released for four boats (11 anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for five bank anglers.

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed one adult Chinook kept for 11 bank anglers.

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed one adult Chinook released for six bank anglers; and four adult Chinook kept for eight boats (21 anglers).

STURGEON

Gorge Boats:  Closed for retention. No report.

Troutdale Boats:  Closed for retention. No report.

Portland to Wauna Powerlines:  Closed for retention. Weekend checking showed eight sublegal sturgeon released for one boat (four anglers).

Wauna Powerlines to Clatsop Spit Bank:  Closed for retention. Weekend checking showed one legal white sturgeon kept for 17 bank anglers.

Buoy 10 to Wauna Powerlines Boats:  Closed for retention. Weekend checking showed 139 legal white sturgeon kept, plus 244 sublegal, 253 oversize and two green sturgeon released for 121 boats (401 anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Closed for retention.  No report.

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Closed for retention.  No report.

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): Closed for retention.  No report.

WALLEYE

Bonneville Pool: No report.

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed 53 walleye kept for 11 boats (23 anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed no catch for one bank angler; and 152 walleye kept, plus seven walleye released for 16 boats (43 anglers).

‘Free Fishing Season’ Arrives In Northwest With Lots Of Learning, Angling Ops

Oregon kicks off “free fishing season” in the Northwest this Saturday and Sunday, while Washington and Idaho hold their festivities on June’s second weekend.

It’s not only a great way to get lapsed anglers — yo, Uncle Terry, I’ll be by early to head to the lake! — on the water but features a ton of kid- and family-friendly events.

MAEVE, AGE 7, WITH HER FIRST FISH CAUGHT WITH THE HELP OF AN ODFW ANGLING EDUCATION INSTRUCTOR AT TIMBER LINN PARK POND IN ALBANY DURING AN EARLIER FREE FISHING DAY EVENT THIS YEAR. (ODFW)

Here are what ODFW, IDFG and WDFW are planning for their state’s respective free fishing days:

THE FOLLOWING ARE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE PRESS RELEASES

Fishing is free June 2-3 in Oregon
Learn to fish at events statewide

It’s free to fish, crab or clam in Oregon on Saturday and Sunday, June 2 and 3.

During these two days, no fishing licenses or tags (including a Combined Angling Tag or Columbia River Basin Endorsement) are required to fish, crab or clam anywhere in Oregon for both residents and non-residents. Although no licenses or tags are required, all other fishing regulations apply including closures, bag limits and size restrictions.

“Free Fishing Weekends are a great opportunity for friends and families to get out and enjoy a day or two of fishing,” said Mike Gauvin, ODFW recreational fisheries manager. “Trout, warmwater fish, ocean fishing, crabbing and clamming are just some of the great opportunities available.”

Look for the best opportunities in ODFW’s Weekly Recreation Report, which is updated every Wednesday.

Oregon State Parks are also free to visit on June 2-3, with day-use parking fees waived both days and free camping on Saturday, June 2 (an $8 reservation is required to guarantee a camping spot).

ODFW and partners are also hosting a number of fishing events around the state. Volunteer angler education instructors will be loaning out fishing gear and giving tips on how to catch and clean fish at most events. For more details and contact information for these events, visit https://myodfw.com/articles/2018-free-fishing-days-and-events

Saturday, June 2

  • Albany, Timber Linn Park Pond, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
  • Alsea, Oregon Hatchery Research Center, 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Ashland, Hyatt Lake-Mountain View Shelter, 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Baker City, 203 Pond, 9 a.m.-noon
  • Camp Sherman, Wizard Falls Hatchery, 9 a.m.-noon
  • Chiloquin, Klamath Fish Hatchery, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Clatskanie, Gnat Creek Fish Hatchery, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Detroit, Detroit Lake/Hoover Boat Launch, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Diamond Lake, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Eugene, Alton Baker Canoe Canal, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Gaston, Henry Hagg Lake, 6:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Gervais, St Louis Ponds, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Gold Beach, Libby Pond, 8:30 a.m.-noon
  • Hammond, Coffenbury Lake-Fort Stevens State Park, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Hebo, Hebo Lake, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Heppner, Cutsforth Pond, 8-11 a.m.
  • Klamath Falls, Lake of the Woods Resort, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Lakeside, Eel Lake/Tugman Park, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Oakridge, Willamette Fish Hatchery, 9 a.m.-noon
  • Otis, Salmon River Hatchery, 8 a.m.-noon
  • Prairie City, McHaley Pond, 9 a.m.-noon
  • Rockaway, Nedona Pond, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Selma, Lake Selmac, 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
  • Silverton, Silverton Marine Park, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. (required to park offsite, see details)
  • Sunriver, Caldera Springs, 9 a.m.-noon
  • Sutherlin, Cooper Creek Reservoir, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Tillamook, Trask River Hatchery, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Toledo, Olalla Reservoir, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Sunday, June 3

  • Gaston, Henry Hagg Lake, 6:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Port Orford, Arizona Pond, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Reedsport, Lake Marie, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Under statute set by the Oregon State Legislature, ODFW can offer eight days of free fishing each year. The other remaining days of free fishing in Oregon coming up this year are listed on page 16 of the 2018 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations and are Sept. 1-2 (Sat.-Sun. of Labor Day Weekend) and Nov. 23-24 (the two days after Thanksgiving).

Free Fishing Weekend events in Southern Oregon

ROSEBURG, Ore – Oregonian’s can fish, crab and clam for free during Free Fishing Weekend, June 2-3. Events held around Southern Oregon give families an opportunity to try their hand at landing a trout.

The following events held are Saturday, June 2 unless noted:

Coos County:

  • Eel Lake at Tugman State Park, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. At a series of stations, kids will learn how to identify fish, tie knots, and cast along with fishing courtesy and water safety. Kids 12 and under can have the chance to catch trout out of a net pen. Lunch is provided.

Curry County:

  • Arizona Pond, Sunday, June 3 from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. The annual Elk River Hatchery free fishing event moved to Arizona Pond located 15 miles south of Port Orford on Highway 101 across from Prehistoric Gardens. This event is open for youth age 17 and under and is hosted by Elk River Hatchery and Oregon State Parks. Rods, reels, bait and tackle will be provided for the event, along with ice and bags so kids can take their fish home. Volunteers can help young anglers and Port Orford Rotary is providing lunch and refreshments. A raffle will be held at noon. ODFW is stocking 800 legal-sized and 300 trophy trout. Information: David Chambers, 541-332-7025.
  • Libby Pond, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. This event is for kids 13 and younger. Sign-up for prizes begins at 8 a.m., and the event features lunch, prize drawings, and loaner fishing equipment. Adults are encouraged to help their young ones fish. Help will also be on hand from Curry Anadromous Fishermen, Oregon South Coast Fishermen, ODFW and the U.S. Forest Service who are all sponsoring the event. Libby Pond is about eight miles up North Bank Rd., Gold Beach.

Douglas County:

  • Cooper Creek, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. This popular event has a kiddie pond stocked with trout for kids up to 12 years old, loaner rods and reels, casting lessons, and a fish cleaning station. Once kids go through an education station, they get a ticket for raffle drawings. Free hot dogs and Pepsi. ODFW is stocking 2,000 larger sized trout just before the event.
  • Diamond Lake, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. This fishing derby is for kids 17 and younger. Check-in begins at 6 a.m. at the resort’s Marina. There will be prizes for biggest fish by different age classes so kids should check in their trout for measurement at the Marina by 2 p.m. There will be door prizes and hot dogs in front of the resort after check-out concludes.
  • Lake Marie, Sunday, June 3 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. for kids 14 and under. Registration begins at 9 a.m. Rods and reels will be available, along with help for first-time anglers. Kids can enter a casting contest and get a bounty for picking up litter. Kids can also try out Gyotaku, or fish printing. Hot dogs and soda are free to kids with a nominal charge for adults to help pay for next year’s event. ODFW recently stocked 2,000 larger sized trout for the event.

Jackson County:

  • Fish Lake, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. The BLM and USFS will have rods, tackle and bait on a first come, first served basis.

Josephine County:

  • Lake Selmac, 7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Josephine County’s only Free Fishing Weekend event is sponsored by the Middle Rogue Steelheaders and ODFW’s Angler Education program. Rods and reels are available for loan and bait is provided. There’s a fishing contest for the biggest fish caught by youth, donated prizes, a free BBQ 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., and a 50/50 raffle.

All other regulations apply including bag limit and size restrictions. People who already have a combined tag for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon and halibut are encouraged to use it as it provides data for fish managers.

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME

June 9 is Free Fishing Day

Saturday, June 9th is Free Fishing Day, and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game invites veteran and novice anglers of all ages, residents and nonresidents alike, to celebrate the day by fishing anywhere in Idaho without a license. Though fishing license requirements are suspended for this special day, all other rules, such as limits or tackle restrictions, remain in effect.

“Free fishing day provides a great opportunity for novices to give fishing a try and perhaps develop it into a life-long pursuit,” Fish and Game regional fish manager Joe Kozfkay said. “Parents are encouraged to bring their children out for a day of fun fishing excitement.”

Lack of fishing experience is no excuse. At special locations around the southwest region, equipment will be available for use and fishing experts will be on hand to help novice anglers learn the ins and outs of fishing. In addition, all these locations will be stocked with hatchery rainbow trout prior to the special day. Look for the event nearest you and Take a Kid Fishing.

For more information regarding Free Fishing Day, contact the Fish and Game McCall office (634-8137) or the Nampa office (465-8465).

Free Fishing Day Events in the Southwest Region – Saturday, June 9, 2018
Note: pay special attention to event times. Check the Fish and Game website (https://IDFG.idaho.gov) for schedule additions and or changes.

Atwood Pond (Payette) – Registration begins at 8:00am

Hosted by Safari Club International

Council (Ol’ McDonald) Pond – 9:00am – 1:00pm

Hosted by Idaho Fish and Game and the Adams County Sheriff’s Office

Fischer Pond (Cascade) – 10:00am – 2:00pm

Hosted by Lake Cascade State Park and Idaho Fish and Game

Kimberland Meadows Pond (New Meadows) – 9:00am – 1:00pm  

Hosted by Idaho Fish and Game and the Adams County Sheriff’s Office

Kleiner Pond (Meridian) – 9:00am – 2:00pm
Hosted by the Southwest Idaho RC&D Council, Micron Technology and Idaho Fish and Game

Legacy Park Pond (Mt. Home) – 9:00am – 1:00pm

Hosted by the Idaho Fish and Game Reservists

Lowman (10-mile) Ponds – 9:00am – 2:00pm
Hosted by the Boise National Forest (Lowman Ranger District), Sourdough Lodge and Idaho Fish and Game

McDevitt Pond (Boise) – 8:00am – Noon

Hosted by the Boise Police Association and Idaho Fish and Game

Northwest Passage Pond (McCall) – 9:00am – Noon

Hosted by Idaho Fish and Game

Rotary Park Pond (Caldwell ) – 9:30am – Noon

Hosted by Caldwell Rotary and the City of Caldwell

Sawyers Pond (Emmett) – 9:00am – Noon
Hosted by the Gem County Recreation District, Boise National Forest (Emmett Ranger District) and Idaho Fish and Game

Visitor Center Pond (Idaho City) – 9:00am – 1:00pm

Hosted by the Boise National Forest (Idaho City Ranger District) and Idaho Fish and Game

Wilson Springs Ponds (Nampa) – 8:00am – Noon
Hosted by Idaho Fish and Game

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

OLYMPIA – Each year, thousands of Washingtonians go fishing – legally – without a license on “Free Fishing Weekend,” scheduled for June 9-10.

During those two days, no license will be required to fish or gather shellfish in any waters open to fishing in Washington state.

Anglers will also not need a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement, otherwise required to fish for salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River and its tributaries. Nor will they need a Two Pole Endorsement to fish with two poles in selected waters where two-pole fishing is permitted.

Also, no vehicle access pass or Discover Pass will be required during Free Fishing Weekend to park at any of the nearly 700 water-access sites maintained by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). A Discover Pass will also not be required on Washington State Parks lands throughout the weekend, but will be required on DNR lands both days.

“If you haven’t fished in Washington, or want to introduce fishing to someone new to the sport, this is the weekend to get out there,” said Steve Thiesfeld, WDFW inland fish program manager.

Options available on Free Fishing Weekend include:

  • Trout in lowland lakes, and in the many rivers opening to trout fishingJune 2 throughout the state
  • Lingcod on the coast.
  • Bass, crappie, perch and other warmwater fish biting in lakes throughout Washington.
  • Shad on the Columbia River.
  • Hatchery steelhead on rivers on the Olympic Peninsula.

New anglers should check online for the “Fish Washington” feature at the department’s homepage (http://wdfw.wa.gov). The site provides details on lowland lake fishing, high lake fishing and marine area opportunities. Catchable trout stocking details, by county and lake, are available in the weekly stocking report on WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/.

For those who want even more fishing advice, the Fish Washington video page (http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington/videos) provides “how to” fishing videos designed to introduce techniques to both new and seasoned anglers.

Anglers who take part in free fishing weekend can also participate in the department’s 2018 Trout Fishing Derby and redeem green tags from fish caught over the weekend. Interested anglers should check for details online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/derby.

Before heading out, anglers should also check the current fishing regulations valid through June at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations. In addition, the free “Fish Washington” app, available on Google Play, Apple’s App store and WDFW’s website (https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington/mobile_app.html), is designed to convey up-to-the-minute fishing regulations for every lake, river, stream and marine area in the state. The exception, for now, is the app does not yet include information on shellfish and seaweed collection rules.

While no licenses are required on Free Fishing Weekend, it’s still important to check the regulations for other rules such as size limits, bag limits, catch record card requirements and area closures that will still be in effect, said Thiesfeld.

Catch record cards, required for some species, are available free at hundreds of sporting goods stores and other license dealers throughout the state. See http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors on the WDFW website to locate a license dealer.

 

 

With ‘Much Larger’ Springer Run Back, Lookingglass Creek Opening June 2-23

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

Lookingglass Creek, a tributary to the Grande Ronde River at Palmer Junction, will open to fishing for hatchery spring chinook Saturday, June 2 through Saturday, June 23. The open area is from the Moses Creek Lane Bridge (County Road 42) upstream to the confluence of Jarboe Creek.

LOOKINGGLASS CREEK FLOWS INTO THE GRANDE RONDE RIVER NORTH OF ELGIN, OREGON. (ODFW)

“The Lookingglass Creek Chinook run has surprised us this year with a return much larger than initially expected,” said Tim Bailey, ODFW district fish biologist in La Grande. “This year’s run is expected to be around 1,400 adult Chinook, the majority being hatchery fish.”

Anglers may retain two adipose fin-clipped chinook adults and five adipose fin-clipped jacks per day, with two daily limits in possession. Jack salmon are less than 24-inches long. Anglers do not need to record jack catch on their combined angling tags, but it is illegal to continue fishing for jack chinook once the adult bag limit is met. Unmarked (wild) fish must be released carefully and unharmed.

As with the trout fishery that opened on Lookingglass Creek on May 22, anglers are restricted to artificial flies and lures while fishing for salmon — no bait. “There are bull trout in Lookingglass Creek, and bait fishing could pose a threat to them, so all fishing in the creek is restricted to artificial flies and lures,” Bailey said.

The area open to fishing is bordered by private timberlands owned by Forest Capital and open to public access. Anglers are reminded to respect private property by picking up trash when leaving.

Anglers will need a Columbia Basin Endorsement for this fishery.

For more information, contact the ODFW East Region Office in La Grande at (541) 963-2138.

Oregon Hunting Managers Look To Simplify Regs Pamphlet

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

ODFW is proposing some changes to big game hunting regulations beginning in 2019, the latest in a multi-year effort aimed at simplifying hunting and fishing regulations.

“Hunters tell us the regulations are too complicated, so we are making an effort to simplify whatever we can while still meeting the intent to conserve wildlife and ensure fair chase of game,” said Nick Myatt, ODFW Grande Ronde Watershed Manager, who is leading the effort for the agency.

ODFW will brief the Fish and Wildlife Commission on these changes during the June 8 meeting in Baker City and present final proposals to the Commission Sept. 14 in Bandon. Hunters and other interested parties are welcome to comment by testifying at these meetings or by emailing odfw.commission@state.or.us

A list of some of the major proposed changes follow. The full list is available at https://bit.ly/2spD7KJ

  • Standardize the minimum draw weight for bows at 40 pounds for all big game mammals, which will both simplify the regulation and remove barriers to archery hunting for youth and other smaller-framed hunters. (Currently, minimum draw weight is 50 pounds for elk, sheep and goat and 40 pounds for other big game.)
  • Eliminate the prohibition against decoys with moving parts when big game hunting. Staff believe the regulation is unnecessary and could be reducing cougar harvest.
  • Simplify requirements for legal muzzleloaders while maintaining the intent of a relatively short-range, primitive weapon.  The requirement for muzzleloaders to have an open ignition would be eliminated; the legal bullet regulation would be simplified to, “It is illegal to hunt with or possess sabots or saboted bullets;” and the prohibition on pelletized powder would be eliminated.
  • Change the SW Oregon first-come, first-served spring bear hunt to a controlled hunt consistent with all other spring bear hunts in Oregon.  This change simplifies regulations, may better distribute hunting pressure, and will allow hunters to purchase a point saver for spring bear.
  • Eliminate maximum party size limits for deer, elk, pronghorn, and bear hunts. ODFW believes party size is self-regulating and the regulation unnecessary.
  • Prohibit the import of deer, elk, or moose parts containing central nervous system tissue from any other state or province. (Currently Oregon only prohibits such imports from states/provinces with a known case of CWD. The change will simplify regulations and support Oregon’s efforts to prevent this disease from entering the state.)
  • Limit leftover tag purchases to people who have not already drawn a tag (will require legislative approval). This change would allow more people an opportunity to hunt each year.
  • Streamline limits on non-resident tags so deer, elk, pronghorn, and bear controlled hunts will all have a maximum of 5 percent non-resident tags (will require legislative approval).
  • While ODFW is not proposing allowing mechanical broadheads for big game archery hunters, due to interest in the topic, it will present the issue to the Commission for discussion at the meetings in Baker City and Bandon.

Several other regulations have been reworded to make them easier to understand, including the regulation prohibiting rifle hunting without a valid deer or elk tag during certain time periods and the proof of sex requirements. Other regulations deemed unnecessary or redundant have been proposed for elimination.

If the Commission approves the proposed changes in September, they will take effect for the 2019 hunting season. Changes requiring legislative approval will be considered as legislative concepts during the 2019 legislative session.

June Meetings On Oregon Salmon, Steelhead Regs Simplification Ideas

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

ODFW will host a series of public meetings to inform anglers of changes to sportfish regulations proposed for 2019.

ODFW SAYS THAT MANY OF THE SALMON AND STEELHEAD REGULATIONS UNDER REVIEW ARE IN THE NORTHWEST ZONE, WHERE THE ALSEA RIVER (ABOVE) FLOWS, AS WELL AS THE SOUTHWEST ZONE. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

The changes proposed are part of a multi-year process to simplify the fishing regulations. “To come up with these potential changes, we looked at every water body across the state, trying to develop common regulations, consistent language, and increased fishing opportunities,” said Mike Gauvin, ODFW recreational fisheries program manager.

The first phase was focused on warmwater and trout fishing and became effective in 2016. The current phase is focused on developing more consistent salmon and steelhead seasons, reorganizing zone regulations and clarifying some definitions.

“The majority of the proposed changes for salmon and steelhead regulations are located in the Northwest and Southwest Zones, as we found many opportunities to make small changes to streamline seasons,” said Gauvin.

ODFW staff will discuss the proposed changes and take public comments during the meetings. Comments can also be sent to odfw.commission@state.or.us. Final 2019 Sportfishing Regulations will be adopted by the Fish and Wildlife Commission at their Sept. 14 meeting in Bandon, where public testimony will also be taken.

Meeting dates and locations follow:

Coos Bay (North Bend), June 5, 6:30-7:30 p.m., North Bend Library, 1800 Sherman Ave

Newport, June 6, 6- 7 p.m., Hallmark Resort, 744 SW Elizabeth Street

Tillamook, June 7, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Tillamook County Library, 1716 3rd Street

Seaside, June 13, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Seaside Convention Center (Seamist Room), 415 1st Ave

Hillsboro, June 14, 7 p.m., Meriwether National Golf Club, 5200 Rood Bridge Road (at NW Steelheaders, Tualatin Valley Chapter Meeting)

Columbia Springer Managers Discuss Reopener

Columbia spring Chinook managers are today discussing potentially reopening portions of the big river starting as early as this Friday.

A fact sheet out ahead of an 11 a.m. hearing says that even with this week’s downgraded runsize, there are still 2,565 of the salmon available for fisheries below Bonneville, 503 from the dam to the Washington-Oregon border.

AN ODFW SAMPLER WANDS AN ANGLER’S SPRING CHINOOK DURING 2015’S SEASON. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Biologists are recommending that the lower river be reopened May 25 through June 6, or 13 days of fishing, while the upper section be fished May 25 through June 15, 22 days.

“Staff estimates that the below Bonneville season as recommended would accrue an additional 2,400 upriver Chinook mortalities, bringing the season total to 6,933 fish, or 98% of the allocation at the current run size,” the fact sheet reads.

An estimated 210 would be caught in the gorge pools to the border.

This year’s run has been slow to come in, and earlier this week managers reduced their forecast to 116,500 back to the mouth of the Columbia, down from the 166,700 predicted last December.

During the late winter and early spring fisheries, anglers accounted for 4,332 upriver-bound salmon mortalities, which would be covered under run buffering by as few as 81,800 past Bonneville. It now appears many  more than that will in fact return, with the dam count at 70,000 and change through yesterday.

More as final word comes down.

Salmon Managers Downgrade Columbia Springer Run Expectation

Columbia salmon managers today downgraded this year’s spring Chinook run, though they say there’s still some uncertainty with the new number.

They now predict 116,500 back to the mouth of the big river, down from the 166,700 forecasted last December.

ANTHONY CLEMENTS SHOWS OFF A SPRING CHINOOK CAUGHT IN THE COLUMBIA GORGE EARLIER THIS SEASON. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

“Given daily fluctuations of Chinook passage and the current river flow level at Bonneville Dam, there is some uncertainty in the run size estimate,” a statement from supervising biologist Joe Hymer says.

Through yesterday, May 20, a total of 64,479 springers have been counted at the dam, a bit below half of the 10-year average for the date, 133,655, but nearly 20,000 more than last year at this time.

According to catch estimates from late last month, anglers accounted for 4,332 upriver-bound salmon mortalities through April 14 (4,268 kept, 64 released and estimated died).

Managers said that a return of just 81,800 would cover that impact to the ESA-listed stock.

Flows at Bonneville are around 480,000 cubic feet per second right now, whereas the 10-year average is around 325,000 cfs.

Over the past three weeks, daily counts have been as high as 7,287 to as low as 852.

Today’s runsize update is just slightly more than actually came back in 2017, when managers had initially predicted 160,400. Only 115,882 did.