Tag Archives: ODFW

Nehalem Basin Livestock Producer Recognized For Land, Water Stewardship

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

ODFW recognized Nehalem’s Karen Kuntz and her Foley Peak Angus cattle operation with the Riley Freeman award during the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association and Oregon Cattlewomen’s Convention and Tradeshow earlier this month in Bend.

RIPARIAN BUFFERS ON KAREN KUNTZ’S PROPERTY ALONG A NEHALEM RIVER TRIBUTARY KEEP WATER TEMPERATURES COOLER AND PROVIDE A REFUGE FOR JUVENILE SALMONIDS IN THE SUMMER. (ODFW)

Foley Peak Angus raises high quality, grass-fed beef on a 304-acre property in the Nehalem River watershed. The ranch uses an active grazing rotation plan, storm water runoff control, buffer strips along waterways and other efforts as part of a Resource Management System developed with the help of the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Tillamook Soil and Conservation District.

Rotational grazing throughout the property has been very effective at maintaining good field conditions and reducing sediment and manure runoff into Tomlinson Creek, which is a tributary of Foley Creek and the Nehalem River. Both sides of the creek have full vegetation, providing good canopy and habitat for wildlife and keeping water temperatures cooler for fish.

Native tree plantings of conifers and diverse shrubs have also improved wildlife habitat and provide escape cover, thermal protection and rearing and roost areas for neo-tropical birds. Kuntz’s efforts have paid off for local native wildlife including Roosevelt elk, black-tailed deer, raptors, mustelids, and beavers which benefit from the diverse habitat the ranch provides.

Juvenile salmonids also benefit from Kuntz’s stewardship. As they seek cooler water during the summer, the riparian buffers along Tomlinson Creek provide refuge from other areas of Foley Creek and the Lower Nehalem River with higher temperatures.

“The Kuntz family are committed stewards of their land and have been a pleasure to work with,” said Chris Knutsen, North Coast Watershed District Manager. “Foley Peak Angus is a great example of working agricultural land that continues to provide important habitat for Oregon’s fish and wildlife species.”

The Riley Freeman award is named after a past Chairman of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association Wildlife Committee. Freeman saw the need for greater coordination and cooperation between private landowners and state and federal natural resources agencies. While he defended an individual’s property rights, Freeman also advocated for partnerships between wildlife managers, landowners, and wildlife consumers. In his memory, ODFW and OCA established an annual award to recognize an OCA member that best exemplifies Riley Freeman’s passion for the cattle industry, good land stewardship and avocation for partnerships.

More Oregonians Cited For Bringing In Game Parts From CWD States

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

Two local hunters recently brought prohibited elk parts from Colorado and Wyoming into the Rogue Valley. The elk were harvested in these states which have some deer, elk and moose infected with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a fatal neurological disease.

Oregon is still a CWD-free state. It has never been detected in captive or free-ranging deer, elk, or moose in Oregon.

However, the risk of non-reversible disease transmission to wild ungulates is high because even one infected animal can affect the future of all susceptible species in the state. By bringing potentially CWD-infected elk parts containing central nervous system tissue into Oregon, these hunters jeopardized the health and population of Oregon’s deer, elk, and moose.

Oregon State Police cited the hunters. This follows a similar case earlier in November where a Madras man also brought banned parts of a CWD-positive deer harvested in Montana to Oregon. ODFW collected the banned parts and incinerated them which is one of the only ways to destroy the pathogen.

Duane Dungannon, State Coordinator for the Oregon Hunters Association says hunters play a critical role in keeping CWD out of Oregon.

“We need hunters who go out of state to be vigilant and not bring prohibited ungulate parts back to Oregon. CWD represents perhaps the greatest threat to our big game because it has the potential to devastate our ungulate populations,” Dungannon said.

OHA has been seriously concerned about preventing the spread of this disease to wild game herds. The group has advocated for tight regulations on game ranching and has consistently funded disease research and prevention across the state.

People hunting in states with CWD who harvest a deer, elk or moose may only bring back parts without spinal cord or brain tissue (e.g. no spinal column and only antlers on a clean skullcap). See page 29 of the Oregon Big Game Regulations under “Parts Ban” for more information.

CWD is caused by a protein prion that damages the brain of infected animals, causing progressive neurological disease and loss of body condition. It’s untreatable and always fatal. It spreads through none-to-nose contact between infected animals and through the animal’s bodily fluids. The priors that cause CWD can also last a long time in the environment, infecting new animals for decades, which is why Oregon has had a parts ban in place for 15 years.

ODFW State Wildlife Veterinarian Colin Gillin said CWD is considered one of the most devastating wildlife diseases on the American landscape today.

“Once CWD enters a state and infects free-ranging deer and elk, it has been nearly impossible to eradicate with present day tools. We want to do all we can to keep Oregon CWD-free,” Gillin said.

ODFW has monitored the state’s wildlife for CWD for years and is increasing its surveillance this year by asking hunters interested in having their deer or elk tested for CWD to contact their local office to set up an appointment. Hunters need to bring in the animal’s head, which should be kept cool prior to sampling if possible. ODFW is most interested in testing deer and elk that are at least two years old (e.g. not spikes).

ODFW also asks taxidermists and game meat processors throughout the state to alert the agency or OSP if banned deer, elk or moose parts are brought to them from CWD-positive states for processing. ODFW will collect the banned parts and properly dispose of them via incineration.

Anyone who sees or harvests a sick deer or elk should also report it to the ODFW Wildlife Health Lab at 866-968-2600 or by email to Wildlife.Health@state.or.us

Cases of CWD have occurred in Alberta, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Saskatchewan.

ODFW Posts Revisions To Draft Wolf Plan Update; Up For Approval In Jan.

THE FOLLOWING IS AN OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE PRESS RELEASE

A working copy of the revised Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan is now available online at http://bit.ly/2j1w4nt. This working copy shows the edits staff have made to the April 2017 Draft Wolf Plan as a result of comments from stakeholders, the public and commissioners.

NORTHEAST OREGON WOLVES. (ODFW)

ODFW staff will brief the Fish and Wildlife Commission on this Working Copy of the Draft Wolf Plan at their Dec. 8 meeting in Salem. A panel of representatives from stakeholder groups has also been invited to testify at the meeting, but no other public testimony will be taken on Dec. 8.

ODFW staff will complete additional edits after the December meeting in preparation for adoption and rule-making of a final Draft Wolf Plan scheduled for the Jan. 19, 2018 commission meeting in Salem. Public testimony will be taken at that meeting and can also be provided via email at odfw.commission@state.or.us.

ODFW Hosting Dec. 6 Meeting In Bend On 2018 Wickiup Koke Regs

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

ODFW invites the public to participate in a discussion regarding fish management for Wickiup Reservoir, a favorite destination for anglers seeking large brown trout and kokanee. The meeting will be held on Dec. 6 from 6-8 p.m. at Central Oregon Community College, Room 190 in the Health Career Center building.

WICKIUP RESERVOIR KOKANEE ANGLERS ARE INVITED TO AN EARLY DECEMBER MEETING IN BEND FOCUSING ON CHANGING REGULATIONS AT THE UPPER DESCHUTES IMPOUNDMENT, WHERE STEPHANIE PEMBLE CAUGHT THIS ONE WHILE TROLLING A PLUG WITH GUIDE JON WILEY. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Fishing regulations are changing at Wickiup Reservoir beginning in 2018. The “bonus” bag limit for kokanee will change from 25 to 5 and the Deschutes River Arm will close Aug. 31 (one month earlier than in 2017).

The new approach is intended to protect naturally reproducing fish populations and sustain quality recreational fishing opportunities into the future. During the meeting, ODFW will also provide insight on how current water management in the upper Deschutes River impacts the reservoir fishery.

Meeting attendees will find free parking on College Way and at the Library. The link below provides a detailed map of Central Oregon Community College campus.
https://culinary.cocc.edu/uploadedfiles/departments_/community_learning/cocc-bend-campus-map.pdf

Oregon Man Cited For Bringing CWD-infected Deer Carcass Back From Montana

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

Last week, Montana reported its first case of a free-ranging deer testing positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The deer was harvested by a Montana hunter and its carcass was brought to Oregon by the hunter’s relative, who lives in Madras.

(USGS NATIONAL WILDLIFE HEALTH CENTER)

The parties involved failed to follow regulations that prohibit certain parts of deer, elk and moose that contain central nervous system tissue (where the prion that causes CWD is most concentrated) from being brought into Oregon. People hunting in states with CWD who harvest a deer, elk or moose may only bring back parts without spinal cord or brain tissue (e.g. antlers on a clean skullcap). See page 29 of the Oregon Big Game Regulations under “Parts Ban” for more information.

ODFW and OSP contacted the relative late last week after learning from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks that the deer had tested positive for CWD. They discovered that prohibited parts containing neurological tissue had been brought into Oregon and had been disposed of in the local area following butchering. ODFW and OSP immediately retrieved these deer parts for safe disposal.

Some parts of the deer also went to a landfill. ODFW was unable to locate and retrieve these parts, as too much time had passed since their disposal. However, the parts are deeply buried and will not come into contact with deer or elk, so are considered a low risk to free-ranging wildlife.

Following investigation, OSP Fish & Wildlife Division Troopers criminally cited the relative for Unlawful Import of Cervid Parts from a CWD State. Troopers also recovered packaged deer meat as well as additional parts of the infected deer which will be safely disposed of by ODFW Staff.

“Enforcing the regulations established to protect Oregon’s fish, wildlife and other natural resources is the Division’s top priority. The cooperation with the individual who imported the unlawful parts, as well as the close coordination with ODFW, was paramount and really aided us in completing a thorough investigation” said Tim Schwartz, OSP Fish & Wildlife Division Lieutenant. “Without this cooperation and coordination, this could’ve turned out much worse.”

Chronic Wasting Disease is caused by a protein prion that damages the brain of infected animals, causing progressive neurological disease and loss of body condition. It’s untreatable and always fatal. It spreads through nose-to-nose contact between infected animals and through the animal’s bodily fluids. The prions that cause CWD can also last a long time in the environment, infecting new animals for decades, which is why Oregon has had a parts ban in place for 15 years.

“CWD is considered one of the most devastating wildlife diseases on the American landscape today,” said Colin Gillin, ODFW State Wildlife Veterinarian. “Once CWD enters a State and infects free-ranging deer and elk, it has been nearly impossible to eradicate with present day tools. So we want to do all we can to keep Oregon CWD-free.”

Oregon is still a CWD-free state. The disease has never been detected in a captive or free-ranging deer, elk or moose in Oregon. ODFW has been monitoring the state’s wildlife for the disease for years and is increasing its surveillance this year.

For example, ODFW is asking hunters interested in having their deer or elk tested for CWD to contact their local office to set up an appointment. ODFW is most interested in deer and elk that are at least two-years-old (e.g. not spikes). To get an animal CWD tested, hunters will need to bring in the animal’s head, which should be kept cool prior to sampling if possible. ODFW will also take a tooth for aging and hunters should receive a postcard several months later with information about the animal’s age.

Anyone who sees or harvests a sick deer or elk should also report it to the ODFW Wildlife Health Lab number at 866-968-2600 or by email to Wildlife.Health@state.or.us.

CWD spreads most quickly through movement of live animals, although it can also spread by transport of carcasses by hunters or through infected migrating deer and elk. In addition to Montana, documented cases of CWD have occurred in Alberta, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri,  Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Saskatchewan.

More Details Emerge On Oregon Elk Hunter’s Killing Of A Wolf

A series of news stories are providing more details as well as commentary on the shooting of a wolf by an elk hunter in Northeast Oregon’s Starkey Wildlife Management Unit in late October.

Following last Thursday’s press release from the state police, first out was an Oregonian piece on Saturday morning based on a troopers case report obtained by the paper.

Reporter Andrew Theen wrote that Brian Scott, 38, had three wolves in his vicinity and one “had targeted me … and was running at me to make contact,” according to the documents.

A SCREENSHOT OF ODFW’S WOLF ALBUM ON FLICKR SHOWS A NUMBER OF THE WILD CANIDS ACROSS THE STATE.

That article was followed the next day by an actual interview of Scott at his Clackamas home by freelance Oregonian outdoor writer Bill Monroe.

“It meant to make contact,” Scott told Monroe while pecking at his breakfast. “I was terrified. I screamed and raised my rifle. All I saw (in a scope) was hair so I shot.”

After confirming the animal was a wolf with his hunting partners, Scott contacted the Oregon State Police and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, who arrived with “forensic equipment, GPS units and a video camera; surveying the scene and evidence and taking Scott’s statement,” Monroe wrote.

OSP’s press release, which was also posted by ODFW, stated “The Union County District Attorney’s Office was consulted regarding the investigation and based upon the available evidence the case will not be prosecuted as this is believed to be an incidence of selfdefense.”

In Theen’s Saturday article, a member of Oregon Wild questioned the path of the killing bullet, described as hitting the wolf’s right side and exiting on the left.

In a Monday story, Eric Mortenson of the Capital Press interviewed renowned retired Northern Rockies wolf expert Carter Niemeyer, who said he is in “doubt” about Scott’s story based on the wound channel which suggests a broadside shot.

Interviewed by Monroe, Scott said he couldn’t explain that as he had had other priorities in that moment in the woods.

“I screamed, raised the rifle and saw fur,” he told Monroe. “Who knows how it was moving in that split second? I don’t and was more interested in defending myself.”

It’s possible the bullet deflected off bone.

As with nearly every single bit of wolf news, this incident caused quite a stir on social media and in story comments.

It was always going to, as it was the first time an Oregon hunter has killed a wolf in what was classified as self defense (Washington’s first occurred in 2013 in the Pasayten Wilderness).

In the end, there are bits of wisdom worth gleaning.

Wolf attacks on humans remain very rare; wolf encounters with humans in the Northwest are increasing as wolf populations continue to increase; some of those are occurring at close range; we don’t all have the same comfort levels in terms of personal safety; we don’t all have the same experience with wolf behavior; and nobody can say with absolute certainty how every single wolf will act — they’re wild animals.

“If you see a wolf or any other animal and are concerned about your safety, make sure it knows you are nearby by talking or yelling to alert it to your presence,” advised Roblyn Brown, ODFW acting wolf coordinator. “If you are carrying a firearm, you can fire a warning shot into the ground.”

“That would have been the first logical thing to do,” Niemeyer told Mortenson of the Press. “The gunshot and a yell from a human would turn every wolf I’ve ever known inside out trying to get away.”

Niemeyer also suggested carrying bear repellent, which Spokane Spokesman-Review outdoor columnist Rich Landers had in hand during a similar incident this summer with his dog and two wolves.

Landers wrote about that again in a Monday blog post, as well as offered this observation:

“The wilds won’t miss one wolf as the still-endangered species is multiplying beyond expectations in the Northwest. Meanwhile, the other two wolves likely learned a tad more fear of humans. That’s a recipe for success.”

I’ll second that, and for my part I’ll point out that somewhat underplayed in all of this was that Scott did the exact right thing to do: He immediately called OSP and ODFW to come investigate. That’s stand-up. That’s jumping from the frying pan into potentially a bonfire.

The results of that evidence collecting won’t ameliorate the hard-core wolfies, but what ever will.

For the rest of us outside the fringes, it yields several lessons, even as it put a pall on the hunting season of the man at the center of the story.

“People envision this jerk hunter out to kill anything, but that’s not me,” Scott told Monroe. “It frustrates me they don’t understand. I’m a meat hunter. I was looking for a spike elk. This wasn’t exciting. It ruined my hunt.”

Lower, Middle Columbia Fishing Report (11-6-17)

THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL ORIGINATED FROM TANNA TAKATA, ODFW, AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

The salmonid creel program on the lower Columbia has ended for the year and will resume February of 2018.

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed 26 coho adults kept, plus one coho adult released for 20 boats (41 anglers).

CASEY NELSON SHOWS OFF A COLUMBIA RIVER COHO CAUGHT ON A MAG LIP. (VIA JAROD HIGGINBOTHAM, YAKIMA BAIT)

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

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed four Chinook adults, four Chinook jacks and 12 coho adults kept for five boats (11 anglers).

STURGEON

Lower Columbia River (below Bonneville Dam):  Closed for retention.  No report.

Bonneville Pool: Closed for retention.  No report.

The Dalles Pool: Closed for retention.  No report.

John Day Pool: Closed for retention.  Weekly checking showed 17 sublegal, three legal and one oversize sturgeon released for five boats (11 anglers).

WALLEYE

Bonneville Pool:  No report.

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed no catch for three boats (five anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed 77 walleye kept, plus 83 walleye released for 14 boats (36 anglers).

Coquille Valley Wildlife Area Reopening To Hunting Nov. 10 After Fish Passage Work

THE FOLLOWING IS APRESS RLEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

The Coquille Valley Wildlife Area (CVWA) reopens to public use on Friday, November 10. The area has been closed since May for tide gate construction and habitat restoration work.

THE SUN BREAKS THROUGH FOG OVER WINTER LAKE, PART OF THE COQUILE VALLEY WILDLIFE AREA. (PEGGY NELSON, ODOT)

Both hunters and other recreationists must possess a free hunting/access permit available at a self-check station in the parking lot along North Bank Lane. From Highway 42 in Coquille, turn onto North Bank Lane and the parking area is about a half mile on the right.

The 610-acre wildlife area is divided into the Beaver Slough and Winter Lake tracts which are accessed from a single access point at the North Bank Lane parking area. Visitors who want to use the Winter Lake tract can walk south on berms to access that area, and those who want to access Beaver Slough can walk or use a boat (that is not powered with a gasoline engine) to go north into that tract.

The Winter Lake tract is open to public use on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays and State holidays. Beaver Slough tract is open seven days a week.

CVWA is open to game bird and waterfowl hunting, depending on when seasons are open. Check the Oregon Game Bird Regulations for specific seasons, species and shooting hours.

The wildlife area provides crucial habitat for migrating and nesting waterfowl, Oregon’s native fish, and many Oregon Conservation Strategy Species. Wildlife watchers can hike in or use kayaks or paddle boats but must stay on the wildlife area property.

This past summer, new tide gates were installed in the Coquille Basin as part of the China Camp Creek Project, benefiting both fish passage and agriculture and providing opportunities to improve habitats on CVWA. Berms and canals were reconstructed to meet current fish passage criteria.

Chance To Join Columbia River Fishery Advisory Panels; Nominations Due By Nov. 30

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

Fishery managers in Oregon and Washington are seeking candidates to fill positions on advisory committees that provide guidance on sport and commercial fishing issues on the Columbia and Snake rivers. The term is for three years from 2018-2020.

OREGON AND WASHINGTON FISHERY MANAGERS ARE LOOKING TO FILL POSITIONS ON  ADVISORY PANELS FOR SPORT AND COMMERCIAL FISHERIES HELD ON THE COLUMBIA AND SNAKE RIVERS. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

The two states’ fish and wildlife departments will accept nominations to their joint advisory groups on Columbia River sport and commercial fisheries through Thursday, Nov. 30. The two groups meet two to four times per year to assist with developing recommendations for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon and smelt fisheries.

Members are also expected to provide comments on issues addressed by the North of Falcon season-setting process for salmon fisheries, Columbia River Compact commercial fishing hearings and joint state hearings on sport fishing regulations.

“Advisory group members provide an important voice for the fishing public,” said Tucker Jones, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Program Manager for Ocean Salmon and Columbia River Fisheries. “We’re looking for candidates who are interested in filling that role.”

Up to 20 candidates (combined) from Oregon and Washington will be chosen for each advisory group, which together represent most aspects of the fishing industry in Columbia River, Jones said.

Any group or individual may submit a nomination. Nominations for new advisors should include the following information: A resume with contact information and a statement that describes the nominee’s fishing experience, interest in serving on the committee and ability to communicate with regional constituents. Current members may re-apply by contacting staff and expressing interest in serving an additional term.

Nominations can be submitted by mail to John North, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, 17330 SE Clackamas, OR 97015, by FAX at (971) 673-6072, or by email to john.a.north@state.or.us.

For more information, please contact John North at 971-673-6029, Tucker Jones at 971-673-6067, or visit ODFW’s Columbia River Fisheries Management page on-line.

Rising Cougar Numbers In Oregon Coast Range Spurs Alsea WMU Research Project

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

A few decades ago, cougars in the coast range were practically unheard of. But as Oregon’s healthy cougar population has expanded into northwest Oregon from population strongholds in the Blue Mountains and south Cascades, ODFW is observing  more cougar harvest, sightings and damage complaints along the coast.

(ODFW)

Researchers have studied cougar home range sizes, population densities and diet  in the Cascades and eastern Oregon, but not along the coast. A new study aims to change that through a research effort that will collar 10 adult cougars in  the Alsea Wildlife Management Unit, which includes parts of Lincoln and Benton counties.

ODFW will work with volunteer agents who have hounds to tree cougars in the study area so ODFW can immobilize them, take samples including blood and DNA, and get them fitted with a GPS collar. Location data collected from the collars will be used to calculate home range size and habitat selection.

Like similar research in other parts of the state, the study will also use scat detection dogs to refine a cougar population estimate for the unit and to analyze their diet. The scat provides DNA data used in capture-recapture models that estimate population size and density. The diet analysis provides important information on what percent of common prey items (deer, elk or small mammal) are making up area cougars’ diets.

Collaring of the cougars will begin this month and  will continue until 10 adults are collared or April 1, 2019.  Once a cougar is collared the GPS unit will collect location data for 17 months.

It is legal to harvest a collared cougar but ODFW prefers that hunters not shoot a cougar with a collar if possible. Hunters who do will need to contact ODFW and return the collar so the data can be retrieved and the collar reused, plus complete the normal check-in process that is required whenever a hunter takes a cougar or bear in Oregon.

“Better  data means better science based management decisions, and this data will help refine our cougar population estimates for this region,” says Jason Kirchner, district wildlife biologist in Newport. “This research will help ODFW manage for a viable population of cougars and assess effects on their prey populations, so we can improve management and conservation decisions for both cougars and ungulate species on the coast.”

Oregon’s statewide cougar population is estimated at 6,400. The Alsea Unit is part of Zone A, the Coast/North Cascades Zone, which has an estimated population of 950 cougars of all age classes.

The research is being funded through federal grants from the Wildlife Restoration Act and donations from Oregon Wildlife Foundation and the Oregon Hunters Association.