Tag Archives: ODFW

Oregon Lawmakers Hear Dire Warning About Willamette Salmonids, Fish Passage Work

Oregon lawmakers heard grim news about the future of Willamette Valley salmon and steelhead runs unless plans to increase fish passage around the Corps of Engineers’ so-called “Big 4” dams are expedited and fully implemented.

ODFW’s Bruce McIntosh warned that the stocks otherwise will go extinct, “likely within our lifetime,” if the federal agency and Congress doesn’t better connect the large amount of fish habitat available in the upper watersheds of the North and South Santiams, McKenzie and Middle Fork Willamette to the rest of the system.

Even as some projects to do that are years behind schedule, important funding to finish the work has been zeroed out starting this fall, he said.

WATER FLOWS THROUGH FLOOD GATES AT LOOKOUT POINT DAM DURING A 2013 TEST TO DETERMINE HOW BEST TO AID THE DOWNSTREAM MIGRATION OF LISTED SALMON AND STEELHEAD STOCKS. A STATE MANAGER SAYS THAT 70 TO 90 PERCENT OF SMOLTS DIE AT THE DAMS. (MARY KAREN SCULLION, CORPS OF ENGINEERS RESERVOIR REGULATION & WATER QUALITY SECTION)

The Corps has operated 13 dams in the watershed starting with the first 50 years ago for hydropower and flood control — preventing $1 billion in damage this spring, it touted — and has provided hatchery mitigation since Congress authorized it in 1951. They’ve also built adult collection facilities.

But the problem is getting young fish hatched in redds in the mountain reaches safely down past the dams. McIntosh says 70 to 90 percent die as they try to navigate through the facilities.

It’s more and more important with listed wild returns at Willamette Falls decreasing since at least the turn of the millennium, from 20,000-plus spring Chinook in the first years of the 2000s to 5,000 last year, and from 16,000 winter steelhead in 2002 to 2000 in 2018.

“Frankly, when you look at that, you can hear the battle drums of endangered species, not just threatened species. That’s the crossroads we sit at now,” McIntosh, the state’s deputy fish chief, told members of the House Committee on Natural Resources in a televised work session (starts at about 1:12:30) yesterday.

Increasing the number of returning wild fish could mean that fishery restrictions can be eased, but if runs continue to plummet, they will only get tighter due to the Endangered Species Act.

Pointing to a slide in his presentation that also showed Grand Ronde Tribe members dipnetting for the first time, McIntosh said, “There’s a whole fleet and economy around the fisheries at Willamette Falls and the Lower Columbia that is at stake here.”

McIntosh did acknowledge the “new actor on the stage” affecting returning salmonid numbers — sea lions that arrived at Willamette Falls in the past decade and which feast on returning salmon and steelhead at the chokepoint.

But he also reported that since ODFW received the OK from the National Marine Fisheries Service last fall to kill pinnipeds there, 34 have been euthanized.

A SEA LION FLINGS A SALMONID AT WILLAMETTE FALLS. (ODFW)

McIntosh said that most of what federal engineers need to do further up in the watershed is included in a 2008 federal biological opinion.

“Frankly, the Corps needs to get about the business of modifying those dams and operations, and Congress must fund them. That’s where we sit today,” McIntosh said.

He allowed that the Corps’ task was not easy, given the nature of the reservoirs, predation in them and how young fish prefer to travel at the surface of the lakes, and that some work has been accomplished.

Adult fish are being trucked around Detroit Dam on the North Santiam and Foster on the South Santiam, for instance, but there’s no way to collect smolts that otherwise have to go over the spillway or through the turbines and hope for the best. However, an “extreme draining” test on Fall Creek Reservoir showed promise for flushing fish and ridding the impoundment of nonnative fish.

THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS FISH COLLECTION FACILITY BELOW COUGAR DAM, ON A MCKENZIE TRIBUTARY. (ACOE)

He also said that other improvements are several years behind schedule, with the completion date at Lookout Point Dam on the Middle Fork — behind which is an estimated 94 percent of the highest quality spawning and rearing waters for springers in that system — now “unknown.”

Eighty-five percent of the best habitat on the South Santiam is behind Foster and Green Peter Reservoirs, 71 percent on the North Santiam is behind Detroit Reservoir, and 25 percent is behind Cougar Dam on a tributary of the McKenzie, he said.

And what’s even worse, according to McIntosh, is that the Trump Administration’s construction budget for Willamette basin work has been “zeroed out” starting this October.

McIntosh also highlighted how the Corps has been backing away from mitigating its dams with hatchery fish and is now producing 20 percent less than in past decade.

“And we frankly suspect there are more reductions to follow,” he said.

He claimed that the feds consider putting out their 4.6 million salmon and steelhead and 750,000 trout to be “discretionary” rather than a line item in their budget.

As the Corps has recently mulled turning over hatchery production in the basin to private vendors, McIntosh said he’s joked with federal staffers that they should turn over their dams to PGE, which saw “significant increase in survival” after it installed upstream and downstream fish passage at its Clackamas River dams.

At a cost of $90 million, 97 percent of juvenile salmon and steelhead now safely pass the facilities, according to the Portland-based utility.

ODFW’S BRUCE MCINTOSH SPEAKS BEFORE THE OREGON LEGISLATURE’S HOUSE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES, CHAIRED BY REP. BRAD WITT. (OREGON LEGISLATURE)

“What’s at stake? It’s our legacy. While we fully support the Corps and federal government efforts to restore wild fish to sustainable levels in the valley, they also have a mitigation responsibility, and our message to them is, we will not accept paper fish in exchange for real fish,” McIntosh said.

“When they get about the business of recovering wild fish, we can talk about reducing that mitigation responsibility,” he said.

At the end of the work session, Rep. Brad Witt (D-Clatskanie) said that he intended to have a letter drafted supporting construction work on the Willamette system to aid fish passage.

Columbia Springer Run Downgraded To 75,000

File this one under Unsurprising News, but the Columbia upriver spring Chinook forecast has been cut by a quarter as the return begins to flag.

The U.S. vs OR Technical Advisory Committee, also known as TAC, yesterday estimated that only 75,000 adult kings will return to the mouth of the big river this spring, down from the preseason prediction of 99,300.

A FISH PASSAGE CENTER GRAPH SHOWS THE 2019 UPRIVER SPRING CHINOOK RUN AT BONNEVILLE DAM (RED LINE) COMPARED TO 2018 (BLUE LINE) AND THE 10-YEAR AVERAGE (BLACK). (FPC)

If it comes to pass, it would be the fewest springers since 1999’s 43,067.

As it has become apparent this year’s run won’t meet predictions — the count at Bonneville Dam through yesterday is 46,653, more than 80,000 fewer than the 10-year average — managers throughout the watershed tightened the clamps on this year’s fisheries even more, closing waters or announcing they wouldn’t open for angling.

Idaho scrubbed the two-day-a-week Clearwater River fishery because it didn’t look like enough salmon would return to meet broodstock needs and Washington helped out by cancelling the weekends-only opener at Clarkston on the Snake and later today at Little Goose Dam.

Oregon stated that its Snake, as well as the Wallowa and Imnaha Rivers and Lookingglass Creek also would not open, then WDFW put out an e-reg shutting down the popular Wind River and Drano Lake fisheries after this past Sunday to collect broodstock for hatcheries elsewhere, such as Leavenworth, an important facility powering sport and tribal fisheries on Icicle Creek.

While the Lower Columbia fishery saw three weekend-only extensions after its April 10 last scheduled day, the overall 1,471 upriver Chinook kept plus release mortalities accrued through the season between Warrior Rock and Bonneville should be covered by the run.

In a fact sheet out a couple weeks ago when managers mulled an April 27-28 opener said that a runsize of 53,300 would cover up to 1,691 mortalities.

The Columbia below Warrior Rock down to Buoy 10 was kept closed this year to protect weak returns of Cowlitz and Lewis springers. Hatcheries on those two systems need 1,337 and 1,380 fish to meet goals and as of last Tuesday, 416 and 421 had returned.

A total of 4,700 are needed for Idaho’s Clearwater system and analysis of passive integrated transponders placed in a portion of the run show that 3,500 had been counted at Bonneville as of last week.

A SPRING CHINOOK COMES ABOARD A BOAT FISHING AT THE MOUTH OF THE WIND RIVER. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

The Willamette Falls springer count of 11,922 through May 16 is about 4,500 fish fewer than the 10-year average for the date but still much better than 2017’s 4,156.

As for this year’s new May lower Skagit Chinook sport fishery, only an estimated 22 had been caught through the 12th, though a better gauge of the run might be hatchery return.

If there is any bright spot to this year’s poor Columbia springer run, it might be that if this is the bottom of the salmon stock’s up-and-down cycle, it’s a whole lot better than the last big crash.

Only 24,095 and 12,792 entered the big river in 1994 and 1995, an era when there was no directed fishery on above-Bonneville-bound fish in the lower river.

Since that time, state, tribal and federal dollars have been poured into hatcheries, habitat and passage improvements, notes WDFW’s Ryan Lothrop.

The numbers of jacks — a potential indication for future runs — this year isn’t great, but it’s better than any time during the 1990s and during a downturn in the middle of this millennium’s first decade too.

DFWs To Talk Proposed Sturgeon Reg Changes For Gorge Pools, Reach, Snake

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

State fish managers are hosting a series of public meetings in May and June to discuss sturgeon fishing regulations in Washington.

DAVID KASPER BATTLES ONE OF A NUMBER OF STURGEON HE AND TWO FRIENDS HOOKED IN THE SWIRLING CURRENTS BELOW MCNARY DAM EARLIER THIS MONTH, WATERS THAT COULD SEE NEW RULES TO PROTECT SPAWNERS. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) have scheduled public meetings at the following locations:

* The Dalles, Oregon: 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, May 22, at the ODFW screen shop, 3561 Klindt Dr., The Dalles.

* Kennewick: 6 to 8 p.m, Tuesday, June 11, at the Benton PUD building, 2721 W. 10th Ave., Kennewick.

*Hermiston, Oregon: 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, June 12, at the Hermiston Community Center, 415 S. Hwy 395, Hermiston.

An additional meeting in Montesano will also be announced at a later date.

Among the topics of discussion are possible rule changes meant to improve conservation efforts and increase the abundance and survival of mature spawning-size sturgeon.

The proposed regulations are also part of WDFW’s ongoing efforts to simplify fishing rules.

“In the past several years, the agency has been moving toward rule simplification as one of the primary objectives of our regulations,” said Laura Heironimus, sturgeon unit lead with WDFW. “This effort, combined with recent biological information, offered an opportunity to take a fresh look at sturgeon regulations around the state.”

Discussion topics and management recommendations include:

* Extending the dates of all sturgeon spawning sanctuaries in the Columbia River from Bonneville Dam to Priest Rapids Dam, and in the Snake River below Ice Harbor Dam, through Aug. 31. Most of these spawning sanctuaries are currently in effect from May 1 through July 31.

* Extending the area of the spawning sanctuaries on the Columbia River below McNary and Priest Rapids dams.

* Closing sturgeon retention fishing within McNary Reservoir, inclusive of the lower Snake River below Ice Harbor Dam and the Hanford Reach below Priest Rapids Dam, due to a lack of population monitoring information.

In addition to input received at public meetings, WDFW will collect comments online and by mail. A webpage to collect public comments will be available soon. Following the public comment period, fish managers expect to brief the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in October on the resulting proposed regulations.

ODFW Meetings On Proposed Coastal Fall Chinook Restrictions Kicks Off Tonight In Nehalem

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

Meetings to discuss regulation changes in response to low returns of fall Chinook are kicking off tonight in Nehalem. See full list of meetings below.

GUIDE ANDY MARTIN REACHES FOR A FALL CHINOOK AT THE MOUTH OF THE CHETCO RIVER LAST SEASON. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

ODFW is proposing temporary harvest limits and closures for coastal wild fall Chinook fisheries due to low escapement in 2018 and poor forecasts for this year. For more information about staff proposals, see

https://myodfw.com/articles/proposed-2019-fall-chinook-regulations

These proposed temporary regulation changes provide fishing opportunity while reducing harvest and increasing spawning escapement of wild fall Chinook. The meetings are to seek public input that will help balance these two objectives and assist managers should additional regulations be needed during the season.

Proposed harvest reduction measures are in line with actions developed through the 2014 Coastal Multi-Species Conservation and Management Plan for addressing low wild fall Chinook abundance. Proposals for streams and rivers from Euchre Creek to the California border are also in line with the 2013 Rogue Fall Chinook Conservation Plan.

Meeting locations and schedules follow:

Nehalem
May 15, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
North County Recreation District- AE Doyle Room
36155 9th St.
North Coast (Nehalem River)

Tillamook
May 16, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Tillamook Bay Community College- Rm 214
4301 Third St.
North Coast (Tillamook and Nestucca basins)

North Bend
May 21, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
North Bend Public Library
1800 Sherman Avenue

Newport
May 29, 6 p.m.-7 p.m.
Hallmark Resort
844 Elizabeth St.
Mid Coast (Siuslaw to Salmon River)

Port Orford
May 30, 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Port Orford Public Library
1421 Oregon Street

Brookings
June 5, 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Chetco Community Public Library
405 Alder Street

IDFG Halts Clearwater Springer Fishery; WDFW Closes Clarkston Area Of Snake

Editor’s note: Updated 2:50 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Idaho salmon managers are closing the two-day-a-week spring Chinook fishery on the Clearwater system because not enough fish are returning to cover eggtake needs, and Washington followed suit in the Clarkston area.

A FISH PASSAGE CENTER GRAPH SHOWS THE 2019 SPRING CHINOOK RUN AT BONNEVILLE DAM (RED LINE) SO FAR. BLUE LINE IS 2018 AND BLACK LINE IS THE 10-YEAR AVERAGE. OVER THE PAST DECADE, AN AVERAGE OF 111,686 SPRINGERS HAVE BEEN COUNTED AT THE DAM AS OF MAY 13, BUT THIS YEAR’S TALLY IS JUST 38,415. (FPC)

IDFG says it’s possible that the season could reopen later in May depending on dam counts, but returns at Bonneville took a downturn the past seven days after reaching a high of 4,807 last Tuesday.

So far, only 38,415 springers have been tallied at the first blockage of the Columbia, just 35 percent of the 10-year average.

“Based on the number of PIT tagged fish passing over Bonneville Dam, fisheries managers are projecting that not enough Chinook will return to hatcheries in the Clearwater River basin to meet brood needs. However, dam counts and PIT tag detections have been fluctuating and there’s some uncertainty to the actual size of the run,” IDFG said in a press release out today.

The agency said that typically by May 22 four-fifths of the Clearwater run should have gone over the dam and by then officials should know if enough are returning to reopen the season.

“Currently, the number of fish returning to Rapid River Hatchery is projected to be high enough for the fisheries to remain open in the lower Salmon River and Little Salmon River,” IDFG states.

Eric Barker of the Lewiston Morning Tribune broke the news that WDFW was also considering closing the Clarkston area of Washington’s Snake, and that has come to pass.

“This section of the Snake River is adjacent to the Clearwater River. Spring chinook salmon returns to the Clearwater are lower than preseason estimates, and this closure is necessary to protect hatchery brood stock within the Clearwater,” the agency said in an emergency rule-change notice.

That part of the river has only been open one weekend so far.

The waters near Little Goose Dam remain open, per the e-reg,

Last week, Oregon and Washington salmon managers granted two more days of fishing in Columbia Gorge pools up to the state line, but at the urging of anglers, guides and upstream tribes did not add any more time on the lower river.

They planned to provide an update on the run tomorrow.

4 ODFW Commission Nominees Given Do-Confirm Nod As 5th’s Dismissal Stirs Debate

Four Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission nominees received do-confirm recommendations yesterday afternoon from a state Senate committee that also declined to consider a fifth.

The move means that senators will take up the appointments of Mark Labhart, Robert Spelbrink, Mary Wahl and Jill Zarnowitz on the floor of the upper chamber, while the dismissal of Capt. James Nash continues to stir debate.

ROBERT SPELBRINK, MARY WAHL AND JILL ZARNOWITZ SPEAK BEFORE A SENATE COMMITTEE DURING A HEARING ON THEIR NOMINATION TO SERVE ON THE OREGON FISH AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION. A FOURTH NOMINEE, MARK LABHART, PHONED IN TO DISCUSS HIS QUALIFICATIONS. (OREGON)

Nash, a Northeast Oregon hunter, outfitter and conservationist whose nomination was first reported here, drew the ire of environmental groups who poked around in his Instagram account and brought images to the attention of reporters, which resulted in puzzling headlines at the Willamette Week and The Oregonian, as if it was wrong to have a hunter on the panel overseeing the management of the state’s fish and wildlife.

They also didn’t like that he was a member of a longtime Wallowa County ranching family and the son of a critic of wolf management in the area.

As the Oregon Outdoor Council rallied to Nash’s defense, there was pushback from both Jayson Jacoby of the Baker City Herald and Bill Monroe, outdoor writer at The Oregonian.

“Photos of his hippo and crocodile kills triggered an unfair rush to judgment of a man who, after medical retirement from the Marines, dedicated his life to the environment, river restoration, responsible range management and teaching others to hunt and fish,” wrote Monroe in arguing Nash deserved a hearing.

“The implication, at least based on the headlines and photographs, is that a man who not only kills animals but does so, in some cases, for sport rather than for food, is incapable of responsibly overseeing the conservation of wildlife,” wrote Jacoby.

After Senate Rules Committee Chairwoman Sen. Ginny Burdick (D-Portland) spiked Nash’s nomination, it came out that “his big-game hunting was never the real issue.”

“The real issue, [environmental groups] say, is that Gov. Brown had a rare opportunity to change the culture at the top of her fish and wildlife agency and instead chose not to,” reported OPB.

It all led one longtime Northwest hook-and-bullet-world writer to wonder if “social prejudice” and “political correctness” wasn’t at work.

“The irony of environmentalists blocking the nomination of a veteran and lifelong outdoorsman to serve on the Fish & Wildlife commission — which is responsible for setting hunting and fishing seasons and regulations — seems overwhelming,” wrote Dave Workman for Ammoland.

As for the four whose nominations are proceeding, they detailed their interests to the Rules Committee.

Labhart, who worked for the state Department of Forestry, was a Tillamook County Commissioner and now lives in Sisters, told senators that he’d been involved with ODFW “for decades” and would approach the commission position with an open mind and wasn’t coming in with an agenda.

Spelbrink, a retired commercial fisherman of 40 years and fishing guide of 20 years on the Siletz, said the state’s natural resources had “been a huge part of my life” and hoped that his background would be valuable to the citizen panel.

Application documents show that both Labhart and Spelbrink hunt and fish.

Wahl, who managed toxic cleanups for the state and watershed operations in Portland and now lives in Langlois and co-owns her family’s ranch and is on the board of Wild Rivers Land Trust, said with her on-the-job experiences and policy work would make her “an effective, enganged commissioner.”

Zarnowitz operates a winery near Yamhill and said she had had a 40-year career in natural resources management in Oregon and Washington, and was “pleased” to offer her services to the state.

Their nominations, as well as dozens of others, including outgoing ODFW Commissioner Bruce Buckmaster to the Oregon Water Enhancement Board, were given do-confirm recommendations without any debate by Sen. Burdick’s committee.

Next up in the process is a floor vote.

2 More Days Of Springer Fishing Approved Above Bonneville

Columbia salmon managers OKed a two-day spring Chinook opener for the gorge pools upstream to the Washington-Oregon border this weekend.

While ODFW’s Tucker Jones expressed confidence given yesterday’s big 4,807-fish jump at Bonneville that the lower river could have also been opened, there was no support for it among the recreational advisors, guides and members of the public during a conference call this afternoon.

A GUIDE REACHES FOR A SPRING CHINOOK AT WIND RIVER. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Upriver tribes also expressed concern about potential high catch rates that fishery might have and that a federal hatchery in Leavenworth was only expected to get half the broodstock it needed.

Jones’ WDFW counterpart Bill Tweit said he was hopeful for additional opportunity below the dam too, but was less optimistic about the run, which at 25,073 is the second lowest in the last 10 years and just 28 percent of the 10-year average.

A technical committee says it’s still too early to provide a reliable runsize update; the forecast was for 99,300.

Downriver test fishing this week saw Chinook catches drop compared to the previous week too.

With anglers expected to land about 113 springers a day, Jones and Tweit approved a Saturday-Sunday fishery on the Columbia from the Tower Island powerlines below The Dalles Dam upstream to the state line, plus bank fishing from Bonneville to the powerlines.

It had been proposed by state staffers as a Saturday -Monday opener, but Tweit was nervous about how close that would bring the catch to the 492-fish quota and suggested two days instead, which Jones agreed with.

He anticipates the run will come in strong enough to cover fisheries so far and Tweit noted that every day’s dam counts provided crucial information on the return.

It’s likely that a fact sheet will come out next Wednesday to just update the run size and gorge pools’ catches.

Under the preseason forecast and 30 percent buffer, the lower river quota of above-Bonneville springer mortalities is 3,689, of which 40 percent or 1,471 have been taken during the March, early April and three weekend openers.

ODFW Premium, Controlled Hunt App Deadline May 15; Heads Up On Baker Co. Ranch Access

THE FOLLOWING ARE PRESS RELEASES FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

One week left to apply for “Premium” hunt of a lifetime and other controlled hunts: Deadline May 15, 2019

It’s the hunt of a lifetime—though you can win it more than once.

Premium Hunts (see photos) are Oregon’s premiere hunting opportunity for both residents and non-residents—deer, elk and pronghorn antelope tags with a four-month season (Aug. 1-Nov. 30) and any-sex bag limit.

FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD DAMON STEELHAMMER OF EUGENE POSES WITH HIS FOSSIL UNIT BULL ELK, TAKEN ON DAY FIVE OF A PREMIUM TAG HUNT LAST SEASON. (BRYAN MURPHY VIA ODFW)

Like all limited-entry controlled hunts, applications are $8, and due no later than 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, May 15. Premium Hunt tags also cost the same as other big game tags.

But the draw for Premium Hunts is not based on preference points, so everyone has an equal chance to draw each year. And unlike “once-in-a-lifetime” bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain goat tags, Premium Hunts can be drawn again and again.

Premium Hunts are also considered additional tags—meaning winners can still hunt on their regular controlled or general season big game tag.

Finally, both residents and non-residents can apply and both have an equal chance to draw.

How to apply
It’s easy to apply online at www.myodfw.com Click the “Buy License/Apply for tag” button and login. If you haven’t created an online account yet, use Verify/Look Up Account to find your profile and create one. (All hunters and anglers who have purchased an annual license in the past three years, have preference points, or have Pioneer or Disability status need to use Verify/Look Up Account as they already have a profile in the new system.)

Once you are logged in or have set up your account, go to Purchase from the Catalog / Big Game Hunting / Controlled Hunts and choose the deer, elk or pronghorn antelope Premium Hunt application. Then Proceed to Checkout to make your hunt selections (hunts are selected before you enter your payment information and complete the purchase). Reminder that as with all controlled hunt applications, a hunting license is required to apply. For a step-by-step guide to applying online, visit https://medium.com/@MyODFW/how-to-apply-for-a-controlled-hunt-online-ed08f04b0345

One Premium deer, elk or pronghorn antelope tag is available in just about every unit where these species occur, see page 64-66 of 2019 Oregon Big Game Regulations or the online regulations (http://www.eregulations.com/oregon/big-game-hunting/premium-hunts/) for details and hunt numbers.

You can also apply for Premium and all other controlled hunts at ODFW offices that sell licenses and at license sale agents. Hunters are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to avoid long lines on deadline day.

More about Premium Hunts
ODFW first introduced Premium Hunts in 2016 to offer every hunter the chance to win the hunt of a lifetime at the cost of a regular tag. Last year, the Wenaha elk, Metolius deer, and W Beaty Butte-N70B pronghorn antelope were the most sought-after hunts with the most first-choice applicants. Find out more about the most and least applied for hunts at https://myodfw.com/articles/premium-big-game-hunts

To see photos and stories from 2018 Premium Hunt winners, visit https://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/premium_hunts/2018_winners/EverallDeerMurderersCreekcreditAndyDill.asp

…….

Lookout Mt. hunters: Forsea Ranch Access Area not available for fall big game hunting

Hunters should be aware that the Forsea Ranch Access Area is ending its participation in the Access and Habitat (A and H) program and will not be available to hunt through the program after July 31, 2019.

The property had provided open “Welcome to Hunt” access to more than 9,000 acres of private land in the Lookout Mt. Unit (Baker County). Hunters applying for fall big game controlled hunts in the unit will not be able to hunt this access area through the A and H program this fall.

AN ODFW HUNTING MAP SHOWS THE FORSEA RANCH, WHICH IS PULLING OUT OF THE STATE AGENCY’S ACCESS PROGRAM FOLLOWING A DISPUTE OVER A ROAD WITH BAKER COUNTY. (ODFW)

The fall controlled hunts affected are #164 (buck deer); #s 264A1, 264A2, 264X, 264Y (elk); #464 (pronghorn antelope); #s 564A1 and 564A2 (bighorn sheep). The deadline to apply for all fall controlled hunts is next Wednesday, May 15.

Hunters who have already applied for a controlled hunt in Lookout Mt and wish to change their hunt choice based on the closure of Forsea Ranch Access Area have until June 1 to do so. The easiest way to change a hunt choice is to login to your MyODFW.com account, go to Recreational Portfolio/Controlled Hunts and then click the Edit button next to Hunt Choices. Hunters who haven’t logged in to their online account yet should use the “Verify/Look Up Your account” button to retrieve and set up their online account.

Hunt choices can also be changed through June 1 at ODFW offices that sell licenses, at license sale agents, or by contacting Licensing (odfw.websales@state.or.us, tel. (503) 947-6101).

Forsea Ranch Access Area participated in ODFW’s A and H Program, which provides grants to landowners to allow hunters to access their private land. The property was originally scheduled to be in the program through 2021.

The landowner notified ODFW late last week that he was “regretfully” discontinuing participation in the program as of July 31, 2019 due to a disagreement with Baker County involving a public road.

Lookout Mt. is only 38 percent public land so A and H properties provide important hunter access in the unit. Other A and H properties in the unit include Widman Access Area, Troy Ranches Access Area, MR King Access Area, Virtue Flat Access Area and Iron Mountain Access Area. Find more information at https://myodfw.com/articles/hunting-access-map

Big Turnout, 4 Tons Of Trash Collected In Annual Yaquina River Cleanup

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE U DA MAN FISHING TOURNAMENT

On Saturday, April 20th, the U Da Man (UDM) Fishing Tournament, in conjunction with Oregon SOLVE, held its 3rd Annual Port to Port Yaquina River Clean Up.

This event is sponsored by the Ports of Newport and Toledo, Dahl Disposal of Toledo, Thompson’s Sanitary Service of Newport, JC Thriftway Market and Englund Marine & Industrial Supply of Newport.

PARTICIPANTS IN THE PORT TO PORT CLEANUP POSE WITH TRASH COLLECTED ALONG THE LOWER YAQUINA RIVER DURING LAST WEEKEND’S EVENT. (U DA MAN)

Fifty-two volunteers worked from boats and the road shoulders from the Port of Toledo airport boat launch starting at 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. This is the largest group of volunteers we have had for this event. Two 20-yard dumpsters were filled with an estimated 8,000 pounds of debris and trash by the end of the day.

Volunteers represented local community members, along with the many members of the Longview Hills Fishing Club, Central Coast Fly Fishers, students from the Newport and Toledo High Schools, Angell Job Corp, First United Methodist Church Youth Group of Corvallis, ODFW, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol, Depoe Bay Salmon Enhancement, Oregon Hunters Association and Oregon SOLVE.

The UDM group wants to thank all the sponsors and volunteers who assisted us this year. We simply could not have this much impact on the Yaquina River habitat without all the people power and donations provided for this yearly event.

Oregon Family Free Fishing Events Begin This Weekend

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

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will host about 30 different Family Fishing events throughout the state from April to November 2019.

Detailed information about these opportunities to take your family fishing can be found here: https://myodfw.com/articles/take-family-fishing.

AN INSTRUCTOR TEACHES A YOUNG ANGLER AT A 2017 ODFW FISHING EVENT. (ODFW)

All family fishing events are free and open to all ages. Children 11-years old and younger do not need a fishing license. However, those 12-17 will need a youth license, which can be purchased from any ODFW license agent or online via MyODFW.com for $10. Adult anglers will also need an Oregon fishing license. Licenses won’t be issued at the event so those who are required to have one should obtain their license ahead of time.

ODFW will also hand out rods, reels, tackle and bait to participants while supplies last. Pre-registration is not required and participants are welcome to bring their own fishing equipment if they prefer. ODFW staff and volunteer instructors will be present to assist with everything from gearing up, casting, landing and cleaning fish.

“Family fishing events are wonderful ways for new or beginner anglers to get out and experience fishing,” said Amanda Boyles, ODFW Angler Education Coordinator. “Volunteers and staff are more than willing to help with all fishing-related questions and all you need to bring with you is your license (if you’re 12 or older) and a smile on your face! Good luck, have fun, and say ‘thank you’ to all the ODFW volunteers you see out there because they make these events possible,” Boyles added.

Each Family Fishing pond will be regularly stocked with trout by ODFW. Review the Stocking Schedules to find out what’s being stocked throughout the year.

Anyone unable to participate in these fishing events can explore many other fishing, hunting or wildlife viewing opportunities at ODFW’s recreation website, including classes and workshops held for all ages, at  MyODFW.com.

ZONE, DATE AND TIME LOCATION NEAREST TOWN
Northwest Zone
April 20, 9 am – 2 pm Hebo Lake Hebo
April 27, 9 am – 2 pm Devils Lake (Regatta Park) Lincoln City
May 4, 9 am – 2 pm Vernonia Lake Vernonia
June 8, 9 am – 2 pm Cleawox Lake Florence
July 7, 9 am – 2 pm Dundas Pond Siletz
Southwest Zone
April 27, 10 am – 2 pm Empire Lakes Coos Bay
May 4, 9 am – 1:30 pm Reinhart Volunteer Park Grants Pass
May 18, 10 am – 2 pm Powers Pond Powers
June 8, 10 am – 2:30 pm Denman Wildlife Area Central Point
July 4, 9 am to 1 pm Mingus Park Coos Bay
July 20, 9 am to 1 pm July Jubilee North Bend
Willamette Zone
April 20, 9 am – 2 pm St. Louis Ponds Gervais
April 20, 9 am – 12 pm Walter Wirth Lake Cascades Gateway Park Salem
April 27, 9am – 2 pm Trojan Pond Rainer
May 4, 9 am – 2 pm Sheridan Pond Sheridan
May 5, 9:30 am – 1:30 pm Alton Baker Canoe Canal Eugene
May 25, 9 am – 2 pm Mt. Hood Pond Gresham
June 15, 10 am – 2 pm Alton Baker Canoe Canal Eugene
October 12, 9 am – 2 pm St. Louis Ponds Gervais
October 19, 9 am – 2 pm Mt. Hood Pond Gresham
November 26, 9 am – 12 pm Walter Wirth Lake Cascades Gateway Park Salem
Central Zone
May 4, 8:30 am – 1 pm Bikini Pond (Mayere State Park) Mosier
May 11, 8:30 – 2 pm Camp Baldwin Dufur
May 18, 8:30 am – 2 pm Middle Fork Pond Parkdale
June 20, 9 am – 12 pm Shevlin Pond Bend
Northeast Zone
April 13, 10 am – 12 pm McNary Channel Ponds Hermiston
May 18, 10 am – 12 pm McNary Channel Ponds Hermiston
July 6, 9 am – 2 pm Jubilee Lake Pendleton