Tag Archives: ODFW

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.

 

‘Most Fun-packed Family Fishing Event’ On Central Coast Coming To Waldport Saturday

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

Family fishing is coming to Waldport on Saturday, May 19 when the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and First Baptist Church of Waldport host a family fishing event at Eckman Lake.

ANGLERS CAST FROM THE ECKMAN LAKE PIER FOR STOCKER TROUT RELEASED BY ODFW FOR A FAMILY FISHING EVENT. (ODFW PHOTO)

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for youth ages 17 and younger.  Each participant will be able to catch two rainbow trout from a fish enclosure stocked with more than 2,000 rainbow trout, including 50 “trophy” fish.

“This is the most fun-packed family fishing event on the mid Coast,” said Christine Clapp, ODFW biologist. The First Baptist Church of Waldport hosts a carnival for children of all ages,across the street, so there is plenty to do and see. “Families are bound to make memories that will last a lifetime, said Clapp.

Additional features of the event carnival include a bouncy house, obstacle course, target practice games, cotton candy and lots of other fun activities. Kids can also make their own fishing lures and flies, get some extra cast practice with a backyard game, and learn about fish anatomy and physiology while volunteers clean their catch.

Eckman Lake is located about 2.5 miles east of Waldport on Highway 34. The family fishing area will be set up at Nelson State Recreation Area across from the First Baptist Church parking lot.

The event is open to everyone, and no pre-registration is required. Participants can register at the church upon arrival to get a free goodie bag. Anglers 11 years old and younger do not need a fishing license but 12-17 year olds will need a youth license, which can be purchased for $10 at any ODFW license agent, ODFW office or on-line at ODFW’s website (www.odfw.com). Licenses will not be sold at the event. The youth license includes angling, hunting, shellfish and the Columbia River basin endorsement.

Record $1.02 Million Raised Through ODFW Raffle, Auction Tags; Money Goes To Access, Research Programs, Conservation Groups

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

ODFW’s 2018 auctions and raffles for 26 special Oregon big game hunting tags grossed a record $1,019,730 this year, breaking the previous record of $882,787 set in 2017. Winners of these tags can hunt during an extended season and in an expanded hunt area.

PATRICK WHEELER FROM HINES WITH A DEER TAKEN IN THE MALHEUR UNIT WITH HIS 2012 SE OREGON DEER RAFFLE TAG. (VIA ODFW)

A total of 145,105 raffle tickets were sold, grossing $380,730 and breaking previous records for raffle sales. Raffle winners were drawn at the Oregon Hunters Association state convention on May 12 at the Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville. See the list of winners at https://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/auctions_raffles/raffle_winners.asp

The auction of 13 special big game tags grossed $639,000. The Governor’s combination deer/elk tag went for $78,000, breaking the previous record of $70,000 set in 2016. See the list of auction events and winning bids at https://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/auctions_raffles/current_auction_sales.asp

The funds raised for deer and elk tags sold at auctions and raffles go to ODFW’s Access and Habitat program, which opens millions of acres of private land to hunting access and improves wildlife habitat. Proceeds from the pronghorn, bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain goat tags help fund research and management of those species.

The sportsmen conservation groups that sponsored the auctions at fund raising banquets of their organizations in the past few months also get to keep 10 percent of the auction proceeds ($63,900). Those groups include local, state and/or national chapters of the Wild Sheep Foundation, Mule Deer Foundation, Oregon Hunters Association, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Safari Club International, and National Wild Turkey Federation.

Columbia Subarea All-depth Halibut Fishery To Close After Friday

THE FOLLOWING ARE A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE AND AN EMERGENCY RULE-CHANGE NOTICE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

The Pacific halibut all-depth sport fishery in the Columbia River Subarea will close effective Friday, May 11, 2018 at 11:59 p.m., fishery managers announced today.

The all-depth fishery from Leadbetter Point in Washington to Cape Falcon in Oregon opened on May 3 and was scheduled to be open every ThursdayFriday and Sunday through Sept. 30 or the harvest of 11,182 pounds of Pacific halibut, whichever came first.

Preliminary estimates indicate that landings are nearing the quota and not enough remains for additional open days. The season will be closed until the end of the year. Effort in the Columbia River Subarea in 2018 was higher than in 2017 and catch rates were good, enabling anglers to harvest the entire quota for this fishery after just five days of fishing.

The Columbia River nearshore fishery (inside the 40-fathom line off of Oregon) remains open Mondays through Wednesdays until Sept. 30 or until the quota of 500 pounds is reached, whichever comes first.

Opportunities to fish for Pacific halibut remain open in other areas of Oregon:

Off central Oregon between Cape Falcon (near Manzanita) and Humbug Mountain (near Port Orford), anglers may fish for halibut inside the 40-fathom line beginning June 1, seven days a week through Oct. 31 or attainment of the harvest quota (25,856 pounds) for that fishery.

The spring season all-depth halibut fishery off central Oregon (quota of 135,742 pounds) is next scheduled to be open May 24-26, with additional fixed open dates scheduled for June 7-9 and June 21-23.

The summer season all-depth is scheduled to begin on Aug. 3-4 every other Friday and Saturday until Oct. 31 or the quota of 53,866 pounds has been met. The high-relief area of Stonewall Bank, west of Newport, is closed to all halibut fishing.

The area between Humbug Mountain and the OR/CA Border is open at all depths for Pacific halibut seven days a week through Oct. 31 or until the quota of 8,982 pounds has been met, whichever comes first.

Days on which Pacific halibut fishing is open will be announced on the NOAA Fisheries hotline (1-800-662-9825) and posted on the Pacific Halibut sport regulations page,  https://myodfw.com/pacific-halibut-sport-regulations

…………………………

Pacific halibut fishing to close after May 11 in Marine Area 1

Action: Close recreational halibut fishing at the end of the day Friday, May 11 in Marine 1.

Effective dates: 11:59 p.m. Friday, May 11, 2018

Species affected: Pacific halibut.

Location:  Marine Area 1.

Reason for action: The all-depth recreational halibut fishery in Marine Area 1 opened Thursday, May 3 and continued Friday, May 4 and Sunday, May 6. During those three days, anglers caught 8,455 pounds of the 11,182-pound quota for the all-depth fishery in the Washington portion of the Columbia River area.

There is sufficient quota remaining to continue the all-depth recreational halibut fishery through Friday, May 11 but not enough to keep the fishery open Sunday, May 13 without risk of exceeding the quota. The nearshore halibut fishery in Marine Area 1 will remain open Mondays through Wednesdays until further notice.

These rules conform to management actions taken by the International Pacific Halibut Commission and the National Marine Fisheries Service. 

 

ODFW, OSP Team To Remove Arrows From 2 Shady Cove Does; Search Still On For Poacher

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

Two deer, illegally shot with arrows in the Shady Cove area, were successfully tranquilized yesterday and the arrows removed.

(OSP)

ODFW wildlife biologists and Oregon State Police fish and wildlife officers worked together to track and tranquilize the deer, remove the arrows and treat the wounds. The deer, an adult doe and a yearling doe, were successfully released in good health with no visible infection.

(OSP)

“Pictures of these deer stuck with arrows have been circulating widely in the media and social media, and understandably, it’s upsetting to see. We are happy to say the arrows were removed and these deer have a very good chance of survival,” said Steve Niemela, Rogue District Wildlife Biologist.

Last week, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Oregon State police began receiving calls from landowners in Shady Cove who saw these deer on their properties. Niemela said this is the second time in two years deer were illegally shot with arrows.

“This is not ethical hunting, it’s a twisted act of poaching,” said Zach Lycett, board member of the Rogue Valley Chapter of Oregon Hunter’s Association. “True ethical hunters respect the animals they hunt and are grateful for the opportunities to hunt. We do not stand for these kinds of criminal acts.”

OSP Sergeant Jim Collom said OSP is investigating and encourages anyone with information to call the TIP line at 1-800-452-7888.

The Rogue Valley OHA contributed $1,500, Ashland Archers contributed $100 and Dewclaw Archery contributed $500 to add on to the Oregon Hunter’s Association’s standard $500 reward for information leading t

More Details On 2018 Columbia Summer, Fall Salmon Seasons

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

Oregon and Washington fishery managers have announced the 2018 summer and fall fisheries for the Columbia River.

MORNING AT “BUOY 10” …  (BRIAN LULL)

This year, anglers will see changes to daily bag limits and fewer fishing days for Chinook salmon due to lower harvest guidelines resulting from below-average salmon and steelhead forecasts.

For the summer season, adult Chinook retention will be limited to June 22 through July 4 from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam. From Bonneville Dam upstream to the Oregon/Washington border, the summer Chinook season is scheduled for June 16 through July 31. The daily adult bag limit for both areas is two hatchery salmonids, which may include up to two Chinook when retention is allowed. Due to projected low escapement, sockeye retention will be prohibited this year.

LOWER COLUMBIA RIVER SALMON ANGLERS FISH BELOW THE LONGVIEW BRIDGE, WHERE JOHN FIELDING SNAPPED THIS ON-THE-WATER SHOT.(DAIWA PHOTO CONTEST)

The fall seasons will start Aug. 1 based on a projected return of 375,500 fall Chinook, down from 476,100 last year. This year’s forecast includes 205,100 upriver bright Chinook, compared to a return of 296,500 in 2017. Based on this lower forecast, fisheries will be managed for a harvest rate of 8.25 percent, down from 15 percent in the recent years, resulting in shorter fall Chinook retention seasons.

“Through the recent season-setting process, we worked with the public to design fall fisheries within the upriver bright Chinook constraints,” said John North, fisheries manager for ODFW’s Columbia River Program. “Hopefully a run upgrade in mid-September will allow us to liberalize some fisheries and provide additional opportunity.”

COLUMBIA RIVER STEELHEADERS WILL HAVE A ONE-HATCHERY-SUMMER-RUN LIMIT STARTING AUG. 1. (CHRIS SPENCER)

Though improved from last year’s return, predicted steelhead returns remain below average. To reduce harvest, anglers will be limited to one steelhead per day from Aug. 1 to the end of the year.

For more information about upcoming Columbia River seasons, including regulation updates, visit ODFW’s online fishing reports at www.myodfw.com.

The following are detailed regulations for the 2018 Columbia River summer and fall salmon and steelhead seasons:

Summary of 2018

Summer/Fall Salmon and Steelhead Regulations for the mainstem Columbia River

All regulations may be subject to in-season modification

Summer Season (June 16-July 31)

  • Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam

o   Retention of adult hatchery Chinook (24-inches or longer) allowed June 22 – July 4 (13 days).

o   Retention of hatchery Chinook jacks and hatchery steelhead allowed June 16 – July 31. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids. Sockeye retention prohibited.

o   All other permanent rules apply.

  • Bonneville Dam upstream to OR/WA border (upstream of McNary Dam)

o   Retention of adult hatchery Chinook (24-inches or longer) allowed June 16 – July 31.

o   Retention of hatchery Chinook jacks and hatchery steelhead allowed June 16 – July 31. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids. Sockeye retention prohibited.

o   All other permanent rules apply.

Fall Seasons (Aug. 1-Dec. 31)

  • Buoy 10

o    Area definition: From the Buoy 10 line upstream to a line projected from Rocky Point on the Washington shore through red buoy #44 to red marker #2 at Tongue Point on the Oregon shore.

o    Aug. 1 – Dec. 31: Retention of adult hatchery coho (16-inches or longer) and hatchery steelhead allowed. Daily bag limits by time period are described below. All other permanent rules apply.

o    Aug. 1 – Aug. 24: Retention of adult Chinook (24-inches or longer) allowed. The daily bag limit is one adult salmonid (Chinook, hatchery coho, or hatchery steelhead only).

o    Aug. 25 – Sept. 30: Retention of Chinook prohibited. The daily bag limit is two adult hatchery salmonids (coho and steelhead only) and may include up to one hatchery steelhead.

o    Oct. 1 – Dec. 31: Retention of Chinook prohibited. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids (coho and steelhead only) and may include up to one hatchery steelhead. Hatchery coho jacks may be retained.

  • Lower Columbia: Tongue Point/Rocky Point upstream to Warrior Rock/Bachelor Island

o    Area definition: From a line projected from Rocky Point on the Washington shore through red buoy #44 to the red marker #2 at Tongue Point on the Oregon shore upstream to a line projected from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Oregon shore through red buoy #4 to a marker on the lower end of Bachelor Island.

o    Aug. 1 – Dec. 31: Retention of adult hatchery coho (longer than 20-inches), and hatchery steelhead allowed. Hatchery coho jacks may be retained. Daily adult bag limits by time period are described below. Each legal angler aboard a vessel may continue to deploy angling gear until the daily adult salmonid bag limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. All other permanent rules apply.

o    Aug. 1 – Sept. 2: Retention of adult (24-inches or longer) and jack Chinook allowed. The daily adult bag limit is one salmonid (Chinook, hatchery coho, and hatchery steelhead only).

o    Sept. 3 – Dec. 31: Retention of Chinook (adults and jacks) prohibited. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids (coho and steelhead only) and may include up to one hatchery steelhead.

  • Lower Columbia: Warrior Rock/Bachelor Island upstream to Bonneville Dam

o    Area definition: From a line projected from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Oregon shore through red buoy #4 to a marker on the lower end of Bachelor Island upstream to Bonneville Dam.

o    Aug. 1 – Dec. 31: Retention of adult hatchery coho (longer than 20-inches) and hatchery steelhead allowed. Hatchery coho jacks may be retained. Daily adult bag limits by time period are described below. Each legal angler aboard a vessel may continue to deploy angling gear until the daily adult salmonid bag limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. All other permanent rules apply.

o    Aug. 1 – Sept. 14: Retention of adult (24-inches or longer) and jack Chinook allowed. The daily adult bag limit is one salmonid (Chinook, hatchery coho, and hatchery steelhead only).

o    Sept. 15 – Dec. 31: Retention of Chinook (adults and jacks) prohibited. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids (coho and steelhead only) and may include up to one hatchery steelhead.

  • Bonneville Dam upstream to OR/WA border (upstream of McNary Dam)

o   Aug. 1 – Dec. 31: Retention of adult coho (longer than 20-inches) and hatchery steelhead allowed. Coho jacks may be retained. All coho (adults and jacks) retained downstream of the Hood River Bridge must be hatchery fish. Each legal angler aboard a vessel may continue to deploy angling gear until the daily adult salmonid bag limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. All other permanent rules apply.

o   Effective Aug. 1, retention of adult Chinook (24-inches or longer) and Chinook jacks allowed but will be managed in-season based on actual catches and the upriver bright fall Chinook run-size. The daily adult bag limit is two salmonids, and may include up to one Chinook and up to one hatchery steelhead.

ODFW Calls On Congress To Allow Managers To Stop Male Sea Lions From Taking Over Fish Bottlenecks

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

Over 25 California sea lions and an unknown number of Steller sea lions continue to prey on salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, and lamprey in the Willamette River this month. Concerns for the wild Willamette winter steelhead remain front and center for ODFW as biologists estimate that California sea lions ate at least 18 percent of the returning adults prior to March, driving this population closer to extinction.

A CALIFORNIA SEA LION CAPTURES A SALMONID BELOW WILLAMETTE FALLS. (BRYAN WRIGHT, ODFW)

In the absence of federal approval to lethally remove the California sea lions at Willamette Falls, ODFW attempted a stop gap program of capturing and relocating sea lions this spring. “It’s our responsibility and mandate from the people of Oregon to ensure these fish runs continue,” said Dr. Shaun Clements, ODFW’s senior policy advisor.   “So it’s incredibly frustrating to us that federal laws prevent us from taking the only steps effective at protecting these fish from predation.”

During the course of five weeks in February and March, ODFW relocated 10 California sea lions to a beach south of Newport. All marked animals returned, most travelling the 210 miles within 4-6 days. One was even captured and relocated to the coast twice, but came back on both occasions. “Clearly our experience on the Willamette River this year demonstrated the  futility of relocating sea lions as a way of stopping them from driving our native fish runs to extinction,” said Clements.

That’s one reason why ODFW has decided to leave its traps on the Willamette and transition sea lion operations to Bonneville – where the agency already has federal authorization to lethally remove sea lions. “It’s disheartening given what’s happening in the Willamette, but we don’t have enough staff to cover both locations so we’re moving to a place where we can be more effective,” said Bryan Wright, ODFW’s Marine Mammal Program Lead.

Currently the run of upper Willamette wild steelhead stands at 1,338, which is slightly higher than in 2017 but still well below historical runs that often topped 10,000. In contrast, the California sea lion population is exceptionally healthy and fluctuates between 250-300,000 animals. According to Wright, “Removing these few male animals that have habituated in freshwater would have no impact to the sea lion population but would provide much needed relief to fish runs and prevent similar crises from occurring elsewhere.”

ODFW has applied to the federal government for authorization to lethally remove sea lions from at Willamette Falls under Section 120 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Even if that application is approved, it won’t be until 2019 at the earliest. ODFW senior officials are also working with the region’s congressional delegation to address the inflexibility of the MMPA to deal with these issues in a more timely manner.

“This isn’t just about the Willamette steelhead, which we know are in serious trouble,” said Clements. “We also know that predation on white sturgeon has increased dramatically this year, and that sea lions are preying on salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon in other rivers like the Sandy and Clackamas. Effective management will only be possible if the US Congress changes the law to allow managers to proactively prevent sea lions habituating to these bottlenecks in freshwater.”

ODFW plans to leave its sea lion traps in the Willamette, continue to monitor predation, and, if the opportunity arises, trap another sea lion or two this spring. Additionally, ODFW is conducting limited monitoring of sea lions that are foraging in the Clackamas and Sandy rivers. ODFW is not authorized to do anything other than non-lethal hazing in these locations, and though hazing has proven ineffective in other systems, the department may run some hazing operations from time to time on the Clackamas River.

ODFW Removes Two More Wolves From Depredating Pack

Oregon wolf managers lethally removed two more members of a pack that’s now killed four calves and injured six others in five incidents in the state’s northeastern corner.

(ODFW)

The news comes as local producers continue calling for all members of the new Pine Creek Pack to be taken out. The depredations have impacted two different ranchers.

ODFW had previously authorized killing two wolves for early-April depredations, and one was killed almost immediately by agency personnel.

But following subsequent depredations that occurred around 5 miles away and were confirmed on Sunday and Monday, last night ODFW authorized killing two more.

Those two animals are described as an uncollared yearling female and an adult male that is also uncollared. They were shot on private land from a helicopter.

One more wolf can be killed at the site of the April 6-7 depredations, either by the state agency or a rancher who was issued a permit that’s good till early May.

“Producers in the new area have been implementing non-lethal activities including burying bone piles and removing carcasses,” ODFW reported. “Ranch staff have hazed the wolves away multiple times. Ranch staff have also been patrolling cattle from before daylight until darkness daily and keeping track of the wolves’ location with ODFW assistance.  Finally, ranch staff have delayed turning out cattle on large open range pastures and have moved cattle from pastures where  the most recent depredations occurred.”

The Pine Creek wolves currently number five, the breeding pair and three yearlings.

ODFW Says Minimum Of 124 Wolves Roaming Oregon

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

ODFW wildlife biologists counted 124 wolves in Oregon this past winter, an 11 percent increase over the number counted last year.

THE BREEDING FEMALE OF THE WALLA WALLA PACK MOVES PAST A LOGSTACK IN UMATILLA COUNTY THIS PAST JANUARY. (ODFW)

This count is based on verified wolf evidence (like visual observations, tracks, and remote camera photographs) and is considered the minimum known wolf population, not an estimate of how many wolves are in Oregon.

Twelve wolf packs were documented at the end of 2017. Eleven packs were successful breeding pairs, meaning that at least two adults and two pups survived to the end of the year. This marks a 38 percent increase in breeding pairs from 2016.

“The wolf population continues to grow and expand its range in Oregon,” said Roblyn Brown, ODFW Wolf Coordinator. “This year, we also documented resident wolves in the northern part of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains for the first time.”

More information about the minimum wolf count is available in Oregon’s 2017 Annual Wolf Report. See the full report at ODFW’s web page (in Director’s Report portion of the April Commission meeting agenda).

A PAIR OF MIDDLE FORK PACK WOLVES MOVE THROUGH FOREST SERVICE LAND IN EASTERN WALLOWA COUNTY. (ODFW)

Other highlights from the report:

  • The 12 wolf packs documented had a mean size of 7.3 wolves, ranging from 4-11 wolves. Another nine groups of 2-3 wolves each were also counted.
  • Known resident wolves now occur in Baker, Grant, Jackson, Klamath, Lake, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa and Wasco counties.
  • 25 radio-collared wolves were monitored, including 19 wolves that were radio-collared during 2017.
  • Four collared wolves dispersed out of state (two to Idaho, one to Montana, one to Washington).
  • 13 wolf mortalities were documented, 12 of those human caused.
  • 54 percent of documented wolf locations were on public lands, 44 percent on private lands, and 2 percent on tribal lands.

Illegal take of wolves

Four wolves were killed illegally in 2017, two in areas of the state where wolves remain on the federal Endangered Species List (west of Hwys 395-78-95). Three of those poaching investigations are ongoing with rewards for providing information ranging from $2,500-$15,000.

The fourth case, involving a wolf trapped and then shot in Union County, was prosecuted. The defendant was penalized with 24 months of bench probation, 100 hours of community service, a hunting/trapping license suspension of 36 months and a $7,500 fine paid in civil restitution to ODFW. He also forfeited the firearm and all trapping related items seized during the investigation and was sentenced to an additional $1,000 court fine.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement and Oregon State Police continue to actively seek information on the remaining open cases.

ODFW’S LATEST STATEWIDE WOLF RANGE MAP SHOWS KNOWN AND ESTIMATED AREAS OF WOLF PACK USE. (ODFW)

Livestock depredation

ODFW investigated 66 reports of livestock depredation by wolves and confirmed 17 of those to be caused by wolves, compared to 24 confirmed depredations in 2016. ODFW confirmed losses of 11 calves, one llama, one alpaca and 23 domestic fowl to wolves in 2017 (compared to 11 calves, 7 sheep, one goat and one llama lost in 2016.) During 2017, 24 percent of known wolf packs depredated livestock, compared to 57 percent in 2016.

Since 2009, 75 percent of confirmed wolf depredations have occurred on private land with most happening during four months (May, August, September, October). While wolf numbers have increased considerably over the last eight years (only 14 were counted in 2009), depredations and livestock losses have not increased at the same rate.

The Wolf Plan stresses non-lethal preventative measures in all phases of wolf management. Reducing attractants by removing carcass and bone piles is thought to be the single best action to keep from attracting wolves to areas of livestock.  ODFW, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and USDA Wildlife Services continue to support livestock producers by providing technical advice and non-lethal supplies including electrified fladry, fencing, solar chargers and radio-activated guard (RAG) boxes.

“We appreciate all the hard work of Oregon’s livestock producers in putting in place preventative measures to decrease the risk of problems with wolves,” said Roblyn Brown, ODFW wolf coordinator.

When non-lethal measures are ineffective, the Wolf Plan allows for lethal control against depredating wolves. Five wolves were killed to address chronic livestock depredation in 2017 (four Harl Butte wolves taken by ODFW, one Meacham wolf taken by producer with permit).

The Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Wolf Depredation Compensation and Financial Assistance Grant Program also awarded 10 counties $252,570 in grant funds to compensate livestock producers for losses and fund preventive non-lethal measures.

“It is encouraging to see the continued recovery of Oregon’s wolf population into more of their historic range,” said Governor Brown. “Despite this good news, ongoing issues of poaching and livestock depredation must be carefully considered as we explore more effective management and conservation practices.”

ODFW staff will present an overview of the draft 2017 Annual Wolf Report to the Fish and Wildlife Commission at their April 20 meeting in Astoria.