Tag Archives: ODFW

Oregon OKs Salvaging Roadkill, But Collection Still Illegal Till ODFW Sets Regs

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

A new law allowing the salvage of roadkilled deer and elk will not take effect until Jan. 1, 2019 at the latest. Salvaging roadkilled deer and elk remains unlawful until new rules are adopted to implement the new statute.

A WASHINGTON RESIDENT PICKED THIS BLACKTAIL UP BESIDE A HIGHWAY AFTER HIS STATE ALLOWED SALVAGING ROADKILL LAST YEAR. (ERIC BELL)

The Legislature gave the Department up to two years to develop a safe, responsible salvage program. Until that time, current Oregon wildlife regulations remain in place and state “No person shall possess or transport any game mammal or part thereof, which has been illegally killed, found or killed for humane reasons, except shed antlers, unless they have notified and received permission from personnel of the Oregon State Police or ODFW prior to transporting.” Even licensed hunters may not pick up roadkilled deer and elk during legal hunting seasons.

SB 372 was passed by the 2017 Oregon State Legislature and asks ODFW to make a wildlife salvage permit available for deer and elk that have been accidentally killed as a result of a vehicle collision. The new law states that deer and elk can only be salvaged for human consumption; that antlers must be returned to ODFW; and that people will recover the roadkill and consume the meat at their own risk.

As with all regulations, ODFW staff will write draft rules and present them to the Fish and Wildlife Commission for public comment and consideration before adoption.

Salvaging roadkill has been unlawful to discourage people from deliberately hitting a game animal with their vehicle in order to keep the meat or antlers. “ODFW will work to write rules that make getting a permit to legitimately salvage a roadstruck deer or elk as simple as possible, but that also discourage poaching,” says Doug Cottam, ODFW wildlife division administrator.

For more information about roadkill and what to do if your car hits a wild animal, visit ODFW’s webpage.

Columbia, SW, South-central WA Fishing Report (D-Day-2017)

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

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

*         Shad angling is open from Buoy 10 upstream to the OR/WA Border.  Shad angling is good in the gorge.

*         White sturgeon retention is open from Buoy 10 upstream to Wauna power lines on Saturday June 10 and Saturday June 17 (see special regulations for details).

*         The Bonneville Pool is open to the retention of legal white sturgeon on Saturday June 10 (see special regulations for details).

*         The McNary Pool is open to the retention of legal white sturgeon through July 31.

*         White sturgeon retention is closed from Wauna Power lines upstream to Bonneville Dam, and from The Dalles Dam upstream to McNary Dam, but remains an option for catch-and-release fishing. Anglers are reminded that spawning sanctuaries take effect May 1 (see special regulations for details).

*         Walleye fishing has been outstanding in The Dalles and John Day pools.

HUNTER HIGGINBOTHAM GOT IN ON THE EAST COLUMBIA GORGE POOLS’ GOOD WALLEYE FISHING LAST MONTH, CATCHING HIS FIRST ON A TRIP IN WHICH HE, HIS DAD AND GRANDFATHER CAUGHT 60. (JAROD HIGGINBOTHAM)

Current Columbia River regulations for salmon, steelhead, shad and sturgeon can be found at the Sport Fishing Regulation Update<http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/fishing/reg_changes/index.asp> page.

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

Gorge Bank: Weekend checking showed 550 shad kept for 121 bank anglers.

Gorge Boats:  Weekend checking showed 230 shad kept for three boats (nine anglers).

Bonneville Pool:  Weekly checking showed 1,296 shad kept, plus 586 shad released for 135 bank anglers.

STURGEON

Buoy 10 upstream to McNary Dam: Catch and release only.

Gorge boats: Catch and release only.

The Dalles Pool: Catch and release only. Weekly checking showed 10 sublegal and one oversize sturgeon released for one boat (three anglers).

John Day Pool: Catch and release only. Weekly checking showed four sublegal sturgeon released for one boat (three anglers).

WALLEYE

Bonneville Pool: No report.

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed 293 walleye kept, plus 24 walleye released for 30 boats (77 anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed 220 walleye kept, plus 69 walleye released for 40 boats (108 anglers).

………………………………………………………..

Salmon/Steelhead

Elochoman River – No effort for salmonids.

Cowlitz River -271 bank rods kept 51 adult and 3 jack spring Chinook, 1 steelhead, 2 cutthroats and released 3 adult and 1 jack spring Chinook, 1 steelhead, and 2 cutthroats.   46 boat rods kept 7 adult and 1 jack spring Chinook, 4 steelhead and released 1 cutthroat.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 806 spring Chinook adults, 52 spring Chinook jacks, three winter-run steelhead adults, one winter-run steelhead jack, 20 summer-run steelhead adults and nine cutthroat trout in four days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 149 spring Chinook adults and 20 spring Chinook jacks and one winter-run steelhead into the Cispus River near Yellow Jacket Creek and they released 303 spring Chinook adults and 14 spring Chinook jacks into Lake Scanewa located near Randle.

In addition, Tacoma Power employees released 157 spring Chinook adults and eight spring Chinook jacks at Franklin Bridge in Packwood and one cutthroat trout into the Tilton River located at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 12,300 cubic feet per second on Monday, June 5. Water visibility is eight feet and water temperature is 47.1 degrees F.

Kalama River – 8 bank anglers had no catch.  18 boat anglers kept 2 adult spring Chinook.

Lewis River – 4 boat anglers kept 1 adult spring Chinook.

North Fork Lewis River – 8 bank anglers kept 1 adult spring Chinook.  5 boat anglers kept 4 adult and 5 jack spring Chinook.

Wind River (mouth) – 7 bank anglers kept 2 adult spring Chinook.  36 boat rods kept 1 adult spring Chinook.

Drano Lake – 171 boat rods kept 16 adult and 2 jack spring Chinook and released 1 adult spring Chinook.

Klickitat River – 22 bank anglers kept 16 adult and 1 jack spring Chinook and released 5 adult spring Chinook.

Lower Yakima River Spring Chinook Fishery: April 28-June 4 – Fishing for all species continues to be very slow in the lower Yakima River. Although anglers continue to talk about fishing for spring Chinook no anglers have been observed.  Flows in the Yakima River have remained well above normal all season.

Paul A. Hoffarth
District 4 Fish Biologist
WA Dept of Fish & Wildlife

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia from the mouth upstream to the Wauna powerlines including adjacent tributaries and Young’s Bay – Reports from yesterday’s opener was it very crowded.  Effort based on trailer counts was likely 500+ boats, not including charters.  Preliminary reports indicate maybe a legal kept per every 2 boats (not including charters).

Next fishery dates are Wednesday June 7, Saturday June 10, Monday June 12, Wednesday June 14, Saturday June 17
Legal size: 44-inch minimum and 50-inch maximum fork length
(Fork length is measured in a straight line from the tip of the nose to the fork in the caudal fin (tail) with the fish laying on its side on a flat surface, with the tape measure/ruler positioned flat under the fish).
Daily bag limit: One fish
Annual bag limit: Two fish
Retention of green sturgeon is prohibited
On days open to white sturgeon retention, angling for sturgeon is prohibited after 2 PM, including catch and release.

Mainstem Columbia River from Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam (except for the sturgeon spawning sanctuary) and all adjacent tributaries- Sturgeon retention will be allowed for one day only, Saturday June 10. Retained sturgeon must measure between 38-inches and 54-inches fork length.
(Fork length is measured in a straight line from the tip of the nose to the fork in the caudal fin (tail) with the fish laying on its side on a flat surface, with the tape measure/ruler positioned flat under the fish).
Daily bag limit: One fish
Annual bag limit: Two fish
Angling for sturgeon is prohibited from May through July from The Dalles Dam downstream 1.8 miles to a line from the east (upstream) dock at the Port of The Dalles boat ramp straight across to a marker on the Washington shore.

Bass and Channel Catfish

Lower Yakima River Fishery: April 28-June 4 – Anglers are catching a few smallmouth bass and channel catfish but in much fewer numbers than in previous years. WDFW staff has interviewed 117 anglers this season (April 28-June 4) with 90 smallmouth and 27 catfish. Total effort is estimated at 756 angler trips with 550 bass and 130 channel catfish harvested (287 bass and 16 catfish released).

By the end of May in 2016, staff had interviewed 460 anglers with 1,629 smallmouth bass and 275 catfish. An estimated 5,141 angler trips were made in May of 2016.

Trout

Recent plants of catchable size rainbows in SW WA waters.
Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per pound
Hatchery
Notes

ROWLAND LK (KLIC)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=ROWLAND+LK+%28KLIC%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Klickitat County – Region 5
May 30, 2017
Rainbow
440
2.5
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

ROWLAND LK (KLIC)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=ROWLAND+LK+%28KLIC%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Klickitat County – Region 5
May 30, 2017
Rainbow
2,058
2.51
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

SWIFT RES (SKAM)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=SWIFT+RES+%28SKAM%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Skamania County – Region 5
May 30, 2017
Rainbow
51,440
2.56
SPEELYAI HATCHERY

SWIFT RESERVOIR ON OPENING DAY (Sat. June 3)
51 anglers
121 fish kept
39 fish released
160 total caught
Kept: 2.37/angler
Total fish: 3.14/angler
Several holdovers caught in the 16″+ range. Smaller rainbows were real beefy.  Attached are some pics taken by WDFW Region 5 staff.
Windy and cold but anglers extremely happy. Only complaints were limiting too fast.

————–

Swift Power Canal
15 anglers
7 rainbow kept; 0 released
0.47 fish/angler

Shad

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – No report on angling success but lots of effort just below the dam with nearly 350 bank anglers counted there last Saturday June 3.   Daily dam counts vacillate between 2,000 and 20,000 fish per day.

‘Free Fishing Season’ Returns To Northwest Starting This Weekend

Early June is “free fishing season” here in the Northwest, a chance to get friends and family without a license out and with all kinds of events and opportunities to take advantage of this weekend and next.

SPRINGERS ARE AMONG THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR FREE FISHING DAYS ACROSS THE NORTHWEST. KRIS RONDEAU NABBED THIS BIG ONE ON OREGON’S UMPQUA WHILE ANCHOR FISHING THE LOWER END WITH A GREEN LABEL HERRING BEHIND A SPINNER. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

First up is Free Fishing Weekend in Oregon, June 3-4, which ODFW calls “the perfect weekend to take a friend or family member out fishing, crabbing or clamming.”

The agency has lined up a mess of events all over the state Saturday, and for even more ideas, check out the weekly Recreation Report!

Idaho’s Free Fishing Day is June 10, and Fish and Game will be hosting activities across the Gem State, including its Southwest Region.

Then, on June 10-11, it’s Washington’s turn to host the free fishing.

What to fish for in the Evergreen State? WDFW suggests coastal lings, spinyrays throughout the state and Columbia River shad, among other opportunities, and for even more, check out the June Weekender.

Just remember, even though the fishin’s free, all the usual bag limits and regulations apply.

 

Free Fishing In Oregon This Weekend!

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

There will be a Free Fishing Weekend in Oregon on June 3-4 – making it the perfect weekend to take a friend or family member out fishing, crabbing or clamming.

During this weekend, no fishing licenses or tags (including a Combined Angling Tag and a Columbia River Basin Endorsement) are required to fish, crab or clam anywhere in Oregon.

DIAMOND LAKE, WHERE ALLISA OLSEN CAUGHT THIS 22-PLUS-INCHER, IS AMONG THE SOUTHERN OREGON WATERS HOSTING FREE FISHING WEEKEND EVENTS ON JUNE 3-4. ALLISA WAS ASSISTED BY SISTER KATIE ON THE NET. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

“Free Fishing Weekend is a great opportunity for friends and families to get out and enjoy a day or two of fishing,” said Mike Gauvin, ODFW recreational fisheries manager. “Lakes and ponds are fully stocked, rivers and streams are open for trout, and don’t forget about the coast for crabbing and clamming.”

Although no licenses or tags are required, all other regulations apply including closures, bag limits and size restrictions.

Free Fishing Weekend also aligns with State Parks Day on Saturday, June 3, so if you’re going camping in an Oregon State Park this weekend, be sure to pack your fishing, crabbing or clamming gear, Gauvin said.

Several state parks will be hosting ODFW Free Fishing Weekend fishing events and State Parks is waiving park admission and camping fees in many parks on “State Parks Day” Saturday, June 3.

For the do-it-yourselfer there are hundreds of lakes and rivers, and hundreds of miles of coastline to explore. ODFW’s extensive website offers information about how and where to fish for trout, bass, steelhead and surfperch, to name a few.

Anglers will find:

For the new angler, ODFW and its partners will be sponsoring Free Fishing Weekend events throughout the state. At most events there will be free fishing equipment first-time anglers can use. Volunteers will be available to help, from baiting the hook to landing the catch. For a complete list of events with times and locations, go to the ODFW website.

“Even if you’ve never cast a line or baited a hook, we can show you how to fish,” Gauvin said.

The following scheduled Free Fishing Weekend events will take place on Saturday, June 3, unless otherwise noted.

WILLAMETTE

  • Alton Baker Canal/Eugene, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Katherine Nordholm, 541-726-3515 ext. 28
  • Benson State Recreation Area/Columbia Gorge, 9 a.m.-noon, Mo Czinger, 503-969-8853
  • Detroit Reservoir/Hoover Campground, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Isaac Morris, 503-854-3522
  • Gnat Creek Fish Hatchery/Claskanie, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Mike Hazen, 503-455-2234
  • Henry Hagg Lake/Gaston, 6:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Will Warren, 503-453-0521
  • Henry Hagg Lake/Gaston, 6:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (SUNDAY, June 4), Will Warren, 503-453-0521
  • Silverton Reservoir, (anglers with disabilities event) 1 p.m. – 3 p.m., Jon Debo, 503-932-7699
  • Silverton Together Fishing Event, Silverton Reservoir, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., Dawn Olson, 503-873-2681
  • St. Louis Ponds/Gervais, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Jeff Fulop, 971-673-6024
  • Timber Linn Memorial Park/Albany, 9 a.m.-noon, Jack Rice, 503-394-2496
  • Willamette Fish Hatchery/Oakridge 9 a.m.-noon, Tami Edmunds, 541-782-2933

NORTH COAST

SOUTHWEST

  • Arizona Pond/Port Orford, 8 a.m.-noon (SUNDAY, June 4), David Chambers, 541-332-7025
  • Cooper Creek/Sutherlin, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Evan Leonetti, 541-440-3353
  • Diamond Lake, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Evan Leonetti, 541-440-3353
  • Eel Lake/Tugman State Park, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Antonio Salgado, 541-888-5515
  • Galesville Reservoir, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (SUNDAY, June 4), Evan Leonetti, 541-440-3353
  • Hyatt Lake/Mountain View Shelter, 7 a.m.-2 p.m., Diana Bauman, 541-772-4970
  • Lake Marie/Reedsport, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (SUNDAY, June 4), Evan Leonetti, 541-440-3353
  • Lake Selmac/Selma, 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Judy Lollich, 541-295-7700
  • Libby Pond/Gold Beach, 8 a.m.-noon, John Weber, 541-247-7605
  • Thissel Pond/Alsea, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Jen Krajcik, 541-487-5512

HIGH DESERT

  • Caldera Springs/Sun River, 9 a.m.-noon, Tim Foulk, 541-593-1510
  • Klamath Hatchery/Chiloquin, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Greg Lipsiea, 541-381-2278
  • Lake of the Woods/Klamath Falls, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., George Gregory, 541-949-8300
  • Pine Nursery Pond/Bend, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Jen Luke, 541-388-6366
  • Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery/Camp Sherman, 9 a.m.-noon, Luke Allen, 541-595-6611

NORTHEAST

  • 203 Pond/Baker City, 9 a.m.-noon, Shannon Archuleta, 541-523-1385
  • Marr Pond/Enterprise, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Ron Harrod, 541-426-4467
  • McHaley Pond/Prairie City, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Brent Smith, 541-575-1167

ODFW seeks input on upcoming Columbia Basin summer steelhead seasons

The following is a press release from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

NEWS RELEASE
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
www.odfw.com

Contact
Tucker Jones, (971) 673-6067, tucker.a.jones@state.or.us
John North, (971) 673-6029, john.a.north@state.or.us
Jessica Sall, (503) 947-6023, jessicasall@state.or.us

Thursday, May 18, 2017

ODFW seeks input on upcoming Columbia Basin summer steelhead seasons

CLACKAMAS, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will host a public meeting on Wednesday, May 24 to solicit input for recreational summer steelhead fisheries in the mainstem Columbia River and adjacent streams. The meeting will be held at ODFW NW Region Office, 17330 SE Evelyn Street, Clackamas, Ore. from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Forecasted 2017 returns for Columbia and Snake River summer steelhead are at unprecedentedly low levels and restrictions to recreational fisheries will be necessary. The meeting agenda will include an overview of the 2017 summer steelhead forecast and proposed changes to Columbia River summer and fall steelhead regulations.

People who cannot attend the meeting can send input to John North (john.a.north@state.or.us) or Tucker Jones (tucker.a.jones@state.or.us)

States delay lower Columbia River steelhead fishery opening

SALEM, Ore – An action packed weekend is coming up in LaGrande at the 12th annual Ladd Marsh Bird Festival, May 19-21.

CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Fishery managers have postponed the annual fishery for hatchery steelhead and jack Chinook salmon from Tongue Point upriver to the Interstate 5 Bridge set to begin May 16.

Lower than expected passage of spring Chinook salmon over Bonneville Dam coupled with the spring Chinook catch to date in the recreational fishery downstream of Bonneville Dam are the primary causes of the delay. As of yesterday only about 26,000 of the approximately 160,000 forecasted spring Chinook salmon had been counted at Bonneville Dam.

Although steelhead anglers would have been required to release any adult salmon they caught in the postponed fishery, a certain percentage would die after release. “Unfortunately we just don’t have any lower river sport allocation left to operate this fishery prior to a run update,” said Tucker Jones, ODFW’s Ocean Salmon and Columbia River Program manager.

“We’re not sure if this run is just very late or also below forecast,” Jones said “Water conditions have been way outside of normal this year, and that could be the primary cause for the low counts to date,” he added.

“The abnormal water conditions this year have injected a level of uncertainty into assessing this run that doesn’t typically exist,” Jones said. “Given the unclear situation we have this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes another week or two before we really know the full story on this year’s return.”

ODFW Looking For Input On 2017 Columbia Gorge, Tribs Steelhead Seasons

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

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will host a public meeting on May 11 to solicit input for recreational summer steelhead fisheries upstream of Bonneville Dam in the mainstem Columbia River and adjacent streams, including the lower Deschutes and John Day rivers. The meeting that will be held at the ODFW Screen Shop, 3561 Klindt Drive, in The Dalles.  The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. and ends at 8:30 p.m.

COLUMBIA GORGE STEELHEAD ANGLERS LIKE ROGER GUZMAN, HERE WITH A JOHN DAY-AREA SUMMER-RUN, ARE BEING ASKED FOR INPUT ON THIS YEAR’S SEASONS. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Forecasted 2017 returns for Columbia and Snake River summer steelhead are at unprecedentedly low levels and restrictions to recreational fisheries will be necessary. The agenda will include an overview of the 2017 summer steelhead forecast and Columbia River fall fisheries proposals.  Management issues and the season structure for Columbia River sport fisheries (including the lower Deschutes and John Day rivers) will be discussed.

People who cannot attend the meeting can send input to John North (john.a.north@state.or.us), Rod French (rod.a.french@state.or.us), or Tucker Jones (tucker.a.jones@state.or.us)

ODFW Deploys Drones To Survey North Coast Elk

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

From their vantage point high atop the Oregon Coast Range, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Herman Biederbeck and two researchers from Oregon State University can see almost forever as the first rays of sunlight peek over the top of Saddle Mountain in the distance to the east.

Below is the Young’s River basin and a patchwork of thousands of acres forest land interspersed with clear-cuts – ideal elk habitat.

A DRONE FLIES NEAR SADDLE MOUNTAIN, IN THE FOOTHILLS OF OREGON’S NORTH COAST, DURING INITIAL TESTING FOR USE DURING ELK SURVEYS. (RICK SWART, ODFW)

The researchers, Jonathan Burnett and Cory Garms, both Ph.D. students in the Department of Forest Engineering, Resources and Management at OSU, want to find out whether unmanned aerial systems (UAS) or “drones” can be used effectively to count elk in this kind of terrain.

Preliminary results of field trials conducted on the North Coast near Astoria suggests that they can.

ODFW HERMAN BIEDERBECK AND OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS JON BURNETT AND CORY GARMS MONITOR THE FLIGHT OF A DRONE. (RICK SWART, ODFW)

“UAS technology has promise to be relatively inexpensive and safe – much safer – than the way we survey elk now, which is generally from a helicopter,” said Biederbeck, a wildlife biologist with ODFW for 38 years.

This year’s field trial in Clatsop County is the first time that UAS technology has been used to count elk in Oregon, although ODFW has used drones to survey salmon spawning in rivers and as well as cormorant abundance along the Oregon coast.

(RICK SWART, ODFW)

ODFW conducts yearly elk population/composition surveys to make sure that age and sex ratios stay healthy.

“It’s part of our mission to monitor these populations to ensure they are being well managed for the public,” said Biederbeck.

This year drones were used in two field trials, one in January and another in March. The first tested the drone camera’s ability to capture imagery that allows biologists to classify elk by age and sex. A later field trial tested the aircraft’s ability to measure elk densities in forest stand types, another useful metric for managing elk.

ODFW currently contracts helicopters at a cost of $1,000 to $1,100 an hour to do this job. The agency staffs them with ODFW employees who look for and document elk in flights conducted year after year over the same survey units for statistical accuracy.

MANNED VS. UNMANNED AIRCRAFT

Each aerial system has its advantages and disadvantages, according to Biederbeck, who notes that with a helicopter, observers can view great expanses of landscape in real time by scanning their eyes in front and to the sides of the airship. Crew members can also ask the pilot to reposition the machine for a better look at animals, which can be especially helpful when it comes to distinguishing elk calves from adults. In addition, helicopters are much heavier and more powerful than drones and can fly in a wider range of weather conditions. The down side is unless they have a hand-held camera on board, observers only get one chance to classify elk – right then and there.

In addition to their relatively low cost, drones have the advantage of recording images that can be reviewed on a computer back at the office. Human safety is one major benefit of the UAS. People can get hurt or even killed in a helicopter. For example, two ODFW biologists, Holly Huchko and Eric Himmelreich, suffered broken bones but fortunately survived a helicopter crash a few years ago while conducting fish surveys on the Umpqua River in southern Oregon.

The drones used in this year’s experiment on the North Coast cost about $1,700 apiece, according to Burnett, although the thermal sensor adds another $3,500 to the cost of the system.

A DRONE SITS ON A LOGGING DECK PRIOR TO TAKEOFF. (RICK SWART, ODFW)

As darkness gives way to dawn, the first of two drones is prepared for flight. It is jet black in color, with flashing red night lights on the sides, and thermal imaging equipment on board. Its job is to detect elk hidden in the trees by keying in on their heat signatures with a heat-sensitive infrared camera.

A second drone – white, and equipped with a high definition video camera – will fly as soon as the black one gets back from its mission. The video camera is mounted on a gimbal that lets the drone operator tilt, turn, and pan the camera with a joystick that can also steer the aircraft.

After a turn at the end of one run along the serpentine-shaped run, the camera swivels from pointed directly at the ground to straight ahead toward the next GPS waypoint. The recording is set to overlap video from each pass so the video from each stretch can be “stitched together” with imaging software to so that every inch of the survey area is pictured.

The drones can fly essentially the same survey areas as helicopter in a single flight, according to Biederbeck, but likely take more passes because cameras do not have the same field of view as humans, who are able to scan the whole horizon and turn quickly from side to side with a simple twist or turn of the head.

With takeoff just minutes away, Burnett double-checks the flight path glowing from a laptop in the back of his SUV. A yellow line on the computer screen shows the exact course the aircraft will follow, a series of switchbacks. The route is made by programming GPS coordinates into the drone’s navigation system ahead of time.

A MAP TRACES THE PATH OF THE DRONE OVER ELK HABITAT. (ODFW)

REGULATORY BARRIERS REMAIN

Each flight lasts about 30 minutes, and the drone follows GPS coordinates automatically, although the pilot can override the navigation software to assume control the vehicle manually. FAA rules require a designated spotter be present and maintain visual contact with the aircraft throughout the flight. The aircraft are battery-powered and are programmed to return to base automatically whenever they detect their batteries are getting low.

This technology is a potentially powerful tool for conducting scientific inquiry, according to Burnett, although many regulatory barriers to effective implementation remain, notably Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules.

“Throughout this study there have been two major regulatory limitations to assessing the true cost-benefit of using UAS for elk survey,” said Burnett. One limitation is the current 400-foot altitude ceiling. The other is the requirement to maintain line of sight on the aircraft during its flight.

Higher altitudes and greater coverage area on each flight would translate to fewer flights and lower odds of counting the same animals more than once, according to Burnett.

“This technology demonstration is one small step in bridging the gap between what we currently can do and what we ultimately want to do,” he said.

Biederbeck and Burnett expect to extend this research by seeking FAA waivers and perhaps acquiring a fixed-wing UAS with up to three-hour flight endurance that may be equipped with both thermal and color cameras.

“There is more operational technology out there. We’ll have to see how costs and FAA regulations affect our ability to use them,” said Biederbeck.

SW WA, Columbia Fishing Report (5-2-17)

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

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed one adult spring Chinook kept for 14 bank anglers.

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam):  Weekly checking showed no catch for 30 bank anglers; and no catch for four boats (eight anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam):  Weekly checking showed no catch for 12 bank anglers; and no catch for two boats (four anglers).

DRANO LAKE IS BEGINNING TO PERK FOR SPRING CHINOOK, DESPITE LOW COUNTS AT BONNEVILLE DAM. THIS ONE’S HELD BY JOSH WEINHEIMER AND WAS CAUGHT LAST SPRING. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

STURGEON

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

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

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

WALLEYE

The Dalles Pool:  Weekly checking showed 269 walleye kept, plus five walleye released for 15 boats (47 anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed 55 walleye kept, plus 45 walleye released for 13 bank anglers; and 109 walleye kept, plus 61 walleye released for eight boats (18 anglers).

…………………………………………

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – Fish are still being caught throughout the river.  75 bank anglers kept 11 adult and 1 jack Chinook and released 1 steelhead and 1 sturgeon. 20 boat anglers kept 2 jack Chinook, 1 steelhead and released 1 cutthroat and 4 sturgeon.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 418 winter-run steelhead adults, three winter-run steelhead jacks, 703 spring Chinook adults, 27 spring Chinook jacks and seven summer-run steelhead adults in five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 145 spring Chinook adults, four spring Chinook jacks, and seven winter-run steelhead adults into the Cispus River near Yellow Jacket Creek and released 327 spring Chinook adults, eight spring Chinook jacks, 36 winter-run steelhead and one winter-run steelhead jack into Lake Scanewa located in Randle.

Last week, Tacoma employees released two winter-run steelhead adults into the Tilton River located at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton and released 80 spring Chinook adults and one spring Chinook jack at Franklin Bridge in Packwood.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 10,800 cubic feet per second on Monday, May 1. Water visibility is five feet and water temperature is 44.6 F

Mainstem and North Fork Lewis River – Little to no effort during the current hatchery steelhead season.  1 bank angler had no catch.  A dozen hatchery summer run steelhead had returned to the facilities through April 26.

Washougal River – No report on hatchery steelhead angling success from the Mt. Norway Bridge downstream.  However, 4 hatchery summer run steelhead had returned to Skamania Hatchery through April 22.

Wind River – Light effort and catch.  12 boat anglers had no catch.

Drano Lake – 167 boat anglers kept 21 adult Chinook and released 2.  About 40 boats here last Saturday morning.

Klickitat River – 1 bank angler kept 1 steelhead.

Trout

Mixture of rainbows (up to 3 pounds), browns, cutthroats, and steelhead recently planted into SW WA waters.  No report on angling success.

Catchable Trout Plant Reports For fish 3 per pound or larger, including broodstock

Search Results: 04/24/2017 to 04/30/2017
Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per Pound
Hatchery
Notes

BATTLE GROUND LK (CLAR)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=BATTLE+GROUND+LK+%28CLAR%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Clark County – Region 5
Apr 24, 2017
Rainbow
2,500
1.95
VANCOUVER HATCHERY

KRESS LK (COWL)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=KRESS+LK+%28COWL%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Cowlitz County – Region 5
Apr 24, 2017
Steelhead
1
0.1
KALAMA FALLS HATCHERY
Adult Winters

KRESS LK (COWL)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=KRESS+LK+%28COWL%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Cowlitz County – Region 5
Apr 24, 2017
Steelhead
3
0.1
KALAMA FALLS HATCHERY
Adult Late Winters

BATTLE GROUND LK (CLAR)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=BATTLE+GROUND+LK+%28CLAR%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Clark County – Region 5
Apr 25, 2017
Rainbow
100
0.3
TROUT LODGE COMMERCIAL
Average 3 lbs. each

HORSESHOE LK (COWL)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=HORSESHOE+LK+%28COWL%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Cowlitz County – Region 5
Apr 25, 2017
Rainbow
300
0.3
TROUT LODGE COMMERCIAL
Average 3 lbs. eacH

KLINELINE PD (CLAR)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=KLINELINE+PD+%28CLAR%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Clark County – Region 5
Apr 25, 2017
Rainbow
100
0.3
TROUT LODGE COMMERCIAL
Average 3 lbs. each

KNUPPENBURG LK (LEWI)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=KNUPPENBURG+LK+%28LEWI%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Lewis County – Region 5
Apr 25, 2017
Brown Trout
500
2.5
MOSSYROCK HATCHERY

KRESS LK (COWL)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=KRESS+LK+%28COWL%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Cowlitz County – Region 5
Apr 25, 2017
Rainbow
130
0.3
TROUT LODGE COMMERCIAL
Average 3 lbs. each

KRESS LK (COWL)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=KRESS+LK+%28COWL%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Cowlitz County – Region 5
Apr 25, 2017
Steelhead
4
0.1
KALAMA FALLS HATCHERY
Adult Late Winters

KLINELINE PD (CLAR)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=KLINELINE+PD+%28CLAR%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Clark County – Region 5
Apr 26, 2017
Cutthroat
1,500
2.46
SKAMANIA HATCHERY

MAYFIELD RES (LEWI)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=MAYFIELD+RES+%28LEWI%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Lewis County – Region 5
Apr 27, 2017
Rainbow
4,400
2.2
MOSSYROCK HATCHERY

LK SACAJAWEA (COWL)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=LK+SACAJAWEA+%28COWL%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Cowlitz County – Region 5
Apr 28, 2017
Rainbo
3,000
2.5
MOSSYROCK HATCHERY

Oregon Controlled Tag Deadline Just 2 Weeks Away, May 15

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

Fall may be months away but it’s time to start planning your big game hunt. Don’t forget to apply for a controlled hunt by Monday, May 15 at 11:59 p.m. PT.

Apply online, at a license sales agent or ODFW office that sells licenses, or by mail/fax order. The cost is $8 per application and hunters need a 2017 annual hunting license to apply.
Last year, more than half of the 467,028 applications were submitted in the last week before the deadline, including nearly 74,149 on deadline day. Many hunters wait till the last minute to apply, which can cause long lines at license sales stores and ODFW offices.

HUNTER CJ ZITA (RIGHT) WITH HIS 2016 COLUMBIA BASIN PREMIUM DEER, A FINE MULEY BUCK. (VIA ODFW)

“Get your application in early to avoid the long lines and if you do wait until the last minute, be sure to check store hours where you plan to apply,” recommends Linda Lytle, ODFW license sales manager. ‘Remember you can submit an application online until 11:59 p.m. PT on May 15.”

Lytle also urged hunters to avoid common mistakes on applications. “Double check your hunt number against the 2017 Oregon Big Game Regulations, make sure your party leader number is correct, and check your current preference points at the My Hunter Information page,” she said. “And before you walk out of the store or ODFW office, check your application to be sure it’s correct.”

New this year as part of efforts to simplify the regulations, final tag numbers are already printed in the 2017 Oregon Big Game Regulations. (Previously, big game tag numbers for fall were not formally adopted until June.) Due to the severe winter in parts of eastern Oregon and higher winter mortality of wildlife, there have been some tag reductions for deer and pronghorn hunts in Baker, Union and northern Malheur county units. More information

ODFW limits the number of tags for some hunts (all rifle deer and most rifle elk hunting in eastern Oregon, plus all pronghorn, Rocky Mtn goat and bighorn sheep hunting) to fairly distribute tags and control hunting pressure. Hunters who apply for one of the controlled deer, elk or pronghorn hunts and don’t draw their first choice receive a preference point for that hunt series, which increases their chances the following year.

While the most sought after hunts can take more than 10 years to draw, every hunter has a chance to draw each year. Only 75 percent of tags are awarded based on preference points; the remaining 25 percent are awarded randomly among first choice applicants. Find out more about how the process works on ODFW’s Controlled Hunts page.

2016 Premium Hunt Winners rave about experience

Last year was the first year that Oregon offered “Premium Hunts,” special deer, elk and pronghorn tags with a months-long hunting season that includes both early and late season opportunity. The same number of tags are available this year—one Premium Deer tag in each of Oregon’s 67 wildlife management units, one Premium Elk tag in 59 hunts, and one Premium Pronghorn tag in 27 hunts. (A few elk and pronghorn Premium Hunts include two units.)

Unlike regular controlled hunts, Premium Hunts don’t use preference points, so every hunter who applies has the same chance ever year. Premium Hunts are also considered additional hunting opportunities, meaning hunters who draw one of these tags can still hunt on a regular controlled or general season big game tag. The hunts are open to both residents and non-residents and are not “once-in-a-lifetime” hunts, so hunters can reapply even if they drew a Premium Hunt tag last year. Applications also cost $8 and Premium Hunt tags are the same price as other deer, elk and pronghorn tags.

While the bag limit for Premium Hunts is any-sex, most 2016 Premium Hunt winners took a male animal. Among hunters who reported, 39 Premium Deer hunters took four-point bucks and 18 Premium Elk hunters took six-point bulls.

Second-year hunter Kayla Hathorn of Bonanza, Ore. says “I’ve never seen, or imagined getting any harvest larger than a four-point.” She took a six-point buck in the Sprague Unit.

“The length of the hunt gave me a chance to grow as a beginner elk hunter and I really became a better elk hunter overall,” said Nick Baszler of Creswell, Ore., who took an impressive elk in Sled Springs Unit.

Kent Berkey of Enterprise, Ore. took a very nice mule deer buck in the Imnaha Unit. “I looked at over 60 bucks, all on public lands, and saw two bigger than the one I harvested,” he said.

Tim Mickelson of Independence, Ore. took a “speedgoat” aka a pronghorn in Beatys Butte. “It was so nice being able to hunt speed goats that had not been pressured by other hunters,” Mickelson said. “Thank you ODFW for the unique opportunity to harvest this unique, beautiful, symbol of the American West.”

The most applied-for units for Premium Hunt applications last year were Metolius for deer, Mt Emily for elk and Juniper for pronghorn while the least applied-for were Sixes for deer, Klamath Falls for elk, and Sprague for pronghorn.

See pictures of the winners, hear their stories and learn more at ODFW’s Premium Hunts page or Facebook page. Applications for Premium Hunts are also due by May 15, 2017.