Tag Archives: trout

Trout Season Extended At B’ham’s Recently Stocked Padden Lake

THE FOLLOWING IS AN EMERGENCY RULE-CHANGE NOTICE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Gamefish season extended at Whatcom County’s Padden Lake

Action:  Extend the fishing season for gamefish at Padden Lake.

TROUT ANGLERS WORK BELLINGHAM’S PADDEN LAKE DURING SPRING. (WDFW)

Effective date:  Nov. 1, 2018, through Jan. 6, 2019.

Species affected:  Trout and other game species.

Location:  Padden Lake (Whatcom County).

Reason for action: The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) stocked 1,100 catchable-size rainbow trout for a Heritage Fishing Day event conducted by the Sportsman’s Alliance Foundation. There are many fish left in the lake and WDFW is expanding the fishery so anglers can enjoy them through the holidays.  

Additional information: Padden Lake will be closed to fishing on Jan. 7, 2019.  The lake will re-open to fishing on the fourth Saturday in April.

No internal combustion motors are allowed on Padden Lake.

Anglers should also be aware that invasive New Zealand mudsnails (https://wdfw.wa.gov/ais/potamopyrgus_antipodarum/) were recently discovered in Padden Lake. To prevent the spread of this prohibited species to other water bodies, WDFW urges anyone coming into contact with Lake Padden to inspect and follow the Clean/Drain/Dry strategy on all clothing, gear, and watercraft. For more details on the prevention methods, visit WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/ais/youcanhelp.html.   

Information contact: Justin Spinelli, Region 4 fisheries biologist, 360-466-4345, ext. 242.

SW WA, Columbia Fishing Report (6-25-18)

THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORT ORIGINATED WITH WDFW AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

BONUS FACTOIDS – The 4.9 million shad counted at Bonneville Dam through June 24th are the second highest on record.  The record are the 5.06 million fish counted through June 24, 2004.  However, this year’s run still remains strong with 262,000-380,000 shad counted daily at the dam this past week.  The record total of nearly 5.4 million fish counted in 2004 could fall in the next couple days!

A BIG RUN OF SHAD YIELDED WHAT’S BELIEVED TO BE THE SECOND HIGHEST SPORT CATCH SINCE 1969. (ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS)

The nearly 91,000 sockeye counted at Bonneville Dam through June 24 have almost met the pre-season forecast of 99,000 fish for 2018.  In fact, they are the 7th highest on record thru June 24th!

Salmon/Steelhead

Elochoman River – 15 bank anglers kept 6 steelhead.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream:  6 bank rods had no catch.  Above the I-5 Br:  5 bank rods had no catch.   51 boat rods kept 26 steelhead.

Kalama River – 8 bank anglers had no catch.Lewis River (mainstem) – 3 boat anglers kept 1 steelhead.

Wind River – 3 boat rods had no catch.

Drano Lake – 9 boat rods kept 2 adult spring Chinook and 1 steelhead.

Wind River and Drano Lake – At Wind River, June 30 is the last day to fish for spring Chinook above Shipherd Falls. It is also the last day for the two-poles, boat limits, and barbed hooks for both Wind River and Drano Lake. Drano Lake will be open 7 days per week beginning July 1 and the bank only area near the mouth will be open for boats.

Klickitat River – 2 bank anglers had no catch.

Lower Columbia mainstem from the Megler-Astoria Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam – Since the hatchery adult summer Chinook opener on June 22, bank anglers from Kalama upstream are catching some fish; boat anglers are catching fish more spread throughout the lower river.  Almost equal numbers of summer steelhead are also being handled.

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia mainstem from the Light 85 line downstream – Light effort and catch during the current catch-and-release only fishery.

Trout

4,500 catchable size rainbow trout were planted in Mayfield Lake on June 20.  No report on angling success.

Shad

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Based on mainly incomplete trips, bank anglers just below the dam averaged 4 shad per rod while boat anglers averaged nearly 14 fish per rod based on completed trips the past few days.

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

THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORTS ORIGINATED WITH ODFW AND WDFW AND WERE TRANSMITTED BY TANNA TAKATA, ODFW, AND JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Columbia River Angling Report

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

On Saturday’s (6/16) flight, 113 salmonid boats and 52 Oregon bank anglers were counted from the Astoria-Megler Bridge to Bonneville Dam.  Boat anglers fishing in the Goble to Beaver area, averaged 2.40 steelhead and 0.60 sockeye caught per boat.  Bank anglers fishing the Portland to Westport area, averaged 0.04 Chinook and 0.13 steelhead caught per angler.

STURGEON RETENTION ON THE LOWER COLUMBIA ENDED EARLIER THIS MONTH, BUT NOT BEFORE ELISE PASSMORE CAUGHT THIS ONE ON THE SECOND TO LAST DAY OF THE SEASON BELOW CATHLAMET. CATCH-AND-RELEASE REMAINS OPEN. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Gorge Bank: Weekend checking showed no catch for six salmonid bank anglers; and 1,844 shad kept, plus 92 shad released for 176 shad anglers.

Gorge Boats: Weekend checking showed 220 shad kept, plus 50 shad released for five boats (18 anglers).

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

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekend checking showed four steelhead kept, plus two adult Chinook and two steelhead released for 46 bank anglers.

Portland to St. Helens Boats: Weekend checking showed no catch for three salmonid boats (nine anglers); and one shad kept for one boat (two anglers).

Goble to Beaver (Clatskanie) Boats: Weekend checking showed eight steelhead kept, plus four steelhead and three sockeye released for five boats (20 anglers).

Wauna Powerlines to Clatsop Spit Bank: No report.

Westport to Buoy 10 Boats: Weekend checking showed no catch for five boats (16 anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for 10 salmonid bank anglers; and no catch for two salmonid boats (five anglers).  Shad anglers caught 98 shad for 53 bank anglers, and 12 shad for one boat (three anglers).

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for two salmonid bank anglers; and no catch for 10 salmonid boats (16 anglers).  Shad anglers caught 28 shad for six bank anglers, and 54 shad for two boats (10 anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for two salmonid bank anglers; and three adult Chinook kept, plus one coho released for 12 salmonid boats (25 anglers).  Shad anglers caught 2,065 shad for 61 boats (200 anglers).

STURGEON

Gorge Boats:  Closed for retention. No report.

Troutdale Boats:  Closed for retention. Weekend checking showed one sublegal sturgeon released for one boat (three anglers).

Portland to Wauna Powerlines Boats:  Closed for retention. No report.

Wauna Powerlines to Clatsop Spit Bank:  Closed for retention. No report.

Buoy 10 to Wauna Powerlines Boats:  Closed for retention. Weekend checking showed 15 sublegal and 15 oversize sturgeon released for one boat (four anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Closed for retention.  Weekend checking showed six legal white sturgeon kept, plus 20 sublegal and six oversize sturgeon released for 42 bank anglers; and 99 legal white sturgeon kept, plus 796 sublegal, nine legal and 22 oversize sturgeon released for 94 boats (253 anglers).

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Closed for retention.  Weekend checking showed three legal white sturgeon kept, plus 12 sublegal sturgeon released for 14 bank anglers; and 24 legal white sturgeon kept, plus 228 sublegal, five legal and 14 oversize sturgeon released for 21 boats (67 anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): Closed for retention.  Weekend checking showed four sublegal, eight legal and nine oversize sturgeon released for six boats (21 anglers).

WALLEYE

Bonneville Pool: Weekly checking showed no catch for one boat (three anglers).

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed 43 walleye kept, plus three walleye released for 11 boats (25 anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed 109 walleye kept, plus 19 walleye released for 30 boats (91 anglers).

Washington Columbia River mainstem and its tributaries sport sampling summaries for June 11-17

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br. downstream:  6 bank anglers had no catch.  Above the I-5 Br:  17 bank anglers released 2 cutts.  25 boat anglers kept 2 adult spring Chinook and 11 steelhead.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 83 spring Chinook adults, 40 summer-run steelhead,  and one winter-run steelhead during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

Tacoma Power also released ten spring Chinook adults into Lake Scanewa near Randle.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 5,100 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, June 18. Water visibility is 15 feet and the water temperature is 49.9 degrees F.

Kalama River – 6 bank anglers had no catch. 6 boat anglers kept 3 steelhead.

Lewis River (North Fork) – 15 bank anglers had no catch.

Lower Columbia mainstem from the Megler-Astoria Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam – Up to 2 hatchery steelhead may be retained.  Release all sockeye.  Fishing at night is permitted in Washington waters.  Release all adult Chinook through June 21 and July 5-31.

Sturgeon

Bonneville and The Dalles pools – During the one-day retention fishery last Friday, boat anglers averaged just over a legal kept per boat from each pool..   Bank anglers averaged a legal kept per every 7 rods in Bonneville Pool and one for every 4 rods in The Dalles Pool.

Trout

Tacoma Power released 5,200 rainbow trout into Mayfield Lake.  No report on angling success.

Shad

Bank anglers just below Bonneville Dam averaged 4 shad per rod based on mainly incomplete trips while boat anglers averaged just over 8 fish per rod based on completed trips this past weekend.

Nearly 2.6 million shad had been counted at Bonneville Dam through June 17.  .

WA Fish Commission Tightens Mining Rules On Stream Stretch Now Hosting Coho, Steelhead

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

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has changed the work times for mineral prospecting in and around the Sultan and Similkameen rivers to avoid periods when incubating eggs and young fish are present.

WITH THE 2016 REMOVAL OF A SLUICEWAY 9.7 MILES UP THE SULTAN RIVER, COHO AND WINTER STEELHEAD WERE ABLE TO ACCESS THE SULTAN RIVER IN THE GORGE BELOW SPADA LAKE (RIGHT CENTER), LEADING TO TIGHTER CONTROL OF MINERAL PROSPECTING RULES IN THE STREAM. (USGS NATIONAL MAP AERIAL IMAGERY)

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), approved the changes on Friday, April 20. The commission also authorized the department to remove 1 to 1.5 million board feet of timber from the 4-0 Wildlife Area in the Blue Mountains of Asotin County to improve wildlife habitat, restore forest health, and reduce the risk of severe wildfires.

Until recently, a section of the Sultan River in Snohomish County was open to mineral prospecting using a variety of equipment, including suction dredges, sluices, and high bankers, for more than seven months each year.

That changed in 2016, when a fish-passage project at the City of Everett diversion dam opened an additional 6.3 miles of the river to spawning salmon and steelhead, said Randi Thurston, WDFW habitat protection manager.

“Last year, the department adopted an emergency rule that prohibited the use of certain types of prospecting equipment in that area, except during August,” Thurston said. “This year, the commission adopted that new work window as a permanent rule.”

The new rule applies to the use of mineral prospecting equipment in the water, Thurston said.

In a separate action, the commission agreed to expand the work window for mineral prospecting on the Similkameen River to include the month of June from Enloe Dam to Palmer Creek in Okanogan County. That decision was based on a new study by WDFW that found no evidence of incubating trout or whitefish eggs there in June, Thurston said.

“Prospectors urged us to conduct the study, and they were right about the results,” she said.

Under the new rule, the work window for prospecting on the Similkameen River from Enloe Dam to Palmer Creek will extend from June 1 through Oct. 31.

For more information about mineral prospecting in Washington, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/mining/.

State wildlife managers plan to conduct the 4-0 forest restoration project this summer, but work may not be completed until the summer of 2019. Logging operations will be limited by fire restrictions and during periods of high recreational use, including deer and elk hunting seasons, said WDFW forest manager Richard Tveten.

STATE WILDLIFE MANAGERS PLAN TO THIN PORTIONS OF THE 4-O WILDLIFE AREA IN SOUTHWEST ASOTIN COUNTY TO RESTORE IT TO A MORE NATURAL OPEN PONDEROSA FOREST. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

In addition to the commercial logging operation, WDFW will also thin small trees from approximately 250 acres on the 4-0 property, he said. Project managers plan to burn logging debris in slash piles and will notify the public if they decide plan to conduct prescribed burns.

Lower Columbia, SW WA Fishing Report (4-9-18)

THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORTS ORIGINATED WITH WDFW AND WERE TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Washington lower Columbia mainstem sport sampling summary – April 2-7

Including fish released, anglers averaged just over ½ adult spring Chinook per boat.  Fishing  continued to be slow from the bank.

Effort was pretty high with 926 salmonid boats and 314 bank anglers counted during the Tues. April 3 flight.

THE LOWER COLUMBIA RIVER PRODUCED THIS SPRING CHINOOK FOR BUZZ RAMSEY LAST FRIDAY MORNING. THE FISH BIT A 4.5 MAG LIP AND WAS NETTED BY RON HILLER. TERRY OTTO SNAPPED THE PIC. (VIA BUZZ RAMSEY)

Washington Columbia River tributary sport sampling summaries – April 2-8

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – From the I-5 Br downstream:  42 bank rods kept 3 steelhead and released 1 cutthroat.  3 boat anglers kept one adult spring Chinook.  Above the I-5 Br:  129 bank rods kept 12 adult spring Chinook and 6 steelhead and released 1 steelhead.  99 boat rods kept 34 steelhead and released 3 steelhead.

Most of the steelhead were sampled at the Trout Hatchery while most of the salmon were checked at the salmon hatchery.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 228 winter-run steelhead and two spring Chinook adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 13 winter-run steelhead into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton and they released one winter-run steelhead into the Cispus River near Yellow Jacket Creek.

Tacoma Power released 20 winter-run steelhead into Lake Scanewa near Randle.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 6,370 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, April 9. Water visibility is nine feet and the water temperature is 44.1 degrees F.

East Fork Lewis from mouth to top boat ramp at Lewisville Park and Washougal River from mouth to Mt. Norway Bridge – Open to fishing for hatchery steelhead Monday April 16. Through the first Friday in June, selective gear rules are in effect; no bait may be used.

Kalama River – 23 bank anglers kept 1 steelhead.  7 boat anglers had no catch.   Now closed to retention of steelhead through May 15.

North Fork Lewis River – 24 bank anglers had no catch.

Wind River – 1 boat angler had no catch.

Drano Lake – 5 boat anglers had no catch.

Wed. April 11 is the first of the scheduled Wednesday closures that run through June. Effective April 16 through June 30, bank fishing only west of a line projected from the easternmost pillar of the Hwy. 14 Bridge to a posted marker on the north shore.

Klickitat River – 4 bank anglers had no catch.  Open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays only through May.

Trout

Tacoma Power released 4,020 rainbow trout into Mayfield Lake.  They are part of the 72,000 fish expected to be planted between April and August.

SW WA, Columbia Fishing Report (1-16-18)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ORIGINATED WDFW AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – From the I-5 Br. downstream:  5 bank rods had no catch.  Upstream from the I-5 Br:  19 bank and 1 boat rods had no catch.

WITH HER STEELHEAD RIVER RUNNING HIGH, PAULA CORCORAN WENT WITH A SPIN-N-GLO TAPED WITH HYPER-VIS AND FISHED CLOSE TO THE BANK, CATCHING THIS NICE WINTER-RUN. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Early hatchery steelhead returns to date

Kind of a mixed bag from the same time last year.

River                      2018                       2017

Grays                    0                              30
Elochoman          581                         36
Kalama                 246                         190
Lewis                     251                         1,084
Washougal          193                         128

Note:  Cowlitz is late stock.

Elochoman River – From Shane McEneny, WDFW Fish Hatchery Specialist 4 – This year’s return is coming back from a plant of only 65k smolts but is the first year since before 2009 that the fish were reared with predator netting and fencing. Numbers of returning adults have been phenomenal as we are close to 600 trapped for the season with anticipations of reaching 1,000.  We are surplussing and recycling adults which we haven’t done for years and the fishing pressure has been enormous with a lot of happy fisherman.  Next winter’s return will come back from a plant of almost double the smolts.

Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam – No effort was observed for steelhead.

Sturgeon

Bonneville and The Dalles pools – Boat anglers are catching some legals.  The Dalles Pool was the best with a legal kept per about every 3 rods.

Bass and Walleye

Bonneville Pool – No effort was observed for either specie.

The Dalles Pool – Bank and boat anglers are doing well for walleye.  No effort was observed for bass.

Trout

Recent plants of catchable size to 10 pound rainbows and surplus adult winter steelhead released into SW WA waters.  No report on angling success.

Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish perPound
Hatchery
Notes

* CARLISLE LK (LEWI)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=CARLISLE%20LK%20(LEWI)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>

Jan 08, 2018
Rainbow
100
0.2
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

* HORSESHOE LK (COWL)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=HORSESHOE%20LK%20(COWL)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>

Jan 09, 2018
Rainbow
115
0.2
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

Jan 04, 2018
Rainbow
2,400
2.34
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

* ICE HOUSE LK (SKAM)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=ICE%20HOUSE%20LK%20(SKAM)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>

Jan 05, 2018
Rainbow
1,450
2.4
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

* KRESS LK (COWL)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=KRESS%20LK%20(COWL)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>

Jan 09, 2018
Steelhead
8
0.1
KALAMA FALLS HATCHERY
Adult Winters

Jan 08, 2018
Steelhead
44
0.1
KALAMA FALLS HATCHERY
Adult Winters

Jan 05, 2018
Steelhead
26
0.1
KALAMA FALLS HATCHERY
Adult Winters

Jan 04, 2018
Rainbow
2,000
2.34
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

Jan 04, 2018
Steelhead
30
0.1
KALAMA FALLS HATCHERY
Adult Winters

Jan 03, 2018
Steelhead
22
0.1
KALAMA FALLS HATCHERY
Adult Winters

* LK SACAJAWEA (COWL)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=LK%20SACAJAWEA%20(COWL)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC

Jan 10, 2018
Rainbow
30
0.1
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

Jan 10, 2018
Rainbow
66
0.2
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

* SPEARFISH LK (KLIC)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=SPEARFISH%20LK%20(KLIC)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Jan 03, 2018
Rainbow
2,080
2.08
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

WDFW Gets 933 Comments On Freshwater Reg Simplification Ideas

Simplifying Washington’s fishing pamphlet might not be so simple.

When state fishery managers asked for feedback on their first round of proposals — making lake and river regulations more uniform and easier to understand — they snagged a ton of comments, 933 to be exact.

Everybody had an opinion. Many were for the tweaks, many others were against them.

(Who knows how many comments the agency will get when they tackle salmon and saltwater rules in the coming years.)

It’s a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t deal.

With fishery managers acknowledging that their regs “are complex and can be difficult to follow” — it’s been stated by more than one angler they need an attorney by their side to interpret things — the review represents an effort to make them more user-friendly, which I think we can all appreciate, even if it also flies in the face of what anglers also want: rules tailored to their specific fishery or style of fishing.

With this go-around, just four subjects accounted for more than half of all the comments, with eliminating special limits on panfish at select lakes receiving a griddle-sized 29.1 percent, mostly against.

According to a presentation prepared for a public hearing before the Fish and Wildlife Commission at its meeting next week, 247 of 272 who expressed opinions on the idea were opposed.

Many said that reservoirs such as Banks, Potholes and Moses should be excluded and that species like crappie and bluegill would be wiped out and other fish species would also lose out on dinner, according to the WDFW summary.

“Numerous eastern Washington resorts, sport fishing clubs, local guides, and warmwater anglers have expressed concerns over eliminating bag limits on major waters,” the agency stated.

A proposal to allow chumming on all waters also saw strong opposition, with 59 shooting holes in the chum bucket while 31 filled it up.

“This is a bad idea and will lead to unnecessary overfishing and collateral damage to other species,” one cogent argument went, according to the agency.

On the flip side, others said, “I am in favor of being able to chum, and don’t think it has any negative impact on the water quality,” and “I believe it increases opportunity for anglers, especially when pursuing stocked trout.”

Another proposal that saw strong negative response was scrapping the requirement that trout caught with bait but released be counted towards the daily limit of five.

Forty-six bonked the idea, arguing, “Bait should not be considered acceptable for catch-and-release situations,” while 23 want it added to their stringer, saying it “Would allow more flexibility and opportunity for anglers” and “This rule was always unenforceable anyway.”

But the tape measure had to come out for several subjects with much closer splits among commenters:

Removing duplicate landowner rules had nine comments for (“If these restrictions are not set by the department then they should not be listed in the pamphlet”) and nine comments against (“The rules set by the landowners or managing authorities may not be readily available or easily known”).

Different daily and size limits for steelhead and trout had 21 comments for (“Separating steelhead from trout should make reading and understanding the fishing regulations much easier” and 19 comments against (“Allowing retention of ‘trout’ in waters containing steelhead would pose another unnecessary risk to steelhead populations).

Standardized seasons and regs for stillwaters had 30 comments for (“Fewer rules, and the fewer exceptions, avoids confusing anglers”) and 26 comments against (“Why not simply reduce to a year-round season in some fisheries and a March 1st (or last Saturday in April) through November 30th season?”).

As for standardized regs for rivers and creeks, it had support from 27 (“Simple is better, when exploring a new water having to remember a whole new set of rules is a burden”) but opposition from 35 (“The current approach of having waters closed unless listed as open is the best approach. Puts a number of species of conservation concern at risk”), especially bass and walleye clubs worried about dropping daily and size limits.

However, there were some proposals nearly everybody could admire, such as:

Standardizing whitefish season to Dec. 1-last day in Feb. (18-1);
Standardizing language for juvenile waters to allow seniors and disabled anglers (15-1);
Consistent terminology for possession limits (26-5);
Eliminating daily and size limits on brook trout (30-6);
Retention of incidentally caught hatchery steelhead (23-5);
Ending mandatory hatchery steelhead retention (34-10);
And opening game fish season in rivers, streams and beaver ponds from the start of Memorial Day Weekend through Halloween (25-9).

After the Dec. 9 public hearing in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building on the grounds of the state capital complex, the Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to make final decisions at its Jan. 18-20 meetings in Vancouver, with any changes they make coming out in the new pamphlet that goes into effect July 1, 2018.

Next up in WDFW’s rule simplification drive will be salmon, followed by shellfish and saltwater species in 2019.

Chance To See, Comment On How WDFW Fishing Reg Simplification Proposals Affect Your Waters

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

State fishery managers are inviting the public to comment on proposals to simplify recreational fishing rules for Washington rivers, streams and lakes.

Proposals are based upon general policies for freshwater species – including trout, steelhead, bass, walleye, panfish, sturgeon, and shad – that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) put forth for public review in September.

“We previously provided an overview of how we want to simplify fishing regulations for freshwater species,” said Craig Burley, who heads WDFW’s fish management division. “Now we’re telling anglers how the proposed changes apply to their favorite stream, river or lake.”

For instance, WDFW has proposed assigning most lakes, ponds and reservoirs to one of six standard seasons rather than setting a custom season for each water body. Also, the department has proposed allowing separate daily limits for trout and steelhead rather than one combined limit.

Anglers can now check the documents posted online to see how those and other rules would apply to specific freshwater areas, Burley said.

The proposed rules, listed by geographical area, are available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals/. Comments will be accepted through Nov. 30. For a hard copy of the proposed rules, please call 360-902-2700.

The public will also have the opportunity to comment on the proposals during the Dec. 8-9 meeting of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission. in Olympia. The commission, which sets policy for WDFW, is scheduled to take action on the proposals during its January 2018 meeting.

“We know our regulations are complex and can be difficult to follow,” Burley said. “This is the first step toward making fishing rules easier to understand.”

Burley said this is the first phase of a three-year effort to simplify sportfishing regulations throughout the state. Fishery managers are scheduled to work on salmon fishing rules during 2018. They will address shellfishing regulations and rules for other saltwater fisheries in 2019.

E

 

Southern Washington Fishing Report (9-26-17)

THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL ORIGINATED WITH WDFW, INCLUDING PAUL HOFFARTH, AND JOE HYMER, PSMFC, AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY HYMER

FACTOID:  The McNary Dam Chinook count through September 20 is 65,314 so the U.S. v. Oregon management goal of 60,000 has been met for the 24th consecutive year.

A WESTERN OREGON SALMON ANGLER SHOWS OFF A COHO CAUGHT WHILE UPSTREAM TROLLING IN THE COLUMBIA WITH A BENGAL TIGER PATTERN FAT WIGGLER OFF THE MOUTH OF THE DESCHUTES RIVER. (VIA BUZZ RAMSEY)

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – From the I-5 Bridge downstream:  24 bank rods kept 1 adult Chinook and released 1 jack and 1 adult coho.  8 boats/19 rods kept 1 adult Chinook and released 2 jack and 3 adult Chinook, 1 adult coho, and 1 steelhead.  From the I-5 Bridge upstream:  18 bank rods kept 2 jack and 1 adult Chinook and 1 steelhead and released 4 adult Chinook, 1 jack coho, and 3 cutts.  No boats were sampled.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 587 fall Chinook adults, 24 fall Chinook jacks, 17 summer-run steelhead, 20 spring Chinook adults, one spring Chinook jack, 565 coho adults, 84 coho jacks, and 18 cutthroat trout during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 16 spring Chinook adults, one spring Chinook jack, 76 coho adults, nine coho jacks and nine cutthroat trout into the Cispus River near the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek and they released three spring Chinook adults, 59 coho adults and and seven coho jacks at Franklin Bridge in Packwood.

Tacoma Power released 369 fall Chinook adults, 11 fall Chinook jacks, 305 coho adults, 46 coho jacks and two cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 2,580 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, September 25. Water visibility is 14 feet and water temperature is 55.4 degrees F. River

Drano Lake – No report on angling success.

Effective October 1, anglers may fish for SALMON and STEELHEAD with two poles with a Two-Pole Endorsement and each angler aboard a vessel may deploy SALMON and STEELHEAD angling gear until the daily limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. Barbed hooks will be allowed October 1 through December 31. The lake will be closed to all fishing from 6 pm Tuesdays to 6 pm Wednesdays in October

Yakima River Fall Salmon Fishery Update Sept 1-17:

A total of 909 adult chinook and 211 jacks have moved upstream of the Prosser Diversion since August 1. Fall Chinook counts into the Yakima River have been slow and steady over the past two weeks at ~25 adult Chinook per day. WDFW staff interviewed 195 anglers this past week with 11 salmon observed in the harvest (38 hours per fish).  There were an estimated 906 angler trips for salmon in the lower Yakima River this past week with a total of 1,758 angler trips for the season. An estimated 82 adult Chinook have been harvested this season. Fishing should continue to improve over the next few weeks of the season.

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

Buoy 10 – Some hatchery coho are being caught.

Effective October 1, the salmonid daily limit increases to 6 fish of which 2 may be adult salmon or one adult salmon and one hatchery steelhead. Salmon minimum size is 12 inches. Any Chinook, adipose fin clipped or not, may be retained. Release all salmon other than Chinook and hatchery coho.

Lower Columbia mainstem from the Lewis downstream – Light effort and catch during the current no Chinook retention through the end of this month.

Effective October 1, up to two adult Chinook, fin clipped or not, may be retained.

Lower Columbia mainstem from the Lewis River upstream to Bonneville Dam – Chinook catches were very good, especially earlier last week.  Effort in this area is fairly heavy.

No creel sampling numbers are currently available.

McNary Reservoir Steelhead/Salmon Fishery: Aug 1 – September 24:

Angler effort continues to increase in this fishery.  There were an estimated 645 angler trips for salmon and steelhead in the McNary to Snake River portion of the Columbia River this past week.  WDFW staff interviewed 85 anglers from 42 boats and 105 bank anglers fishing for steelhead/salmon.  Staff sampled five steelhead and three Chinook.

There have been 1,473 angler trips for steelhead/salmon in the McNary area through September 24 with a harvest of 13 steelhead, 4 adult and 3 jack Chinook. An additional 2 wild steelhead have been released. Angler effort and harvest remains well below last season.

This area of the Columbia River will close to fishing for steelhead in October and November. The area will remain open for salmon.

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

Hanford Reach Sport Fishery Update

WDFW staff interviewed anglers from 667 boats (1,729 anglers) and 95 bank anglers (Ringold access area) and sampled 458 adult Chinook and 58 jacks.  Based on the information collected, an estimated 1,616 adult Chinook and 203 jacks were harvested this past week from 6,016 angler trips.  Anglers averaged 1.3 Chinook per boat, 22 hours per fish.

Through September 24, 1,923 adult fall Chinook and 203 Chinook jacks have been harvested in the Hanford Reach from 10,887 angler trips.

A Hanford Reach in-season adult fall Chinook update was completed on September 23 that estimates a natural origin return of 46,042. This would allow a harvest of roughly 10,000 adults and still meet escapement goals for the Reach.

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

Trout

Recent trout plants into SW WA waters.  No report on angling success.

Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per Pound
Hatchery
Notes

COUNCIL LK (SKAM)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=COUNCIL+LK+%28SKAM%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Skamania County – Region 5
Sep 18, 2017
Rainbow
1,000
1.1
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

Mineral Lake – No report on angling success. September 30 is the last day to fish there for the year.

ODFW Stocking Wallowa High Lakes, Studying Which Size Trout Works Best

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

Thousands of juvenile trout were airlifted to the Wallowa Mountains last week by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to supplement the fish populations of lakes within the 361,000-acre Eagle Cap Wilderness in Northeast Oregon.

JUVENILE TROUT FALL TOWARD HOBO LAKE IN THE EAGLE CAP WILDERNESS DURING A HELICOPTER FISH-STOCKING OPERATION MONDAY. (KYLE BRATCHER, ODFW)

The Eagle Cap Wilderness has some of Oregon’s most beautiful mountain lakes, including the state’s highest lake, Legore Lake, perched above the Wallowa Valley at an altitude of 8,950 feet. More than 40 lakes in the Eagle Cap are above 7,000 feet.

“The extreme conditions involved in maintaining healthy fish populations in a landscape above 7,000 feet has its own challenges,” said Jeff Yanke, ODFW district fish biologist in Enterprise, adding, “but anglers have consistently told us that fishing is one of the recreational experiences they expect when they go to the wilderness.”

ODFW stocks Eagle Cap Wilderness lakes by helicopter every two years. The stocking program is paid for with federal Sportfish Restoration Program dollars, which is funded by a 10 percent excise tax on the sale of fishing equipment. In this way, ODFW seeds off-the-beaten-track lakes with rainbow trout that will hopefully grow to become the eight inchers that anglers can legally retain.

WITH MORE THAN 40 LAKES OVER 7,000 FEET UP, THE WALLOWAS PUT THE HIGH IN HIGH LAKES FISHING. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

The challenges juvenile trout face in the high mountains are considerable. First there is the long fall from the aerial stocking device (ASD) or “shuttle” underneath the helicopter to the cold waters of the high lake. In some of those lakes, the rainbows may encounter eastern brook trout, which were stocked in the high lakes decades ago and are a voracious predator. Freezing cold water is another factor in the high lakes that can take a toll on fish.

One way to improve survival rates is to start with larger fish. Fish biologists have long known larger fish are better able to withstand the forces of nature than smaller fish. However, larger fish also take up more space, which means fewer of them will fit into the two-gallon containers on the helicopter shuttle that ODFW uses to transport fish to the high lakes.

This year ODFW’s Enterprise office began testing three sizes of rainbow trout to see which one may fare better with the presence of brook trout in Oregon’s highest lakes. The control group, raised to a target size of 2.5 inches, is similar to what ODFW has released into the high lakes in the past and most commonly used for aerial stocking in other locations. This year two larger sizes: 3- and 4-inch rainbows – were also tested to see if there is any improvement in survival rates as the result of using larger trout. This part of the study will be completed in three to four years.

“Our study was initiated to see if we could increase rainbow survival in our lakes enough by raising a larger fish to overcome predation and competition by naturally producing brook trout,” said Kyle Bratcher, ODFW assistant district fish biologist in Enterprise.

One of the concerns was that larger fish might suffer more severe injuries when they hit the water after a 70-foot free fall because their bodies have more surface area to injure. Finding little or no documented evidence of this, the biologists simulated an air stocking event by dropping these different groups from varying heights into a small reservoir in advance.

Preliminary results indicate that all three size groups have high post-drop survival rates, according to Bratcher, who noted that samples were sent to ODFW’s fish lab in La Grande where they will be assessed for bruising, injuries and other signs of trauma.

In addition, ODFW crews will sample survey the stocked lakes two years from now, with captured fish identified as to species, length, weight, and other criteria that will lead to estimates of population abundance, growth, and condition.