Gillnet Ban Campaign Suspended And Other News

Out yesterday with nastiness coming out of both ends, but in the meanwhile here’s what’s shaking in the Northwest fish and game and wolf world:

Measure 81 Suspends Anti-gillnetting Ballot Measure; In Statement, Gov. Kitzhaber Appreciates End Of Campaign

“Today I want to express my appreciation to the Coastal Conservation Association, lead petitioners Senators Girod and Monroe, and the Stop Gillnets Now coalition for their responsible decision to end the campaign in support of Measure 81. I am glad to see that, despite some understandable reservations, they have endorsed the Oregon Fish & Wildlife Commission process to reform the management of our Columbia River fisheries. This issue reaches beyond party lines and affects many legitimate interests in its complexity.

My proposal would transition the use of non-tribal gillnets out of the mainstem Columbia River and into off-channel areas while still advancing commercial fisheries important to Oregon’s economy and lower river communities. While I may not have agreed with Measure 81’s approach, I appreciate the focus CCA and the Coalition placed on the need to address the use of gillnets and overall lower Columbia fishery management.

It takes courage for a coalition of groups to decide to shift their focus after they’ve poured their resources and hard work into qualifying a ballot measure with considerable support. However, I firmly believe the Commission is the best venue for resolution of this issue rather than the ballot box, and I want to commend CCA and the Coalition for making the historic decision to end the ballot campaign and shift its focus completely into that venue.”

WDFW Signs Up Three Commissioners To Work On Kitzhaber Columbia Gillnet Phaseout,

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission identified three commissioners to participate in a joint process with Oregon to develop potential alternatives for managing salmon and sturgeon fisheries in the lower Columbia River during a special meeting Sept. 5-6 in Olympia.

The first joint meeting to discuss restructuring lower Columbia River fisheries is scheduled for Sept. 21 in Olympia. The meeting, which is open to the public, is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E.

The meeting is part of a process developed as an alternative to a citizen initiative that would ban gillnetting on Oregon’s side of the Columbia River.

Last month, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber asked the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to consider restructuring the fisheries. A copy of Kitzhaber’s request, as well as a statement from WDFW Director Phil Anderson regarding the request, is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/about/director/kitzhaber_repsonse.html .

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to allow public comment on the proposed alternatives at its October and November meetings in Olympia. The commission is scheduled to make a final decision at its December meeting in Olympia.

Walla Walla Wolf Pack Numbers 10; Imnahas Keep Chewing On Stock

ODFW confirmed pups for the Walla Walla Pack on Friday, Sept. 7 when ODFW monitoring cameras documented two black pups travelling with the pack in the upper Walla Walla River drainage. Though reproduction was expected for this pack, it had not been confirmed until Friday. The two radio-collared yearlings (OR10 and OR11) were also documented to still be with the pack. This brings the minimum known size of the Walla Walla pack to 10 wolves (8 adults, 2 pups). It also brings the known number of reproducing wolf packs in NE Oregon to six.

ODFW also recently confirmed additional livestock losses by the Imnaha wolf pack. Details at the links below:

SeaTimes Editorial Board (Snarky Comment Deleted) Wades Into Wedge Wolf Issue

Len McIrvin, one of the owners of Diamond M Ranch, says, “Wolves have never been compatible with raising livestock.”

But turn McIrvin’s statement around: Raising livestock has never been compatible with wolves. That prompts other questions. Should protection of livestock take precedent over protection of natural wildlife? Especially since McIrvin uses some public land for grazing his cattle?

Bradley Lake (Coos Bay) Boat Ramp Closed Thru Halloween

The public boat ramp and county access road at Bradley Lake just south of Bandon closed today through at least Oct. 31 for construction.

Big J Construction will replace the existing boat ramp and add docks that extend to deeper water so anglers without boats can fish for rainbow trout and warmwater species. The narrow channel between the boat ramp and main body of the lake will be deepened. The channel often gets shallow and choked with weeds.

Other local angling opportunities include Garrison, Saunders, Empire and Butterfield lakes. Salmon fishing is in full swing in local rivers and bays.

ODFW owns the access area and partners with Coos County Parks Department which provides maintenance. This project is funded by a Sport Fish Restoration grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and matched by a facility grant from the Oregon State Marine Board.

Oregon Man Arrested For Killing Trophy Bull Elk With A Rifle During Archery Season

An investigation by Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish & Wildlife Division troopers in Douglas County led to the arrest Saturday of a Riddle-area man related to the unlawful killing of a 6×6 bull elk on the first day of bow hunting season in August 2012.

On September 8, 2012, OSP Trooper Aaron Baimbridge arrested JIM MARTIN, age 42, from Riddle, for Unlawful Possession of a Bull Elk and Unlawful Possession of an Altered Firearm. The arrest stems from an investigation that started August 25, 2012, the opening day of bow hunting season for elk and deer in the Douglas County area, when OSP received an anonymous report of a rifle shot in the Nickel Mine area near Riddle.

Baimbridge responded to area and contacted a group of men in possession of a large bull elk leaving the Nickel Mine area. One of the men identified as MARTIN was driving an ATV pulling a trailer containing a dead 6×6 elk. At the time, MARTIN said he killed the elk with arrows but Baimbridge became suspicious when one the wounds appeared to have been caused by a bullet. Subsequent investigation during the day resulted in OSP seizing the elk for further examination.

The ongoing investigation led to a search warrant being issued for MARTIN’s residence in the 5200 block of Riddle Bypass Road. On September 8, OSP Fish & Wildlife Division troopers executed the search warrant, seizing evidence and two firearms, including a handgun with the serial number ground off.

After serving the search warrant, MARTIN was arrested and taken to the Douglas County Jail on the listed charges.

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