Posts tagged: Columbia River
FISHING — Some people are criticizing John Grubenhoff of Pasco for not releasing the 20.32-pound Washington state record walleye he caught Friday in the Columbia River.
Experts say he did the right thing, without even getting around to the argument that walleye are a non-native species.
FISHING — The whopper walleye caught in the Columbia River on Friday — see today's story — has been officially declared a state record by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Following is the official announcement, just posted:
New State Fishing Record: Walleye (Sander vitrius)
Caught by John Grubenhoff of Pasco, WA, in Lake Wallula (Columbia River), Benton County, on Feb. 28, 2014
Weight: 20.32 lbs
Total Length: 35.50 inches (90 cm)
Girth: 22.75 inches (57.5 cm)
Fishing method/gear: Trolling in 22 feet of water upstream along a current break at 0.8 mph and using a Rapala® J-13 lure 6 feet behind a 2 oz. “bottom walker” weight.
Conditions: Sunny, but with a cold front coming in the next day. Water temperature: 37.2 degrees; air temperature: upper 40s.
Species description: Walleye are extremely popular sport fish everywhere they occur, and are known for their exquisite flavor. They are native to the Midwest United States and were first identified in Washington about 1960 in Banks Lake. They have since spread throughout the Columbia Basin and the Columbia River from Lake Roosevelt, downstream to near Longview. Washington is known nationwide for its walleye fishing.
Previous record: Taken Feb. 5, 2007 in Lake Wallula (Columbia River) by Mike Hepper of Richland, WA
Weight: 19.3 lbs
Total Length: 33.7 inches
Girth: 22.2 inches
FISHING — It isn't a hot spot for fishing this time of year, but if you're thinking of launching a boat in the Columbia River's reservoir behind Wanapum Dam, think again.
The 20-foot drawdown resulting from precautions after a crack was found in the dam have left boat ramps far from the water, as you'll see in the photos with this story from the Yakima Herald.
UPDATE March 5, 2014, 3:15 p.m.: It's official! The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has just confirmed Grubenhoff's walleye as a state record.
FISHING — A walleye weighing 20.32 pounds caught in the Columbia River on Friday is a pending Washington record.
John Grubenhoff, 57, of Pasco was fishing in the McNary Pool near the Tri Cities when he caught the egg-heavy female measuring 35 1/2 inches long and 22 3/4 inches in girth.
A state biologist witnessed the weighing on a certified scale on Friday. State biologist Paul Hoffarth measured the fish on Saturday and said he doesn't foresee and issues that would prevent the record from being confirmed.
Grubenhoff's walleye would top the current record of 19.3 pounds caught by Tri-Cities angler Mike Hepper in February 2007.
Oregon's record, also from the Columbia, is 19 pounds, 15 ounces caught in 1990.
The world record listed by the International Game Fish Association is 25 pounds caught in Old Hickory Lake, Tenn., in 1960.
Grubenhoff, who's pursued walleyes for 29 years, said he rushed home from his job at Sandvik Special Metals on Friday afternoon to get in some fishing before dark. Winter is prime time for catching trophy walleyes while the hens are still full of eggs.
“A cold front was forecast to come in that evening so I figured that fishing would be good,” he said, noting the water temperature was 37.2 degrees. “Boy was it. My first fish came within about 10 minutes, a nice hen around 14 pounds. I released her as usual and went back at it.”
Within 10 minutes, he caught and released a 6-pound male. He said he hooked the record fish about a half hour later “fishing a current break adjacent to a windswept, rocky shoreline in about 22 feet of water.”
He was trolling upstream at about 0.8 mph with a Rapala J-13 – a 6-inch-long minnow lure in silver and black – about 6 feet behind a 2-ounce bottom walker.
“The largest walleye I've caught up until now was around 18 pounds,” he said. “She was released after a few photos.”
But he said he knew Friday’s fish was a possible record and took it - almost - immediately to be weighed on a certified scale.
“I have been tournament fishing for about 25 years, mostly with my son Jacob, who is my best buddy,” he said. “We've won nine tournaments and placed in the money dozens of times.”
Ranch & Home, a Tri-Cities sporting goods store, has offered to pay for the taxidermist and a reproduction to display in the store, he said.
FISHING — A Columbia River walleye weighing 20.32 pounds was caught in the Columbia River on Friday and is likely to be confirmed as a Washington record, state Fish and Wildlife Department biologists say
John Grubenhoff of Pasco was fishing in the McNary Pool near the Tri-Cities when caught the fish measuring 35 1/2 inches long and 22 3/4 inches in girth.
A state biologist witnessed the weighing on a certified scale on Friday. Paul Hoffarth, area district biologist, measured the fish on Saturday and said he doesn't forsee and issues that would prevent the record from being confirmed.
Grubenhoff's walleye would top the current record of 19.3 pounds caught by Mike Hepper in February 2007.
Winter is prime time to catch record walleyes while the females are heavy with eggs.
Oregon's walleye record is 19 pounds, 15 ounces caught in 1990.
The world record listed by the International Game Fish Association is 25 pounds caught in Old Hickory Lake, Tenn., in 1960.
FISHING — Here's the harbinger of what should be a better than average spring chinook fishing season in the Columbia and Snake Rivers.
“First spring Chinook of the year returned to Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery yesterday!” says Joe Hymer, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife salmon specialist in an email received moments ago.
RIVERS — The level of Lake Roosevelt near the elevation of 1,273 feet today and lake levels are expected to remain between 1,271-1,273 this week, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
Grand Coulee Dam is being operated to meet power demand and the minimum tail water requirement of 11.5 feet below Bonneville Dam for chum and the 65 kcfs minimum Hanford Reach protection flows below Priest Rapids Dam.
The February Water Supply Forecasts indicated that Lake Roosevelt's inflow potential is 82% of average. The forecast for the Dalles is 83% of average. Due to a relatively dry January, flood control elevations have risen since last month.
The following are flood control elevations for Lake Roosevelt:
The next Water Supply Forecast will be updated the week of March 10 and flood control elevations are expected to change. February has seen an increase in precipitation and it is expected the March forecast will reflect this change.
Get links to river flows in this region at The Spokesman-Review Outdoors topics page.
Get daily Lake Roosevelt level forecast by phone, updated daily at 3 p.m: (800) 824-4916.
Check out this NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.
CONSERVATION — The effort to modernize the international Columbia River Treaty and perhaps return salmon upstream over Grand Coulee Dam will be highlighted in an annual conservation benefit program during an evening of food and presentations on Friday, Feb. 21, at the Patsy Clark Mansion in Spokane.
D.R. Michel, Upper Columbia United Tribes executive director, will present the keynote address in the program organized by the Center for Environmental Law & Policy.
The 2014 “watershed heroes” to be honored at the program include two Washington State University emeritus professors — Norman Whittlesey and Walter Butcher — for their contributions in water economics and ongoing scrutiny of costly federal and state irrigation projects proposed for our region.
“Their academic integrity in service to the public has helped protect rivers, taxpayers, and ratepayers for decades,” said John Osborn, the event's co-organizer.
The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Mansion, 2208 W. 2nd Ave.
RSVP: John Osborn, email@example.com , (509) 939-1290.
Tickets are $25 (click here or pay at the Patsy Clark Mansion).
HIKING — Hikers looking for a long winter walk where they can let their dog romp a bit might consider the shores of Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area that are away from houses and buildings.
Be smart: If there's anyone around — anglers, walkers or anyone else — use a leash.
Snow rarely lingers long on the Roosevelt shoreline after a storm, and the water level is low from winter through early spring leaving a large beach area for roaming.
Local hiker Karen Jurasin snapped the photo above of her dog, Scout, during a romp on the shore line at the Hawk Creek area northwest of Davenport (page 315 in 100 Hikes of the Inland Northwest).
FISHING — The chart above was just released by Columbia River fisheries managers. Get your tackle rigged.
FISHING — The federal government’s management plan for protecting salmon and steelhead populations imperiled by federal dams in the Columbia River basin differs little from its earlier version and continues to rely heavily on habitat improvement.
Click continue reading for a report by the Associated Press.
FISHING — Here's the latest forecast for a niche of the Columbia River spring chinook run popular with anglers:
BOATING — The elevation of Lake Roosevelt was 1278 feet Wednesday and is expected to range from 1270 to 1278 through mid-February as the dam operates primarily for providing power, the Bureau of Reclamation reports.
Although local snowpacks are thin, the status of the Columbia Basin, which ranges well into Canada, is bright for Columbia River hydropower and fish. Says the Bureau:
The January Water Supply Forecasts have been issued. Currently the inflow forecast for Lake Roosevelt is 95% of average. The forecast for the Dalles is 97% of average.
The following are flood control elevations forecast for Lake Roosevelt but subject change:
Daily lake level forecast by phone: (800) 824-4916.
Or check out this NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.
FISHING — Anglers new to winter trolling for trout at Lake Roosevelt should take five-minutes to view a video produced by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Chris Donley, the agency's inland fisheries manager and a Spokane County native, offers general guidelines to help anglers zero in on what's left of the 750,000 net pen rainbows that are released in the lake each summer.
PUBLIC LANDS — My column today regarding the murky jurisdictional differences sport fishermen must navigate on and around Lake Roosevelt is just a glimpse at years of posturing that's likely to go on for many more years. That's the way it is with boundary disputes between sovereign nations, only in the case of a U.S. citizen challenging the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe, the citizens pay the cost of both the prosecution and the defense, since the U.S. Attorney would be called in to defend the tribe.
This is part of the reason it's hard to move forward.
A few notes:
Connie Williamson of Grand Coulee was one of the anglers first ticketed by tribal officers for fishing without a Colville tribal fishing license on Geezer Beach. She says she has a tribal because she fishes on the reservation lands and respects the tribe's authority to manage its fish and wildlife on the reservation. But she fished while carrying just a state fishing license on Geezer Beach to press the point that that land belongs to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the tribe should have no authority on that land.
When she went to Colville tribal court for her hearing, the charges were dropped. She, too, could not progress to a resolution in the dispute.
Read on for portions of the responses she's received as she's pursued the issue to higher levels:
NATIONAL PARKS — Boaters and anglers can save money buy buying their season boat launch permit for Lake Roosevelt before the end of April.
A launch permit is required at all designated National Park Service-managed ramps regardless of the type of vessel.
Without a season permit, boaters pay on site a $6 fee for a permit valid for seven days.
2014 season launch permits cost $30 if purchased by April 30. After that, the cost increases to $40.
Federal Golden Age, Golden Access and Interagency Senior or Access Pass cardholders, fees get 50 percent off.
Read on for details on where to purchase the boat launch permits.
FISHING — The Columbia River steelhead fishing report for December in the Hanford Reach isn't anything to get excited about. Here's the summary just posted by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife fisheries biologist Paul Hoffarth in the Tri-Cities:
Cold weather has kept anglers away from the water in December. Only 82 angler trips taken in December so far. Through December 15, staff interviewed 18 anglers with 1 wild steelhead released.
RIVERS — Talks on revising the Columbia River Treaty aren't getting off to a great start from the perspective of fishermen:
Hastings: Leave ecosystem out of Columbia River Treaty — Capital Press
RIVERS — Discussions on revising the Columbia River Treaty are picking up, as the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee plans a field hearing Monday, Dec. 9, in Pasco to learn about regional impacts of the treaty with Canada.
Changes in the treaty could have profound impacts on hydropower management and fishing.
Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., chairman of the committee, has concerns about the upcoming renegotiation of the treaty and the United States’ draft recommendations for possible changes.
He scheduled the hearing for 9 a.m. in the Pasco City Council Chambers, 525 N. Third Ave.
Read on for more from the Associated Press:
FISHING — The chart above, just released by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, is an early forecast for spring and summer chinook returning to the Columbia River next year.
The numbers suggest that almost twice as many spring chinook will return to the system to delight anglers in 2014 while the numbers of summer chinook bound for the upper Columbia could be slightly down.
The numbers will be updated several times over the coming months.