Posts tagged: fishing
FISHING — Steelhead fisheries will close one hour after sunset on Sunday, Dec. 8, on the upper Columbia River from Rock Island Dam to Wells Dam and on the Wenatchee and Icicle rivers.
Fishing for whitefish will also close on the Wenatchee River.
The closures will not affect the Okanogan River, Similkameen River, Methow River, and mainstem Columbia River from Wells Dam upstream to Chief Joseph Dam. Those fisheries will remain open until further notice under previously published rules.
Jeff Korth, regional fish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the closures are necessary to keep impacts on wild steelhead within limits established under the federal Endangered Species Act.
“This year's run is smaller than in recent years and contains a relatively high proportion of wild steelhead,” Korth said. “Because of that, we saw an increase in the rate of encounters with natural-origin fish in some fishing areas.”
Although anglers must release any wild, unmarked steelhead they intercept in area fisheries, some of those fish do not survive and are counted toward ESA impact limits.
The federal permit authorizing the steelhead fisheries sets a maximum allowable mortality of natural-origin steelhead to accommodate variations in run strength and angling effort on specific waters. WDFW closely monitors the fisheries and enforces fishing rules to protect wild steelhead.
The primary reason the upper Columbia steelhead fisheries are permitted is to remove excess hatchery fish from spawning grounds, said Korth, noting that those fisheries provide popular recreational fishing opportunities and economic benefits for rural communities throughout the region.
WDFW fisheries managers are analyzing fishery impacts to date, and will produce a steelhead run update next month, Korth said. Some areas could be reopened at a later date for additional fishing opportunities, and anglers should keep a close eye on the WDFW website for these possibilities.
Read on for specific details about the closure:
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:
PUBLIC LANDS — The 22 formal objections filed to the Idaho Panhandle National Forests’ revised forest plan were made available for review this week.
The revision of the plan last revised in 1987 was released in September and is meant to guide forest management of everything from timber production to roadless areas for the next 15 years or so.
The objections can be reviewed on Idaho Panhandle National Forests “Objections Received” webpage.
People interested in an objection can file a request to participate in any resolution meetings that are scheduled.
The Forest Service has 90 days to respond to the objections.
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.
PUBLIC LANDS — A proposal by Idaho lawmakers to assume control of millions of acres of federal land statewide earned mixed reviews today, with supporters calling it an essential step to revitalizing rural economies and critics panning it as a financial boondoggle, according to a story that's just been moved by the Associated Press.
The Federal Lands Interim Committee meeting gave lawmakers their first chance to gauge public opinion on a plan calling on the federal government to cede much of the public land it oversees in Idaho to the state, writes AP's Todd Dvorak in Boise.
Earlier this year, the Legislature approved a resolution making a case for the land transfer and the committee is spending two years to study the merits before submitting a recommendation in 2015.
Those encouraging lawmakers Wednesday included leaders of tea party groups, foresters who’ve seen local economies struggle amid declines in timber cutting and the shutdown of sawmills and county leaders frustrated with the management of national forest lands.
Ken Postma, a former forester for wood products company Boise-Cascade, argued the state would be a better steward of the forests and more amenable to expanding logging and other activities.
Read on for more of the story from the Associated Press:
FISHING — Through November 30, anglers have harvested a total of 243 steelhead in the Hanford Reach (Hwy 395 to old Hanford townsite), according to a report just posted by Paul Hoffarth, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife fisheries biologist for the area.
FLY FISHING — My Sunday Outdoors feature story about Fly Gal founder April Vokey and her recent visit to Spokane was just a minor installment in an international series of media segments focusing on this bright light in the fly fishing industry.
A few weeks later, she would be followed by a film crew to Belize before returning to her home-region in the Skeena area of British Columbia for a week of filming with a crew from 60 Minutes Sports (see trailer above). The segment aired in early November on Showtime.
Here are some of the highlights from my April Vokey story:
“Woman in a male-dominated sport – I feel I’m so far past that now,” she told me. “I live the sport every single day of my life.”
“I prefer to be thought of as an angler with integrity, someone who considers it a pleasure and a privilege to share what I know. ”
Two weeks ago Vokey, 30, was in Missoula giving seminars. This week she's fishing in Chile.
The British Columbia fly fishing guide says she's been to about 20 countries for fishing. “I don't go to a country if I can't go fishing,” she said.
FISHING — Two Spokane area finished first and third in the unofficial results from the 2013 Kendall Chevrolet Clearwater Snake Steelhead Derby that started Nov. 23 and ended today, according to the Lewis Clark Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Although results won't be verified until Monday, the 2013 overall winner appears to be Lance Hall of Nine Mile Falls with a steelhead weighing 18.33 pounds. The prize is $2,000.
Jason Peters of Clarkston is in second and Kyle Zipse of Spokane is in third.
Hall also is the skins game winner, set to take home an additional $500 prize.
Continue reading for the complete unofficial results.
FLY FISHING — My Sunday Outdoors feature story sheds some light on April Vokey, the celebrated British Columbia fly fishing guide and founder of Fly Gals Ventures, who was giving presentations in Spokane recently.
But you'll get another glimpse of her appeal and talent in this trailer (above) for a 60 Minutes Sports story that's available for viewing on Showtime.
I’m not a great caster; I’m not a great fly tier; I’m not a great writer; I’m not the best at any of those things,” Vokey says in the report.
“Then what makes you so good at this?” asked 60 Minutes Sports reporter Bill Whitaker.
“I love it more than anybody I know.”
FLY FISHING — A friend of mine taunted me while I was at elk camp in October with text messages raving about the fly fishing fun he was having for bigger-than-average brown trout in the Missouri River near Craig, Mont.
Surveys recently released by the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks support his delight.
Fish surveys this year indicate rainbow and brown trout numbers remain above the long-term average in the Missouri River between Holter Dam and the town of Cascade, says a Montana fisheries biologist.
State fish survey crews this fall estimated 5,194 rainbow trout greater than 10 inches long per mile near the town of Craig on the Missouri. Not only is that above the long-term average of 3,174 rainbows per mile, but continues a trend of above average numbers over the past three years: 6,034 per mile in 2011 and 7,312 in 2012.
This year’s population was bigger in size and slightly lower in abundance than the past two years, says Fish, Wildlife and Parks fisheries biologist Grant Grisak, which is typical as the current population reaches its maximum size.
“This year,” Grisak says, “87 percent of the rainbow trout in the Craig section were 15 inches long or greater, and 35 percent of the population was 18 inches long or longer.”
Next year, the population should return to normal levels, unless an unusually high water event occurs in the spawning tributaries, Grisak says. High water in the Missouri River tributaries typically results in high rainbow trout production.
Brown trout in the Craig section at 10 inches long and greater were estimated at 745 per mile. The long-term average is 578.
In the Cascade section, near the town of Cascade, the estimate for rainbow trout 10 inches long and greater was 2.260. The long term average is 1,551 per mile.
Brown trout in the Cascade section 10 inches long and greater were estimated at 447 per mile. The long term average is 387.
Brown trout populations are sampled in the spring and rainbow populations are sampled in the fall.
FISHING — Gordon Steinmetz, a Columbia Basin fishing guide from Coulee City, Wash., passed away over the weekend, according to a report by Northwest Sportsman. Steinmetz ran Big Wally's tackle shop and store with his wife, Marge, and helped organize many warmwater fishing tournaments in the Basin.
CLIMATE CHANGE — The National Wildlife Federation continues to point out the potential impacts of climate change on wildlife populations and the sports, hobbies and economies they support.
Rising temperatures, deeper droughts and more extreme weather events fueled by manmade climate change are making survival more challenging for America’s treasured big game wildlife from coast to coast, according to a new NWF report.
Nowhere to Run: Big Game Wildlife in a Warming World suggests how climate change is already putting many species of big game at risk, creating an uncertain future for big game and the outdoor economy that depends on them.
“The recovery of big game species is one of America’s wildlife conservation success stories, made possible in large part by sustained investment by generations of sportsmen,” said Dr. Doug Inkley, senior scientist at the National Wildlife Federation “But today, a changing climate threatens to rewrite that success story.”
Nowhere to Run is the latest in the National Wildlife Federation’s 2013 Wildlife in a Warming World series, which also includes:
Some of the impacts the NWF reports cite are still being studied, including the impact warming enviroments may be having on moose and their exposure to ticks. But with wildfire, floods and extreme weather events like heat waves, droughts and heavy rainfall becoming more frequent and more severe, the NWF says climate change should be on every sportsman's radar.
Unprecedented changes in habitat are having far-reaching consequences for big game and for sportsmen and women, affecting, for example, the timing of hunting seasons and the distribution and survival of animals, the NWF says.
“We’re already seeing changes where we hunt big game – reduced snowpack, dying forests, shifting migration patterns,” said Todd Tanner, founder and chairman of Conservation Hawks. “We have to let our elected officials know that we need solutions and we need them now. We’re running out of time.”
Read on for more details about Nowhere to Run, and the steps the NWF proposes to tackle the issue:
WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT — Sharon Kiefer, Idaho Fish and Game Department deputy director, is the speaker for the monthly Sportsmen's Breakfast on Tuesday (Nov. 19), 6:30 a.m. at Lake City Senior Center, 1916 N. Lakewood Dr. in
Breakfast can be purchased for $7.50, which includes tax and gratuity.
Info: Idaho Fish and Game Department Panhandle Region office, (208) 769-1414.
Cutthroat trout deaths on Montana river may prompt regulation change
Over the past two years, reports of dead cutthroat trout on the upper reaches of Montana's Bitterroot River have launched an investigation by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks to determine if fishing regulation changes are warranted to adjust to warming temperatures and higher water temperatures.
ANGLING — We pause current events for this Landers family fishing flashback….
I just stumbled onto this 1998 photo (above), which brings back fond memories of fishing Badger Lake with my favorite youngest daughter Hillary, and her pal, Emma Scherer.
They were elementary school classmates at the time, but underneath those cute, innocent exteriors they were fish-hooking maniacs.
Advice to parents: Don't miss out on the fun of taking kids fishing.
BOATING — The boating industry this week is celebrating the contribution of Richard “Dick” Stallman, who was 34 in 1962 when he tested his invention — the jet outboard — by running a sled upstream through the rapids of Oregon's Rogue River.
Stallman died last week.
“His invention was a major contribution to shallow-water boating world-wide and it greatly enhanced access to premium waters and hunter and angler success,” noted Glen Wooldridge of Wooldridge Boats of Seattle in a Facebook post announcing the death.
Andy Walgamott of Northwest Sportsman has assembled this story, a nice look back at Stallman's revolutionary invention, which put sportsmen in the driver's seat for thin waters and fishing and hunting hot spots previously off-limits to motorized travel.
BOATING — This unconfirmed report comes today from a reader:
Some 200-250 buoys were used in the Diamond Cup hydroplane races at Lake Coeur d'Alene the first weekend of September. However, after the races the organizers apparently left the ropes and anchors that held the buoys in place.
Fisherman and boaters have learned this the hard way by getting tangled in them and loosing gear, the reader reports. Some boaters say the ropes present a navigational hazard.
Apparently the Idaho Department of Land is aware of the problem but has failed to respond.
Officers are closed today because of the Veterans Day holiday.
FISHING — In a correction to the S-R's weekly Hunting-Fishing report, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department fisheries managers remind steelheaders that, according to a rule enacted Aug. 30, anglers MUST RETAIN all hatchery-marked steelhead they catch in the Tucannon River up to their daily limit of two.
Following are some specific emergency regulations that anglers need to be aware of when fishing the Tucannon for steelhead:
Reason for action: Steelhead returns to the Tucannon River are not meeting management goals for conservation or for maintaining fisheries and therefore, the fishery for hatchery steelhead must be constrained to provide more protection of naturally produced steelhead in the Tucannon River. The emergency regulations are intended to focus the fishery on removal of stray hatchery steelhead that primarily enter the Tucannon River in late summer and fall to prevent them from spawning naturally, as well as provide a refuge area above Marengo to protect early returning wild steelhead, and close the fishery before March when most of the wild steelhead return to the Tucannon River.