SALEM – Health officials in Oregon and Washington said Monday that people should protect themselves against mercury and PCB contamination by limiting consumption of certain fish species from a 150-mile section of the Columbia River. The Oregon Health Authority and the Washington Department of Health said people should eat no more than one meal a week of resident fish – those that live year-round in the same place – between Bonneville and McNary dams. Resident species in the Columbia include bass, bluegill, yellow perch, crappie, walleye, carp, catfish, suckers and sturgeon.
Trout are stocked in about two dozen named lakes and a few unnamed waters in the Seven Devils Mountains of the Hells Canyon Wilderness, but some lakes are not stocked because they have natural reproduction, are too shallow or other factors. West-side lakes that drain into Sheep and Granite Creeks and ultimately the Snake River generally are stocked with rainbows, which are native to the drainage, said Joe DuPont, Idaho Fish and Game Department regional fisheries manager in Lewiston.
In a quote often attributed to Albert Einstein, it’s said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. By that standard, you might watch Eric Stein, 47, of Yakima and his 15-year-old son, Brian, on a steelhead fishing trip and question their sanity.
The annual return of A-run steelhead to the Snake River and its tributaries, normally the most reliable of Idaho’s anadromous fish runs, won’t tickle the record books this year. Just like the spring chinook run that preceded it, the steelhead return is showing signs of not living up to preseason predictions. A regional group of salmon and steelhead managers recently downgraded the run forecast by 27 percent.
FISHING – Sportfishing rule changes proposed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will be explained in a public meeting starting at 6 p.m. on Sept. 3 at the agency’s regional office, 2315 N. Discovery Place in Spokane Valley. Public comments will be accepted through Oct. 31.
FISHING – More than 6.2 million pink salmon are surging into Puget Sound this month in their return that occurs on odd-numbered years, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Anglers in the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Neah Bay to Port Angeles have been scoring big numbers of pinks for two weeks. Recently the run has progressed into the south to treat both bank and boat anglers all the way to Seattle, said Steve Thiesfeld, the state Fish and Wildlife Puget Sound salmon manager.
A monster trout legally harvested by a Lapwai man would crush the existing Idaho state record providing the fish is determined to be a pure rainbow trout. But even if a genetic test proves the fish is a rainbow and not a Kamloops, differences between state and tribal fishing rules will keep him from entering the record book.
Jeremy Jahn, aka the Kokanee Kid, has a website ( kokaneekidfishing.com) with a mission statement “to convert all fishermen into kokanee addicts.” Although he’s from Salem, Jahn believes some kokanee basics apply to virtually all lakes holding the sometimes finicky landlocked sockeyes, at one time or another.
BRIDGEPORT, Wash. – Cheers went up when Colville tribal fisherman Mylan Williams hauled a 20-pound chinook out of the Columbia River with a dip net. Then hats came off in a show of respect. Tribal elders circled the fish and sang, honoring the salmon that gave up its life to feed the people.
FISHING – Kokanee are either reviving or flourishing in one of the most encouraging seasons in years for the popular sport fish in North Idaho. Highlights include: • Lake Pend Oreille kokanee numbers have rebounded enough to open the first season since 1999.