Commission meets Aug. 4 in Salem to adopt 2018 sportfishing regulations, discuss updated Cougar Management Plan

Tweet Commission meets Aug. 4 in Salem to adopt 2018 sportfishing regulations, discuss updated Cougar Management Plan Friday, July 28, 2017 SALEM, Ore.—The Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet Friday, Aug. 4 at ODFW Headquarters in Salem, 4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE. The meeting will also be livestreamed over ODFW’s Twitter and Periscope (@MyODFW) accounts. It begins at 8 a.m. and follows this agenda. The Commission is expected to adopt 2018 sport fishing regulations. Some of the proposed changes include: Allow anglers with a two-rod endorsement to use up to five rods only when ice fishing (statewide). Additional spring Chinook opportunity by allowing retention of hatchery spring Chinook from Jan. 1- July 31 in some NW Zone streams including the Wilson, Trask, Nestucca, Kilchis River(s). Remove bag and size limit for bass in the lower Deschutes River. Change the kokanee bonus daily bag limit in Wickiup Reservoir and Lake Billy Chinook to 5 kokanee per day in addition to the daily trout limit (so anglers can take up to 10 kokanee per day). The Commission will be briefed on a draft updated Cougar Management Plan though no action on the Plan will be taken until a future meeting. Last updated in 2006, the Plan guides management of cougars in Oregon. The draft updated Plan incorporates new scientific literature and Oregon-specific research about cougars, including a genetics and habitat analysis, but does not propose major management changes. The updated Plan will continue to stress coexistence with Oregon’s more than 6,000 cougars. The Commission will be asked to approve grant funds for nine Restoration and Enhancement Projects to improve angler access...

Fall salmon seasons kick off Aug. 1 with mixed forecasts

Tweet Fall salmon seasons kick off Aug. 1 with mixed forecasts July 27, 2017 CLACKAMAS, Ore. – The popular Buoy 10 fishery at the mouth of the Columbia River opens on Tuesday, Aug. 1 with a mixed forecast for Chinook, coho and steelhead returns. The biggest change for the 2017 fall season are restrictions on steelhead retention which include area-specific, 1-2 month steelhead retention closures and a one steelhead bag limit when retention is allowed.  Facing low expected returns of upriver summer steelhead, fishery managers adopted a series of “rolling closures” that progress upriver following the steelhead return to reduce the take of both hatchery and wild fish. All steelhead (hatchery and wild) must be released as follows: Buoy 10 upstream to The Dalles Dam during Aug. 1-31 The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam during Sept. 1-30 John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam during Sept. 1 – Oct. 31 McNary Dam upstream to Hwy. 395 during Oct. 1 – Nov. 30 Night angling is also prohibited except for registered anglers targeting Northern pikeminnow. A total of 614,000 Chinook are expected to enter the Columbia this fall, which is slightly less than last year’s actual return of 642,000 returning Chinook. The Buoy 10 fishery is the first Columbia River area that will encounter returning fall salmon. Effort and catch in other sections of the mainstem will build as the season progresses. Chinook retention seasons will vary by area to remain within harvest quotas. Coho returns are predicted to be improved this year, with 319,000 adult coho expected to enter the river mouth, versus last year’s actual return...

Snake River Chinook season below Hells Canyon Dam closes July 30

Tweet Snake River Chinook season below Hells Canyon Dam closes July 30 Wednesday, July 26, 2017 ENTERPRISE, Ore. – The spring Chinook fishery on the Snake River below Hells Canyon Dam will close at sundown (8:18 p.m.) on Sunday, July 30.  Idaho Fish and Game, who monitors the Snake River fishery for both states, noted that angler interest and catch rates have dropped dramatically during the past two weeks. Last week, they documented only a few people fishing and an estimated harvest of two Chinook salmon.  The Snake River fishery stood out as a highlight in an otherwise poor year for salmon fishing opportunities in Oregon’s Snake River basin. “Despite a very low return, salmon fishing below Hells Canyon Dam has offered some of the best opportunity in the Snake River basin this season,” said Jeff Yanke, District Fish Biologist in Enterprise.  “During the past month catch rates were on par, or better than even the most abundant return years”.  The closure on the Snake is concurrent with fishery closures ordered by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. ### Contact: Jeff Yanke (541) 426-3279 Read more at...

Sign up now for free youth pheasant hunts in September

Tweet Sign up now for free youth pheasant hunts in September Events in Baker City, Central Point, Corvallis, Eugene, Hermiston, John Day, Klamath Falls, La Grande, Madras, Portland, The Dalles (Tygh Valley) Photo of pheasant by Rick Swart, ODFW. Tuesday, July 25, 2017 SALEM, Ore.—Youth hunters (age 17 and under) can sign up now for ODFW’s free pheasant hunts happening around the state in September. The events are being held in Baker City, Central Point, Corvallis, Eugene, Irrigon/Umatilla, John Day, Klamath Falls, La Grande, Madras, Portland, The Dalles (Tygh Valley). See dates below and register online (see Register for a Class/Youth Upland Hunts), at a license sales agent or at an ODFW office that sells licenses. Note that the Ladd Marsh and Fern Ridge hunts do not require advance registration. ODFW and partners stock pheasants at these special hunts that give youth a head start on regular pheasant seasons, which don’t begin until October. Quail and dove can also be hunted. Volunteers often bring their trained hunting dogs to hunt with participants. Some events also begin with a shotgun skills clinic, so participants can practice clay target shooting before hunting. These events are only open to youth who have passed hunter education. (ODFW has many hunter education classes and field days available before the events.) An adult 21 years of age or older must accompany the youth to supervise but may not hunt. “If your child made it through hunter education but is still new to the sport, this is a great way to get them started,” says James Reed, ODFW hunter education coordinator. “These events happen before regular...

No bag limit for trout at Marr Pond in Enterprise: Equipment malfunction will drain pond

Tweet No bag limit for trout at Marr Pond in Enterprise: Equipment malfunction will drain pond Photos taken on Monday July 17 show the water level dropping at Marr Pond and the standpipe that is malfunctioning. -Photos by ODFW- Friday, July 21, 2017 ENTERPRISE, Ore.—Fish away at Marr Pond before an equipment malfunction drains the pond. Fishery managers have lifted the bag limit due to a malfunction of the pond’s standpipe a few days ago. Size and harvest method restrictions are also lifted so anglers can take any size fish with a rod, a net or by hand.  The standpipe maintains the water level and the pond may drain entirely due to the malfunction. Repair of the standpipe would also require it to be drained. “We’d appreciate anglers salvaging any fish before the pond drains,” says Jeff Yanke, ODFW District Fish Biologist. “Marr Pond was just stocked last week with 500 rainbow trout so fishing should be good.” Normally, the bag limit for trout at Marr Pond is five per day with an 8-inch minimum length and only one trout over 20 inches can be taken per day. Fishery managers will be assessing how to fix the standpipe and restore the water level at Marr Pond. ### Contact: Jeff Yanke, 541-426-3279, Jeff.Yanke@state.or.us Michelle Dennehy, 503-947-6022, Michelle.N.Dennehy@state.or.us Read more at...