Archive for May, 2010
Recreation shrimping for non-spot species (coonstripe and pink) will resume Tuesday, June 1 in portions or all of six Puget Sound recreational fishery management zones, while seekers after spot shrimp still have three ‘semi-inside’ options.
With the Friday, May 28 announcement, WDFW shellfish managers are acknowledging that non-treaty recreational spot prawn quotas for Puget Sound areas were reached in May openings.
Marine areas 7 North/Central, 8-1, 8-2, 9, 11 and 13 are included in the other-than-prawns package, while 10, 12 and Discovery Bay Shrimp District have been entirely closed for the season. These fisheries, too, are subject to allocation caps that could be reached at any time prompting an emergency closure.
In the non-spot personal use fisheries, shrimpers will have to shorten up their shots to 150- and 200-foot lengths. Pot drops in Marine Area 7 North/Central may be no deeper than 200 feet, while all the other Puget Sound non-spot areas are governed by the 150-foot maximum shrimping depth.
From the first of June on in waters open to non-spot shrimp harvest, pots may be enclosed with the smaller 1/2-inch mesh (see the bottom of page 139 of Fishing in Washington sport fishing pamphlet). Also, be in your best shrimp identification mode. All spot shrimp that are brought up must be returned to the water immediately.
Personal use gathering of spot shrimp may continue until Wednesday, Sept. 15, subject to quota caps which could be reached at any time prompting immediate closures, in ‘inside’ marine areas 6 (except the aforementioned Discovery District), 5 and 4 (east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line).
The four Washington ocean coast marine areas including the two big bays are open year-round to shrimping for all species.
The May-June cusp holds a fair number of changes for anglers.
Halibut anglers are slated to get at least two more days of fishing June 3 and June 5 in the LaPush and Neah Bay management zones (aka marine areas 3 and 4) on the Washington coast, while it was announced that the off-shore flattie fishery in Marine Area 2 has ended for the year. However, the less lucrative nearshore (inside 30-fathom line between Point Chehalis and Queets River) option in Westport north waters will continue until sport jiggers land the remaining 1,600 pounds of quota allocated to it.
As the halibut season wanes in coastal waters, the 2010 salmon season officially kicks off Saturday, June 12 from Ilwaco to Neah Bay. The daily limit is a total of two salmon with the chinook minimum size set at 24 inches. All coho and wild chinook must be released. Hook and line anglers will be fishing this opportunity to June 30 or it could close earlier if the catch reaches 12,000 landed chinook before then. There will be a quick turnaround to the second salmon session. In marine areas 1, 3 & 4 it resumes Thursday, July 1; in Westport waters (Marine Area 2) the restart is Sunday, July 4.
Lingcod remain legal to catch with certain restrictions in ocean waters through mid-October.
Also, Dungeness and red rock crab are legal to take with pot gear now in ocean coast waters including Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor. For Marine Area 1-4 Dungeness size minimums and species daily bag limits see page 136 of the 2010 Fishing in Washington sport-fishing regulations pamphlet at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/regs/2010/2010sportregs.pdf .
Just before the general summer stream fishing season opens Saturday, June 5 with its momentous rule change, emergency closures to protect wild winter-run steelhead will be lifted on several North Puget Sound streams Tuesday, June 1.
Skykomish River _ the lower Sky from its mouth up to the mouth of the Wallace River reopens for both gamefish and hatchery chinook. Anglers also may fish for trout and hatchery steelhead from the Wallace upstream to 1,000 feet below the Reiter Ponds discharge and from a point 1,500 feet above Reiter Ponds upstream to the confluence of the Skykomish’s North and South forks. For all permanent regulation details for the lower Skykomish, check page 39 in the Puget Sound and Strait of Juan de Fuca section of the 2010 Fishing in Washington sport fishing regulations pamphlet.
Stillagaumish River _ hook and line fishing for gamefish restarts in the lower Stilly dpwnstream of the Marine Drive bridge south of Stanwood under its permanent regulations. The Stilly’s tidewater area will only be open to gamefish angling under the return to its permanent rules year-round status. Also available to anglers in this reach of the Stilly will be white sturgeon, which are legal to retain when either a gamefish or salmon opening is in effect. The sturgeon limit is one per day between 38-54 inches measured by fork length. The annual sturgeon limit is five and all must be recorded in the sturgeon section of the sport angler catch record card. For all permanent regulation details for the lower Stillagaumish, check page 37-38 in the Puget Sound and Strait of Juan de Fuca section of the 2010 Fishing in Washington sport fishing regulations pamphlet.
Nisqually River _ an omission from the new Puget Sound stream regulations has been remedied with an emergency order that opens Saturday, June 5 the all tributaries of the Nisqually River above Alder Dam including all tributaries to the reservoir itself. The selective gear rule applies to all these waters and the daily trout limit has been set at two fish, 14 inches or longer.
South Fork Stillagaumish River _ another ’left-out’ brought into the fold is the South Fork Stilly above the Mountain Loop Highway bridge near Granite Falls, which will open Saturday, June 5 under a emergency order issued May 17. Statewide or general stream gamefish regulations will apply. Also when the chinook show up, the night fishing ban and anti-snagging rule goes into effect Sunday, Aug. 1 until the reach’s closure Thursday, Sept. 30.
COLUMBIA RIVER SYSTEM
This year’s Columbia River spring king run is rolling upstream bringing with it additional fishing opportuntities. Remember that Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsements may be required
Entiat River _ Hatchery chinook salmon returning to the Entiat River north of Wenatchee as of Wednesday, May 26 are fair-game for anglers. About six miles of Entiat stream have been opened by the state fish and wildlife department with concurrence of Central Washington tribes, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which runs the federal fish hatchery on the Entiat. This fishery is governed by the department’s ESA Section 10 Permit Application No. 1554 to NOAA Fisheries. The Entiat is open from the Alternate Highway 97 bridge upstream to 600 feet below the Entiat National Hatchery. Anglers may keep two adipose fin-clipped chinook and release all non-clipped chinook as well as all steelhead and bull trout. This opportunity is expected to remain open until June 30. Further upstream the Okanogan is slated to open July 1. CRSSE required.
Hatchery chinook fishing continues in the lower Icicle River near Leavenworth and in the lower Yakima River below Roza Dam except for the Yakama Nation reach.
Columbia system elsewhere:
- The Snake River chinook salmon fishery has closed
- The Ringold bank hatchery chinook fishery has closed
- Hatchery steelhead daily limits have been increased on the Cowlitz, Washougal and two tributaries of the Toutle River.
- Hatchery spring chinook daily limits have been increased in the Wind River and Drano Lake.
For Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife emergency fishing regulations announcements log on to: https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/rules_current_order_by_date.j
Moved recently, established a new mailing address, gone away to college or perhaps changed your marital status?
It’s important to keep accurate contact information (mailing address) in your Washington fishing and hunting license record.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife still sends out many special hunt drawing permits, specialty waterfowl written authorizations and other notifications by mail.
So even as snail-mailed documents and notices are phased out in favor of cyber records, screen printouts, on-line communications and at searchable Web-based data assemblages, the right address may be the differenec between going on a great hunt and sitting oblivious somewhere.
You can take the opportunity to update you mailing address when you buy any new hunting and fishing license document or at the point each year when you apply for a special hunt drawing.
For more information on the procedure for changing a hunting and fishing license address of record, inquire to WDFW’s licensing division at email@example.com or call (360) 902-2464.
Lake Samish will be the scene of a member’s-only bass fishing contest May 15-16.
The two-day hook and line tilt is being put on by the Borderline Bassin’s Contenders.
Expect parking at the East Lake Samish Drive boat launch parking to be a little tight both days.
June contests include juvenile trout contests on Fishtrap and Johnson creeks, two bass contests on Lake Whatcom and a kid bluegill tourney on Fazon Lake.
With most Washington marine waters now closed to salmon fishing, anglers still get a crack at homing adult spring chinook salmon in a number of freshwater venues around the state.
Here’s a quick rundown.
All Puget Sound river systems are closed to salmon and gamefish angling now, but the Upper Skagit is slated to open June 1 for hatchery-origin (adipose fin clipped) fish only. If you’re taking a trip to the coast to dig razor clams this weekend, pack you river salmon rod and try any of the first three rivers.
Salmon escapements are the latest fish counts reported by state or federal fish hatchery facilities. WDFW = Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. USFWS = U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
CRSSE = waters on which the Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement, an additional sport angling permit, is required.
Quillayute River (peninsula) _ now open for hatchery kings up to the Bogachiel River (which is closed).
Sol Duc River (peninsula) _ now open for hatchery kings from its mouth up to hatchery’s concrete pumphouse. Sol Duc WDFW 2010 escapement report: 217 adult summer chinook as of May 12.
Hoh River (peninsula) _ opens Sunday, May 16 (Wednesdays through Sundays only) for hatchery kings from Olympic National Park Coastal Strip Boundary upstream to Willoughby Creek above U.S. Highway 101.
Lower Columbia mainstem (southwest & south central) _ now closed for salmon and steelhead up to McNary Dam. Washington tributaries previously opened are still available.
Kalama River (southwest) _ now open from mouth upstream to Kalama Falls Hatchery. CRSSE required. Kalama Falls WDFW 2010 escapement report: 31 adult hatchery spring chinook as of May 12.
Lewis River (southwest) _ now open from mouth upstream to Merwin Dam. CRSSE required. Merwin FCF 2010 escapement report: 783 adult hatchery spring chinook as of May 12.
Cowlitz River (southwest) _ now open from mouth upstream to 400 feet below barrier dam. CRSSE required. Cowlitz Salmon WDFW 2010 escapement report: 2,566 adult hatchery spring chinook as of May 12.
Wind River (Bonneville Pool) _ now open from mouth upstream to 100 feet above Shipherd Falls and from there upstream. Mixed daily hatchery steelhead and salmon bag limit. CRSSE required. Carson National USFWS 2010 escapement report: 78 adult spring chinook salmon as of May 13.
Little White Salmon River (Bonneville Pool) _ now open in Drano Lake from Highway 14 bridge upstream to markers below hatchery. Mixed daily hatchery steelhead and salmon bag limit. Weekly closure. CRSSE required. No escapement report for Little White Salmon National USFWS.
White Salmon River (Bonneville Pool) _ from the buoy and shore markers at mouth upstream to powerhouse, then to Condit (Northwestern) Dam. Mixed daily hatchery steelhead and salmon bag limit. CRSSE required. No salmon escapement information.
Klickitat River (Bonneville Pool) _ now open from mouth upstream to Fisher Hill Bridge. Weekly closures, see permanent regulations (page 80). Now mixed two fish daily hatchery steelhead and salmon bag limit. CRSSE required. No report for Klickitat Salmon Hatchery Yakama Nation.
Snake River (southeast) _ now open in sections from the southbound U.S. Highway 12 bridge to the Idaho stateline except for dam safety closure areas. See emergency regulation for details and new bag limits at: https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=887. CRSSE required. Recent salmon passage counts for Ice Harbor Dam at http://www.fpc.org/currentdaily/HistFishTwo_7day-ytd_Adults.htm.
Ringold Springs (south central) _ Columbia River east shore bank fishery opening extended through June 30. See emergency regulation for details including gear change at: https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=883. CRSSE required. Ringold Springs WDFW 2010 escapement report: 90 Priest Rapid hatchery stock chinook and six Hanford Reach chinook as of May 12.
Yakima River (south central) _ now open in two sections I-182 Bridge to 400 feet below Horn Rapids Dam and between I-82 Union Gap and the Roza railroad bridge. See emergency regulation posted at: https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=896. CRSSE required. No salmon escapement information.
Icicle River (central) _ now open from 800 feet above the Icicle mouth upstream to 500 feet below the hatchery rack. See emergency regulation posted at: https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=894. CRSSE required. Leavenworth National USFWS 2010 escapement report: 3,244 adult spring chinook as of May 14.
State avalanche technicians from the transportation department shelled Liberty Bell Mountain’s northeast side chutes Thursday, May 13 dislodging unstable snow build-ups from two.
Traffic was halted for twenty minute periods while the state’s ‘redlegs’ targeted their 105 millimeter field artillery piece on slope sections and fired.
The slide-vulnerable section of State Route 20 east of Washington Pass was cleared and the state’s northern-tier route was declared safe from snow hazards… barring more snowfall.Source: Jeff Adamson, WSDOT, Wenatchee
MY POST SCRIPT: If you travel the route this summer do keep in mind that the slide potential in places simply changes from snow to mud and rocks.
In the recent past a couple touring on a motorcycle ran headlong into a debris torrent that had swept across the highway west of Rainy Pass during a rainstorm.
One suffered minor injuries as they drove up on the mushy mud/rock material and crashed.
Don’t let the scenery lull your sense of self-preservation. Not only keep you eyes peeled, but adopt the mindset that enables you react quickly and safely to unusual road conditions you may encounter.
Have a safe trip and enjoy this National Scenic Byway.
One of the concerns related to North Cascades Highway emergency closings during its seasonal operations period is that many intermediate recreation access points currently can be blocked from use. And people who stop somewhere along the way to venture off the highway are often out of reach of maintenance personnel when a temporary closure occurs.
The two current barrier gates available to the Washington State Department of Transportation are located at milepost 134 (Happy Flats above Ross Lake) and milepost 170 (Silver Star Creek). If a late-season snow slide, debris torrent or some other highway emergency necessitates interrupting traffic flow for safety to facilitate removal of material or repairs, WSDOT has only these two permanent structures to hold back motorists.
In those intervening 34 miles there are 11 formal trailheads (several of them are rigged for horses), one campground, two scenic vista pullouts, numerous wide spots where RV motorists can pull over to enjoy the local wilderness or access popular rock climbing areas.
Unfortunately, during a recent incident (May 2-3 for an avalanche at Liberty Bell Mountain No. 3 Chute) when the highway was closed for slide removal as well as avalanche hazard assessment and control, WSDOT personnel had to be stationed at the locked gates to let out spring backcountry enthusiasts and mountaineers caught behind them.
Even with its skillful, thoughtfully located route as well as modern mountain highway design and construction engineering, not all the North Cascade route’s pitfalls could be avoided. But with 35-plus years of operational history, the quirky or troublesome spots are now well-known to maintenance managers.
Acting on a suggestion from Winthrop Mayor Acheson, WSDOT now plans to build additional new gates at its regional bridge facility and install them at several strategic points along the 34-mile section closer to several key trouble spots such as Liberty Bell Mountain or the infamous unnamed mudslide creek between Porcupine and Swamp creeks west of Rainy Pass.
No firm timetable has been set, but WSDOT has promised to make further announcements as this project unfolds.
Here’s a milepost by milepost look at features along SR 20 in the North Cascades from lower Early Winters Creek to Ross Lake. Numbered points are trailheads, alpha characters are other stops.Source: Jeff Adamson, WSDOT, Wenatchee
EASTSIDE: SILVER STAR CREEK GATE (MP 170.6)
A. Lone Fir USFS Campground (MP 168.4)
1. Cutthroat Lake Trail Road (MP 166.9)
B. Popular rock climbing venue accesses (Kangaroo Ridge, Early Winters Spires/Liberty Bell Mountain). MP 162.5-165.0)
C. Washington Pass Scenic Overlook (MP 162.3)
2. Blue Lake Trail (MP 161.5)
3. Bridge Creek Trail (foot and horse) Pacific Crest Trail (MP 158.8)
4. Lake Ann/Rainy Lake Trail (MP 157.65)
D. Rainy Pass Day Use Area (MP 157.65)
5. Rainy Pass Pacific Crest Trail (MP 157.6)
6. Easy Pass Trail (MP 151.4)
7. East Creek Trail (MP 144.7)
8. Canyon Creek Trail (MP 140.8)
9. Panther Creek Trail (MP 139.5)
10. Ruby Creek and East Bank Ross Lake Trail (MP 138.35)
E. Ross Lake Scenic Overlook (MP 135.2)
11. Happy Creek Trail (Fully Accessible) (MP 134.4)
WESTSIDE: HAPPY FLATS GATE (MP 134.1)
Razor clam aficionados will get one last opportunity to gather the delectable Pacific beach bivalves on two morning digs tentatively set for May 15-16.
Digging is allowed between midnight and noon only. The first 15 clams unearthed, regardless of size and condition, and kept in separate containers are the daily limit.
The Kalaloch Beach sector, under national park service jurisdiction, will remain closed, but, for this opportunity, Long Beach and Twin Harbors will be open both Saturday and Sunday, while the two beach sectors north of Grays Harbor, Copalis and Mocrocks will be available only on Saturday.
Marine toxin levels will be tested later this week (May 3-7) and a final go-ahead will be announced early next week (May 10-14).
Nesting snowy plover protection zones are in place at Long Beach and Twin Harbor to ward human beach visitors away from these sensitive sites situated in upper beach grassy dune areas. Ocean beach strollers and clam diggers are asked to stay on the hard-packed sand adjacent to these areas.
Because of ongoing state highway and interstate construction repairs, travelers to the Washington coast are advised to check the Washington State Department of Transportation Website at wsdot.wa.gov/projects/pavementrehab/i5martinwayto48thst for points of congestion 0r delays.
Your next opportunity to gather razor clams in Washington beaches will likely be in October.Source: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia
WSDOT just announced that the North Cascades Highway will reopen at 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 4.
Slides and snow accumulations will be cleared by then and the snowpack has stabilized so the avalanche hazard has subsided.Source: Jeff Adamson, WSDOT, Wenatchee