HOOK AND FUR
By Bob Brown
In November, 1979, Vermont’s Brattleboro Reformer reported Ernest “Stub” Earle, chairman of the Vermont House Fish and Game Committee, said, “If there is one single subject every single Vermonter feels he or she is an expert, it is the management of deer.” When it comes to wildlife management, you do not have to go far afield to find the same temperament exists in our state.
Hunters and other members of the public will have an opportunity to express their views on game management and help the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) shape its game management plan for 2015-21 during a series of open house meeting scheduled this month.
The nearest meeting for Pierce County residents will be held June 28 in Olympia at the Red Lion Inn from 7 to 9 p. m.
The public can also comment on key aspects of the six-year plan via an online survey, available on the department’s website. Key issues in the plan include hunter recruitment and retention, hunter access to timberlands and possible new rules requiring the use on non-toxic shot. The department will also consider new proposals for managing predator/prey relationships and developing a plan to manage wolves after they are no longer classified as an endangered species. Final recommendations will be presented to the Fish and Wildlife Commission in August and adopted in September.
Commission needs committee help
The WFish and Wildlife Commission is seeking applicants to fill three vacancies on its advisory committee for persons with disabilities. The seven-member committee advises the commission on issues of concern for hunters and fishers with disabilities, including special hunts, modified sporting equipment, access to public land and recreational opportunities. The vacant positions represent WDFW Regions 1, 2 and 6.
Members serve four-year terms and are required to attend advisory committee meetings, held at least twice a year. Members serve without compensation, but receive reimbursement for travel expenses. To receive consideration, applicants must submit a resume and a statement of interest to the WDFW by July 10.
• After so-so fishing on the Cowlitz, fishing has finally turned the corner. Joe Hymer of the WDFW reported anglers between the hatcheries have been having good success catching adult and jack chinook.
A June 2-8 creel check showed 24 chinook adults and eight jacks were caught by 46 bank anglers. Twelve boat anglers had 11 chinook and two jacks. During the same week Tacoma Power recovered 118 spring chinook, 65 jacks, 45 summer steelhead and seven winter steelhead at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery. Effective June 16, bank anglers may fish the south side of the river from Mill Creek to 400 feet or the posted markers below the barrier dam. Flows were approximately 5,080 feet per second on Monday, June 9.
• Effort and catches have been light on the Kalama River, and some steelhead are being caught on the Lewis around the salmon hatchery. On the lower Columbia, WDFW personnel sampled 1,1,69 salmon anglers (including 200 boats) during the week June 2-8 with 154 chinook and 21 jacks, 46 steelhead and three sockeye. Also, sampling of 521 chad anglers had 1,386 shad kept and 17 released for an average of nearly three fish per rod. Over 1.3 million shad have crossed over Bonneville Dam. The recent ten year average is 870,000 fish.
• Melissa Dexheimer, WDFW Region 5 science technician, reported 287 pikeminnow anglers at The Dalles caught 3,060 pikeminnows and at Washougal 56 anglers caught 1,037 pikes during the week June 2-8. To date 6,793 anglers have caught 47,241 pikeminnows and retrieved 65 tagged fish worth $500 each.
• Riffe Lake has been producing limits of silvers at both ends of the lake and anglers fishing Swofford Pond have been doing well catching bass, blue gills, crappie and catfish. Worms, mallows and Power Bait have been producing limits for still fishers at Mineral Lake. Boaters trolling heavier flies or pop gear tipped with a worm have also been catching limits.
• Lakes in the immediate Eatonville area have been coughing up some pretty nice limits of trout especially early in the morning and late in the evening. Black Wooly Buggers and worms have been especially good choices for bait.
• When fishing and wind is a problem, you can lessen its effect by attaching a split shot a few inches below the float. This sinks the section of line adjacent to it. Also, keep your rod tip low. In fact, you can even place it in the water to try sinking your line completely. Thanks to Robert Roth, a Florida-based charter boat captain and lifelong fisherman.
Bob Brown is a freelance outdoors writer. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org