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Big fish at Lakeside

Jon McMillan of Lakeside shows off an 18-inch rainbow trout he caught Monday while fishing off the docks at Lakeside County Park on Monday. McMillan and good friend Cathy Artz said they have been catching a lot of trout the past few months and also cach bass, catfish, perch and bluegill. 

While getting a fishing report last Saturday from Cathy Reiss of Ringo’s Lakeside Marina, a young man targeting yellow perch off their dock hooked and landed a chunky 3-pound largemouth on his panfish gear. On the same day, a dozen anglers fishing off the designated fishing dock at the County Park in Lakeside were enjoying very good success for yellow perch measuring between 8 and 11 inches.

That same Saturday, the Tenmile Bass Club had a club tournament in which 14 boats participated and the results were surprising for a November tournament. Ten of the 14 boats weighed in five-bass limits and seven of the boats weighed in catches of at least 10 pounds, The heaviest bag weighed 14.83 pounds and the biggest bass of the half-day tournament weighed 5.80 pounds.

As I am writing this on Sunday, a few coho salmon have been reported in Tenmile Lakes and there have been no reports this week of crappie, bluegill or bullhead catfish catches. Trout fishing remains slow, but the yellow perch and largemouth bass fishing has been very good.

Coho salmon are in Siltcoos and Tahkenitch lakes, which have small dams on their outlets allowing some control over when their outlets need additional flows or a good flushing. The gates on the dam on the Siltcoos River remain closed, but a few salmon, mostly coho jacks, are using the fish ladder and the best fishing has been in the river above the Highway 101 deadline.

Tahkenitch Lake has been fishing surprisingly well for coho salmon, but it seems that most of the salmon caught so far have some color.

As of last weekend, Chinook salmon have entered the Elk and Sixes rivers and more rain is needed to get these fisheries going — as well as get the initial Chinooks into Floras Creek.

Butterfield Lake, Saunders Lake, Upper Empire Lake, Bradley Lake and Powers Pond all seem to have fair numbers of trophy rainbows left from their October trout plants.

Beginning on December 1st, the ODFW will launch a new electronic licensing system (ELS) that will allow their customers to purchase their licenses, tags and validations online on their smart phone or tablet. While some hunters and anglers may embrace the new system, others may prefer the “old” system and they will still be able to purchase their licenses and tags from their preferred retailer.

This is a big change and is set to begin when 2019 licenses and tags become available for purchase on December 1st. For the most accurate and detailed info on the new system get your information from the ODFW website.

I’m surprised that the ODFW hasn’t thought of this yet, but the Arizona Department of Game and Fish sure has. Beginning in 2019, hunting and fishing license and tag vendors in Arizona will have the option of charging convenience fees on license and tag sales. In return, the vendors will no longer receive their 5 percent fee for issuing the licenses or tags.

In other words, the AZGFD will get to keep the entire amount of the stated price each license or tag, and the vendors will be the “bad guys” for charging nominal convenience fees and will be blamed for the resulting price increases — at least the initial one. Depending on how the public reacts, there may be a lot less places to buy Arizona fishing and hunting licenses and tags in the next few years.

Examples of how some other states handle “problem” wildlife include Wyoming game officials trapping and euthanizing a grizzly bear and her two cubs when they wandered far outside their core habitat area and Washington State wildlife officials killing the last two members of a Kettle River-area wolf pack when they persisted in attacking livestock after the pack size had already been reduced.

On Oct. 12, The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted rules to allow for the salvage of roadkilled deer and elk beginning Jan. 1, 2019, as directed by SB 372 passed by the 2017 Oregon State Legislature. While the full information is on the ODFW website, some of the key points are:

(1) Deer and elk accidentally stuck by a vehicle may be salvaged for consumption only.

(2) Intentionally hitting a deer or elk in order to salvage it remains unlawful.

(3) Anyone who salvages a roadkilled deer or elk must complete a free online permit within 24 hours of salvaging the animal and provide information including their name, contact info, where and when salvage occurred, species and gender of animal salvaged, and if they were driver that struck animal.

(4) Antlers and head of all salvaged animals will need to be surrendered to an ODFW office within five business days of taking possession of the carcass. This rule will meet the requirements of SB 372 and will contribute to ODFW’s surveillance program for Chronic Wasting Disease.

(5) The entire carcass of the animal including gut piles must be removed from the road and road right of way during the salvage.

(6) In cases where a deer or elk is struck, injured and then put down to alleviate suffering, only the driver of the vehicle that struck the animal may salvage the carcass and law enforcement must be immediately notified. (This is a requirement per Oregon Revised Statute 498.016 and SB 372.).

(7) Any person who salvages a deer or elk will consume the meat at their own risk. ODFW/OSP will not perform game meat inspections for any deer or elk salvaged under these rules.

(8) Sale of any part of the salvaged animal is prohibited, but transfer to another person will be allowed with a written record similar to transferring game meat.

(9) The state of Oregon is not liable for any loss or damage arising from the recovery, possession, use, transport or consumption of deer or elk salvaged.

Pete Heley works parttime at the Stockade Market & Tackle, across from A’ Dock, in Winchester Bay where he is more than happy to swap fishing info with anyone.

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