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A current hot topic on the internet is the number of complaints regarding undersized crabs that are being sold in larger markets from Newport north to Astoria and in the Portland area. The complaints are surprising in that the commercial crab fishery is closely regulated to the point where any long term benefit from selling undersized dungeness crabs would be unlikely. It is interesting that none of the complaining posters has yet to actually measure any of the ”undersized” crabs.

The commercial crab fishery doesn’t need any more negative news as the last several years have featured several toxin-related closures.

In fact, the commercial crab fishery in northern California just reopened after being closed due to elevated levels of domoic acid in tested crabs.

In a move that is becoming evermore common, the launch ramp at Garibaldi doubled its launch fee to $10. I hope that the people capable of deciding the launching fees for the ramps in Winchester Bay and Reedsport don’t get any similar ideas as the well-maintained launch ramps in these two communities seem to be becoming an ever-bigger bargain.

Steve Godin, this year’s president of Oregon Coast Anglers, announced that the membership is donating $1,000 to the Chief Petty Officers Association, located in North Bend. The check will be designated to be used for members of the North Bend, Coos Bay, Umpqua River and Florence US Coast Guard Squadrons. Bandon is supported by the Coos Bay Squadron. OCA members use these ports frequently for ocean excursions. and Steve urges OCA members and other other area outdoor sportsmen to do what they can to help these servicemen, who unlike the members of other military forces, will not be receiving paychecks until the government shutdown is over.

Recent legislation now allows the lethal targeting of Steller sea lions in certain areas of the Columbia River. Up to now only California sea lions have been lethally removed at Bonneville Dam by ODFW and WDFW. But Steller sea lions are an increasing Columbia River problem. These much larger “salmon-eating machines” are now present at Bonneville Dam for ten months per year (compared to the California sea lion’s seven month stay) — and though they are known for targetting, killing and eating surprisingly big sturgeon, they are now consuming more Columbia River salmon and steelhead than the California sea lions.

According to a study quoted in the latest issue of the Columbia Basin Bulletin, Stellers eat 4.4 percent of the steelhead run and 2 percent of the spring Chinook run, compared with California’s 0.9 percent of the steelhead run and 0.7 percent of the spring Chinook run.

Washington’s Fish and Wildlife Commission now supports crafting fishing seasons that consider orcas’ dietary needs. The Commission has signaled its support for state fishery managers’ plans to consider the dietary needs of endangered orcas when they set this year’s salmon-fishing seasons. The policy also calls on WDFW to take steps to protect southern resident killer whales (SRKW) from disruptions from fishing vessel traffic.

Some ice fishing took place at Diamond Lake last week, but warmer temperatures and a fair amount of rain put a stop to it. Anglers fishing the larger coast lakes for the next five weeks should be catching some very girthy yellow perch.

It’s getting to be the time of year for Oregon’s fishing and outdoor recreation shows. I am going to mention them in chronlogical order. Since all of the shows are informative and entertaining, it will be up to you to visit their respective websites for additional information regarding show hours, admission fees and exhibitors. Since the shows’ tickets seem to get more expensive every year, I encourage you to use discount tickets (Bi-Mart) and make sure to sign up for “free stuff” like the one-year subscription to “Northwest Sportsman” which is available at some of the upcoming shows.

KEZI EUGENE Boat and Sportsmen’s Show: February 1st – 3rd at 796 W 13th Ave, Eugene (Lane Events Center)

Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show: Feb. 6th – 10th at the Portland Expo Center, 2060 North Marine Dr, Portland.

Roseburg Sportsmen and Outdoor Recreation Show: February 15th – 17th at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2110 Frear St, Roseburg.

KVRD Sportsmen and Outdoor Recreational Show: Feb. 22nd – 24th at the Jackson County Fairgrounds, 1 Peninger Rd, Central Point.

Lower Umpqua Flycasters Fly Fishing Expo: Feb. 23rd at the Reedsport Community Center, 451 Winchester Avenue, Reedsport.

Central Oregon Sportsmen’s Show: February 28th – 3rd at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds, 3800 SE Airport Way, Redmond.

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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