Post-vacation News Roundup

Summer is on hiatus a day at least around this part of the Northwest, but it was burned into me over the Fourth. Spent five beautiful days on the Oregon Coast and I’m still picking the sand out.

Fished the Nestucca, did the Three Capes scenic drive, built drip castles, made s’mores — a great time.

But now it’s back to work, and it looks like things have been hopping in my absence at News Control.

I figured WDFW would send this press release out while I was gone: They captured a lactating female wolf in the Teanaway area. What hasn’t been revealed yet is whether it is related to the Lookout Pack of the Methow Valley, further north in the Cascades.


Here’s a roundup of articles on the announcement:

WDFW press release: Fourth state wolf pack confirmed

Washington’s fourth documented wolf pack has been confirmed through DNA tests on an animal equipped with a radio collar last month in Kittitas County.

Scott Sandsberry, Yakima Herald-Republic: State’s fourth wolf pack identified in Teanaway area

“It’s surprising how soon they showed up here,” said Anthony Novack, a deer-and-elk conflict specialist with the state wildlife department who has done extensive wolf research in Idaho. “It actually knocks my socks off to know that not only are they here, but they’ve paired up and they’re already breeding this soon after finding the Lookout Pack.”

Craig Welch, Seattle Times: New wolf pack confirmed — a short drive from Seattle

While individual wolves may have been spotted in that area for years, it’s the first documented evidence that an entire pack has returned to Kittitas County since wolves were exterminated in the first half of the 20th century.

Dave Workman, Seattle Gun Rights Examiner: WA hunters questioning origins of Teanaway wolves

But their primary concern is how wolves showed up in the Teanaway Basin, a wild region north of Cle Elum that is certainly hospitable to wolves and other wildlife, but a considerable distance from the Canadian border, and even from the Methow Valley where remnants of the Lookout wolf pack apparently still reside, despite poaching, which this column discussed.

Hunters last fall were reporting tracks and more from the area, including in this post by Meathunter: How many have seen wolves deer hunting

Turning to non-wolf-related news, other fishing and hunting-related pieces include:

An interesting Oregonian blog on: Clipping adipose fins on salmon might hurt fish’s ability to swim in rough waters, study finds

“Although extensive experimental evidence indicates that such removal has less impact than removal of other fins, our results indicate substantive caution in the removal of a sensory and functional trait on individuals already subject to major demographic and environmental impact,” the study reads.

An opinion piece by Billy Frank Jr. of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, who thunders: Fix Your Culverts, State of Washington

… State biologists estimated that every dollar spent in culvert correction would generate four dollars worth of additional salmon production. Recent studies confirm that fixing fish passage barriers provides us with a big bang for our money. Yet the state has dragged its heels. The agency with the most culverts, the Department of Transportation (DOT), has fixed less than 10 percent of its fish passage barriers over the past 50 years.

A Federal grant of nearly $1 million will help open access to private lands for fishing and hunting in several Eastern Washington counties: Washington secures nearly $1 million more under Farm Bill for hunting, fishing access

Don Larsen, WDFW private lands coordinator, said the new $993,231 grant will be used in three ways:

Provide incentives to private landowners to allow hunting on forested properties in Kittitas, Klickitat, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens and Yakima counties.

Work with landowners in Columbia, Garfield, Lincoln, Walla Walla and Whitman counties to improve habitat enrolled in both the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and WDFW access programs.

Initiate a “Feel Free to Fish” program in southeast Washington, paying private landowners for shoreline access to river fisheries.

Need some ideas on where to go fishing in Oregon this weekend? Well, I’ll tell you where I’d go if I was back on the coast: the hole right at Farmer Creek on the Nestucca. But I guess we can’t all crowd into that one, so for more, take a look at ODFW’s latest weekly Recreation Report:

Anglers out of Astoria landed one ocean-caught chinook for every two anglers and two out of every 10 anglers landed a coho. (Coho fishing opened June 26 off the Columbia River.) But for the rest of the coast ocean-caught salmon are still few and far between. Fishing for fin-clipped coho opens July 2 off the central coast.

Thinking about hitting the Lower Columbia? That part-time fish hack Joe Hymer filed the following brief:

SALMONID: During the first three days of July we sampled just over 1,200 salmonid anglers (including 146 boats) with 75 adult and 18 jack summer chinook, 102 steelhead, and 27 sockeye.  48 (64%) of the adult and 14 (78%) of the jacks were kept as were 67 (66%) of the steelhead and all but two (93%) of the sockeye.

STURGEON: Above Wauna, we sampled legals kept from Camas to Kalama.

SHAD: Based on mainly incomplete trips, bank anglers just below Bonneville Dam averaged just over 2.5 shad per rod.  Bank anglers off Steamboat Landing Dock in Washougal caught some fish as did boat anglers in the gorge and in Camas/Washougal.

 Hymer also sent out a note about the status of the summer Chinook and sockeye returns to the Columbia mouth:

Summer Chinook = 77,000 adults at the river mouth (Editor’s note: the preseason forecast was for 91,000)

Sockeye – stayed with preseason forecast of 161,900 at river mouth

 Kevin Klein up in the San Js sent this Chinook fishing report on the 5th:

There is “Good”, there is “Very Good”, and then there is “Crazy Good”. The  San Juans since the July 1st. salmon opener have been “Crazy Good”. I had a funny feeling that there would be Kings around, but couldn’t imagine this.

Fish are everywhere, North, South, East, and West. They are biting on everything, but feeding mostly on Candlefish. I have been using the “Tailwagger” and “4 lite” spoons by Silver Horde behind a Q-cove flasher with much success. However, these are hungry salmon, and hootchies and bait are also working.


Troll close to the bottom, elevated a bit more than blackmouth, but not much.I have caught a lot of clipped fish, and have actually just been releasing unclipped salmon, and keeping hatchery. That’s good to see. So are the multiple reports of big Chinook over 30lb.s. The upcoming Bellingham Derby could take a real monster to win it.

I had 5 fish to the boat on the morning of the 4th by 7 a.m., and this has been common. The San Juans are now “Ground Zero” for some of the best salmon fishing on the planet.

OK, I’ve gotta get to work now.


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