The 2017 Salmon Forecasts!

A sure sign of spring after a long winter is the annual arrival of our salmon forecasts and the “North of Falcon” meetings. Interest in the season setting process has never been higher due to last year’s lack of agreement between the State and Tribal co-managers. This delay in agreement virtually closed down all of western Washington’s waterways until nearly Memorial Day and is a situation that no one wants to repeat. Fortunately, our coho have bounced back from the critically low (and very inaccurate) 2016 forecasts. In addition, our chinook numbers are up significantly buoying hope for a good season in 2017!

After watching the numbers for a number of years (never mind how many…) I’ve found that you can “call some shots” by digging into the forecast numbers. The WDFW, DFO Canada and The PFMC (Pacific Fisheries Management Council) work very hard to get their chinook and coho abundance estimates out in a timely manner. These figures take some pouring through to find the real “meat” but don’t worry, I’ve done all the leg work for you right here!

2009-2016 Selected Preseason adult Chinook Forecasts (in thousands)

Stock                       2010     2011       2012       2013       2014       2015       2016   2017
Willapa fall                31.1       36.8        45.2         27.1        32.4        35.1      39.5   38.5
Hoh fall                      3.3        2.9           2.7           3.1          2.5         2.5          1.8    2.7
Nooksack/Sam         30.3      37.5         44.0        46.5        43.9       38.5        27.9   21.2

Skagit summer        13.0      15.9          9.6         13.2        18.3        12.3        15.6   16.2

Stillaguamish wild     1.4         1.9          0.9           1.3          1.6          0.5         0.3     0.4

Snohomish Wild        9.9         7.4          2.8          3.6          5.2          4.1         3.3     3.4
Snohomish Hatch     5.6         5.1         3.9           6.8          5.4         3.2          5.0      4.7
Tulalip Bay               3.4         3.5        5.9          10.9          4.7         1.3          1.4       5.2

S Puget Wild           12.7        8.9          8.9           5.2          4.8         6.5          4.5      4.7
S Puget Hatch         97.4      118.6       95.8       101.9       101.4     91.1        43.1    80.3

Hood Canal Wild      2.4           2.1         2.9            3.3          3.5        3.1         2.3     2.4

Hood Canal Hatch   42.6        38.3       43.9         65.7        80.6     58.9       42.7     48.3

Stock total:        253.1k    278.9k   266.5k     288.6k     304.3k   257.1k  187.4k  229.6k

We’re looking at a chinook forecast that thankfully, has bounced back a bit from 2016. The number that jumps out to me is the aggregate of South Puget Sound hatchery stocks coming in at nearly double of last year’s forecast. The most concerning stocks are the Stilliaguamish (400 wild chinook) and Issaquah/Cedar/Sammamish (4,670 hatchery and 948 wild) which will most certainly be deemed “driver stocks” with regard to crafting our summer chinook opportunities. Need another bright spot? The Skagit & Nooksack/Samish checks in with a solid forecast which should drive a very strong Marine Area 7 summer chinook season. However, as was the case last year, most of the wrangling & hand wringing will definitely occur over the Marine Area 9 & 10 selective chinook seasons in July.

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2009-2016 Preseason Adult Coho Forecasts (in thousands of fish)

Stock                   2010      2011         2012       2013        2014       2015   2016  2017
Straits Wild           8.5         12.3           12.3       14.8          14.5        3.4      4.7   14.7
Straits Hatch         7.8         12.7           18.6       15.4         15.3         8.8     3.7    11.5
Nook/Sam W        9.6          29.5           25.2      45.4          20.8        28.1    8.9   13.2
Nook/Sam H        36.0         45.7           62.8      49.2          61.7       50.8    28.7  45.6

Skagit Wild          95.9        138.1          48.3     137.2        112.4      121.4   8.9    13.2

Skagit Hatch        9.5          16.2           14.9       16.3         15.8        19.5     4.9     7.5

Stilly Wild            25.9         66.5           45.5        33.1        32.4         31.2    2.7     7.6

Stilly hatch           5.4           0.6             4.1          3.1          3.1            0        0       1.5

Snohomish W       99.4      180.0         109.0     163.8         150       151.5   16.7   107.3

Snohomish H       24.5        80.4           80.5      111.6        78.1         53.8     1.8    51.6

S Sound Wild       25.3        98.9           43.1       36.0         62.8         63.0    9.9    20.2

S Sound Hatch    186.4      173.3         162.9     150.9       172.7      180.2   27.1  102.3

Hood Wild             33.2        77.5           73.4       36.8         47.6        61.4    35.3   93.8

Hood Hatch          51.2         72.1           62.6       68.6         82.7       108.4   83.4   60.7

Key stocks tot  320.8k   916.0k      628.6k    783.2k    869.2k   891.5k   236.7k  550.7k

 

It does not take a PhD in Fisheries Biology to see that we’ve also bounced back on the coho front. In fact, the coho returned large and numerous last year with good spawning conditions and hopefully we’re going to work our way out of the 2015 drought conditions.

Lake Washington sockeye anglers may have another year to wait with only 77,290 headed for the Ship Canal but a look north to the Baker River gives 47,000  bright, red reasons to be encouraged about the Baker River reds.

Keep in mind that these numbers are but the “raw material” that the co-managers will use to craft our local seasons and only by attending the North of Falcon meetings can you have an impact on the process. We will keep you posted here but I sincerely look forward to meeting some of you….at the meetings!!!

For a schedule of the North of Falcon meetings near you hit WDFW’s North of Falcon page.

Tom Nelson
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

The 2015 Salmon Forecasts!

A sure sign of spring after a long winter is the annual arrival of our salmon forecasts and the “North of Falcon” meetings. I await the salmon forecast numbers like a kid waiting for Christmas morning. Hello, my name is Tom and I am a “salmon sicko”.

After watching the numbers for a number of years (never mind how many…) I’ve found that you can “call some shots” by digging into the forecast numbers. The WDFW, DFO Canada and The PFMC (Pacific Fisheries Management Council) work very hard to get their chinook and coho abundance estimates out in a timely manner. These figures take some pouring through to find the real “meat” but don’t worry, I’ve done all the leg work for you right here!

2015 Selected Preseason adult Chinook Forecasts (in thousands)

Stock                     2009       2010     2011       2012       2013       2014       2015 
Willapa fall               34.8      31.1       36.8        45.2         27.1        32.4        35.1
Hoh fall                     2.6         3.3        2.9           2.7           3.1          2.5         2.5
Nooksack/Sam        23.0      30.3      37.5         44.0        46.5        43.9       38.5

Skagit summer        23.4      13.0      15.9          9.6         13.2        18.3        12.3

Stillaguamish wild    1.0        1.4         1.9          0.9           1.3          1.6          0.5

Snohomish Wild        8.4        9.9         7.4          2.8          3.6          5.2          4.1
Snohomish Hatch     4.9         5.6         5.1         3.9           6.8          5.4         3.2
Tulalip Bay                4.0         3.4         3.5        5.9          10.9          4.7         1.3

S Puget Wild            17.2      12.7        8.9          8.9           5.2          4.8         6.5
S Puget Hatch          93.0      97.4      118.6       95.8       101.9       101.4     91.1

Hood Canal Wild        2.5      2.4           2.1         2.9            3.3          3.5        3.1

Hood Canal Hatch     40.1     42.6         38.3       43.9         65.7        80.6     58.9

Stock total:       255.6k    253.1k    278.9k   266.5k      288.6k      304.3k   257.1k   

This is a mixed selected stock chinook forecast to say the least. Generally these stocks are slightly down with respect to 2014 partially due to changes in the run modeling but also due to unfavorable oceanic conditions. The most concerning stocks are the Stilliaguamish,Cedar and Sammamish wild chinook which will probably be deemed “driver stocks” with regard to crafting our summer chinook opportunities. However, the Skagit & Nooksack/Samish checks in with a solid forecast as well which should drive a very strong Marine Area 7 summer chinook season and an uptick in wild chinook south Sound stocks is certainly cause for optimism.

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The Silver Story! 2015 Preseason Adult Coho Forecasts (in thousands of fish)

Stock                   2009         2010            2011          2012        2013        2014       2015
Straits Wild           20.5          8.5              12.3           12.3       14.8          14.5         13.4
Straits Hatch         7.0            7.8              12.7           18.6       15.4         15.3           8.8
Nook/Sam W        7.0            9.6               29.5           25.2      45.4          20.8         28.1
Nook/Sam H       25.5          36.0               45.7           62.8      49.2          61.7         50.8

Skagit Wild          33.4          95.9             138.1          48.3     137.2        112.4       121.4

Skagit Hatch       11.7            9.5               16.2           14.9       16.3         15.8        19.5

Stilly Wild            13.4           25.9              66.5           45.5        33.1        32.4         31.2

Stilly hatch            0.0              5.4                0.6             4.1          3.1          3.1            0

Snohomish W       67.0           99.4            180.0         109.0     163.8         150        151.5

Snohomish H        53.6           24.5              80.4           80.5      111.6        78.1         53.8

S Sound Wild        53.6          25.3              98.9           43.1       36.0         62.8          63.0

S Sound Hatch   188.8       186.4            173.3         162.9     150.9       172.7         180.2

Hood Wild            48.6          33.2              77.5           73.4       36.8         47.6           61.4

Hood Hatch        52.0          51.2              72.1           62.6       68.6         82.7          108.4

Key stocks tot  338.6k    320.8k        916.0k       628.6k     783.2k    869.2k       891.5k

 

Is this the “new normal”? Ever since the 2011 coho run we’ve been experiencing some absolutely solid coho fishing. The increase in Hood Canal and South Puget Sound stocks alone have me thinking that 2015 will not see many anglers stray far from Puget Sound come September! In fact, the overall feeling among fisheries managers is that barring a repeat of the warm water “blob” of 2014 off the west coast of Vancouver Island, that we should see much improved coho action with some larger “hooknose” entering the catch!

If all this is not enough to get -and keep you- fired up, how about a Frasier River sockeye forecast that’s estimated at 6.8 MILLION with another 345,000 headed for the Columbia! Lake Washington sockeye anglers may have another year to wait with only 164,595 headed for the Ship Canal but a look north to the Baker River gives to 46,200  bright, red reasons to be encouraged compared to the 2014 forecast of only 35,377 Baker River reds.

Let’s not forget our odd, little odd year visitors the pink salmon! How about 6.7 MILLION pinks headed for Puget Sound. Add another 14,500,000 -that’s 14.5 MILLION headed to the Fraser and the humpy “horde” will number about 21 million in the Straits of Juan de Fuca!

Keep in mind that these numbers are but the “raw material” that the co-managers will use to craft our local seasons and only by attending the North of Falcon meetings can you have an impact on the process. We will keep you posted here but I sincerely look forward to meeting some of you….at the meetings!!!

For a schedule of the North of Falcon meetings near you hit WDFW’s North of Falcon page.

Tom Nelson
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

The 2014 Salmon Forecasts!!!

A sure sign of spring after a long winter is the annual arrival of our salmon forecasts and the “North of Falcon” meetings. I await the salmon forecast numbers like a kid waiting for Christmas morning. Hello, my name is Tom and I am a “salmon sicko”.

After watching the numbers for a number of years (never mind how many…) I’ve found that you can “call some shots” by digging into the forecast numbers. The WDFW, DFO Canada and The PFMC (Pacific Fisheries Management Council) work very hard to get their chinook and coho abundance estimates out in a timely manner. These figures take some pouring through to find the real “meat” but don’t worry, I’ve done all the leg work for you right here!

2014 Preseason adult Chinook Forecasts (in thousands)

Stock                    2009       2010     2011       2012       2013       2014 
Willapa fall             34.8      31.1       36.8        45.2         27.1        32.4
Hoh fall                   2.6         3.3        2.9           2.7           3.1          2.5
Nooksack/Sam       23.0      30.3      37.5         44.0        46.5        43.9

Skagit summer       23.4      13.0      15.9          9.6         13.2        18.3

Stillaguamish          1.0        1.4         1.9          0.9           1.3          1.6

Snohomish Wild      8.4        9.9         7.4          2.8          3.6          5.2
Snohomish Hatch   4.9         5.6         5.1         3.9           6.8          5.4
Tulalip Bay              4.0         3.4         3.5        5.9          10.9          4.7

S Puget Wild          17.2      12.7        8.9          8.9           5.2          4.8
S Puget Hatch        93.0      97.4      118.6       95.8       101.9       101.4

Hood Canal Wild     2.5      2.4           2.1         2.9            3.3          3.5

Hood Canal Hatch  40.1     42.6         38.3       43.9         65.7        80.6

Key Stock totals 255,600  253,100  278,900  266,500  288,600  304,300!!!

This is a very significant selected stock chinook forecast to say the least! Easily the highest number we’ve seen for over a decade.  We can be fairly safe in the assumption that chinook seasons may be similar to last year. Generally these particular stocks stable with respect to 2013, while the Skagit,is up sharply and the Nooksack/Samish checks in with a solid forecast as well which should drive a very strong Marine Area 7 summer chinook season. The number that really stands out to me is that 22% increase in Hood Canal hatchery chinook… North area 9 should be smokin’ again come July!
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The Silver Story! 2014 Preseason Adult Coho Forecasts (in thousands of fish)

Stock                     2009         2010            2011          2012        2013        2014
Straits Wild              20.5          8.5              12.3           12.3       14.8         14.5
Straits Hatch            7.0            7.8              12.7           18.6       15.4         15.3
Nook/Sam W           7.0            9.6               29.5           25.2      45.4          20.8
Nook/Sam H          25.5          36.0               45.7           62.8      49.2          61.7

Skagit Wild             33.4          95.9             138.1          48.3     137.2        112.4

Skagit Hatch          11.7            9.5               16.2           14.9       16.3         15.8

Stilly Wild               13.4           25.9              66.5           45.5        33.1        32.4

Stilly hatch              0.0              5.4                0.6             4.1          3.1          3.1

Snohomish W         67.0           99.4            180.0         109.0     163.8        150

Snohomish H          53.6           24.5              80.4           80.5      111.6        78.1

S Sound Wild          53.6          25.3              98.9           43.1       36.0         62.8

S Sound Hatch        188.8       186.4            173.3         162.9     150.9        172.7

Hood Wild                48.6          33.2              77.5           73.4       36.8         47.6

Hood Hatch              52.0          51.2              72.1           62.6       68.6         82.7

Key stocks Total   338,600   320,800      916,000   628,600     783,200   869,800

 

Is this the “new normal”? Ever since the 2011 coho run we’ve been experiencing some absolutely world class coho fishing. The increase in south Puget Sound stocks alone have me thinking that 2014 will not see many anglers stray far from Puget Sound come September! In fact, the overall feeling among fisheries managers is one of optimism bone of increasing oceanic salmonid survival.

If all this is not enough to get -and keep you- fired up, how about a Frasier River sockeye forecast that’s conservatively estimated at 24.3 MILLION with another 345,000 headed for the Columbia! Lake Washington sockeye anglers may have another year to wait with only 166,000 headed for the Ship Canal but a look north to the Baker River gives to 35,377 bright, red reasons to be encouraged!

Keep in mind that these numbers are but the “raw material” that the co-managers will use to craft our local seasons and only by attending the North of Falcon meetings can you have an impact on the process. We will keep you posted here but I sincerely look forward to meeting some of you….at the meetings!!!

For a schedule of the North of Falcon meetings near you hit WDFW’s North of Falcon page.

Tom Nelson
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

The 20th Annual Everett Coho Derby!

Two decades is a long time.

To create and host a fishing event that lasts for two decades and seems to grow every year is a huge accomplishment.

To build the largest salmon derby on the west coast, raise money for local fisheries enhancement and enjoy unquestioned public support is a wonderful accomplishment!

In the twenty-year history of the Everett Coho Derby, the Everett Steelhead & Salmon Club and the Snohomish Sportsmen’s Club have formed a partnership to run the derby and also to divide the proceeds. The funds raised by this popular stop on the Northwest Salmon Derby Series support many community events and conservation projects including two major coho enhancement operations (a net pen on the Everett waterfront and an active hatchery), which places over 80,000 fish each year into local waters. The two clubs also stock local lakes with triploid trout, plant high lakes in the Cascades with trout and place salmon carcasses into streams to bolster stream productivity and ultimately salmon nutrition & survival.

Now the Everett Coho Derby has become the final stop on the Northwest Salmon Derby Series which means that each and every year, someone walks away with a $60,000 boat, motor, trailer and electronics package!

The 2013 installment of the Everett Coho Derby was a bit hampered by an unsettled weather system that forced the prize ceremony inside the Bayside Marine drystack!

Nearly 1800 tickets were sold for this event and it looks like nearly everyone who bought a ticket showed up on Sunday afternoon!

 

Tony Floor of the Northwest Salmon Derby Series has the crowds attention as he announces the Grand Prize winner of the $60,000 Derby Series boat while Master of Ceremonies Mark Spada (right) looks on.

Tony Floor congratulates Jason Edwards, Arlington, for winning the 2013 NW Salmon Derby Series grand prize boat. Jason competed in the Harbor Marine Salmon Tournament in Everett, last July.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In total there were 1854 adult tickets sold and 216 child tickets given away for a total of 2070 anglers signed up for this event, making it the biggest salmon derby on the West Coast.  Not bad when you consider the humble beginnings in 1993.

In the youth division, the first place prize of $100 went to Dean Fagan who caught an 11.13 pound Coho on eggs at Haller Park on the Stillaguamish River.

The top prize fish weighed 15.50 pounds and was caught at the “Horse Shoe” on the East side of the Possession Bar.  This fish gave Don Pittman the $10,000 first prize donated by Everett Bayside Marine, Harbor Marine, John’s Sporting Goods and Performance Marine.

The second place money of $5,000 donated by the Everett Salmon Association went to Hut Phanhthavilay who caught a 14.20 pound fish on a Dick Nite spoon near the 522 bridge on the Snohomish River.

Third place and $2,500 donated by Dick Nite Spoons, Silver Horde, Ted’s Sports Center and Greg’s Custom Rods went to Dylan Alexander for his 14.19 pound fish also on a Dick Nite spoon on the lower Skykomish River.

The last cash prize of $1,000 Donated by Roy Robinson Chevrolet/ Subaru went to Gary Tisdale Sr. who fished Possession Bar with Silver Horde gear.  The top merchandise prize, a Cannon Downrigger, went to Curt Wikel at 13.91 on the Snohomish River with a Wiggle Wart.

See you on the Northwest Salmon Derby Series trail and good luck out there!

 Tom Nelson                                                                                                                      The Outdoor Line                                                                                 www.theoutdoorline.com                                                                                                 710 ESPN Seattle

Looking Back On An Awesome August!

The word “awesome” has become a bit overused these days but I’m having a tough time coming up with words to describe a month that included the Pacific Ocean, Columbia River, Puget Sound,the San Juan Islands and a couple of days fishing with our heroic wounded servicemen.

The first major local offshore event of August is the Washington Tuna Classic (WTC) which benefits the Wounded Warrior Foundation. Always wanting to get a jump on the competition, noted “Tuna Tyrant”, former Seattle Seahawk Robbie Tobeck invited me along to host a couple of Wounded Warriors on a WTC scouting trip.

Game face already in place, Tobeck reluctantly pauses for a shot with our guest angler, Wounded Warrior veterans, Chad and Anthony. 

 

Game face part two: Want to get yelled at by a Mike Holmgren coached NFL veteran lineman? Stop fishing during a hot tuna bite long enough to take a picture…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chad, Robbie, myself and Anthony with our days catch and August is off to a great start!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second weekend in August brought the inaugural Salmon For Soldiers at Bayside Marine which was, honestly, one of the most positive fishing events that I’ve even had the honor of participating in. Nearly 70 boat owners from across western Washington hosted 300 servicemen & women for a day of fishing and fellowship.

Randy Shelton (left) was the driving force behind Salmon for Soldiers, while Rob Endsley and I helped with promotion and other support efforts. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bayside Marine generously hosted the event, providing the food and beverages to the several hundred anglers, veterans and care-givers in attendance.

 

Immediately …and I do mean seconds… after Salmon for Soldiers, we hit the road for Astoria, Oregon and the legendary Buoy 10 salmon fishery. Here, the sun sets on the Columbia River at Longview , bringing a very busy Saturday to a welcome end.

 

With a huge forecast of upriver bright chinook on tap, double-digits hookup mornings were the norm and nets were flying everywhere!

 

For the past few years, our largest chinook of the season has come from Buoy 10 and this year was no exception. Here, Phil Michelsen is all smiles with this chrome upriver bright 34 pounder!

 

Local, late August chinook opportunity leads us to look north and west. Here, two San Juan angling legends Larry Carpenter and John Martinis jump on board Big Red for a morning on the west side of San Juan Island.

 

We had a very productive morning and the in the fishbox was a mixed bag of chinook, hatchery coho and, yes,,, pink salmon!

 

For the rest of the month, Puget Sound will be “in the pink” with a little silver mixed in for good measure. I’m pleased that Congressman Rick Larsen has taken an interest in the health of our salmon runs and the fishing industry as well. Left to right, Chris Beard, Tim Beard and Rick Larsen with a morning’s mess of pinks!

 

I really dread Labor Day weekend…It’s symbolic end of the summer season but as we all know, as one door closes, another one opens! September brings a whole new set of opportunities and challenges

Oh, yeah… Hunting and football seasons too…

Maybe September isn’t so bad after all…

Tom Nelson                                                                                                                             710 ESPN Seattle                                                                                                                   www.theoutdoorline.com

Northwest Outdoor Report

New State Record Lake Trout Caught
Phil Colyar from Wenatchee just caught the new state record Mackinaw trout from Lake Chelan on Monday. The huge lake trout weighed 35 pounds, 10 ounces and beat the old state record by just 3 ounces. Colyar caught the fish in 270 feet of water in front of Kelly’s Resort on the south shore of Lake Chelan. After a 35 minute battle he and fishing buddy Jack Stagge raced to the nearby hospital in Chelan, which happened to have the only certified scale in the area. Colyar, Stagge, doctors, and nurses all watched as the scale ticked up to 35 pounds, 10 ounces. Colyar is having the fish mounted and plans to keep fishing for big Mackinaw’s in Lake Chelan, as he thinks there’s even larger Mackinaw to be caught in the lake.

American Lake Still Kicking Out Rainbows
Mike Barr from Bill’s Boathouse on American Lake says that anglers are still getting limits of nice trout fishing off the of the boathouse dock. He says a bunch of small trout in the 7 to 9 inch range just showed up, but the people that are putting in some time are going home with limits of trout in the 13 to 15 inch range. He recommends fishing yellow or lime green Power Eggs on the bottom in 12 to 35 feet of water. Barr says there’s definitely no shortage of trout in American Lake.

First Springer Caught on the Cowlitz
Todd Daniels from Tall Tails Guide Service knows of at least five spring Chinook being caught on the lower Cowlitz River this past week. Daniels says the springers have been caught in the Castlerock area and he knows that at least one of them hit a Kwikfish. There’s been sporadic reports of spring Chinook being caught on the Kalama River, as well. The forecast for both rivers is down this year with only 5,500 springer’s projected for the Cowlitz and just 700 spring Chinook projected for the Kalama River.

“Uncle Pete” Leading in the Roche Harbor Derby
After day one of the Roche Harbor Derby “Uncle” Pete Nelson is leading the derby board with a 16.7 pound blackmouth. Carter Whalen is in a very close second place with a 16.4 pound blackmouth and Derek Floyd and company are leading in the total weight category with 46 pounds 3 ounces. There’s still one more day to go in the two day derby and we’ll have more coverage and the final list of winners available on TheOutdoorLine.com.

Oly-Pen Salmon Derby Offers $22,000 in Cash
Tickets are on sale now for the Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby happening February 16-18. The derby area extends from Freshwater Bay all the way to Port Ludlow and includes the banks in the Strait of Juan De Fuca and the western shore of Whidbey Island. Derby weigh stations are located at Freshwater Bay, Port Angeles, Sequim, Gardiner, and Port Townsend. Tickets are $40 apiece and derby chairman Dan Tatum expects well over 1,000 anglers to fish in the event, which boasts $22,000 in cash and prizes. John Otness from Tacoma won the event last year with a 17.60 pound blackmouth. The Outdoor Line will be fishing in the event and broadcasting live from Port Townsend next Saturday. For more information log onto GardinerSalmonDerby.org.

Hood Canal Derby Next Weekend
Tickets are on sale for the Bill Nik Memorial Derby next Saturday at Misery Point boat launch. The derby is ran by the Kitsap Poggie Club and boasts $2000 in cash and a ton of prizes. Last year’s derby was won by Shane Morrison with a 13.6 pound blackmouth he plucked from Hood Canal. Tickets are available at Kitsap Marina, Defiane Marine, Aqua Tech Marine, Brother Dons, Seabeck General Store, Papas Eats and Treats in Port Orchard, and Camp Union Saloon in Seabeck.

Maine Legislators Out to Ban Swim Baits
KeepAmericaFishing.org is reporting that legislators in Maine just introduced a bill that would prohibit the use of all “rubber” lures. The intent of the bill is to ban the soft plastic swim baits that most Maine anglers use every day. The bill would also ban the use of biodegradable swim baits, as well. Extensive tests have proven that plastic baits cause minimal problems for fish and they usually regurgitate them or pass them without problems.

REI Executive Named Secretary of the Interior
The Associated Press is reporting that President Obama just nominated REI’s Chief Executive Officer Sally Jewell as the new Interior Secretary. Jewell has helped push REI to nearly 2 billion in annual revenues and a place on Fortune Magazine’s “Best Places to Work”. The Interior Department manages more than 500 million acres in national parks and other public lands and more than 1 billion acres offshore. If confirmed by the Senate Jewell will replace current Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who has announced he will step down in March.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

Northwest Outdoor Report

Humptulips and Satsop Kicking out Coho
Patient anglers that waited until the end of the season to fill their freezers with coho were rewarded with great fishing this past week on the Humptulips and Satsop Rivers. Scott Sypher from Canyon Man’s Guide Service (206-518-4982) and Phil Stephens from Mystical Legends Guide Service (206-940-0052) both reported excellent silver fishing on both rivers. They both got quick limits on the Humptulips fishing eggs under a float two days ago and the fish have been big…running between 10 and 15 pounds. Over on the Satsop several fish in the 18 to 20 pound range have been reported the last couple of days, as well. These fish are often called the Christmas coho because the fishing usually remains good right up until Santa Claus rolls into town. The only problem is that the Northwest River Forecast Center is predicting that these rivers will be well out of fishable shape until as late as next weekend.

Cowlitz Slow for Steelhead
Outside of just a few winter steelhead being caught on the Cowlitz River fishing has been really slow there this past week. Derek Anderson from Screamin’ Reels Guide Service (206-849-2574) thinks the next high water should bring some fish into the system in the next week or so. The Northwest River Forecast Center is calling for the Cowlitz to ramp up to over 16,000 cfs by mid next week after a series of wet weather systems hits Western Washington, which is much too high to effectively fish for steelhead.

Blackmouth Still Holding off South Whidbey
When the weather allows for it Derek Floyd from Angler’s Choice Charters (425-239-5740) has been stroking the blackmouth at Possession Bar off the South end of Whidbey Island. Derek said he landed 13 legal blackmouth last Saturday on the bar and released another 5 wild fish before calling it a day. Floyd said it’s been tough to fish lately with all the wind, but when it lay’s he thinks the fishing will remain good. The Floyd fishing team will be heading to Friday Harbor the middle of this next week to compete with 70 other fishing teams and $15,000 in cash prizes in the Resurrection Salmon Derby.

Gillnet Removal on Tap for Columbia River
Sportsman may soon get their wish to have non-tribal gillnets removed entirely from the lower Columbia River. The Oregon and Washington Fish and Wildlife Commissions will meet at the Holiday Inn in Portland on December 7th and on January 11th and 12th in Olympia to vote on a plan to push gillnets off the mainstem of the lower Columbia and into designated off-channel netting areas. If the plan goes thru the sportfishing quota on runs like summer Chinook would be increase to 100% of the non-tribal catch. Sportsman would also see an increase in spring Chinook, fall Chinook, coho, and sockeye quota if the plan is approved. While the plan is very complicated many are hopeful that the gillnets will be removed and that a new era in sportfishing will dawn on the Columbia River.

Resurrection and Roche Harbor Derby Tickets on Sale
Tickets are still on sale for the Resurrection Blackmouth Derby in Friday Harbor next weekend. The Outdoor Line crew will be fishing in this derby and broadcasting live from the derby on Saturday. The derby is December 7th and 8th and boasts $15,000 in cash with $10,000 for 1st place. Log on to www.resurrectionderby.com for more information about this event. The next  big derby in the series is the Roche Harbor Derby held February 7th thru the 9th at Roche Harbor on San Juan Island. The Roche boasts $25,000 in guaranteed cash prizes and this year the resort will kick in an additional $30,000 for a winning blackmouth over 30 pounds. Tickets are $700 per boat for the Roche and registration forms can be found at www.rocheharbor.com.

Arizona Fish and Game Corrects False Press Release
Television, radio, newspaper and online news outlets carried a story this past week that elk hunters who hadn’t filled their bull elk tag at the end of the season would get a weeklong extension to their season. The Associated Press released the article without checking credentials and now Arizona Fish and Game officials are scurrying to clarify the situation. Officials aren’t quite sure where the press release came from, but suspect that an elk hunter with media access is behind the hoax.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

One-Thousandth Group Joins Coalition as Leaders Focus Congressional Attention on New Economic Report

WASHINGTON – One-thousand groups and businesses have joined in urging Congress to consider the economic impacts of the great outdoors and historic preservation as it makes critical decisions concerning America's fiscal health, the recently formed national coalition "America's Voice for Conservation, Recreation and Preservation" announced today.

At a press conference held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., by the coalition on Monday afternoon, Theodore Roosevelt IV joined CEOs from prominent AVCRP organizations to cite strong new evidence of the employment opportunities and economic growth driven by natural resource conservation, outdoor recreation and historic preservation in America. Read a transcript of today's event and view video as it aired on C-Span 3.

Roosevelt, a leading figure in American conservation and the great-grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt, noted America's long-standing tradition of conservation. "For more than a century, conservation is part of what has made America unique," Roosevelt said. "From our public lands tradition to the ethic of private land stewardship, conservation has enjoyed broad support with the public and bipartisan support from their congressional representatives. As the Southwick Report clearly shows, conservation is an economic driver, accounting for more than 9.4 million jobs. I hope we reinvigorate our bipartisan commitment to conservation as we work to reduce the budget deficit."

Congress is currently determining federal funding of conservation, recreation and preservation programs in the bicameral, bipartisan "Super Committee" as well as in fiscal year 2012 appropriations bills.

AVCRP is a national coalition of organizations and businesses representing tens of millions of citizens with diverse political backgrounds and areas of interest. AVCRP members are united in a shared understanding that federal investments in natural resource conservation, outdoor recreation and historic preservation programs are vital to the future of our great nation. The 1,000 supporting entities signed a letter urging Congressional leaders to sustain the federal funds that are critical to the American way of life.

AVCRP represents an extraordinarily broad and diverse set of interests ranging from conservation and the environment to hunting, fishing and many other forms of outdoor recreation as well as historic preservation. AVCRP is made up of nonprofit organizations as well as major American businesses. Read the AVCRP letter and a list of signatories.

Other speakers at today's event included Dale Hall, CEO of Ducks Unlimited; Bill Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society and AVCRP co-chair; Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation; Mark Tercek, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy; and Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

"The Economics Associated with Outdoor Recreation, Natural Resources Conservation and Historic Preservation in the United States," a report released this month by Southwick Associates and commissioned by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, was highlighted by Roosevelt and AVCRP leaders at the Washington, D.C., press conference. The study defines the huge economic stakes associated with continued federal investments that are leveraged and matched with private funds.

The study cites the following compelling figures for the combined value of outdoor recreation, natural resource conservation and historic preservation:
• 9.4 million American jobs
• $1.06 trillion in total economic impact
• $107 billion annually generated in tax revenue

"From an economic perspective, the bottom line is clear – America's natural resources are a critical part of our national economy. Investments in nature produce a great return. Federal spending on conservation and protection of our natural resources should not be singled out for disproportionate cuts in the budget," said Tercek. "Americans across the country agree, as you can see from support by more than 1,000 organizations joining together to call upon Congress to address the federal deficit while still investing in critical conservation programs."

"This economic report highlights how cost-effective conservation and preservation programs make a clear profit for the U.S. taxpayer and benefit our nation's economy," said Hall, who is also former director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "This coalition has come together because all of us understand how critical conservation, outdoor recreation and historic preservation are to America's legacy, economy and people."

"This study shows just how historic preservation has proven its value many times over," said Meeks. "The remarkable impact of the federal historic rehabilitation tax credit is just one example, creating over 2 million jobs since its inception and leveraging $90.4 billion in private investment. Preservation projects not only generate economic activity – it brings people together and creates a legacy for future generations."

Contact:
Vaughn Collins, 202-639-8727, vcollins@trcp.org
Alan Rowsome, 202-429-2643, alan_rowsome@tws.org

Northwest Outdoor Report for October 8th

Puget Sound Crabbing Re-opens Today
Seven marine areas of Puget Sound reopen for recreational crabbing today at 8 a.m.. Marine areas 4, 5, 6, 7, 8-1, 8-2, and a portion of area 9 north of a line between Olele Pt and Foulweather Bluff will be open to crabbing 7 days a week starting today thru December 31st. Marine areas 11 and 13 will reopen for crabbing on November 21st and Marine Areas 10, 12, and the southern portion of Area 9 will remain closed, as the catch quota’s have already been met in those areas.

Hunting Season Opens October 15
Deer hunters will take the field in most of Washington’s Game Management Units on October 15th and duck hunters will also get a 5 day season October 15-19, with a brief closure before main hunting season reopens on October 22nd. Pheasant season will open in Eastern Washington on October 22nd. For more detailed information about hunting seasons please log onto the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website.

Showdown With a Grizzly Bear
Montana outfitter Erin Bolster and her horse “Tonk” will appear on the David Letterman Show on Tuesday night. The pair saved a young boys life from an enraged 750 pound grizzly bear  on a trail ride in the Flathead National Forest back on July 31st. Erin charged the bear three times with her horse before plucking the young boy to safety. You can catch Erin and her incredible story right here on the Outdoor Line after the next break.

House Bill Allows for Lethal Removal of Sea Lions
Tired of seeing sea lions feast on endangered salmon and steelhead at Bonneville Dam? House bill 3069 was passed on Wednesday that will allow for the lethal removal of trouble sea lions from the Columbia River and its tributaries.

The Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act allows Washington state, Oregon, Idaho and the four Columbia River treaty tribes to obtain one year permits from the Secretary of Commerce for the lethal removal of a limited number of sea lions from the Columbia river system.

Fishing License Sales Up in Washington
It’s not all gloom and doom for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife these days. In the toughest economy in decades the department has managed to post strong gains in both resident and non-resident license sales from 2006 to 2010. The biggest jump in license sales came from 2008 to 2010, with sales increasing from just over 800,000 resident licenses sold in 2008 to nearly 1.1 million in 2010. A post has been started in the Outdoor Line forums if you’d like to chime in on this latest news.

NOAA Suspends Alaskan Catch Sharing Plan
NOAA’s decided to postpone the Alaskan halibut Catch Sharing Plan after receiving over 4,000 comments in opposition to it. The plan called for a reduction in the daily halibut limit in Area 3A, which includes the tourist-heavy Kenai Peninsula, to just one halibut per day. Halibut numbers have been declining in recent years in Alaskan waters and members of the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council have been scrambling to come up with a plan to stop the decline. Many point to the nearly 6.5 million pounds of bycatch from trawling in the Gulf of Alaska and another 2.5 million pounds of bycatch from the long line fleet. Commercial bycatch in Alaska is currently higher than the total recreational quota.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

The Education of a Hunter

There's a scary statistic out there stating that if a youth doesn't experience hunting or fishing by the time they turn 18, there's a slim chance of him or her becoming an outdoor enthusiast in their lifetime.
So,  when my son Matthew turned 18, I knew it was well past time to get his Hunter Ed Certificate and get him on the trail to chasing his first deer.

One of the major obstacles to attending a traditional classroom Hunter Ed course just finding one close enough and fitting it in to a young man's busy schedule. Fortunately, WDFW saw the need for another option and now offers an on-line, home study hunter education program.  Today's kids are much more comfortable in front a computer screen than in a classroom and Matt tore right in to the on-line program.

 

Once the home study course was completed it was on to the Range Evaluation Session! The in-person skills evaluation is a required final step to receiving the all important Hunter Education Certificate which must be presented to purchase that hunting license and deer tag!

The class we found was at the Mount Vernon Trap Club in Skagit County. 

 

The instructors give a overview of the class and discuss what will be expected from the students during the firearm handling stage. 

 

The Range Evaluation consists of a series of common field situations such as crossing a fence, getting in and out of a boat, loading and unloading a variety of firearms and properly stowing firearms in a vehicle. 

 

After a successful run through the firearms "obstacle course" the students were treated to some live fire action on the trap range! 

 

Since our first father and son hunt will be an eastern Washington deer hunt, we needed to sight in the rifles and the Everett Sportsman's club Public range is a great, safe and affordable place to shoot.

 

One of the reasons the ESC's range is safe is that there are rules and the Rangemaster insists that everyone follows them! This is a well equipped range with targets for sale and bench-rests, sandbags and spotting scopes for your use! 

Matt even got a chance to shoot this Barrett semi-auto sniper rifle! A memorable day for sure!

 

We have a little more range work to do prior to hunting season but my trusty Ruger M77 .270 Win can still print a nice 100 yard group. 

There's still time to get your young hunter into the on-line hunter ed program. Log on and get crackin'!