Wednesday, May 22, 2024

THE WASHINGTON OUTDOOR REPORT March 26

Outdoors Roundup

Posted

LAKE ROOSEVELT STURGEON SEASON CHANGE

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife hosted two meetings last week in Spokane and Colville regarding planned changes to sturgeon fishing seasons starting this year at Lake Roosevelt.

In the past, a catch and keep hatchery sturgeon fishery has opened in mid-June and run through September. Now, the season will occur in the fall. The reason? To take advantage of the cooler water in the reservoir at this time of year which reduces the stress on any wild adult sturgeon which are caught (and released) by anglers.

In a press release, WDFW states “Changes to other area sturgeon fishing rules will be made as well. As an example, sturgeon reared and released into Lake Roosevelt between 2011-2016 didn’t survive as well as those released in earlier years of the project. The 2011-2016 fish are of high conservation value and cannot sustain harvest, so changes to the harvest slot (the size of fish legal to harvest) will be necessary over the next five to seven years to ensure the population is not negatively impacted.

Beginning with sturgeon produced in 2017, hatchery fish were larger at the time of release, which generally translates into higher survival. That means a surplus of harvestable sturgeon is once again anticipated as those fish grow into harvestable sizes (likely beginning in 2029 or 2030).”

Regional Fish Program Manager Chris Donley states, “The white sturgeon population and fishery of Lake Roosevelt are incredibly valuable. Changes to the fishery rules and season are based in conservation, and we want (the public) to know these decisions aren’t made lightly and are done to ensure conservation of the species and to preserve future fishing opportunity.”

BIG FISH ARE BEING CAUGHT AT POTHOLES RESERVOIR

Some big fish are being caught lately out of Potholes Reservoir south of Moses Lake.  This includes a seven-pound walleye caught and released by my longtime fishing partner Rusty Johnston last weekend. Pete Fisher at MarDon Resort at the south end of the reservoir reports local guide Levi Rodelo with Ross Outdoor Adventures had a great outing with his daughter this past week, reeling in lots of eater-sized walleye. Fisher also shared a photo of a monster 33.5-pound channel catfish that was caught from shore by Marco Silva. Potholes Reservoir is known primarily for its bass, walleye, trout and panfish but the lake has a healthy population of both channel catfish and bullhead that are very good to eat if you go to the trouble of skinning and filleting them. By the way, if you were wondering if this huge channel catfish is a state record, I can tell you it’s not. The record catfish is a 37.7-pound fish caught out of Lake Terrell in Northwest Washington in 2019 by Cole Abshere.

SPRING BEAR SEASON PETITION DENIED

The Washington State Fish and Wildlife Commission, this time at the request of WDFW staff members, denied three petitions to allow spring bear hunts this year and plan for them in 2024. The petitions called for recreational hunting of bears to lessen timber damage on public lands along with ungulate (deer and elk) predation.

HELP WANTED

Seasonal jobs with an outdoors twist are available now and you’ll want to apply soon.  MarDon Resort is hiring a storekeeper for their tackle shop and a front desk receptionist for the resort. Both positions run from April into October. For the storekeeper position, some knowledge about fishing and being an outdoors enthusiast is helpful. Good customer service skills are needed for both positions which both pay above minimum wage. Contact Annie Meseberg at MarDon Resort for more details at Annie@mardonresort.com.

Another seasonal job opportunity is available through Washington State Parks which are looking for Park Aides at several locations in Central and Eastern Washington to include Bridgeport, Lewis & Clark, Fields Spring, Lyons Ferry, Sacajawea, Maryhill, Columbia Hills and Lake Chelan State Parks. Park Aides perform light maintenance and cleaning as well as interacting with park visitors on a daily basis. You can find more details and apply at www.governmentjobs.com/careers/washington. Just type in the phrase Park Aide into the search bar to find positions that are currently open.

John Kruse – www.northwesternoutdoors.com and www.americaoutdoorsradio.com

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