Pete Heley - 7/7/2012
I hoped very much to report good fishing for the finclipped ocean coho opener this last Sunday, but the Umpqua River Bar closed fairly early to most boats. The bar was actually more fishable than the ocean and while anglers like Mike Shannon, whose boat accounted for a 25 pound chinook near the bar, were disappointed at the restrictioni, anglers coming in from farther out in the ocean actually seemed relieved.
Of course, many of those “would-be” salmon anglers immediately went to Plan B, which was to fish for the surfperch. For most of the past week, the upriver pinkfin fishing has been spotty, although there were a number of good catches made last Saturday. Fishing the surf for the male surfperch has been fairly good when surf and wind condtions allow it.
Striped bass are still being caught, mostly from the Smith River, at night and some sturgeon have been caught recently near Marker 25 below Reedsport. Shad fishing remains disappointing, but occasionally productive in the Yellow Creek area on the Umpqua River.
The best trout fishing in the area is taking place on Tenmile Lakes and those anglers that can navigate from the main body of Cleawox Lake into the North Arm are also catching plenty of overlooked planted trout.
The Rhode Island legislature recently did away with a law that made it illegal to lie on the internet. Even harmless untruths could result in up to a year in jail and a hefty fine, but the law, which has been on the books since 1989 was largely ignored. . However, rescinding this ridiculous law should have Rhode Island’s fishermen breathing vast sighs of relief.
Washington’s netting program to seriously curb the rapidly expanding northern pike population in the Pend Oreille River was a big success. The pike fishery was reduced to nearly incidental catch levels - causing many anglers to stop fishing for them. It almost seems like a “catch 22” situation since catch and keep fishing is one way to help keep the pike population under control.
Oregon State University researchers have discovered that chlorophyll from green vegetables protects against cancer, but instead of testing
on lab mice, the school has pioneered the use of rainbow trout. The scientists insist that certain tests produce far more relevant and accurate information when conducted on trout versus the traditional rodent. Furthermore, the fish allow for wider testing at lower doses, which means lower costs and more thorough conclusions. In this specific study, a total of 12,360 trout were sampled. In a typical rodent test, only a few dozen mice are used.
OSU found that the chlorophyll reduced liver tumors in the sick fish by as much as 64%, and stomach tumors as much as 45%. Interestingly though, when the fish were subjected to an abnormally high amount of the cancer-causing carcinogen, the chlorophyll actually increased the number of tumors.
I was looking into the May 4th incident on the lower Willamette River where an angler standing up in a boat with a chinook in the net was pulled overboard when a sealion grabbed the fish in the net. The man managed to hang on to the boat with one hand and the net with his other hand until his boots filled with water and he let go of the net. After being hauled aboatd the boat, the anglers realized that they had lost the net, salmon, rod and reel - a total loss of well over $600. It took a while for the sealion to deal with the net, but it managed to remove the salmon from the net before other boats could reach it and that sealion was blamed for other hooked salmon incidents later that same day - which led me to try to find out just how much a sealion eats each day.
One figure that jumped out at me was a yearly total of more than 8,800 pounds for a 800 pound male speciment. That figure seemed scary and unbelievable. I realize that mammals and birds, which have to maintain a defined body temperature need far more caloric intake to do so than do cold-blooded animals. But sealions are some of nature’s best insulated mammals and that should allow for a reduced caloric intake. However, information from Sea World indicated that they feed their sealions food amounting to from five to eight percent of their body weight each day. Now, I am almost certain that Sea World’s sealions receive more food each year than a wild sealion of similar size, but even taking the lowest food intake estimate of five percent of body weight per day for a 600 pound sealion would mean a yearly intake of about about 11,000 pounds of food. I also know that that amount is not entirely salmonids, but much of it is stuff that salmon and other fish (and people) would like to eat - and the effects can be far-reaching. Stellar sealions in the Columbia River are a major reason that few small sturgeon have to leave the river to find food and for years those small sturgeon have supplied almost all of the sturgeon entering Oregon’s coastal estuaries and rivers.
So if they cannot control these nuisance mammals, it would be nice if they could at least get them to go on a diet.
Pete Heley lives in Reedsport, Oregon and works at the Stockade Market in Winchester Bay. He is also an outdoor writer and his favorite pasttimes are: fishing, playing pool, doing trivia quizes and crossword puzzles. His three most impressive catches of Oregon fish include a 22 pound coho salmon from Tenmile Lakes, a brown trout of more than 15 pounds from the Crooked River Ranch area of the Deschutes River and a nine and a half pound largemouth bass from Loon Lake.