Well it is summer 2016 and I am ready!!
Seems the winters are too long and the summers to short, same as when I was a kid going to school and now that I am an adult- yep I said it “adult”, reminds me of something I just saw from someone on Facebook about how am I even allowed to be an adult.. I mostly do not do adult things!
Guess now that both my parents have passed on it leaves me to be responsible.
Anyway the fishing season is here and big runs of King Salmon are expected as well as Sockeye salmon. The season opens July 1st for Kings no word yet if they are opening sockeye.
But BIG NEWS is they are opening Sturgeon Season on the Columbia River on Wanapum pool and Priest Rapids pool that is from below Wenatchee at Rock Island Dam to the top of Priest Rapids Dam, here is the official news release:
WDFW NEWS RELEASE
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
June 21, 2016
Contacts: Chad Jackson, (509) 754-4624, x250;
Jeff Korth, (509) 754-4624, x224
Anglers will be able to harvest hatchery sturgeon starting July 1 in the upper Columbia River
OLYMPIA Beginning July 1, recreational anglers will have the opportunity to harvest hatchery sturgeon from Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs, state fishery managers announced today.
This is the first time in two decades that anglers will be allowed to retain sturgeon in this section of the Columbia River, said Chad Jackson, district fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
Several thousand juvenile sturgeon were released into the upper Columbia River in 2003. Recent surveys indicate many of these hatchery fish have grown to harvestable size. About 4,000 hatchery sturgeon are estimated to reside in Wanapum Reservoir and roughly 2,000 in Priest Rapids Reservoir.
“We believe reducing the number of hatchery fish in these reservoirs will help regional conservation efforts to recover wild sturgeon populations,” Jackson said. “We’re hoping to remove as many of these hatchery sturgeon as possible.”
As part the plan to recover the white sturgeon populations, state fish managers approved this fishery to reduce interaction between wild fish and hatchery sturgeon. WDFW is implementing a size restriction for this fishery that is designed to target hatchery sturgeon while protecting larger wild fish, Jackson said.
Between July 1 and Sept. 30, anglers will be allowed to retain two hatchery sturgeon daily that are between 38 and 72 inches (fork-length) from Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs. Sturgeon caught in these reservoirs will not count toward an angler’s annual limit for sturgeon. Anglers will not be required to record sturgeon harvested from the two reservoirs on their catch record cards.
Angler participation and success will determine whether WDFW will reopen the fishery after its scheduled closing date of Sept. 30, Jackson said. WDFW will monitor angler catch and compliance closely.
“We know there are thousands of these hatchery fish residing in Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs,” he said. “We don’t know whether this will be a onetime opening or if there will be future fishing opportunities.”
More details about this fishery can be found on WDFW’s webpage at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/
So very cool and great timing for me as I was gearing up before this came out to maybe try some catch and release Sturgeon fishing below Rock Island Dam just to try it.
I had to start with an anchoring system, apparently you just can’t throw a coffee can filled with concrete tied to the front of the boat, it is the river and the sturgeon hang in high current just below the dams. Well fortunately for me and the rest of us they have been doing this for many years and also Salmon fish with the same system down in the lower Columbia.
Well, there are a few people that make systems and one is EZMarine out of Oregon another is Leelock out of Ferndale, WA, also Motion Marine and others.
It is funny Sportsman Warehouse in Wenatchee carries EZMarine products and not Leelock and Hooked on Toys carries Leelock and not EZMarine.
So after much thinking I have gone with the https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pq9RsTy7E8I
Leelock system. Check out this video it helped me so much I must say that you should watch the instruction videos on both and EZMarine definitely has the best videos I recommend you check them out, I will have the links below.
Leelock looks like a great product. I have not used it yet but am in the process of installing it and hope to try it out soon. Check out this video it is very cool!!
It is quite spendy but figure if you fish the Rivers it is safe to have an anchor that will hold the boat in place. If you go to the Leelock web site that is almost exactly what I am using. I added the link to the Fishing magician’s site check the Fishing TV page to see the video of him and Austin Moser sturgeon fishing they are below Rock Island Dam and show catching and releasing huge fish.
It will be the first for me really anchoring so hope it goes well. My good friend Al is going to come practice with me.
So this summer it is Salmon fishing and now sturgeon fishing.
I did do some walleye fishing this spring at Banks Lake which was fun, different for me cuz I never have fished using bottom bouncers, but for some reason it is exciting. Unfortunately, Banks Lake is over an hour drive, but worth it when you get there. And I want to thank Brian from BJ Guide Service out of Moses Lake for taking me fishing on banks.. Great fun.
I did have a few experiences there that I will talk about some time later. I did see a black bear about 10 miles out of Grand Coulee one after noon which surprised the crap out of me. It was nowhere near the woods where I thought bears hung out. This was close to wheat fields and not far from Barker Canyon turn off.
So just a word of caution no matter where you are camping this year take bear spray and use all you learned or you need to learn about camping in bear country, like don’t leave food out and things like that because I am here to tell you bear do not always stay in the woods!!
So I will try to get some good pictures and videos of my adventures this summer. So stay tuned!
Also I need to give a shout out and a big thank you to Rick Graybill at HOOKED ON TOYS for all the help and assistance with getting my tackle and all ready for the Sturgeon!! They also have a great selection of frozen and fresh bait.
Hope you all have a nice summer..thanks for taking the time to read my blog,