Each week we round-up the top fishing news from the Northwest and beyond. Do you have a news tip? E-mail us at news /at/ salmonuniversity.com.
WDFW Closes Razor Clam Digs
Digging will remain closed on ocean beaches for the remainder of the razor clam season because of elevated toxin levels, state shellfish managers announced today. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) canceled two openings that were tentatively scheduled to start May 15 and May 22 due to what department officials described as high levels of domoic acid. WDFW canceled three days of a four-day dig earlier this month for similar reasons.
“Based on the most recent test results that show increased levels of domoic acid, razor clams will not be safe to eat for the remainder of this month,” Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the WDFW, said in a written statement.
Since 1991, when the toxin was first detected on the Pacific coast, outbreaks of domoic acid have prompted the cancellation of three entire razor clam seasons in Washington – the last one in 2002-03. Kalaloch Beach, jointly managed by WDFW and Olympic National Park, also was closed for much of the 2004 season due to high toxin levels. In 2005, WDFW closed Long Beach for two days due to elevated toxin levels.
WDFW Shutters Halibut Fishing in Marine Area 2
Washington state fisheries officials have ordered the closure of recreational halibut fishing in most of Marine Area 2 (Westport / Ocean Shores). According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the Pacific halibut quota for Marine Area 2 was projected to have been met on May 12, prompting the closure. Halibut fishing will, however, remain open in the northern nearshore area from the Queets River (47º31.70’N. latitude) south to 46º58.00’N. latitude and east of a line approximating the 30 fathom depth contour as defined by the following coordinates until further notice.
– 47 º 31.70 N. lat, 124 º 37.03 W. long
– 47 º 25.67 N. lat, 124 º 34.79 W. long
– 47 º 12.82 N. lat, 124 º 29.12 W. long
– 46 º 58.00 N. lat, 124 º 24.24 W. long
Canada National Recreational Fisheries Award Winner Announced
East Elgin Secondary School in Aylmer, Ontario received a 2015 National Recreational Fisheries Award for its Environmental Leadership Program this week. The award was presented by Joe Preston, Member of Parliament for Elgin-Middlesex-London, on behalf of the Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans.
Under the direction of program instructor Duncan Sinclair, Jr., the Environmental Leadership Program takes in more than 20 students per year to work on improving habitat in the Catfish Creek watershed.
“The Catfish Creek Conservation Authority and the communities within its watershed have benefited greatly from the partnership with the East Elgin Secondary School’s Environmental Leadership Program,” said Kim Smale, General Manager of the Catfish Creek Conservation Authority. “Being able to support environmental education in the classroom with hands-on experience in the field is something very special and unique for the students to experience. It was a pleasure to nominate the Environmental Leadership Program for a National Recreational Fisheries Award.”
Oregon Fish and Wildlife Hosts Family Fishing Event in Grants Pass
Family fishing is coming to Waldport on Saturday, May 16 when the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and First Baptist Church of Waldport host a free fishing event at Eckman Lake.
The event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for youth ages 17 and younger. Each participant will be able to catch two rainbow trout from a fish enclosure. Fishing gear and instruction will be provided free of charge.
“We’re pleased to be working with the First Baptist Church to bring the 18th annual Eckman Fishing Derby to Waldport,” said Christine Clapp, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) biologist said in a written statement. “This is a great opportunity to take your kids fishing and make memories that will last a lifetime.”
Eckman Lake is located about 2.5 miles east of Waldport on Highway 34. The family fishing area will be set up at Nelson State Recreation Area across from the First Baptist Church parking lot. The event is open to everyone, and no pre-registration is required. Anglers 13 years old and younger do not need a fishing license. Anglers 14-17 years of age will need a juvenile fishing license, which can be purchased for $9 at any ODFW license agent, ODFW office or on-line at the ODFW’s website. Licenses will not be sold at the eent.
Razor clam dig photo courtesy National Archives and Records Administration. Eckman Lake photo courtesy Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. (CC BY-SA 2.0)