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.
Steelhead License Plate Proposed
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has proposed a special “steelhead” license plate to generate revenue. Under existing rules for adoption of specialized license plates, the proposing agency must demonstrate a public intent to purchase at least 3,500 plates. The plates would be priced at $54 to $72 (in addition) to regular license fees, and persons interested in being one of the 3,500 motorists who “intend to purchase” can declare their intent online. According to the WDFW, submitting an online declaration of intent is not an obligation to buy a plate.
“This is a great opportunity for people to show their appreciation for Washington’s native steelhead and to support efforts to help conserve these iconic fish,” said Kelly Cunningham, deputy assistant director of WDFW’s Fish Program in a written statement.
The steelhead was designated the Washington state fish in 1969 by an act of the legislature.
WDFW Announces “Black Friday” Specials
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will be stocking more than a dozen Washington lakes with large trout for its traditional “Black Friday Trout Opener.” Most of the targeted lakes will be closed November 23 through November 26 to facilitate the stocking efforts, the Enumclaw Courier-Herald reports.
“In response to high interest in last year’s Black Friday stocking efforts in southwest Washington, we have expanded the program to include lakes in the Puget Sound region and in eastern Washington,” said Larry Phillips, WDFW inland fish program manager. “This is a great opportunity to skip the malls, avoid the stress, and enjoy a fun day on the water with family and friends.”
A full list of the “Black Friday” lakes is available on the WDFW web site.
Garmin Launches Striker-series Fishfinders
This week, Garmin announced the debut of their Striker series, a new line of fishfinders with CHIRP traditional sonar and CHIRP DownVü and SideVü technology that come standard with a built-in high-sensitivity GPS receiver.
“The Striker series is the entry-level solution for anglers who want the best sonar available at an affordable price,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. “CHIRP is the sonar technology our customers want, and thanks to the addition of the Striker series, it’s now available across our entire product line. Striker also adds GPS, so anglers can get back to their favorite fishing spots next week, next month or next year.”
According to the company, the Striker series will be available in 3.5-inch, 5-inch or 7-inch color displays that feature a new rugged design and keyed interface that’s built to withstand the harsh marine environment. All models are equipped with a built-in high-sensitivity GPS antenna and waypoint map, so marking and navigating to favorite fishing spots and other areas of interest like brush piles, stumps and docks, is quick and easy. When trolling, the high-sensitivity GPS provides an update once per second. Users can also share waypoint data across multiple Striker units, as well as all echoMAPTM series devices.
Garmin reports its Striker fishfinders will be available in December 2015, with suggested retail prices ranging from $119.99 to $499.99.
B.C. Anglers Catch Unusual “Albino” Sturgeon
A fishing charter operating on British Columbia’ Fraser River landed a rare, albino sturgeon last month, The Province reports. Chilliwack angler Chad Helmer took the eleven-foot fish following a two-and-a-half hour fight.
Helmers described the fish as an albino, with white skin and pale yellow markings, instead of a sturgeon’s normal grey colouring. Helmer’s family has caught thousands of fish on the Fraser River over the last four decades, he said, and never seen an “albino” sturgeon like this one.