Out & About

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Wild steelhead gene bank meeting set for Dec. 5

A public meeting will begin at 6 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 2108 Grand Blvd., to discuss steelhead management in the East Fork of the Lewis River and several other Southwest Washington tributaries.

The agency is considering creating wild steelhead gene banks in the East Fork of the Lewis, North Fork of the Toutle/Green rivers, and the Wind River in the Columbia River Gorge.

Gene bank designation means the planting of hatchery steelhead in the East Fork of the Lewis would be discontinued starting in 2014.

Three advisory groups have been working with the department for more than a year to determine the locations of wild steelhead gene banks in Southwest Washington. The Statewide Steelhead Management Plans calls for establishment of a network of gene banks.

New Oregon Columbia Basin endorsement fee begins Jan. 1

Oregon's 2014 sport-fishing regulations are available a license dealers, online and at Department of Fish and Wildlife offices.

New next year will be the Columbia River Basin endorsement, a $9.75 fee required to fish for salmon, steelhead or sturgeon in the Columbia River drainage.

The fee applies in the Willamette, Central and Northeast angling zones as well as a handful of tributaries in the northern edge of the Northwest zone.

The fee does not have to be bought at the time of a fishing license purchase, but if bought later anglers will pay an extra $2 transaction fee.

Mike Gauvin, Oregon's recreational fisheries manager, urged anglers to buy the endorsement when they get their license.

"Not only will you save $2, you will have one less fishing document to fit in your wallet,'' he said.

For daily licenses, the endorsement will be $1 per day.

The endorsement is part of a package of management reforms for the lower Columbia River. Gillnets will be transitioned by 2017 off the lower main stem Columbia into off-channel areas and the sport share of salmon increased.

Money from the endorsement fee will help pay for enhancing off-channel areas for the commercials, freeing up additional salmon for sportsmen.