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Weekly current recreation report covering all outdoor activities including fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, skiing, mushroom, berry and firewood gathering around Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams in the Cascade Range forests along the White Pass Highway in southwest Washington State.

See a map showing our area here:

This page is updated weekly.

E-Mail: outdoors@highwayshopper.com Please phone or snailmail anything urgent or especially important.

Recreation Report from Shopper
for April 23
, 2014

Submitted by Dave Bunting, Editor.

 

Headlines

  • Traditional Fishing Opens THIS SATURDAY! Get License, Motor, Trailer, Gear Ready!
  • Take A Kid Fishing!! Read Your Regs!
  • Mineral Lake Fishing Derby is THIS SATURDAY!
  • White Pass Ski Area- Weekends to May 4.
  • Mark & Jason couldn’t handle the end of weekday skiing, so snowshoed from the highway to the top of White Pass Ski Area!
  • Morel mushrooms are being picked!
  • Chinook Pass plowing has begun!

Index to REC Report

Use the Scroll Bar along right side to view full REC Report

QUICK CLICKS to current information found in this week's Recreation Report:

Index to the following
Recreation Report

Information for all areas:

Snow                                 

White Pass Ski Area          

Highway Conditions          

Weather                            

Sky, Space, Science           

Lower Cowlitz Fishing       

Mt. St. Helens                   

Westside- Packwood,
          Randle & Morton

Fishing/Hunting Westside  

Forest Roads Westside       

Campgrounds Westside      

Trails Westside                 

Permits: Forest Products   

Randle Ranger Station       

Mt. Rainier Nat’l Park      

Eastside- Naches District

Fishing/Hunting Eastside

Highways Eastside             

Sno*Parks Eastside           

Forest Roads Eastside        

Campgrounds Eastside       

Trails Eastside                   

Permits-Forest Products    

Naches Ranger Station      

Elsewhere in Washington 

 

Information
for all of
Shopper Country

Snow

On Monday, April 21, snow depth in the mountains continues to melt down especially in middle elevations, but it’s still deep in the high country. The snowline, above which snow covered the ground was near elevation 3,400 feet westside except in the peculiar deep-snow area southwest of Mt.St. Helens there were still two feet at Spencer Meadow at 3,400 feet. On the eastside the snowline was about 3,500 feet. Around 4,500 ft. such as White Pass there were two to six feet of snow; except at that elevation at snowier Cayuse Pass there were still 10 feet. At the higher elevations like 5,500 to 6,500 such as the top of White Pass and Crystal Mountain Ski Areas and Paradise, snow is eight to fourteen feet deep, except far east of the Cascade crest at 6,000 ft. places such as Lost Horse and Green Lake there are only one to five feet of snow.

Snow Depths Mon. April 21

Place                    Elev.     In.

Packwood             1,000       0

Hwy 12-123 Jct.     1,600       0

Hwy 12 Dip          3,100       0

Spencer Meadow    3,400       2

Hwy 12 Viewpnt    3,700     <1

Lone Pine             3,800       4

KnuppenbergLk      4,300       2

Crystal Lodge        4,400       5

Potato Hill            4,500       6

White Pass            4,500       4

Cayuse Pass          4,700      10

Morse Lake           5,400       9

Paradise Lodge       5,500      14

WPassSkiTop       5,900      12

Corral Pass CG      6,000       8

Crystal Top           6,300      10

Green Lk               6,000       5

Lost Horse            5,000       1

Bumping Rdg        4,600       5

E Slide Bottm       3,600       1

Sand Lk Tr           3,500      Tr

Old Scale Sta         3,400       0

Rimrock Lk           3,000       0

Naches                  1,500       0

Mountain
Temperatures

Through the period April 14 to 21, the temperature range at White Pass at 4,500 feet elevation was 28° to 57°, at Paradise at 5,500 ft. on Mt. Rainier was 22° to 54°, and at Camp Muir at 10,000 ft. on Mt. Rainier it was 4° to 34°. At Mt. Rainier Summit it has been around -8° to +4° with 25 to 60 mph winds. Snow/freezing levels have been 3,000 to 5,500 ft. elevation.

White Pass Ski Area
as of Mon. Apr. 21:

Ski FREE all spring when you purchase your 2014/15 Season Pass! Check out the details here.

Spring operating schedule update - running weekends only.

·  April 26-27: Running all lifts 8:45 - 4

·  May 3 - 4 Original area only with Great White, Platter & Carpet 8 am - 2 pm

Terrain: 100% Open!

Nordic:  Closed for the season

Lessons: 10 am, Noon and 2 pm

White Pass is operating weekends only through May 4.

Night Skiing has concluded for the season.

Reported snow levels on Mon. Apr. 21: 50 inches at the BASE at 55°; the SUMMIT: 145 inches with season total snowfall 443 inches.

Weather at 2pm: Temp at lodge 48°, mostly sunny skies. Afternoon temperatures through the past week have been 41° to 57°.

Climatological Snowpack Depth at White Pass as of Apr. 15 was down to 72% of normal, but a lot better than last when on this date it was only 46%.

View current conditions at http://www.skiwhitepass.com/the-mountain/snow-report.aspx.

Mark Hoffmann of
Packwood Sports Hut
reported last weekend,

 “So, the resort is closed during the weekdays.

No problem: Jason and I took our split boards up to White Pass on Tuesday and Friday, skinned to the top, and snowboarded down to the parking lot. 3.5 hrs. up and 8 minutes to the bottom. If adventure is your bag, and you are in denial, grab some snowshoes and a backpack, so that you can strap skis or board to it, and hike up.

“BTW, we had 6 inches of fresh pow Friday, all to ourselves. And I really mean, all to ourselves.

“As for hiking trails, I've been sending everyone, looking for a casual walk, to head up to La Wis Wis campground. The gate is locked at HWY 12. It's a short walk to the camp area with a few trails and river access too.”

Highway Conditions

At 2:00 p.m. on Monday, Apr. 21:

White Pass Highway US 12: Open. No tire restrictions. The roadway bare and dry, at 48°, under mostly sunny skies, with four feet of snow alongside the highway. Three miles east of the summit, traffic is reduced to single lane with a temporary traffic signal. Drivers will experience up to 30 minute delays.

Chinook Pass Highway WA410: CLOSED for the season from Morse Creek near mp 74 to Crystal Mountain Blvd near mp 57. Updated April 17, 2014. Crews started clearing Chinook Pass. Our goal is to reopen Chinook Pass prior to Memorial Day weekend. Check this web page for weekly updates. Poor weather and cool temps didn't stop our crews from moving along this week!

Cayuse Pass Highway WA123 is CLOSED for the season from the Mt. Rainier National Park entrance to Cayuse Pass!

Stevens Canyon Road CLOSED for the winter.

Skate Creek Forest Highway #52 between Packwood and Ashford: CLOSED, open to only snow recreation, from junction Willame Creek Road #47 across the Bear Prairie divide to junction #5220 Berry Creek Road.

Cispus/Randle-Trout Lake Forest Highway #23 is CLOSED from near the Cispus River Bridge across Babyshoe Pass to several miles south junction #90 Lewis River Forest Highway.

Iron Creek to Lewis River Forest Highway #25 is CLOSED from junction #99 Windy Ridge/Wakepish Road across Elk Pass to near junction #90 Lewis River Forest Highway.

Dial 511 for current highway and pass information.

Science
and Space

The Sky

Sun and Moon Rise/ Set:

Wed. 4/23 Sun 6:08am/ 8:08pm

Moon 33% Waning 8:30am

Wed. 4/30 Sun 5:56am/ 8:18pm

Moon 3% Waxing 2:29pm

On press day Apr. 23 we were 123 days after the Winter Solstice on Dec. 21, the shortest day of the year and the technical beginning of winter, and our day was five hours and 26 minutes longer than it was on Dec. 21.

On press day Apr. 23 we were 60 days before the Summer Solstice, the technical beginning of summer and the longest day of the year, on June 21. Today our day is one hour and 50 minutes shorter than it will be on June 21. Right now our days are getting longer by 21 minutes each week.

On press day Apr. 23 we were also 34 days after the Spring Equinox on Mar. 20, the technical end of winter and beginning of spring, the day when night is exactly as long as day.

We are 89 days in Packwood and 96 days in Yakima before the average hottest day of the year. The hottest daily average temperature in Packwood is 85°, occurring on July 21. The hottest daily average temperature in Yakima is 89° on July 28.

We are also 116 to 118 days after the average coldest day of the year. The lowest daily average temperature in Packwood is 35° and occurs on Dec. 26; in Yakima it is 27° and occurs on Dec. 28.

Remember that the daily average temperature is the average of the daily high and the nightly low temperatures.

Malaysian Flight MH370: Black Box Pings Located, Area Being Searched by Unmanned Submersible

The pings were heard on four occasions for from five minutes to over twenty minutes long. As the pings heard were exactly at the frequency 37,500 Hertz and at the precise intervals of one per second, they were identified as essentially certainly from lost plane’s black boxes, essentially certainly locating the plane within the 35 mile by 15 mile, or 500 square mile area where the pings were heard. The pings are noises similar to and about the same power as gunshots, but at high frequency 35,700 Hz. well above human hearing.

The locations where the pings were heard was above the foothills at the north base, about 56 miles north from the top of a seamount, a mountain on the ocean floor, labeled as “1753.” The 1753 indicates the seamount’s top rises to depth of only 1,753 meters, 5,751 feet or 1.09 mile below the surface. This location is some 1,000 miles west of the northwest shoulder of Australia.

The depth below where the pings were heard is about 4,500 meters, 14,800 feet or 2.8 miles deep. The bottom there is thought to be “rolling” without large hills or valleys. However, a 1971 ocean science survey line measuring depth and taking core samples of the bottom ran by about 15 miles north of the ping location finding the depth there to be 4,500 to 5,500 meters deep, up to 1,000 meters deeper.

The batteries of the “black boxes” were designed to produce the pings for 30 days. Luckily they lasted a bit longer, and the pings continued for 34 days, but no pings were then heard for six more days, and the black box batteries were assumed to be dead. Listening for the pings ended.

But last Monday, a very special unmanned submersible BlueFin was sent down to use its side-scan sonar to make images of the bottom beneath where the pings were heard. 4,500 meters is the maximum depth that the BlueFin can withstand; on its first day, it exceeded that depth by mistake, and its automatic protective system brought it up to the surface. It has now been reset so that it can go several hundred meters deeper, which, though it endangers the submersible a bit, should enable the entire search of the 15x35 miles area. By yesterday, the BlueFin had finished about half of the 500 sq. mile area, finding nothing of interest so far. A problem encountered in other searches is that such sonar scans can sometimes not see an object even though it is within the scanner area. This was the problem in the search for an Air France plan several years ago, where the plane wasn’t seen on scans until the fourth scan was done.

Other craft can go deeper but search even more slowly. The images cover width of about a quarter mile, and it moves at only about two miles per hour. Its duty cycle is 24 hours: two hours to reach the bottom, 14 hours of scanning, two hours ascending to the surface, and eight hours of recharging and downloading of the scanned images. It scanned for six hours on its first trip last Monday.

Extensive searches for debris floating on the surface have found nothing. Officials surmise, however, that the plane could have “ditched” or landed on the water successfully with little or no damage, as did the airliner that landed safely in the Hudson River in 2012 after its engines were shut down by hitting a flock of geese. If the plane landed smoothly and intact like the Hudson River plane, it then simply filled with water and sank fully intact, with nothing escaping to be left floating on the surface.

Lower Cowlitz
Fishing

General Lakes, Ponds and Reservoirs Fishing Season is open year-round. However many of the most popular large “Low-Lakes” or "traditional" lakes OPEN from April 26 through Oct. 31.

Traditional/Low-Lakes Fishing Season
Opens Sat. Apr. 26!

Get your license, motor, trailer, gear ready!

General Fishing Season in Rivers, Streams and Beaver Ponds are CLOSED from Nov. 1 through Saturday, May 31! They open for fishing on Sunday, June 1.

However many waters have different seasons specified than the above, so…

READ YOUR PAMPHLET!

 

Karen Glaser, Barrier Dam Campground, Salkum, reported on Apr. 16: Things are going pretty good at the Barrier. Fishing has really picked up. They are getting some very nice spring Chinook now, and we have more Steelhead coming all the way up the river – so there are fish throughout the river. Bank fishermen are mainly fishing Barrier Dam and Blue Creek areas. They hit Blue Creek if they want steelhead and the Barrier if they want springers and steelhead. The spring Chinook are kind of all throughout the river also. It’s a little early for the amount that’s already up here, but that’s just fine with us! We’ll take them. Sand shrimp and eggs have been the bait of choice for salmon. And then sand shrimp and also a lot of jig and bobber for Steelhead. A lot of them are topping off the jig with a piece of sand shrimp.

“The water levels have not been so good as it has been fluctuating. The last few days, though, it hasn’t hurt the bite too bad as we are still seeing some pretty nice fish.

“Mayfield and Riffe Lakes are picking up I hear. Trout is starting out of Mayfield and silvers from Riffe. They are starting to fish for bass now in Swofford Pond. We have been selling a lot of bass worms lately that they use on Swofford. South County Park is still producing limits of trout.

“We really have a nice variety of fishing in the area.

“Take a day – nice or not – and go fishing!

 

Tacoma Power reported for the week ended Apr. 21:

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 836 winter-run steelhead, 80 spring Chinook adults, eight jacks and one cutthroat trout during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

“During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 15 steelhead and one cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton, and they released 105 steelhead, 41 spring Chinook adults and seven jacks into Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam.

“River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 8,880 cubic feet per second on Monday, April 21. Water visibility is nine feet. River flows could change at any time so boaters and anglers should remain alert for this possibility.

“On Monday, Apr. 21, Riffe Lake was at 761 ft. elev., 17 feet below full level, the same level as the week before.

Now Mossyrock Park and Taidnapam North launches are useable! Riffe Lake level is so low that Taidnapam Park is not useable. Tacoma Power’s report this week did not mention whether the Kosmos Launch is usable.

Mt. St. Helens

Wakepish Road #99 to Windy Ridge on Mt. St. Helens is CLOSED for the winter, open only to non-motorized winter recreation.

This viewpoint is on the side of Mt. St. Helens and closer to the crater than any other viewpoint, and is almost the highest viewpoint.

Johnston Ridge Observatory, Mount St. Helen's Crown Jewel- its access State Highway 504 from I-5 is open to Coldwater Lake but there CLOSED and gated.

Coldwater Ridge Science and Learning Center has a new multi-use life, acting as a base-camp for researchers and school groups, hosting community events, college trips and programs. It is open only during such special events. State Highway #504 accessing it will be closed soon for the winter. For info on events or to reserve the building call 360-449-7831.

Washington Highway 504 extends east from Castle Rock on Highway I-5.

Mount St. Helens Visitor Center at Silver Lake near Highway I-5 is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Mount St. Helens summer programs now available
for registration

Vancouver, WA – Nearly 34 years after Mount St. Helens dramatic May 18, 1980 eruption, North America’s most famous volcano is thriving with newfound life and excitement. This is the year to feast your eyes on a previously eruption-shattered landscape that is now teething with wildflowers, herds of elk and a new and diverse forest.

Let Mount St. Helens
Institute be your guide.

Mount St. Helens Institute’s (MSHI) 2014 programs are now open for registration!  Programs range from field seminars to guided climbs and guided educational adventures for all ages and abilities.

Journey to one of the few growing glaciers (Crater Glacier) in the world on the Into the Crater overnight program.  Explore above tree-line with an archaeologist as you learn Lawetlat’la’s (Mount St. Helens’) cultural significance.  Climb to the crater rim with a trained geologist, or traverse the blast zone on the Awesome Hike.  Forage and learn how to identify edible mushrooms.  Gain an eye-level view of Crater Glacier and lava domes on the Crater View Climb.  Hike an old-growth forest and travel to Spirit Lake, all in one day, with a veteran Mount St. Helens scientist.  To register, or more information on these and other programs visit: mshinstitute.org

Fees collected for MSHI’s guided programs ensure a safe, educational and enjoyable adventure for participants, support over 160 volunteers and help develop MSHI’s youth education programs. A portion of MSHI’s guided climb, guided hike and field seminar fees are tax-deductible.

The Mount St. Helens Institute is always seeking out passionate volunteers to help engage volcano visitors, remove invasive species and assist hikers and climbers on and around Mount St. Helens.  For more information on volunteering please email:
 info@mshinstitute.org

 

2014 Climbing Permits are on sale. Order climbing permits at:
http://bit.ly/KfMYKs

A large number of permits were sold on Feb. 3 when the permits first became available for this summer, so if you intend to climb, order your permits NOW!

Climbing permits are required above 4,800-foot elevation on the volcano year-round. From April 1 to Oct. 31, a fee of $22 is charged for each permit. Beginning at 9:00 a.m. PST on Feb. 1, permits may be purchased online through the Mount St. Helens Institute’s website at www.mshinstitute.org.

Between May 15 and Oct. 31 there is a limit of 100 permits per day to help manage impact on the mountain’s natural regeneration. These permits help balance the protection of natural resources and visitor safety with the thrill of climbing one of the most active volcanoes on the world.

Details about climbing Mount St. Helens are available online at        . http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/mountsthelens/home

Information about guided climbs and field seminars offered by the Mount St. Helens Institute is at: http://mshinstitute.org/index.php/programs/index

New online reservation
system for overnight
camping in Mount
Margaret Backcountry

Amboy, WA – Beginning March 19, 2014 visitors to the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument have the opportunity to utilize an online reservation system for overnight camping in the Mount Margaret Backcountry. Following national direction in President Obama’s “Recreation One Stop Initiative”, Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument is moving from a mail-in and walk–up reservation system to the National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS) website format. This system that was successfully test-implemented for camping reservations at Sunset Falls Campground near Yacolt in 2013.

Camping permits in this beautiful area are in high demand and reservations go quickly, so make your reservation soon!

NRRS will charge a non-refundable reservation fee of $6.00 per reservation. The online reservation system will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Users can check for cancellations at any time and or make changes to their initial reservation, such as adding people or a day before the date of the permit. The public will also have access to a well-informed call center and Forest personnel if they need assistance with the website or do not have access to a computer. Reservations for overnight camping in the Mount Margaret Backcountry can be made through the Internet at Recreation.gov or by calling TOLL FREE at (1-877-444-6777) or TDD (1-877-TDD-6777).

For questions about the new permit system contact Gary Walker, Lead Climbing and Trails Ranger at Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, 360-449-7855 or email at gwalker@fs.fed.us.

Mt. Rainier
Scenic Railroad

In May we have a relaxing train ride on Mother's Day May 11 and an epic new all-day event for rail fans "SteamFest" on May 17! Book your tickets on their website or call 888-STEAM-11.

Come help them work on their fantastic locomotives! Details online at www.mrsr.com. 

Regular excursions start up again in May 2014.

For information visit www.mrsr.org or call 1-888-STEAM-11.

Northwest Trek
Is Open

Northwest Trek is a 723-acre wildlife park located on Highway 161 six miles north of Eatonville. Its primary features are its 38 species of Western Washington wildlife, with a motorized tram tour which takes visitors through a 435-acre free-range area with elk, deer, bison and others, and paved walking paths through fenced enclosures containing bear, wolves, beaver, wolverines and many others. All is ADA-Accessible.

Entrance fees are $8 to $17.

Hours now are:

Fri, Sat & Sun: 9:30am-3pm

Mon-Thurs: CLOSED

Info: www.nwtrek.org

Or call 360.832.6117

State Discover Pass
is required to park in
State Parking Lots

The Washington State Discover Pass is entirely a Washington State program. The Discover Pass does not apply to anything on National Forests.  U.S. Forest Service employees can’t answer most questions about it.

A single, state recreation Discover land pass now can be used on either of two motor vehicles.

Questions about the Discover Pass may be answered by calling the Washington State Dept. of Fish and Wildlife in Yakima 509-575-2740, or by calling the Washington Dept. of Natural Resources in Ellensburg 509-925-8510.

Westside- 
Packwood, Randle & Morton

Mushrooms

The ranger station reports that “a lot” of people are buying mushroom permits.

Fishing and Hunting Westside

Gates protecting special wildlife areas are being opened beginning April 1.

 

General Lakes, Ponds and Reservoirs Fishing Season is open year-round. However many of the most popular large “Low-Lakes” or "traditional" lakes OPEN from April 26 through Oct. 31.

Traditional/Low-Lakes Fishing Season
Opens Sat. Apr. 26!

Get license, motor, trailer, gear ready!

The lakes that open on April 26 in our Shopper distribution area, from Centralia and along Hwy. US 12 from I-5 to White Pass, include, but may not be limited to:
• Carlisle Lake, Onalaska
• Davis Lake, Morton
• Fort Borst Pond, Centralia
• Mineral Lake, Mineral
• Packwood Lake*, Packwd
• Plummer Lake, Centralia
• Walupt Lake*, Packwd
• Willame Lake*, Packwd
*= Probably snowed in.

General Fishing Season in Rivers, Streams and Beaver Ponds are CLOSED from Nov. 1 through Saturday, May 31! They open for fishing on Sunday, June 1.

However many waters have different seasons specified than the above, so…

READ YOUR PAMPHLET!

See also reports on the Lower Cowlitz above.

 

Alder Lake is open year-round. Boat launch at Alder Park is open year-round. Limit is five fish.

Leech and Dog Lakes at White Pass- open for fishing year-round.

Carlisle Lake near Onalaska –Opens April 26. Small former millpond, a favorite for kids.

Silver Lake near Castle Rock- (3,000 acres) Open year-round with min. size 9 inches, limit 10. Silver Lake is the best largemouth bass fishing in Washington.

Swofford Pond (240 acres) Open year-round.

Long Lake- Open year-round.

Mineral Lake- Opens Saturday, April 26! Since January, Mineral has been stocked with 245 Broodstock Rainbows of 5 to 10 pounds each, 36,000 legal rainbows, plus 1,500 trophy rainbows each over 1½ pounds, 3,000 German Brown trout.

Mayfield Lake (2,200 acres, 13 miles long, shoreline length 33.5 miles, behind Mayfield Dam). Open year-round. Mayfield offers good fishing for yellow perch, rainbows, catfish, German browns, a few largemouth and smallmouth bass, bluegill and crappie. Tiger Muskies pretty much quit biting through winter’s low water temperatures.

Riffe Lake (11,830 acres, 23.5 miles long, shoreline length 53 miles behind Mossyrock Dam) Open year round.  

On Monday, Apr. 21, Riffe Lake was at 761 ft. elev., 17 feet below full level, the same level as the week before.

Now Mossyrock Park and Taidnapam North launches are useable! Riffe Lake level is so low that Taidnapam Park is not useable. Tacoma Power’s report this week did not mention whether Kosmos Launch is useable.

Lake Scanewa behind Cowlitz Falls Dam (610 acres) is OPEN for salmon fishing year-round.
    Through the week ended Apr. 21, Tacoma Power employees released 105 steelhead, 41 spring Chinook adults and seven jacks into Lake Scanewa.

Tilton River- From its mouth to the West Fork the Tilton is open for salmon from Aug. 1 through Dec. 31, and open for other game fish including steelhead from the first Sat. in June through Mar. 31. Above the West Fork it's open from June 1 through Oct. 31.

During the week ended Apr. 21, Tacoma Power employees released 15 steelhead and one cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton

Tilton River from mouth to west fork – Under recently adopted permanent rules, effective the first Saturday in June the daily limit was reduced to 2 trout. Release all cutthroats. No longer planted with hatchery rainbows.

Cispus River – Fishing seasons are too complex to report here for the lower stretch of the Cispus River from its mouth at posted markers at the Lewis County PUD kayak launch on Lake Scanewa upstream to the North Fork. Read your pamphlet. Above the North Fork fishing season is OPEN from June 1 through Oct. 31!

The North Fork of the Cispus has no open season for salmon; it is CLOSED year-round, reserved for salmon breeding only.

Upper Cowlitz River from the posted PUD sign at Lake Scanewa on Peters Road, upstream to the confluence of the Ohanapecosh River and the Muddy Fork five miles above Packwood, fishing seasons are too complicated to print here- read your regulations!

In the week ended Dec. 9, Tacoma Power employees released 19 coho adults and 27 coho jacks into the Cowlitz River at the Packwood bridge.

Above the confluence of the Muddy Fork and Clear Fork five miles upstream from Packwood, fishing season is open from the first Sat. in June through Oct. 31. When it’s open, the limit is two trout with minimum size 8 inches, except release cutthroat.

On the lower Cowlitz below Mayfield Lake, fishing seasons for salmon, trout and other species are open in various months, but are too complex to report here; read your regulations.

Skate Creek- Fishing season is CLOSED until Saturday, June 7.

Forest Roads Westside

The NEW 2014 NVUM Vehicle Use Map is now available! Very few changes were expected.

 

Sno*Park operation is now closed. Permits are no longer required to park, and grooming has ended.

Many of the wilderness and wildlife gates have now been opened.

All roads that were closed for flooding are now reopened.

Skate Creek Forest Highway #52 between Packwood and Ashford: CLOSED from junction Willame Creek Road #47 across the Bear Prairie saddle to junction #5220 Berry Creek Road. Open to snow recreation only. ANTICIPATED TO BE OPEN BY MAY 1.

Cispus/Randle-Trout Lake Forest Highway #23 is CLOSED from near the Cispus River Bridge across Babyshoe Pass to several miles south of junction #90 Lewis River Forest Highway.

Iron Creek to Lewis River Forest Highway #25 is CLOSED from junction #99 Windy Ridge/Wakepish Road across Elk Pass to near junction #90 Lewis River Forest Highway.

#1260 Packwood Lake- 3/14/14 Stiff frozen snow too deep for vehicle passage prevents car or truck travel about a mile before the parking lot.

1/21/14 Active Logtruck Hauling Packwood Thin Sale: #1260-022 to #1260 to Hwy. 12.

#1262 Lowest Lake Creek- 1/21/14 Active Logtruck Hauling PRT 1: #1262 to #1260 to Hwy. 12.

#21 Johnson Creek- Packwood End- 4/16 Open to Wright Lake. Randle End- 4/16 Open 1.5 mi. beyond Cat Creek campground.

Junction #21 & #23 is completely snow free. There is no snow in the forest here.

#23 Babyshoe Pass/ Randle-Trout Lake, 4,350 ft. elev.- 12/15 is CLOSED by snow from MP 26.5 several miles below junction #2329 High Lake across Babyshoe Pass to several miles south of junction #90 Lewis River Forest Highway. 1/21 Active Logtruck Hauling Valley Thin Sale: #2300 near #2300-135 to Hwy. 12.

#2329 High Lakes- 4,400 ft. elev., 2/28- The Sno*Park contractor reported four or five feet of snow.

#25 Elk Pass/ Iron Creek, 4,000 ft. elev.- Dec. 13- is CLOSED from junction #99 Windy Ridge/Wakepish Road across Elk Pass to near junction #90 Lewis River Forest Highway. Thinning operations are ongoing along Rd. #25 between junctions #76 and #99, so watch for the operations sometimes requiring one-way or flagman controlled traffic, and watch for log trucks.
3/15 One foot of stiff heavy snow beyond the gate at jct. #99.

#2809 Langille Peak- 1/21/14 Active Logtruck Hauling Kirk Thin Sale: #2809 to #2800 to #23 to Hwy. 12.

Skate Creek Forest Highway #52 between Packwood and Ashford: CLOSED as of April 16 from junction Willame Creek Road #47 across the Bear Prairie saddle to junction #5220 Berry Creek Road but planned to be OPENED by May 1.

#56 Orr Creek- 4/16 Open to one mile beyond junction #5604 at the Sno*Park. Blocked by about four inches of stiff frozen snow.

#5603 4/16 Blocked by four inches of stiff frozen snow one mile beyond the Sno*Park.

#63 Davis Creek- 3/20 Impassable because of a slide above the upper Davis Creek bridge.

#74 Nisqually Loop- 3/17 Impassable because of a large washout at about MP 2, beyond the #7409 junction.

#99 Windy Ridge- 4,000 ft. elev., 12/31 CLOSED, open to only snowshoe and cross-country ski recreation. CLOSED to snowmobiles! 3/15 There is about a foot of stiff, heavy snow at the Sno*Park.

Campgrounds Westside

Concessionaire Campgrounds Planned Opening Dates:

• Adams Fork                   5/22

• Big Creek                      5/22

• Blue Lake Creek             5/22

• Horseshoe Lake               6/26

• Iron Creek                      5/22

Keenes Horse Camp        6/26

• Killen Creek                   6/26

• La Wis Wis                   5/22

North Fork                     5/22

Olallie Lake                   6/26

• Takhlakh Lake                6/26

• Tower Rock                   5/22

• Walupt Lake                  6/26

• Walupt Lake Horse          6/26

Dispersed Campsites:

There should be many dispersed camping areas available south of Randle along the Cispus River along Rd. #23, and around the Iron Creek Campground including beautiful Cispus riverside campsites up along Rd. #76.

Also, clear of snow as of Mar. 30, there is good dispersed riverside camping on Road #49 (signs hard to see) along WA Highway #123 near the Ohanapecosh entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park. From the Hwy #123 junction seven miles east of Packwood, go north on Hwy. #123 a few miles. Just as you see the entrance arch to Mt. Rainier National Park come in view, several hundred yards south of it, turn left on a small gravel road and pick a spot down along the flat. Roads here are narrow, campsite smaller and turnaround spots tight, so don’t take large trailers or motorhomes down here.

For information and to make reservations visit recreation.gov or call 877-444-6777.

Trails Westside

All trails above 3,200 feet elev. have a foot or more of snow, above 4,500 ft. four or more feet of snow. Highest trails above 6,000 have up to 14 feet of snow.

 

The following trailheads no longer require NW Forest Pass for parking as garbage and restroom facilities have been removed:

• Blue Lake ORV.

• Packwood Lake.

• Berry Patch.

Much trail information is available at WTA.org

Some lower elevation trails that are often free of snow when higher trails have snow:

• Woods Creek Watchable Wildlife Area Trails off of Road #25 south of Randle offer high-density populations of wildlife, varied forest types including mature stands up to 400 years old.

• Iron Creek Falls Trail is open.

• North Fork Loop.

• #290 Layser Cave Trail, 1/4 mile, to the prehistoric native shelter.

Permit Activities

Permits are sold at the Cowlitz Valley Ranger Station on Hwy. US 12 just east of Randle 8:00-12:00 and 1:00- 4:00 Mon.-Fri.

NO WOOD OR OTHER PERMITS OR PASSES, ETC. ARE SOLD BETWEEN 12:00 AND 12:30 P.M. AND AFTER 4:00 P.M.! NO EXCEPTIONS! The certified cashiers handling cash are required to tot up and turn in their tills by 4:30pm.

Mushroom, firewood, Salal and Bear Grass permits are being purchased.

In general, a permit is required to remove anything from the National Forest.  Permits are being sold at the Ranger Station for especially for salal and firewood, but also for posts and rails for fencing, ferns and beargrass. Free use permits are available for landscape rocks.

A complete table of permits for Forest Products only is at: http://1.usa.gov/18G9qW9

Projects Proposed
In The Randle-Packwood Area

Many proposed projects would provide jobs in the Cowlitz Valley Ranger District area while benefitting the forest.

The volunteer group Pinchot Partners is partly responsible for these projects! THANK YOU PINCHOT PARTNERS!

Local contractors are encouraged to learn about and bid on these projects.

Learn about projects proposed in Gifford Pinchot National Forest and obtain full information by opening the Current SOPA Report at: http://1.usa.gov/14zztNE

Personal Firewood

The new firewood list for April 1 is out!

New ORANGE 2014 Firewood Permits for cutting on the westside in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest are available at the ranger station and cost a minimum of $20.00 for four cords.

Current firewood location lists are available monthly. Check the list to make sure wood is legal for firewood. Only firewood painted yellow is legal for cutting, unless it’s in a designated, posted cutting area and noted in the current monthly firewood list. You MUST have the firewood LIST in your possession when cutting firewood. You may be cited if you don’t have the list with you.

Only firewood on the list or marked painted yellow is legal for firewood. If you see down wood you’d like for firewood, ask the ranger station below, describing it in detail with careful accurate mile point from a prominent landmark along the road. A ranger will come and check it as soon as possible which may take a week or more, and mark it.

Books

The non-profit Discover Your Northwest or DYNW sells outdoor books and other items at ranger stations to help us learn about the forest and to raise funds for interpretive projects and programs that very limited Forest Service budgets cannot fund.

Best Hikes with Dogs- Western Washington, for children, Dan A. Nelson, $18.95.

Birds of Washington, Field Guide, 305 pgs., by Stan Tekiela, $13.95.

Rocks & Fossils, An introduction to rocks, minerals and fossils, with tips on where to find them from mountain tops to cliff faces, valleys, riverbeds and beaches, Usborne Children’s Books, $16.99.

Spring & Fall Mushrooms, 80 pgs., by Terry Sroufe, $2.25.

All prices are plus tax.

Forest Service Maps

All District and Wilderness maps have increased in price by $3.00, for paper maps from $6.00 to $9.00 or for plastic maps from $7.00 to $10.00.

The Gifford Pinchot National Forest map, however, remains at $9.00.

Randle Cowlitz Valley 
Ranger Station Info

Open 8:00-12:00 and 1:00- 4:30 Mon.-Fri.

NO WOOD OR OTHER PERMITS OR PASSES, ETC. ARE SOLD BETWEEN 12:00 AND 12:30 P.M. AND AFTER 4:00 P.M.! NO EXCEPTIONS!

Address: P.O. Box 670, 10024 Hwy. 12, Randle WA 98377.

Teletype for hearing/speech impaired 497-7566. Regular phone (360) 497-1100. Report fires (360) 494-0603.

Web: www.fs.fed.us/gpnf.

Local Packwood and National Forest information is also available at Destination Packwood office at 103 Main Str. E., caddy corner from the library park on Highway 12 in Packwood, phone 360-494-2223.

Mt. Rainier

National Park

Tubing, Sledding and Snowshoe Walks have
ended at Paradise

Mount Rainier Superintendent Randy King advises that the snow play runs are no longer maintained and sledding is not permitted anywhere in the park due to safety concerns.  

Great opportunities still exist for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and winter camping in the Paradise and Longmire areas.  Before heading out, visitors are advised to check the park’s web page at nps.gov/mora, call 360-569-2211 for recorded updates or through Twitter at:       .
twitter.com/MountRainierNPS
for current conditions (road, weather and avalanche).  Information is updated each morning, as soon as current information is available.

Conditions in the Park

Paradise at 5,500 ft. elevation had 14 feet of snow as of Monday, Apr. 21: Afternoon temperatures at Paradise through the past several days have been 35° to 54°.

Afternoon temperatures at Camp Muir at 10,000 feet elevation above Paradise on Mt. Rainier have been 20° to 34°, withly night temperatures dropping as low as 4°. Temperatures at Mt. Rainier summit have been around -8° to +4°, and with typically 25 to 60 mph winds. Snow/freezing level has been from 3,000 to 5,500 feet elevation.

The historic Paradise Inn is scheduled to open for the 2014 season on Wednesday, May 21.  Reservations for lodging at Paradise Inn and the National Park Inn at Longmire can be made by phone – 360-569-2275, or online at:       .
 www.mtrainierguestservices.com. Reservations are not taken for dining.

The National Park Inn at Longmire is open daily for meals and lodging year-round. The dining room closes promptly at 7:00 pm weekdays, at 8:00 pm Fri, Sat and holidays. To reach the front desk at Longmire Inn call 360-569-2411 between 7am and 10pm daily.

Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise is open 10 am- 5 pm weekends and holidays only. The deli is open from 11am to 4:45pm.

Mt. Rainier
Park Highways

Mt. Rainier National Park Highway from Longmire to Paradise:
 Spring Hours:

Weekend:

6:00 p.m.   Uphill gate closes

7:00 p.m.   Downhill gate closes, road closed

Weekdays:

4:00 p.m.   Uphill gate closes

5:00 p.m.   Downhill gate closes, road closed

Expect Delays from Nisqually Entrance to Longmire

Rehabilitation of 17.6 miles of road between the Nisqually Entrance and the developed area at Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park was scheduled to begin on Monday, March 3. Visitors traveling to the park via SR706 and the Nisqually Entrance, Monday-Friday, should allow an extra hour round-trip, due to construction delays, into early fall. Please drive cautiously in the construction corridor.

 Road work starts around 8:00 a.m. and ends around 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

 Your total construction delay should only be 30 minutes or less. Be prepared to stop more than once from the Nisqually Entrance to Longmire. Expect to be "stopped" no longer than 20 minutes at one location.

 The trenched areas between the Nisqually Entrance and Kautz Creek are being paved.

 Trenching and placing of conduit continues between Kautz Creek and Longmire.

Ongoing activity includes the mobilization of equipment and materials, plus installation of silt fence and sediment logs.

At 2:00 p.m. on Monday, Apr. 21:

White Pass Highway US 12: Open. No tire restrictions. The roadway bare and dry, at 48°, under mostly sunny skies, with four feet of snow alongside the highway. Three miles east of the summit, traffic is reduced to single lane with a temporary traffic signal. Drivers will experience up to 30 minute delays.

Chinook Pass Highway WA410: CLOSED for the season from Morse Creek near mp 74 to Crystal Mountain Blvd near mp 57. Updated April 17, 2014. Crews started clearing Chinook Pass. Our goal is to reopen Chinook Pass prior to Memorial Day weekend. Check this web page for weekly updates. Poor weather and cool temps didn't stop our crews from moving along this week!

Cayuse Pass Highway WA123 is CLOSED for the season from the Stevens Canyon Hwy. junction to Cayuse Pass! The telemetry weather station there reports 15 inches of snow alongside the highway.

Stevens Canyon Road CLOSED for the winter.

Skate Creek Forest Highway #52 between Packwood and Ashford: CLOSED from junction Willame Creek Road #47 across the Bear Prairie divide to junction #5220 Berry Creek Road. As of 3/15 snow depth at Bear Prairie is reported as 18 inches of heavy stiff snow. Skate Creek Road is anticipated to be open by May 1.

Dial 511 for current highway and pass information.

Park Information

Everything you could ever want to know about Mt. Rainier National Park is available at     . www.nps.gov/mora or by calling 360-569-2211.

Eastside-
Naches Area

Fishing

General Lakes, Ponds and Reservoirs Fishing Season is open year-round. However many of the most popular large “Low-Lakes” or "Traditional" lakes OPEN from April 26 through Oct. 31.

Traditional/Low-Lakes Fishing Season
Opens Sat. Apr. 26!

Get license, motor, trailer, gear ready!

General Fishing Season in Rivers, Streams and Beaver Ponds are CLOSED from Nov. 1 through Saturday, May 31! They open for fishing on Sunday, June 1.

However many waters have different seasons specified than the above, so…

READ YOUR PAMPHLET!

 

Tieton River is CLOSED for fishing along with most other creeks and rivers.

Clear Lake is open for fishing year-round.

Leech Lake at White Pass is open for fishing year-round. On Apr. 18 Leech was 99% ice covered.

 Dog Lake at White Pass- open for fishing year-round. On Apr. 18 Dog was 99% covered with thin ice.

Rimrock Lake (2,530 acres) is open for fishing year-round. On Fri., April 18 it was free of ice. On Monday, Apr. 21, it was 90% full at 2,917 feet elevation, one foot lower than a week before, nine feet below full, with discharge at 804 CFS and inflow 659 CFS.

Passes & Highways

At 2:00 p.m. on Monday, Apr. 21:

White Pass Highway US 12: Open. No tire restrictions. The roadway bare and dry, at 48°, under mostly sunny skies, with four feet of snow alongside the highway. Three miles east of the summit, traffic is reduced to single lane with a temporary traffic signal. Drivers will experience up to 30 minute delays.

Chinook Pass Highway WA410: CLOSED for the season from Morse Creek near mp 74 to Crystal Mountain Blvd near mp 57. Updated April 17, 2014. Crews started clearing Chinook Pass. Our goal is to reopen Chinook Pass prior to Memorial Day weekend. Check this web page for weekly updates. Poor weather and cool temps didn't stop our crews from moving along this week!

Cayuse Pass Highway WA123 is CLOSED for the season from the Stevens Canyon Hwy. junction to Cayuse Pass! The telemetry weather station there reports 15 inches of snow alongside the highway.

Stevens Canyon Road CLOSED for the winter.

Skate Creek Forest Highway #52 between Packwood and Ashford: CLOSED, open to only snow recreation, from junction Willame Creek Road #47 across the Bear Prairie divide to junction #5220 Berry Creek Road. Skate Creek Road is anticipated to be open by May 1.

Dial 511 for current highway and pass information.

Eastside Naches
Forest Roads:

Snow

See complete report of snow depths at top of this report above.

A new Washington State Law has authorized ATV’s not licensed for highways to operate on some low speed roads. However, the roads on which these not-fully-highway-licensed vehicles may operate DO NOT INCLUDE national forest roads.Operation on National Forest roads has always required vehicles fully highway licensed. See more info on this subject under westside roads above.

Bald Mt. Road #1701 has log haul traffic.

Gather up and have in your vehicle the Ten Essentials before you go driving in the forest! Leave a note saying where you’re going and when you’ll return where it can be easily found in case your friends need to reach you.

Indian Creek Area is CLOSED due to flood damage.

#1000 South Fork Tieton Road- 4/10 Blocked by a foot of snow at one mile.

#1201- 4/10 One plus foot of snow.

#1202- 4/10 One foot or more of snow within first mile.

#1203 4/10 One foot of snow just after cattle guard.

#1204- 4/10 One foot of snow within the first 100 yards.

#1205- 4/10 A foot of snow after the first quarter mile.

#1207- 4/10 Snow berm/Packed snow from groomer, one foot of snow or more.

#1306 Wildcat is CLOSED due to damage, most of road width gone, washed out.

#1600- 4/10 Clear 5 mi. then 18” snow.

#1601- 4/10 A foot or more snow beyond the bridge.

#1706- 4/4 First quarter mile clear then a foot or more of snow.

#1709- 4/4 Can cross the bridge then a foot or more of snow.

#1800 Bumping River Road- Open to Bumping Lake Dam but rough.

Campgrounds

Campgrounds are all closed. Even though there is less snow than usual and some campgrounds are snow free, they can’t be opened to the public until maintenance is completed, anticipated about Memorial Day weekend. Maintenance has begin preparatory to opening in lat May.

Halfway Flat- 3/27 A foot or more of snow.

Sawmill Flat- 3/27 A foot or more of snow.

Kaner Flat- 3/27- 2½ to 3 feet of snow.

Little Naches- 3/27 – 1½ to 2 feet of snow.

Hell’s Crossing- 3/27 - 2 ½ to 3 feet of snow.

Lodgepole- 3/27 Four or more feet of snow.

For info about individual campgrounds and to make reservations, contact: Recreation.gov or at hoodoo.com.

Two Group Sites with buildings, the large American Ridge Lodge and American River Guard Station, are available for rent via the contacts below.

Reservations are made at Recreation.gov, and hoodoo.com. Reserve your campground sites now!

Trails

All Motorized Trails are closed to all use both motorized and non-motorized through June 15.

This closure was worked out with motorized users and has been in effect for three years. Before that, motorized trails got very “mudded up” causing serious erosion and deep ruts that could not be made usable without considerable work. Motorized users have pitched in and volunteered many hours of work keeping these trails in good condition.

· .Boulder Cave IS CLOSED for the winter. Boulder Cave is one of the few remaining places where the seriously endangered Big-Eared Bats live. Bats through the U.S. are threatened and in recent years their numbers are greatly diminished by a fatal fungus disease. Once thousands of these bats lived in Boulder Cave but the number is much less now, and in summer there are no bats left there.

· Motorized trails are open.

· Complete campground, road and trail conditions may be found at:        . http://1.usa.gov/1d22PHt

Permits-
Forest Products

No mushrooms had been found yet on the Naches District as of April 11, according to Kim Clark at Little Red Schoolhouse, Naches.

MUSHROOMERS NOTE: Wildcat Rd. #1306 is CLOSED because most of the road width is washed out and gone. We must walk in from the closure sign.

Permits are required for gathering forest products including mushrooms, firewood, transplants, rocks and minerals, posts and poles, floral cuttings, cones, and boughs. Free use permits are available for small quantities of certain items for personal use.

The Northwest Forest Pass or NWFP is required to park at many US Forest Service sites such as trailheads and is sold at the ranger station and at Rimrock Grocery, Slim’s Market at Naches, and BiMart Store at Yakima.

The Washington State Discover Pass is required at Washington State Wildlife parking areas and at some other Washington State areas on land owned by Washington State. It is entirely a Washington State program.

The Washington State Discover Pass is not useable at any U.S. Forest Service sites or anywhere on land managed by the U.S. Forest Service or the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. U.S. Forest Service employees can’t answer questions about it. Questions about the Discover Pass may be answered by calling the Washington State Dept. of Fish and Wildlife in Yakima 509-575-2740, or by calling the Washington Dept. of Natural Resources in Ellensburg 509-925-8510.

Eastside firewood cutting is CLOSED until May 1.

NO PERMITS OR PASSES, ETC. ARE SOLD BETWEEN 12:00 AND 12:30 P.M. AND AFTER 4:00 P.M.! NO EXCEPTIONS! Employees must close and turn in their tills at 4:00 p.m.

The office is open until 4:30 p.m. but only for answering questions.

Books

The non-profit Discover Your Northwest or DYNW sells outdoor books and other items at ranger stations to help us learn about the forest and to raise funds for interpretive projects and programs that very limited Forest Service budgets cannot fund.

Forest Maps are available for purchase at the Ranger Station.

Beyond the Bend, History of the Nile Valley in Washington State (just up the Naches River from Naches, Washington), 498 pgs., by Pioneer Daughter Gretta Petersen Gossett, $26.95.

Hiking Washington’s Goat Rocks Country, 258 pgs., by Fred Barstad, $15.95.

Mushrooming Without Fear, 128 pgs., by Alexander Schwab, $14.95.

Trees of Washington, 40 pgs., by Milton M Musher, $6.95.

All prices are plus tax.

Naches Ranger
District 
Information

National forest maps are on sale at the Naches Ranger Station, Whistlin' Jack Lodge, Rimrock Grocery and Woodshed Store.

Naches Ranger Station web site is www.fs.usda.gov/okawen,

To contact the district: postal mail to: Irene Davidson, District Ranger, 10237 Highway 12, Naches, WA 98937; Phone: Voice or TTY (509) 653-1401; Fax: (509) 653-2638.

Open 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mon- Fri.

NO WOOD OR OTHER PERMITS OR PASSES, ETC. ARE SOLD BETWEEN 12:00 AND 12:30 P.M. AND AFTER 4:00 P.M.! NO EXCEPTIONS!

The office foyer is open 24 hours a day where handouts and forest information are available to the public during non-office hours. Web: http://www.fs.usda.gov/okawen/
For other area information:     . www.nachesvalleychamber.com

 

Elsewhere in
Washington

Information from Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia WA 98501-1091, phone 360-902-2256. Read your regulations!  Report violations and dangerous wildlife at 877 933-9847. Reports below are by or excerpted from WDFW reports.

Fish Managers Prepare to Haul Springers Around Busted Wanapum Dam

As construction workers race against the clock to make fish ladders at Wanapum Dam operational, state fishery managers are standing ready with an alternate plan to move spring chinook salmon up the Columbia River.

The dam had started to topple over downstream, obviously because it was either mis-designed or because the pond level behind it had been raised above design level, pushing it over. Engineers are now considering building buttresses behind the wall on the downstream side to brace it up, like the buttresses bracing the walls of medieval churches in Europe, built before men learned how to build walls.

Shortly after discovering the 65-foot-long fracture in a spillway pier Feb. 27, dam operators lowered the water level behind the 185-foot structure by a record 26 feet, leaving the fish ladders high and dry.

Sometime this week, the first of an estimated 20,000 spring chinook salmon are expected to arrive in the area near Vantage, pressing upriver to spawn. Nearly 4,000 of those fish are wild, naturally spawning fish, and the entire run is listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The Grant County Public Utility District, which owns the dam, has been scrambling to modify the fish ladders to make them operational by April 15, but also worked with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to develop a backup plan.

"The stakes are very high, especially given the number of wild spring chinook involved," said Jim Brown, regional WDFW director for northcentral Washington. "Grant County PUD is doing a great job, but all of us have a role to play in getting those fish upriver to spawn."

Under the current plan, WDFW will intercept salmon at Priest Rapids Dam and truck most of them around Wanapum Dam, 19 miles upriver. Working in rotation, experienced drivers will haul the salmon in eight tanker trucks, each capable of moving up to 1,500 fish a day.

At the same time, a smaller number of hatchery-reared fish - identifiable by a clipped adipose fin - will be fitted with coded and radio tags and released from the Priest Rapids facility to negotiate the newly configured fish ladders at Wanapum Dam.  

Creel Check Reports
by WDFW Biologist
Joe Hymer for the
week ended April 14

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – Anglers are catching spring Chinook and winter steelhead.

Kalama River – Anglers are catching some winter steelhead. Remains closed for spring Chinook.

East Fork Lewis from mouth to top boat ramp at Lewisville Park and Washougal River from mouth to Mt. Norway Bridge – Open to fishing for hatchery steelhead beginning Wednesday April 16. Through the first Friday in June, selective gear rules are in effect; no bait may be used.

Lewis River – No report on angling success for steelhead. Remains closed for spring Chinook. A handful of spring Chinook have returned to the traps as have a couple summer run steelhead.

Wind River – Boat anglers are catching some spring Chinook. A handful of boats here last Saturday afternoon.

Drano Lake – Boat anglers are catching some spring Chinook. About 20 boats here last Saturday afternoon.

Closed to all fishing on Wednesdays through June. Effective April 16 through June 30, bank fishing only west of a line projected from the easternmost pillar of the Hwy. 14 Bridge to a posted marker on the north shore.

Klickitat River – Effort is light on the lower river. Open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturday and Sundays only for hatchery spring Chinook and hatchery steelhead. Daily limit 2.

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 4,182 salmonid anglers (including 1,389 boats) with 1,060 adult and 4 jack spring Chinook and 4 steelhead. 861 (81%) of the adult Chinook were kept. 721 (84%) of the adult Chinook were sampled. 639 (89%) of the catch was upriver stock based on Visual Stock Identification (VSI).

Effort increased with over 1,900 boats and nearly 1,300 bank anglers counted last Saturday.

From March 1-April 14, an estimated 73,900 angler trips have produced 9,358 Chinook kept and 2,261 released. Just under 7,700 of the fish kept were upriver stock based on VSI.

Prior to the run update, allocation of upriver fish (including release mortalities) for non-Indian fisheries will be 10,157 fish for the recreational fishery below Bonneville Dam. Currently closed to fishing for spring Chinook, steelhead, and shad.

Bonneville Pool – Light effort and no catch was observed.

The Dalles Pool – Bank anglers are beginning to catch some spring Chinook.

John Day Pool – Effort is light.

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Effort is light during the current catch-and-release fishery.

The Dalles Pool – Bank and boat anglers are catching some legals. Through March, an estimated 47 (15.7%) of the 300 fish guideline had been taken.

John Day Pool – Boat anglers are catching some legals. An estimated 157 (31.4%) of the 500 fish guideline had been taken through March.

Walleye and Bass

The Dalles Pool – Including fish released, boat anglers averaged a walleye per rod. They were also catching some bass as well.

John Day Pool – Boat anglers about 2/3 of a walleye and 2 bass per rod when including fish released.

Trout

Recent plants. No report on angling success.

Battle Ground Lake (Clar) Apr 07, 2014 Rainbow 256 0.67 Trout Lodge Commercial Average 1.5 lbs. each.

Goldendale Hatchery Apr 07, 2014 Rainbow 2,000 2.32

Kress Lake  (Cowl) Apr 09, 2014 Rainbow 352 0.67 Trout Lodge Commercial Average 1.5 lbs. each.

Mossyrock Hatchery Apr 09, 2014 Rainbow 3,658 2.5

Lawsuit stops state from release of juvenile steelhead into Puget Sound rivers.

WDFW will not release early winter hatchery steelhead into rivers around Puget Sound as planned this spring unless it can resolve issues raised in January by the Wild Fish Conservancy and restated in a lawsuit the group filed this week.

On Monday, March 31 the group filed a complaint in U.S. District Court alleging WDFW has violated the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). The group contends WDFW’s planting of Chambers Creek steelhead undermines the recovery of wild Puget Sound steelhead, salmon and bull trout, which are listed as “threatened” under the ESA.

Anderson said the department planned to release about 900,000 juvenile steelhead this spring into rivers that flow into Puget Sound. Those fish are produced at nine hatcheries and represent about two-thirds of all hatchery steelhead produced by WDFW hatcheries in the Puget Sound region. Steelhead planted this spring would return to the rivers in 2016 and 2017.

WDFW is vulnerable to lawsuits over its hatchery steelhead operations because they were not approved by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) following the ESA listing of Puget Sound steelhead in 2007. WDFW submitted Hatchery Genetic Management Plans to NMFS in 2005. NMFS’ review of those plans was not completed [as NMFS required the plans be updated following the listing.] WDFW is nearing completion of updates to its steelhead plans to reflect [the listing and] recent hatchery improvements based on the most current science.

Jim Scott, who heads the WDFW Fish Program, said the department acknowledges that scientific findings indicate certain hatchery practices may pose an impediment to wild fish productivity and recovery.  But he noted state managers have worked hard to reform hatchery programs and have taken significant steps to protect ESA-listed wild steelhead. He said discussions will continue in the hope of reaching a settlement by early May so that the 2014 plantings can take place.

 

 

 

.

Fish Washington! Easily find places and species to fish for. Search by county, species or a specific name.

Washington State Weekly Stocking Reports

Washington State Annual Fish Plants & Stocking Report:
Annual Stocking Schedules

Other Information

See WDFW's SPORTFISHING REGULATIONS & SEASONS

See WDFW's Weekender for wildlife activities throughout the state

.

See the SHOPPER VISITOR GUIDE listing resorts, restaurants, motels and businesses serving every tourist need in this beautiful recreational area!

_______________________________________________________________

  • View current highway pass conditions at www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/passes/
  •  



     

    More Information Pertinent to All Areas:

    Dog Salmon Sickness

    Dogs which eat dead salmon may become ill with salmon sickness.

    The disease, which causes internal bleeding, is usually effectively treated by a veterinarian if treated early in the infection, but it is often fatal if untreated.

    Numerous salmon carcasses are now being placed in rivers and streams; these carcasses replace nutrients which were there years ago when salmon were naturally migrating to and spawning and dying in local streams. Such nutrients are important to the attempts to re-establish natural salmon runs.

    So if your dog becomes sick after eating salmon, you must take the dog to the veterinarian.

    Bear & Cougar Contacts

    The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife reminds outdoor people that black bear and cougar populations are growing rapidly following the 1996 citizen-initiative prohibition of hunting with hounds. Cougar populations have doubled since the 1980's. People must never feed or approach wild animals, especially animals with young. Campers must store food in odor-proof sealed containers in cars or hung in trees, never in their camp or tent. If a bear comes around your camp, very probably it is interested only in food it smells; get rid of or away from the smell of food, especially on your clothing.

    If an encounter turns serious: 1) Don't run, and hold children to keep them from running; running makes you look like prey; 2) Make yourself look larger by raising your arms or standing on a rock or stump; 3) Maintain constant eye contact with a cougar to establish dominance, but totally avoid eye contact with a bear as, like a dog, a bear interprets a stare as a challenge; 4) If a cougar stalks you, follows you, or comes toward you so that you can see it, it is preparing to attack you; you must constantly stare at it, holler angrily at it, pick up any weapon you find such as a stick, and move carefully, probably walking backwards, toward shelter like your vehicle; 5) If attacked, get really angry and show it, fight with rocks, heavy sticks or anything, and try to remain on your feet.; these actions give you about a 90% chance to survive..

    Another effect of the hound hunting prohibition is a drastic increase in deer predation, as every adult cougar kills about one deer per week year-round.

     

    Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's Game Management plansElk Herd Plans

    Gifford Pinchot National Forest Web Site including much information and live pictures of Mt. St. Helens

    Gifford Pinchot National Forest Sno*Park Reports

    For your planning for summer, information about National Forest Campgrounds including number and type of campsites from www.forestcamping.com/.


    For information about next summer, and to make reservations visit www.recreation.gov or call 1-877-444-6777.


    Forest Visitors

    Forest visitors enter the forest areas to encounter an environment more natural, less "constructed" by man, and nearly always have an enjoyable and safe outing. However, these areas by definition inseparably include, and visitors expect, prepare for and take responsibility for encountering slides, rocks, fallen or falling trees or branches, narrow single lane roads with two-way traffic, log trucks, steep grades, no shoulders, loose gravel, sharp corners, potholes, washboards, mud, ice, snow, avalanches, cliffs, severe weather and natural impurities in water.

    The Ten Essentials
    to have with you whenever you hike, and to keep in your car:

    The Five Extra Essentials

     

    National Forest Camping Limits

    Parking at Trailheads

    Only one vandalism occurs per approx. 1,000 nights parked, but that one will be very painful if it's your car.


     

    This information is obtained from many sources including sport shops, hunters & fishermen, our own observations and the US Forest Service Ranger Districts & the US National Park Service.

    E-Mail: outdoors@wpshopper.com

    Return to the White Pass Highway Shopper, the outdoor weekly newspaper covering this beautiful recreational area!

    Visit the Gifford Pinchot National Forest web site for more recreational and other forest information.

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