BRUSH BEAT: Shooting ranges can apply for grants
SALEM —Nonprofit shooting ranges based in Oregon are invited to apply for a cost-share grant to improve their facilities. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. on March 17.
The application can be found online at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/education/hunter/range_development.asp
ODFW grants $80,000 to Oregon shooting ranges each year. Among other projects, last year’s grants were used to help Douglas Ridge Rifle Club in Eagle Creek purchase a portable classroom and for Siuslaw Rod and Gun Club in Florence to purchase and install a covered building near the firing line.
The program is funded through the Wildlife Restoration Act, a federal excise tax on hunting equipment that is distributed to states based on their number of licensed hunters. Grants are available for shooting ranges that maintain a nonprofit status and provide access to the general public and hunter education class instructors and participants.
Decisions on which projects to fund are made by the Shooting Range Development Advisory Committee, which includes members from sportsman and shooting groups, ODFW and Oregon State Police.
Projects eligible for reimbursement include backstops, berms, target holders, benches, baffles, protective fencing, signs, lighting, field courses, platforms, roads, parking areas, sanitary facilities, storage rooms, shelter buildings and classrooms. All range construction must be on lands owned by the applicant or lands controlled by the applicant by a use permit, lease or easement that ensures use for a minimum of 10 years.
Ineligible projects include clubhouses, employee residences, similar or other facilities not essential to the operation of the shooting range or the conduct of hunter education classes; maintenance expenses; portable items that are easily stolen or lost; and items that do not have an expected life of at least 10 years.
Steelhead fishing could start improving
Steelhead have begun to move into the lower Imnaha River from the Snake River, according to the latest recreation report from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Anglers will begin finding increased success as spring progresses.
Anglers are also beginning to find a few steelhead in the Wallowa River above Minam. Catch rates will continue to increase over the next few weeks.
Recently two anglers reported finding fish at Rondowa both swinging and nymphing flies. As steelhead move up out of the Grande Ronde in mid to late winter, anglers can sometimes have phenomenal days above the Rondowa Bridge. More steelhead will move into the Wallowa River as winter progresses and catch rates will improve through spring until closing on April 15.
The Grande Ronde is currently running high, and fishing will be very difficult. Look for the river to come into shape next week unless there is substantial precipitation or warming. When the river does come into shape, look for fish in the slow deep runs where they can conserve energy in the cold water temperatures. Fish may be a bit lethargic and slow deep presentations will increase the chances of hooking up.
This year, steelhead have been taking diverse gear including shrimp, jigs, spinners and swung flies. Nymphing small flies such as glo-bugs and prince nymphs under an indicator can also be a deadly method. Abundant road access is available near Troy though anglers still need to be aware of private property and respect landowners’ requests. Some parties have made the float from Minam to Wildcat Creek; however, this float can be difficult under low-flow conditions. Look for the gage at Troy to be above 900 cfs for an easier float. Check river flows at www. http://waterdata.usgs.gov/or/nwis/uv?site_no=13333000.
On the Umatilla River the steelhead return continues to be dominated by wild fish this year, with 90 percent of the run wild. Anglers are using a variety of techniques drift fishing techniques, eggs under a bobber, jigs and shrimp. The daily bag limit is 3 adipose fin-clipped steelhead.
Coastal lakes getting first trout stocking
After a slight delay, Florence-area lakes are receiving their first trout plants of the year. Most of the trout will be dumped into Cleawox Lake, 65 miles west of Eugene on the coast. Because of low lake levels, the trout should be more vulnerable to anglers this year as very few of them will swim into the very narrow, nearly 2-mile-long north arm, which is almost completely separated from the main body of the lake. In other words, the lake’s trout plant of 5,400 trout will have about two-thirds of the water they would normally have available to hide out in.
Other Florence-area lakes scheduled to be stocked with legal rainbows include: Carter Lake (1,500), Alder and Dune lakes (1,500 each), Buck Lake (850), Perkins Lake (200), Siltcoos Lagoon (850), Erhart Lake (200), Munsel Lake (1,000) and Georgia and North Georgia (150 each).
The lakes receiving larger trout this week include: Alder, Buck and Dune lakes (36 16-inchers each), Cleawox (250 12-inchers and 150 16-inchers), Perkins Lake (36 16-inchers, Siltcoos Lagoon (70 16-inchers), Munsel Lake will receive 1,500 12-inchers and 150 16-inchers. Elbow Lake and Lost Lake will receive 600 and 500 12-inchers respectively.
Some of these lakes are smaller than normal for this time of year, and fishing for the recently planted trout should be very good.
— The Associated Press