2013 Spring Report

Oregon BASS Nation

Conservation Report,Winter/Spring 2013

I attended the Bassmaster Classic in February. I met severalof the Conservation Directors from around the US. We had a few meetings,primarily to catch each other up on what was going on in our individual states.Several of us were able to work in the "boatyard". This is an area wherethe competing anglers pre-stage for the weigh-in. Each angler was questionedabout whether any of his fish were caught in deep water. (Below 20') If hecaught one that deep, then they were asked if we might see the fish to check ifthey needed to be "fizzed". Fizzing is inserting a needle in the sideof the bass to relieve extra air trapped in the air bladder. An overinflatedair bladder will cause the bass to float upside down, and be unable tosubmerge. There were several fish fizzed on each day. After working theboatyard, I went to the backstage area, where we helped move the bass that hadbeen weighed to the Oklahoma Fish & Game truck. The truck then returned thefish to Grand Lake of the Cherokee. In three days of competition had 100%survival of all fish caught. 

I received a telephone call from an ODFW employee, statingthat the Native Fish Society had sent an e-mail expressing an interest inremoving all size and bag limits from smallmouth bass and walleye on the Oregonside of the Columbia River. I immediately e-mailed several people that thedesire had been expressed. I contacted several people in the ODFW, the OregonLegislature, and Oregon clubs that the possibility existed, and that we couldwork together to stop the forward motion of the change in regulations. I alsocontacted Oregon Outdoor Council, BASS National Conservation, and OregonSportsman's Legislative Caucus. I have also travelled to several of the clubs,explaining what is happening, and what can be done to stop the changes. Todate, there has been no further discussion of the suggestion.

I attended a Rapid Response Exercise in Prineville. Theexercise was comprised mostly of federal, state, and county employees. PortlandState University was represented, as they are at the leading edge of theinvasive species watchdog program. The exercise was a practice scenario of afictitious infestation of zebra/quagga mussels in Prineville Reservoir. theIncident Command Structure was implemented, utilizing representatives at theexercise. OR BASS Nation was there, in the persons of Chuck Lang, and myself.We were primarily there to represent the volunteer base for the exercise.

I attended the Warm Water Working Group meeting in Salem,where we discussed, at length, the possibility of the removal of the SMB bagand size  limits on the Columbia River.

Columbia River Bassmasters participated in the building andplacing of spider blocks at Henry Hagg Lake. They placed 100 blocks. InSouthern Oregon, we placed 50 spider blocks in Lost Creek Reservoir. Lost Creekalso received 1200 willow cuttings, placed around the Medco A flats. There wasa phenomenal survival rate of last season's planting of willows (65-75%).

The restoration and Enhancement Board authorized thepurchase of 500 additional spider block components, to be used for futureprojects.   

Respectfully Submitted,

Lonnie Johnson

Conservation Director OR BASS Nation