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Suspects in large poaching ring named

A months-long investigation into a massive Northwest poaching ring is continuing, with authorities naming five of the first suspects to be charged, as reported by the Lewis County Chronicle. The men are suspected of illegally killing hundreds of animals, including bear, bobcat, cougar, deer, and elk. In most cases trophy parts of the animals were taken and the rest left to rot.

Skamania County Prosecutors are expected to file charges against other participants in the ring as the investigation moves forward.

Charged with numerous wildlife crimes were Brian Christopher Tretiak and Eric Christian Martin of Morton, Eddy Alvin Dills and Joseph Allen Dills of Longview, and William J. Haynes of Longview.

Youth pheasant hunt this weekend

This weekend is the WDFW youth pheasant hunt, and the Vancouver Wildlife League will be offering mentored hunts on each day at the Shillapoo State Wildlife Area’s Vancouver Lake Unit. Youth hunters will be paired up with adults with dogs to hunt planted pheasants. Sign-up is between 7:00 and 7:30 am. Locations for the hunts and sign-ups can be found at the Vancouver Wildlife Leagues website,

 Salmon derby winners announced

The Southwest Washington Contractors Association has announced the winners of its annual fall fishing derby. Jaime Birkeland of Riverview Community Bank took first place honors with a salmon that went 21.3 pounds. Doug Martin of Southwest Office Supply took second with his 19.9 pound catch. Dave Mcgrew of Dave’s Clock and Watch Repair took third with a salmon weighing 17.8 pounds.

 Oregon Coast bottom fishing closure

Bottomfishing off the Oregon coast has been closed because pre-season quotas for several species, including black rock bass , have been filled. According to the ODFW effort has been high and catch rates have been good all year.

Good weather combined with fewer opportunities for other ocean species meant that more anglers went bottom fishing this year. Salmon seasons were minimal because of poor returns, and tuna fishing was not as good as usual.

Sea Lion bills in Congress

Lawmakers in Congress have introduced legislation to ease the federal permitting process for killing problem sea lions. The House bill, HR 2083, is sponsored by Rep. Jaime Herrera (R-Wash.) and Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) The Senate bill, S. 1702, is sponsored by Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho).

The move is in response to sea lions that have hammered wild winter steelhead runs going over the Willamette Falls on the Willamette River. The sea lions reportedly ate about 20 to 25 % of the run in 2017. Slightly more than 500 steelhead escaped the sea lions and crossed the dam. That is the lowest return on record.

Hazing and trap-and-release of the problem pinnipeds has proved ineffective, and the run has an extinction probability of 89 percent.

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