A WARNING ABOUT BACKYARD BIRD FEEDERS
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) issued a press release last week after receiving reports of sick and dead birds near backyard bird feeders in several Western Washington locations. According to WDFW veterinarian Kristin Mansfield, the die-off, affecting finches, pine siskins, and other songbirds, is caused by salmonellosis, a common disease that is usually fatal. The disease is transmitted when birds flock together in large numbers (in places like bird feeders) where salmonella bacteria is transmitted through droppings and saliva.
One way to stop the spread of this disease is to stop feeding the birds in your backyard until at least February. If you choose to continue feeding birds, clean the feeders daily. You can do so by rinsing the feeder with warm soapy water and then dunking it in a solution of nine parts water and one part bleach. Rinse and dry the feeder before refilling and keep the ground below the feeder clean of feces and seed casings.
According to WDFW, other things people can do to help reduce the spread of this disease is to “Reduce the number of feeders they offer to a quantity they will be able to maintain with daily cleanings, use feeders that accommodate fewer birds (such as tubes rather than platforms), and spread-out feeder locations. Keeping bird baths and fountains clean is also important.”
If you see sick or dead birds near your feeder please report this to your local WDFW office or online at https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/a384e90f69744f2e846135a9ce80027f.
COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE – Wendy Boyer at Gorge Outfitters Supply in Rufus says with the mild weather, there are actually anglers catching smallmouth bass out of the Columbia right now. Walleye anglers are out on the Columbia in The Dalles Pool and the John Day Pool looking for trophy-sized fish. Wendy was out herself last week and using jigs, anglers in her boat pulled up 30 eater-sized fish in four hours. In Wendy’s words, “The color didn’t seem to matter, nor what kind of plastic, the fish were hitting everything.” Overall, walleye success has been pretty good, and they are being caught in depths of 27 to 47 feet. Gorge Outfitters Supply is now open again seven days a week if you want tackle or more information.
LAKE ROOSEVELT/RUFUS WOODS – Austin Moser of Austin’s Northwest Adventures says fishing has been good at Rufus Woods Reservoir. Austin is catching both triploid trout and walleye there in good numbers. You can troll plugs or bottom walkers and worms for both species. A reminder: if you fish with bait, you cannot release the triploids; they must be kept. The biggest triploid for Moser so far? A 17-pounder caught this past week. Overall, the triploid trout are averaging 6 to 10 pounds while the walleye are running 16 to 22 inches long.
As for Lake Roosevelt, the reservoir is full. This makes fishing tough because the fish and the bait they are after spread out through this big lake. Once the water levels drop, the fish and bait will congregate, and Austin expects the fishing will pick up again. If you want to go fishing with Austin, contact him through his Facebook page or go to www.austinsnorthwestadventures.com
COLUMBIA BASIN –Shannell Clark at MarDon Resort says fishing at Potholes Reservoir has been relatively slow. A few walleye have been caught around the humps south of the sand dunes and anglers are also picking up a few trout near Medicare Beach and around Goose Island. You can find out more information by dropping by the store at MarDon Resort which is also open seven days a week.