Fish & Feathers: Ocean salmon opens with a splash!

<I>RON MALAST photo</I><BR>This whopper closed out the Sturgeon for Terry Taylor.

The 2007 salmon season opened on July 1 in Marine Area 1 in the Pacific Ocean. Almost all fishermen returned with limits.

Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife fish checkers verified that practically every boat returning from the ocean had limits of coho. There was no large showing of Chinook... yet.

Fishing in the ocean remains open seven days a week and the limit is two fish - two coho or one Chinook and one coho. The coho must be fin clipped and the Chinook need not be clipped. The size limit for Chinook is 24 inches.

Remember, fishing for salmon in the Lower Columbia River is not open. While returning from a sturgeon trip the other day, I noticed a boat trolling for what only be salmon. The river does not open for salmon until August - the famous Buoy 10 fishery.

Sturgeon fishing in the Lower Columbia closes 12 midnight Wednesday, July 4.

Bald Eagle RecoveryProbably the most successful recovery of a species in the United States is the story of our national symbol, the bald eagle.

Locals and visitors to the Peninsula are fortunate to live in an environment that fosters a healthy population of the birds. At times, they can be found searching for food on the beaches or soaring the heights of Cape Disappointment. They are frequently found at low tide on the flats of Baker Bay, the Ilwaco Channel and around Cape Disappointment State Park.

Bald eagles were officially declared an endangered species in 1967 in all areas of the U.S. below the 40th parallel, under a law the preceeded the Endangered Species Act of 1973. In July 1995, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service upgraded the status of bald eagles in the Lower 48 to threatened.

On June 28, the Interior Department took the bald eagle off the Endangered Species List, but the bird will still be protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty.

Bald eagles are found over most of North America, from Alaska and Canada to Northern Mexico. About half of the world's 70,000 bald eagles live in Alaska. Combined with British Columbia's population of 20,000, the Northwest is by far their greatest stronghold. They flourish here in part because of the salmon. Dead or dying fish are an important food source for all bald eagles.

This was one government program that worked.

Warm blooded and cold bloodedWe hear these two terms bantered around a lot, but what do they really mean?

With a few exceptions, all mammals and birds are warm-blooded and all reptiles, insects, arachnids, amphibians and fish are cold-blooded. Warm-blooded creatures try to keep the inside of their bodies at a constant temperature. They do this by generating their own heat when they are in a cooler environment, and by cooling themselves when they are in a hotter environment. To generate heat, warm-blooded animals have to eat a lot of food compared to cold-blooded animals.

Cold-blooded creatures take on the temperature of their surroundings. They are hot when their environment is hot and cold when it is cold. Cold-blooded animals are much moor active when it is hot and very sluggish when it is cold. Only mammals can sweat. Hope this helps clear things up.

Ron Malast is operator of the charter boat Shamrock operating out of Sea Sport Fishing Charters in Ilwaco, 642-8862.

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