Boat Propeller Damage is Common Mishap

October 30th, 2013 | Posted by Ironwood Pacific in General Boating Interest - (Comments Off on Boat Propeller Damage is Common Mishap)

Boat Propeller Damage is Common Mishap

How many of you have experienced this:

Tweet about Damaged Boat Propeller

Ever had this happen? You’re not alone.

Even if you have clocked little time on a boat, you may know that damage to a boat’s propeller is as common as, say, running out of gas while fishing. It’s not shameful to admit that props get dinged, dented, scraped and damaged beyond repair. Frustrating, it is a fact of boating.

What Damages Boat Propellers?

Any number of scourges can befall the best prop, whether it be sturdy stainless steel or pliable aluminum. The folks at can swear to that. A prop can be damaged by chains or ropes, as the above Tweet testifies. Or propellers can be subject to debris, mainly logs and driftwood, and trash. Rocks and churning sand can also diminish pristine prop quality. Invasive plants can also be a culprit, as had been the case at Lake Austin in Texas earlier this year. Hydrilla was snagging boat propellers and choking other aquatic life at an all-time high.

When is Boat Prop Damage Harmful?

A quick checklist may help you decide if you need to replace your prop:

1. Do you notice a drop in performance? If your acceleration, cornering or general overall handling of your boat drops significantly, then consider replacement.

2. Feel a vibration? Bad sign. A vibration can damage other parts of your boat that you don’t want to have to replace, namely your motor!

3. Are you in the RPM range? Variations can result in poor fuel economy and other damage to your motor.

4. What’s the thickness of your blade? Know your baseline and watch this detail because it can affect performance.

4. Cracks in the blades? No question, time for a replacement.

6. When in doubt, get a boat mechanic’s advice. He’ll probably err on the side of caution, but who wants to be left stranded when your prop or motor stops working?

Rules of Thumb on Prop Maintenance

If you’ve run afoul with your prop, it’s best to inspect the propeller as soon as the suspected damage has occurred. If you heard something or felt a jolt, it’s likely that damage has happened. Props can be repaired, so it’s worth considering a repair versus a replacement IF the damage is caught in time. Some repair shops can offer same-day service and advise whether saving the prop is a worthwhile cause. In many cases, it could be just as cost effective to replace a prop rather than pay for piecemeal repair or welding. If you haven’t experienced a bump while cruising, then inspecting your prop regularly should be enough to keep it in good, working order.

Ironwood Pacific works with several retailing outlets, like, which carry many different brands and types of props. Check online boating retailers for more information about your propeller’s maintenance and upkeep.

On a final note, what happened at Lake Austin? Well, the locals decided to bring in hungry carp to rid the lake of the invasive Hydrilla. According to news reports, the plan worked.


Fish Kill in Channel of the Deschutes River

October 21st, 2013 | Posted by Ironwood Pacific in Boating & Fishing News - (Comments Off on Fish Kill in Channel of the Deschutes River)

FishSeveral news organizations reported over the weekend the discovery of a fish kill in a channel of the Deschutes River in Oregon. But managers of the water are uncertain why it happened this year.

For the last few days, the water level has been dropping on the Central Oregon river. Oregon Water Resources Department typically drops outflows of the Wickiup Reservoir at the end of the irrigation season. This year, the outcome resulted in the fish kill. Crews estimate as many as 3,000 fish may be dead in the shallow channel located next to the Deschutes River Trail.

But those managing the waterway say the scheduled drop in water turned out differently than it had in previous years. Both KTVZ in Bend, Oregon Public Broadcasting and the local newspaper, the Bend Bulletin, reported on the kill. A lively discussion also got started on

Why Fish Kills Occur

Both natural and man-made factors can contribute to a fish kill. For instance, spawning season involves a natural cycle of death, which can be significant in number.  Also, reduced oxygen at certain times of the year, such as during freezing temperatures or when oxygen-poor bottom waters mix with the upper layers in coastal ponds, can produce a natural kill. But human activities, such as nutrients originating from agricultural lands or manure and septic handling systems, have also become a troublesome trend.

ODFW Tracks Fish Kills

In Oregon, the Department of Fish and Wildlife usually has jurisdiction to track fish kills and pursue remedies. So far, no report has been filed online about this particular kill, though reports about previous ones in the state can be found through the ODFW website. The ODFW also posts information about mitigating problems with algae and plants, that can destroy a pond’s ecosystem and cause fish to die.

Questions? Who to Call

Several resources are available to research and explain fish health and water resource management. ODFW suggests these:

Natural Resources Conservation Service — regional offices through out Oregon that can help with pond design questions.

Oregon State Extension Service — offices in every Oregon county.

Oregon Soil and Water Conservation District — located in almost every Oregon county.

ODFW District Fisheries biologist (pdf) — for specific questions about fish that may be allowed in certain areas.


Boaters: Prep for Harsh Winter

October 11th, 2013 | Posted by jennifer in Boating & Fishing News - (Comments Off on Boaters: Prep for Harsh Winter)


Prep for Harsh Winter

It’s impossible to predict exactly what the winter weather will bring to your part of the world, but Ironwood Pacific Outdoors has consulted a tried-and-true source for information about the 2013-14 forecast. The Farmers’ Almanac has been predicting weather patterns every year since 1818. The Almanac has long been a trusted source for long-range weather predictions (for both the US and Canada), and a publisher of articles, calendars, and information on everything, from the best days to fish to when to take vacations.

Harsh Winter Ahead for Boaters

Harsh Winter Ahead for Boaters

Farmers’ Almanac Long Range Forecast

This year, the Almanac says better be prepared because most of the U.S. will experience frigid temps. In fact, the Almanac’s prediction is that 2/3 of the U.S. will have a frigid winter.  The 2014 Long Range Winter Forecast on the Almanac’s website states:

Significant snowfalls are forecast for parts of every zone. Over the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, we are “red-flagging” the first ten days of February for possible heavy winter weather.

The only exception to the cooling trend is the Pacific Northwest, which may experience less rain.

Boating Supplies for Winterizing

For those of you with boats, this could be an alarm bell to get better prepared. Whether you are planning a winter fishing trip or need to get your boat cover up to speed by repairing it, then it’s good to know what you are up against.

Ironwood Pacific sells a few tools that may come in handy for your boat or camper. The IPO easy-to-use canvas snap tools are designed to help you maintain and replace the snaps on your boat canvas — virtually eliminating the need to go to your local canvas shop for repairs. While the canvas snap tools are designed to hold up to tough marine conditions, they are also helpful for campers with pop-up tent trailers, as well as people using canvas and vinyl covers for pick-up beds and storage trailer. The tools can be indispensable.

Canvas Care for Boaters

Canvas Care for Boaters

Fishing Predictions

You may also want to check the Almanac’s fishing calendar and tidal charts to plan your fall and winter outings. Obviously, there’s nothing more accurate than hitting the water when the fish are biting, but any kind of tool that may give you a leg up in your boating and fishing excursions can add confidence to your cast.

Fishing Access, Counts Subject to Government Shutdown

October 3rd, 2013 | Posted by jennifer in General Boating Interest - (Comments Off on Fishing Access, Counts Subject to Government Shutdown)

Fishing Access, Counts Subject to Government Shutdown

As a consequence of Congress’s budget stalemate, fishing is being affected by the government shutdown this week. Along with museums and the National Zoo, national parks are closed, too. On the road to access Grand Canyon National Park, a sign informs visitors: “Glen Canyon N. R.A. Closed Due to Lack of Appropriations. Sorry for the Inconvenience.” A barricade stops visitors from their fishing trips down the Colorado River, and several news outlets have reported many are waiting out the shutdown by camping near the Lee’s Ferry access point. Many of those visitors may simply shrug it off, but some may not, especially when permits to take trips down the river run in the hundreds of dollars.

Fish Counts

Fish counts are being delayed because of the government shutdown.


Not all public access is blocked

Some forest roads are accessible for boating and hiking, and the same is true for millions of acres of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. But visitors are being cautioned to take care if they travel to public forest lands and know beforehand if access is allowed, at least while the cogs of Washington slowly turn.

In the midst of salmon fishing season in Oregon and Washington, the shutdown is affecting the turnaround time of fish counts. The usual daily reports were issued late this week, after the shutdown began on Tuesday. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife posted the counts late on a new website with this phrase in the domain name: …/Government_Shutdown_Fish_Counts/. There’s a first for everything.

The editor of Northwest Sportsman complained about the delay, stating online: “Dearest President & Congress: The shutdown has gone on long enough, but let’s get the government going again — two days without Columbia fish counts is killing me!” We couldn’t agree more.


Outlook on Salmon Fishing in the Pacific Northwest

September 16th, 2013 | Posted by Ironwood Pacific in Boating & Fishing News - (Comments Off on Outlook on Salmon Fishing in the Pacific Northwest)

Outlook on Salmon Fishing in the Pacific Northwest

Largest Fall Chinook Run Since 2004

Anglers and fishing prognosticators are optimistic about the fall salmon run in the Pacific Northwest. This year’s projection, according to an annual report, is on track to be the largest fall Chinook run since 2004.

Temperatures are just starting to cool off, which improves the number of fish to catch. The late summer heat has kept the waters around the Bonneville Dam and the Willamette River a few degrees warmer than optimal, according to reports, so look for even better fishing prospects as the temperatures drop in the coming weeks.

Fall Salmon Run in Pacific Northwest

As you plan your fall salmon fishing trip, remember to check the regulations for the zone you’ll be fishing in.

Projections about the season are made through a process of public hearings by the Pacific Fishery Management Council, whereby fishery managers combine their knowledge to determine outlooks for the salmon run on the Columbia River and parts of the ocean off the Oregon and Washington coasts. The fall season officially begins August 1.

Pacific Northwest Fishing Resources

At Ironwood Pacific, we look for good, reliable information about fishing from several sources. Of course, you can begin by checking the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife website. On the site, you can sign up for seasonal updates by email or download a report in PDF about coastal Wild Coho and Chinook. The ODFW keeps tabs on fish counts in the Columbia River and also at several dams, including Three Mile Falls, Leaburg and Foster dams, among others.

Also, check the The Guide’s Forecast website, which includes fishing updates for Oregon and Washington states, as well as other links for fishing. A handy regional map for tour guides can be found on the site, too.

Before you go out to fish, remember to check the sport fishing regulations for the zone you may be fishing in. These can and are revised throughout the season to protect the valuable resource we all enjoy — fish. Good luck!


Fall Fishing Just Around the Corner

August 28th, 2013 | Posted by jennifer in Boating & Fishing News | General Boating Interest - (Comments Off on Fall Fishing Just Around the Corner)

Fall Fishing Just Around the Corner

Labor Day may mean the end of summer, but it also marks the beginning of the fall fishing season. Soon, temperatures will cool. Leaves will change. Fish will bite!

Nothing beats a night fish in the Finger Lakes region. Or a crappy line in the Midwest. Or cruising at trolling plate speed down a Pacific Northwest river.

Fall Fishing on Golden Water

Fall Fishing on Golden Water

Pacific Northwest Fishing Ideas

September through December is the best time for Fall Chinook salmon on the Columbia River and many of its tributaries, as well as many coastal rivers, such as the Trask, Rogue, Wilson, Nehalem, Nestucca, Siletz and Salmon Rivers, to name just a few. And don’t forget the always popular Buoy 10 at the mouth of the Columbia.

If you want to try your hand at bigger catch, fish for sturgeon on the Columbia, Rogue or Willamette rivers in Oregon. In fact, the Columbia River system has the largest sturgeon population in North America.  And, depending on where you fish, you can catch sturgeon all year long. Sturgeon are the biggest freshwater fish in North America, growing up to 12 feet in length and weighing up to 450 lbs., though the “keeper” range is 42 to 60 inches. Needless to say, these big fellas are great fighters and will test your strength.

Winter Steelhead (another great fighter) begin showing up in coastal rivers in November and the season is in full swing by Christmas as they head into the Clackamas, Sandy, and other inland rivers. And if you’re heading to the coast, fall is a great time to go crabbing in the bays and estuaries, where crabs can be abundant. And mighty tasty! Toss in a ring and catch a few. But watch those claws. They can really smart.

Whether you’re  fishing from a river or stream bank or cruising with your trolling plate, the opportunities for great outdoor fall adventures are at hand. But they won’t last long.

Pacific Northwest Fall Fishing Resources

  • Southern Oregon Fishing – visit our friend Steven Theel’s blog for fishing reports and excellent tips on fishing in Southern Oregon.
  • Fishing the Rogue– visit Charlie Brown for guided trips on the Rogue River where you can find salmon and steelhead year round.

Indiana Catfish Association Record Blue Cat Landed

June 30th, 2011 | Posted by Ironwood Pacific in Boating & Fishing News - (Comments Off on Indiana Catfish Association Record Blue Cat Landed)

Indiana Catfish Association Record Blue Cat Landed

Record Breaking 56 lb Blue Catfish from the Ohio River in Vevay, Indiana

record Breaking 56 lb Blue Catfish from the Ohio River in Vevay Indiana

Record Breaking 56 lb Blue Catfish from the Ohio River in Vevay, Indiana



The weather was clear, but the water was dirty for the Indiana Catfish Association’s tournament on the Ohio River at Vevay,  Indiana on June 23, 2011.  17 teams competed and 21 catfish totaling over 192 pounds were landed and released.  The highlight of the day was the weighing in of a record breaking Blue Catfish that tipped the scale at 56 lbs.   that gave the team of George Lemaster and Walter Gibson the Big Fish win for the tournament and tipped them over the top into the number 1 slot in weight with with a 73.6 lb total and 311 tournament points.

The second place team of Tom Bartlett and Brian Smiley landed 40.2 lbs and took 299 points for the day.  Third place went to James Halcomb and Chuck Breedlove who took home 296 ponts with a 34.4 lb total catch weight.

Ironwood Pacific, manufacturer of the AnchorLift anchor retreival system is a proud sponsor of the Indiana Catfish Association.  The Anchor Lift and Anchorlift Pro are used by many of the competitive catfish anglers on the large rivers of the mid-west. This allows them to quickly and easily retrieve their anchor and move on to the next promising location, saving valuable fishing time and energy.  Ironwood Pacific is pleased to support these sportsmen as they exemplify the competitive spirit of the great outdoors and the respect and conservation of our wildlife resources that these catch and release tournaments exemplify.

If you’re interested in joining the fun, or just learning more about catching big catfish, please visit the Indiana Catfish Association site and check out theri resources or the next tournament date.  Stop by and check out the action if you are close enough, or look for a catfish angling club in your area.  They’ll be glad to see you.



Free Fishing Days and Angler Education in the Northwest

June 8th, 2011 | Posted by Ironwood Pacific in Boating & Fishing News | General Boating Interest - (Comments Off on Free Fishing Days and Angler Education in the Northwest)

Free Fishing Days and Angler Education in the Northwest

Free Fishing Days & Events are Offered Nationwide

During National Boating and Fishing week (June 4-11, 2011), free fishing days and events are offered nationwide to promote boating and fishing. The events range from outdoor fishing shows with fly casting demonstrations and  bait building classes Angler Education for Youthto youth fishing derbies. Here in the Northwest, we’ve got a number of fun, educational events scheduled for the upcoming weekend that we think you and the kids might enjoy.

Fishing Events in Washington

  • June 10-11, 2011: Salmon/Angler Education at Birch Bay State Park Learn about salmon’s role in the local economy and expore their natural habitat with an expert guide. Meet at the Wildlife Theatre at 7 p.m. on Friday or 10 a.m. on Saturday for a nature walk by Terrell Creek.
  • June 11, 2011: Cama Beach Fishing Derby Fish and earn prizes! Children up to 16 years old are eligible to particpate. The derby will be held at Cama Beach State Park from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • June 11, 2011: Pearrygin Lake Kid’s Fishing Derby and Life Jacket Safety: Learn how to choose and wear a lifejacket from a park ranger. Event takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Winthrop National Fish Hatchery.

Fishing Events in Oregon

  • June 11, 2011: Diamond Lake Kids Fishing Derby Participate in a FREE fishing derby from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • June 11, 2011: Wallowa Lake Free Fishing Day An introduction to basic angling techniques for beginners and casting/fishing contests for kids. Equipment available at the event at the south end of the lake.
  • June 11, 2011: Passport to Fishing Event A popular Columbia Gorge event focused on water safety, angler education, and fun for the kids.  This event is held at the Bonneville Hatchery and does not require pre-registration. Register children ages 2-12 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

In addition to these events focused on angler education, a number of lakes in the area have beefed up their stocking schedule. Benson Lake, Harriet Lake, and Hagg Lake – just to name a few – have been stocked with thousands of trout to prepare for the weekend rush. The forecast is calling for 70 degree weather this weekend so get to your nearest lake and enjoy free fishing in the sunshine!

For a complete listing of Free Fishing Days by state, visit’s 2011 State Free Fishing Days.