The Beaver State podcast

February 10, 2020

The Beaver State Podcast is a product of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife that takes a look at hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing in Oregon through conversations with Oregonians, ODFW staff and luminaries throughout the conservation world. Each half-hour to forty-five minute podcast will explore complex fish and wildlife topics broadly and in detail, and future episodes will feature weekly information from the Recreation Report.

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Ep. 20: The Beaver State Podcast: So you want to be a fish biologist, NE Oregon Edition

Montana Pagano works for the Nez Perce fisheries in the tribe's watershed restoration division. Kyle Bratcher is the acting district fish biologist for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Wallowa district. For this podcast, we talk to Montana and Kyle about the work they do to help restore and manage fisheries in beautiful Northeast Oregon. The two of them often work together on many projects that overlap, and they represent a new era of partnerships between tribes and local and state agencies on conservation efforts for fish ranging from lamprey to bull trout.

Ep. 19: The Beaver State Podcast: Beavers, Part II

Part II of our conversation about beavers with OSU wildlife researcher Vanessa Petro. Because beavers can be both a keystone species as well as ecosystem engineers, they’re among the more complicated species from a management perspective. Knowing more about them and their behaviors helps wildlife managers make decisions with more predictable outcomes. In this episode, Vanessa Petro continues to break through some of the many misconceptions about these fascinating critters.

Ep. 18: The Beaver State Podcast: Beavers

Did you know that not all beavers build dams, and that just because you don't see a beaver dam doesn't mean beavers aren't there, or that beavers can probably travel much further than you think they can? In this episode, we talk to Oregon State University wildlife researcher Vanessa Petro about common misconceptions about beavers and what we do know about beaver behavior and conservation in Oregon.

Ep. 17: The Beaver State Podcast: Scott Haugen

Scott Haugen has seen and done it all in the outdoors after decades in the hunting and fishing television industry, countless magazine articles and many books. He's watched the outdoor industry and media change completely over the last few years and he's continuing to adapt to those changes and is constantly looking for opportunities to educate people about hunting and fishing from his home here in Oregon and through continuing travels. Scott took a few minutes to talk to us about how the industry has changed and what he tells folks who ask him how they can become an outdoor writer.

Ep. 16: The Beaver State Podcast: Tellus Calhoun

Tellus Calhoun grew up moving back and forth between Louisiana and Northern California always wanting to have dogs but never being allowed to. When he was old enough to finally have a dog, he never looked back. Calhoun trained dogs for hunt tests and field trials and ended up moving to Oregon because of its temperate climate so he could train and compete year round. Now retired, the legendary dog trainer sat down with us at Charlton Duck Club to talk about his life as a professional dog trainer, avid hunter and being Black in the outdoors.

Ep. 15: The Beaver State Podcast: A tale of two desert fish

Two small minnows live in tiny, remote and hostile environments sixty miles apart in Oregon's Great Basin. Threats to their unique habitats resulted in both getting listed on the Endangered Species List. Efforts by state, federal and private agencies resulted in both fish species recovering and getting delisted in 2019 and 2020. Former ODFW biologist Paul Sheerer even kept three quarters of the entire population of Foskett Springs speckled dace alive in fish tanks in his hotel room while their habitat was restored. This week we're sharing a conversation we had with Paul about these two unique fish species and his work with them over his career.

Ep. 14: The Beaver State Podcast: What's killing America's fawns Part II

A recent article on highlighted deer fawn survival research conducted in Delaware in a part of the state with almost no predators to see what kills deer fawns in the absence of predators. Turns out nutrition is a huge factor in whether a fawn lives or dies, and predators take advantage of weakness that may be due to a lack of good nutrition. Justin Dion is the biologist who conducted that research, and he now works for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. We pulled Justin Dion and ODFW carnivore biologist Derek Broman in for a conversation about how research like the deer fawn study goes from field work to wildlife management practice and the value of building up different career experiences like that for wildlife biologists.

Ep. 13: The Beaver State Podcast: Chad Brown’s Soul River

Chad Brown is the founder and president of Soul River, a 501(c)(3) which brings together underserved youth with veterans to participate in conservation and education. Chad is an African-American man whose experiences in the outdoors are important to hear and to understand, because who he is, his upbringing and each trip to the river are inseparable from who he is as a person. The great outdoors is a place for everyone to experience. But not everyone has the same experience. This podcast episode is the first in many that will explore being outdoors from the perspective of people from many walks of life. Graphic warning: This episode talks about rape, racism and suicide.

Ep. 12: The Beaver State Podcast: The Salmonfly Hatch

Salmonflies are the kings of their species, the largest of the stoneflies. Every May these magnificent bugs emerge from the Deschutes, Rogue and Klamath rivers to breed a new generation of bugs, and fly anglers are there to take advantage of the resulting feast for trout and steelhead. This week we talk to ODFW fishing ambassadors Chris Clogston and Loui Alvarado about their passion for the salmonfly hatch, tying big "ugly bugs" as they call them and why May is one of their favorite times of the year to find the big trout on some of Oregon's most iconic rivers.

Ep. 11: The Beaver State Podcast: How the controlled hunt draw works

Hunters have until May 15 to apply for Oregon's controlled hunts. After that, they have until June 1 to make changes. That's when things get really crazy. Even with more digital technology these days, ODFW staff still hand-enter a lot of data and then create business rules for the algorithm that eventually conducts the drawing. It's among the most complex systems anywhere, and we break it down with Linda Lytle, ODFW's license services manager.

Ep. 10: The Beaver State Podcast: Just for the halibut

All-depth halibut seasons were recently set for the Oregon coast, and soon commercial and sport anglers will head out looking for this much sough-after flatfish with that mild-flavored but firm meat that can fetch quite a price as seafood goes. We explore the history of the fishery, how to fish for halibut and some amazing ways to prepare them with ODFW biologist Lynn Mattes, Yaquina Bay Charters captain Shannon Hunter and Local Ocean restaurant and fish market owner Laura Anderson.

Ep. 9: The Beaver State Podcast: Western Oregon Channel Catfish

Believe it or not, ODFW has been stocking ponds and freeway lakes with channel catfish in Western Oregon for more than 30 years. Certified disease-free fish were often flown in from other parts of the country and the fingerlings were released and a few might get to size but many didn't make it. When the supplier could no longer provide them, ODFW warmwater fish biologists found a new supplier and used an old warmwater fish hatchery in St. Paul, Oregon to grow them to a larger and more sustainable size before release. We go visit that hatchery in this episode.

Ep. 8: The Beaver State Podcast: Talking Turkey

We're right in the middle of spring turkey season, so we sat down with ODFW's upland gamebird biologist Mikal Cline to talk turkeys. We cover their biology, geography, a new tool for hunters to access turkey hunting on private land and why turkeys gobble in this episode.

Ep. 7: The Beaver State Podcast: It's the economy, stupid!

In this week's episode, we talk to Dr. Allen Molina, senior economist at ODFW, about the hunting and fishing economy in Oregon, the changing demographics of hunters and anglers and what the future might look as the state grows and new hunters and anglers enter the mix.

Ep. 6: The Beaver State Podcast: Recreation during the Covid-19 crisis

Fishing and hunting remain open in Oregon during the Covid-19 crisis, but closures of parks, popular recreation spots and other public lands have made it difficult to find places to recreate. In this episode, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Spokesperson Chris Havel talks about the process of deciding to close state parks and what that mean for recreation opportunities in Oregon during the duration of this crisis.

Ep. 5: The Beaver State Podcast: Bears

This week spring black bear season opened amidst shelter-in-place orders from the governor to help stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus. We talked to ODFW Wildlife Division Deputy Administrator Kevin Blakely and Carnivore biologist Derek Broman about some of the changes to hunting seasons as well as all about black bears in Oregon. We cover their biology, social habits and habitat needs in a wide-ranging conversation about one of our favorite critters.

Ep. 4: The Beaver State Podcast: Wildlife Disease and Coronavirus

We're living through a global pandemic right now, and the chief culprit is a virus called coronavirus. What's that have to do with wildlife? Well, quite a bit it turns out. This particular coronavirus likely jumped to humans through contact with wildlife. To better understand this concept, we spent some time at ODFW's Wildlife Health and Population Lab Program with state wildlife veterinarian Dr. Colin Gillin and wildlife veterinarian Dr. Julia Burco talking about zoonotic diseases, those that jump from animals to humans as well as wildlife diseases that they monitor here in Oregon.

Ep. 3: Birding with Jason Ward

We're not in Kansas anymore. We're not in Oregon either, for that matter. This week we're in Atlanta, Georgia, attending the Recreation Boating and Fishing Foundation's annual State Marketing Workshop. And Atlanta happens to be home to Jason Ward, whose YouTube show, "Birds of North America," hosted by Topic, has become a sensation among young diverse birders from around the country and beyond. We couldn't resist meeting up with Jason for a quick chat and some birding in Atlanta's Piedmont Park.

Ep. 2: History

In this episode, we introduce the host of The Beaver State Podcast, Tim Akimoff, and talk to ODFW Director Curt Melcher about the history of the agency, his own family's deep history in the state and where the agency is after his five years as the director. It's also the 161st birthday of Oregon.

Ep. 1: Steelhead week

Zane Grey introduced the world to Oregon winter steelhead fishing in 1919, creating the mythos of these legendary fish. In this special, one-off episode of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's new The Beaver State Podcast, we talk to ODFW Fish Chief Ed Bowles about steelhead. What they are, how they are managed and what the future holds for these amazing fish.

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