Archive for July 2010

Aberdeen School Board Meeting to Discuss Budget

ABERDEEN, Wash. – The Aberdeen School Board will conduct a special meeting on Tuesday, August 3, to consider budget matters.

At 6:30 p.m., the Board will open a public hearing to receive public comment on the 2010-2011 Budget. Following the conclusion of the public hearing, the Board will consider Resolution 2010-08 authorizing an extension of the 2009-2010 Budget in order to complete the purchase of school buses.

The meeting will take place in the Community Room at Aberdeen High School.

Calling all Teachers Campaign Kicks Off

U.S. Cellular is giving $1 million to help teachers erase classroom needs with the return of the company’s Calling All Teachers campaign. The pinch of budget cuts has compelled many teachers to supplement shortfalls by purchasing basic supplies like crayons, textbooks and calculators with personal resources. Starting Aug. 1 through Sept. 15, Washington teachers can post their funding requests to www.DonorsChoose.org, and U.S. Cellular will fund projects in September and October. Last year, U.S. Cellular funded 51 projects in Washington valued at nearly $26,000 that impacted more than 3,600 students.

NW Groups say ‘No’ to Tropical Trash

Harris says the tons of trash have been wrapped in plastic bales for transport, but they’ve sitting for more than a year, and many are torn and leaking. The shipments were set to start this week, but the lawsuit will delay them.

"The City of Honolulu has threatened, if the shipping doesn’t start soon, that they may rescind the contract, so this may be the death blow to it, but only time will tell. There’s obviously incredible pressure here to do something about the trash, and I’m sure there will be pressure to continue looking at this idea."

The lawsuit asks that a full environmental impact statement be prepared before shipping Hawaii’s trash is allowed into the Gorge. Harris says waste disposal has reached a crisis point in Hawaii, and the barging was meant to be temporary until an incinerator can be expanded. But he says Hawaiians generate about twice the amount of trash per day as folks on the mainland, and recycling has not been a priority there until recently.

The complaint is online at www.gorgefriends.org.

Teachers Missing from New WA Higher Ed Task Force

Lyne is also concerned that the governor is asking the task force to look at improving school performance and accountability. He says those are not problems; that the university system is at the top of national performance ratings, although it ranks 48th in terms of state funding.

"This state has for a long time been getting a world-class university system at well-below market rates. So, the idea that you can comb our budgets and find fat there that you can cut and make it cheaper, is just not true."

The governor’s office says public four-year universities must increase the number of degrees they grant by 30 percent in order to meet the growing demand for skilled workers. The Higher Education Funding Task Force will meet through the summer and make its recommendations to the governor this fall, as she prepares next year’s legislative agenda.

Timberland Bancorp Earns $0.08 per Share in Fiscal Third Quarter

"Our fiscal third quarter performance demonstrates the progress we have made during the past few quarters toward improving the risk profile of the Bank. Asset quality, asset mix, deposit mix and our already strong Risk Based Capital ratios improved during the quarter," stated Michael Sand, the Company’s President and CEO. "We have relentlessly reduced our exposure to speculative single family construction loans which at June 30, 2010, comprised less than 1% of the total loan portfolio. Total construction credits at June 30, 2010, exclusive of our owner builder segment, represented less than 7% of our loan portfolio," Sand also stated. "Loan demand remained soft during the quarter which is reflected by a 1% reduction in net loans receivable at quarter end relative to the end of the prior quarter. We were also pleased to have completed our annual regulatory examination," added Sand.

Capital Ratios and Asset Quality

Timberland Bancorp remains very well capitalized with a total risk-based capital ratio of 15.96%, a Tier 1 leverage capital ratio of 11.15% and a tangible capital to tangible assets ratio of 10.94% at June 30, 2010.

The NPAs to total assets ratio decreased to 5.12% at June 30, 2010 from 5.95% at March 31, 2010. "We charged off a total of $6.5 million in loans in the third fiscal quarter. This total included $5.1 million of previously identified impairments that were provisioned for in prior quarters. Due to improving credit metrics and appropriate provisioning in prior periods for potential charge-offs, a $750,000 provision for the quarter was appropriate based on our detailed allowance for loan loss analysis," Sand stated. The allowance for loan losses of $10.9 million represented 2.00% of loans receivable and loans held for sale at June 30, 2010. Net charge-offs for the quarter ended June 30, 2010 totaled $6.5 million compared to $3.4 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2010 and $609,000 for the quarter ended June 30, 2009.

NPLs decreased 20% to $21.0 million at June 30, 2010 from $26.4 million at March 31, 2010 and were comprised of 66 loans and 44 credit relationships. NPLs were comprised of the following at June 30, 2010:

* Seven commercial real estate loans totaling $4.96 million (of which the largest had a balance of $2.84 million)
* 22 land loans totaling $4.85 million (of which the largest had a balance of $835,000)
* 12 single family home loans totaling $3.46 million (of which the largest had a balance of $722,000)
* Seven land development loans totaling $3.21 million (of which the largest had a balance of $1.49 million)
* Seven single family speculative home loans totaling $2.08 million (of which the largest had a balance of $767,000)
* Two condominium construction loans totaling $1.93 million (of which the largest had a balance of $1.60 million)
* One single family construction loan with a balance of $274,000
* Four home equity loans totaling $114,000
* Two commercial business loans totaling $98,000
* Two consumer loans totaling $62,000

Net charge-offs totaled $6.54 million during the quarter ended June 30, 2010 and were comprised of the following:

* $3.99 million on six land development loans (of which $3.57 million had already been specifically reserved for in previous quarters)
* $1.74 million on 14 land loans (of which $1.37 million had already been specifically reserved for in previous quarters)
* $189,000 on two commercial real estate properties
* $176,000 on two multi-family construction loans
* $144,000 on home equity and consumer loans
* $133,000 on three single family construction loans
* $116,000 on three single family loans
* $47,000 on two single family speculative construction loans

Other real estate owned ("OREO") and other repossessed items decreased to $12.96 million at June 30, 2010 from $13.48 million at March 31, 2010. At June 30, 2010 the OREO portfolio consisted of 28 individual properties and two other repossessed assets. The properties consisted of two condominium projects totaling $3.9 million, three land development projects totaling $3.6 million, ten single family homes totaling $2.9 million, ten land parcels totaling $1.3 million and three commercial real estate properties totaling $1.3 million. During the quarter ended June 30, 2010 seven OREO properties and three other repossessed assets totaling $1.1 million were sold for a net book gain of $73,000. In addition to these sales, 23 residential building lots were closed in the Clark County, Washington OREO subdivision during the quarter ended June 30, 2010 with three pending sales at quarter end. The Bank has a 12.5% participation interest in the plat. Also at quarter end, there were eight pending sales in the Bank’s Richland, Washington OREO plat with four sales closing during the quarter.

Balance Sheet Management

Total assets increased 1% to $732.4 million at June 30, 2010 from $724.8 million at March 31, 2010. The increase in total assets was primarily the result of a $16.9 million increase in cash equivalents and certificates of deposits ("CDs") held for investment, which was partially offset by a decrease in net loans receivable. "We continue to build and maintain a high level of liquidity, both on balance sheet and through off-balance sheet sources," said Dean Brydon, Chief Financial Officer. Liquidity as measured by cash equivalents, CDs held for investment and available for sale investments increased to 18.9% of total liabilities at June 30, 2010 from 16.5% at March 31, 2010 and 9.9% one year ago.

Net loans receivable decreased 1% to $533.1 million at June 30, 2010 from $538.7 million at March 31, 2010. "The mix of loans in our portfolio continues to improve," said Brydon. "Overall, we have reduced our total exposure to construction and land development loans by 34% during the last quarter and by 53% from one year ago." During the current quarter the one-to-four family speculative construction portfolio decreased by 50%, the land development portfolio decreased by 49% and the multi-family construction portfolio decreased by 35%.

LOAN PORTFOLIO
($ in thousands)    June 30, 2010      March 31, 2010       June 30, 2009
                  Amount   Percent    Amount   Percent    Amount   Percent
                 -------- ---------  -------- ---------  -------- ---------
Mortgage Loans:
  One-to-four
   family        $116,805       21%  $113,295       20%  $110,338       19%
  Multi-family     33,127        6     33,236        6     25,702        4
  Commercial      215,336       38    198,171       34    178,941       30
  Construction
   and land
   development     66,248       12    100,938       18    142,006       24
  Land             63,684       11     63,856       11     65,736       11
                 -------- ---------  -------- ---------  -------- ---------
    Total mortgage
     loans        495,200       88    509,496       89    522,723       88

Consumer Loans:
  Home equity
   and second
   mortgage        39,215        7     39,303        7     41,950        7
  Other             9,514        2      9,477        1     10,107        2
                 -------- ---------  -------- ---------  -------- ---------
    Total
     consumer
     loans         48,729        9     48,780        8     52,057        9

Commercial
 business loans    18,114        3     18,173        3     15,199        3
                 -------- ---------  -------- ---------  -------- ---------
Total loans       562,043      100%   576,449      100%   589,979      100%
Less:
  Undisbursed
   portion of
   construction
   loans in
   process        (15,780)            (18,824)            (29,447)
  Unearned income  (2,232)             (2,286)             (2,326)
  Allowance for
   loan losses    (10,900)            (16,687)            (12,440)
                 --------            --------            --------
Total loans
 receivable, net $533,131            $538,652            $545,766
                 ========            ========            ========




CONSTRUCTION LOAN
 COMPOSITION
($ in thousands)    June 30, 2010      March 31, 2010       June 30, 2009
                           Percent             Percent             Percent
                           of Loan             of Loan             of Loan
                  Amount  Portfolio   Amount  Portfolio   Amount  Portfolio
                 -------- ---------  -------- ---------  -------- ---------
Custom and
 owner / builder $ 29,080        5%  $ 29,101        5%  $ 34,373        6%
Speculative         5,071        1     10,070        2     19,332        3
Commercial real
 estate            20,363        4     40,369        7     42,056        7
Multi-family
 (including
 condominium)       4,014        1      6,135        1     25,631        4
Land development    7,720        1     15,263        3     20,614        4
                 -------- ---------  -------- ---------  -------- ---------
  Total
   construction
   and land
   development
   loans         $ 66,248       12%  $100,938       18%  $142,006       24%
                 ======== =========  ======== =========  ======== =========

 

Total loan originations were $36.5 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2010 compared to $42.6 million for the preceding quarter and $94.8 million for the comparable quarter one year ago. Timberland continues to sell fixed rate one-to-four family mortgage loans into the secondary market for asset-liability management purposes and to generate non-interest income. During the quarter ended June 30, 2010, $11.4 million one-to-four family fixed-rate mortgage loans were sold on the secondary market compared to $13.5 million for the preceding quarter and $69.6 million for the quarter ended one year ago.

Timberland’s mortgage-backed securities and other investments decreased by $1.0 million during the quarter to $17.2 million at June 30, 2010 from $18.2 million at March 31, 2010, primarily as a result of prepayments, regular amortization and impairment related write-downs. During the quarter ended June 30, 2010, other-than-temporary-impairment ("OTTI") credit related write-downs and realized losses of $152,000 were recorded on the private label mortgage-backed securities that were acquired in the in-kind redemption from the AMF family of mutual funds in June 2008. At June 30, 2010 the Bank’s remaining private label mortgage-backed securities portfolio had been reduced to $5.4 million from an original acquired balance of $15.3 million.

 

DEPOSIT BREAKDOWN
($ in thousands)    June 30, 2010      March 31, 2010       June 30, 2009
                  Amount   Percent    Amount   Percent    Amount   Percent
                 -------- ---------  -------- ---------  -------- ---------
Non-interest
 bearing         $ 52,018        9%    49,870        9%  $ 50,153       10%
N.O.W. checking   154,753       27    141,119       26    102,186       21
Savings            66,134       12     64,800       12     56,303       11
Money market       54,506       10     57,716       10     61,992       13
Certificates of
 deposit
 under $100       148,864       26    144,957       26    140,924       29
Certificates of
 deposit $100
 and over          91,710       16     89,262       16     75,861       16
Certificates of
 deposit -
 brokered              --       --      4,000        1         --       --
                 -------- ---------  -------- ---------  -------- ---------
  Total deposits $567,985      100%  $551,724      100%  $487,419      100%
                 ======== =========  ======== =========  ======== =========

 

Total deposits increased by 3% to $568.0 million at June 30, 2010, from $551.7 million at March 31, 2010 primarily as a result of a $13.6 million increase in N.O.W. checking account balances, a $2.1 million increase in non-interest bearing account balances, a $6.4 million increase in CD account balances and a $1.3 million increase in savings account balances. These increases were partially offset by a $3.2 million decrease in money market account balances.

Total shareholders’ equity increased $810,000 to $85.68 million at June 30, 2010, from $84.87 million at March 31, 2010. The increase in equity was primarily a result of net income for the quarter and a reduction in the accumulated other comprehensive loss equity component. Timberland continues to remain very well capitalized with a total risk based capital ratio of 15.96% and a Tier 1 leverage capital of 11.15%. Book value per common share was $9.93 and tangible book value per common share was $9.04 at June 30, 2010.

Operating Results

Fiscal third quarter operating revenue (net interest income before provision for loan losses, plus non-interest income excluding OTTI charges), increased 1% to $8.5 million from $8.4 million for the immediately prior quarter and decreased 6% compared to $9.0 million in the comparable quarter one year ago. The decrease in operating revenue from the comparable quarter one year ago was primarily the result of a decrease in gains on sale of loans as mortgage banking activity slowed. For the first nine months of fiscal 2010, operating revenue decreased 5% to $25.6 million compared to $26.9 million for the first nine months of fiscal 2009 primarily due to a decrease in gains on sale of loans. Also affecting the comparison to the first nine months of fiscal 2009 was a $134,000 non-recurring gain on the Bank’s investment in bank owned life insurance ("BOLI") recorded during the quarter ended March 31, 2009.

Net interest income before the provision for loan losses increased to $6.39 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2010, from $6.20 million for the comparable quarter one year ago with interest and dividend income decreasing by 5% and interest expense decreasing by 21%. The increase in net interest income was primarily due to a decrease in funding costs and an increased level of average interest earnings assets for the current quarter. In spite of the challenging interest rate environment and elevated liquidity levels, Timberland’s net interest margin remained strong at 3.85% for the current quarter compared to 3.93% for the quarter ended March 31, 2010 and 3.86% for the quarter one year ago. The net interest margin was reduced by approximately eight basis points for the quarter ended June 30, 2010 by the reversal of interest income on loans placed on non-accrual during the quarter. For the first nine months of fiscal 2010, net interest income before the provision for loan losses increased 1% to $19.2 million compared to $19.1 million for the first nine months of fiscal 2009. Timberland’s net interest margin for the first nine months of fiscal 2010 was 3.91% compared to 4.03% for the first nine months of fiscal 2009.

Timberland recorded a $750,000 provision to its allowance for loan losses for the quarter ended June 30, 2010, compared to $5.2 million in the preceding quarter and $1.0 million in the comparable quarter one year prior. Net charge-offs during the current quarter exceeded the quarterly provision expense primarily due to the charge-off of $5.1 million in impairments previously identified and factored into prior quarters’ provisions. Net charge-offs for the quarter ended June 30, 2010 totaled $6.5 million compared to $3.4 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2010 and $609,000 for the quarter ended June 30, 2009. For the first nine months of fiscal 2010, the provision for loan losses totaled $8.5 million compared to $7.5 million in the first nine months of fiscal 2009. Year to date, net charge-offs were $11.8 million compared to $3.0 million in the first nine months of fiscal 2009.

Total operating (non-interest) expenses increased 1% to $6.42 million for the third fiscal quarter from $6.37 million from the comparable quarter one year ago and decreased 4% from $6.69 million for the immediately prior quarter. Year to date, total operating expenses increased 7% to $18.61 million from $17.35 million for the first nine months of fiscal 2009. Increased insurance expenses (FDIC and D&O), increased OREO expenses and increased salaries and employee benefits expenses accounted for the majority of the increased expense.

About Timberland Bancorp, Inc. Timberland Bancorp, Inc., a Washington corporation, is the holding company for Timberland Bank ("Bank"). The Bank opened for business in 1915 and serves consumers and businesses across Grays Harbor, Thurston, Pierce, King, Kitsap and Lewis counties, Washington with a full range of lending and deposit services through its 22 branches (including its main office in Hoquiam).

Disclaimer Certain matters discussed in this press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are not statements of historical fact and often include the words "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "estimates," "forecasts," "intends," "plans," "targets," "potentially," "probably," "projects," "outlook" or similar expressions or future or conditional verbs such as "may," "will," "should," "would" and "could." Forward-looking statements include statements with respect to our beliefs, plans, objectives, goals, expectations, assumptions and statements about future performance. These forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from the results anticipated, including, but not limited to: the credit risks of lending activities, including changes in the level and trend of loan delinquencies and write-offs and changes in our allowance for loan losses and provision for loan losses that may be impacted by deterioration in the housing and commercial real estate markets and may lead to increased losses and non-performing assets in our loan portfolio, and may result in our allowance for loan losses not being adequate to cover actual losses, and require us to materially increase our reserves; changes in general economic conditions, either nationally or in our market areas; changes in the levels of general interest rates, and the relative differences between short and long term interest rates, deposit interest rates, our net interest margin and funding sources; fluctuations in the demand for loans, the number of unsold homes, land and other properties and fluctuations in real estate values in our market areas; secondary market conditions for loans and our ability to sell loans in the secondary market; results of examinations of us by the Federal Reserve and our bank subsidiary by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, Division of Banks or other regulatory authorities, including the possibility that any such regulatory authority may, among other things, require us to increase our allowance for loan losses, write-down assets, change our regulatory capital position or affect our ability to borrow funds or maintain or increase deposits, which could adversely affect our liquidity and earnings; our compliance with regulatory enforcement actions, including regulatory memoranda of understandings ("MOUs") to which we are subject; legislative or regulatory changes that adversely affect our business including changes in regulatory policies and principles, or the interpretation of regulatory capital or other rules; our ability to attract and retain deposits; further increases in premiums for deposit insurance; our ability to control operating costs and expenses; the use of estimates in determining fair value of certain of our assets, which estimates may prove to be incorrect and result in significant declines in valuation; difficulties in reducing risk associated with the loans on our balance sheet; staffing fluctuations in response to product demand or the implementation of corporate strategies that affect our workforce and potential associated charges; computer systems on which we depend could fail or experience a security breach; our ability to retain key members of our senior management team; costs and effects of litigation, including settlements and judgments; our ability to successfully integrate any assets, liabilities, customers, systems, and management personnel we may in the future acquire into our operations and our ability to realize related revenue synergies and cost savings within expected time frames and any goodwill charges related thereto; our ability to manage loan delinquency rates; increased competitive pressures among financial services companies; changes in consumer spending, borrowing and savings habits; legislative or regulatory changes that adversely affect our business including changes in regulatory policies and principles, the interpretation of regulatory capital or other rules and any changes in the rules applicable to institutions participating in the TARP Capital Purchase Program; the availability of resources to address changes in laws, rules, or regulations or to respond to regulatory actions; adverse changes in the securities markets; inability of key third-party providers to perform their obligations to us; changes in accounting policies and practices, as may be adopted by the financial institution regulatory agencies or the Financial Accounting Standards Board, including additional guidance and interpretation on accounting issues and details of the implementation of new accounting methods; the economic impact of war or any terrorist activities; other economic, competitive, governmental, regulatory, and technological factors affecting our operations; pricing, products and services; and other risks detailed in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Any of the forward-looking statements that we make in this press release and in the other public statements we make are based upon management’s beliefs and assumptions at the time they are made. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements included in this report or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those contained in such statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. We do not undertake and specifically disclaim any obligation to revise any forward-looking statements to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events or circumstances after the date of such statements. These risks could cause our actual results for 2010 and beyond to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements by, or on behalf of us, and could negatively affect the Company’s operations and stock price performance.

 

TIMBERLAND BANCORP INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS
($ in thousands, except per share amounts)
(unaudited)
                                                Three Months Ended
                                         June 30,    March 31,   June 30,
                                           2010        2010        2009
                                         ---------   ---------   ---------
  Interest and dividend income
  Loans receivable                       $   8,764   $   8,832   $   9,240
  Mortgage-backed securities and other
   investments                                 239         239         322
  Dividends from mutual funds                    9           9           9
  Federal funds sold                            --          --           8
  Interest bearing deposits in banks            90          77          32
                                         ---------   ---------   ---------
     Total interest and dividend income      9,102       9,157       9,611

  Interest expense
  Deposits                                   1,951       1,958       2,440
  FHLB advances and other borrowings           760         753         979
                                         ---------   ---------   ---------
     Total interest expense                  2,711       2,711       3,419
                                         ---------   ---------   ---------
     Net interest income                     6,391       6,446       6,192

  Provision for loan losses                    750       5,195       1,000
                                         ---------   ---------   ---------
     Net interest income after
      provision for loan losses              5,641       1,251       5,192

  Non-interest income
  OTTI loss, net                              (152)     (1,556)       (125)
  Realized loss on investment securities        --          (1)         --
  Service charges on deposits                1,066       1,022       1,066
  Gain on sale of loans, net                   238         300       1,170
  Bank owned life insurance ("BOLI")
   net earnings                                120         115         123
  Servicing income on loans sold                32          25          20
  Valuation recovery (allowance)
   on mortgage servicing rights ("MSRs")        22         (22)       (169)
  ATM transaction fees                         439         386         326
  Other                                        176         161         263
                                         ---------   ---------   ---------
     Total non-interest income               1,941         430       2,674

  Non-interest expense
  Salaries and employee benefits             3,117       2,921       2,919
  Premises and equipment                       717         702         719
  Advertising                                  235         220         252
  OREO and other repossessed items
   expense, net                                373         344         391
  ATM expenses                                 164         171         162
  FDIC insurance                               317         806         400
  Postage and courier                          130         142         203
  Amortization of core deposit
   intangible                                   48          48          54
  State and local taxes                        159         153         152
  Professional fees                            193         196         199
  Other                                        969         989         922
                                         ---------   ---------   ---------
     Total non-interest expense              6,422       6,692       6,373
                                         ---------   ---------   ---------

  Income (loss) before income taxes          1,160      (5,011)      1,493
  Provision (benefit) for income taxes         356      (1,833)        435
                                         ---------   ---------   ---------
     Net income (loss)                   $     804   $  (3,178)  $   1,058
                                         =========   =========   =========

  Preferred stock dividends accrued      $     208   $     208   $     210
  Preferred stock discount accretion            53          52          79
                                         ---------   ---------   ---------
  Net income (loss) to common
   shareholders                          $     543   $  (3,438)  $     769
                                         =========   =========   =========

  Earnings (loss) per common share:
     Basic                               $    0.08   $   (0.51)  $    0.12
     Diluted                             $    0.08   $   (0.51)  $    0.12
  Weighted average common shares
   outstanding:
     Basic                               6,715,410   6,713,958   6,645,229
     Diluted                             6,715,410   6,713,958   6,645,229





TIMBERLAND BANCORP INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS
($ in thousands, except per share)
(unaudited)
                                                      Nine Months Ended
                                                     June 30,    June 30,
                                                       2010        2009
                                                     ---------   ---------
Interest and dividend income
Loans receivable                                     $  26,661   $  28,229
Mortgage-backed securities and other investments           695       1,081
Dividends from mutual funds                                 27          29
Federal funds sold                                          --          36
Interest bearing deposits in banks                         218          62
                                                     ---------   ---------
   Total interest and dividend income                   27,601      29,437

Interest expense
Deposits                                                 5,986       7,321
FHLB advances and other borrowings                       2,387       3,043
                                                     ---------   ---------
   Total interest expense                                8,373      10,364
                                                     ---------   ---------
   Net interest income                                  19,228      19,073

Provision for loan losses                                8,545       7,491
                                                     ---------   ---------
   Net interest income after provision
    for loan losses                                     10,683      11,582

Non-interest income
OTTI loss, net                                          (2,028)     (2,288)
Realized loss on investment securities                     (17)         --
Service charges on deposits                              3,218       3,224
Gain on sale of loans, net                                 987       2,471
BOLI net earnings                                          369         501
Servicing income on loans sold                              86          76
Valuation allowance on MSRs                                 --        (169)
ATM transaction fees                                     1,187         920
Other                                                      538         756
                                                     ---------   ---------
   Total non-interest income                             4,340       5,491

Non-interest expense
Salaries and employee benefits                           9,019       8,818
Premises and equipment                                   2,120       2,079
Advertising                                                626         672
OREO and other repossessed items expense, net              767         552
ATM expenses                                               490         448
FDIC insurance                                           1,323         586
Postage and courier                                        400         448
Amortization of core deposit intangible                    143         163
State and local taxes                                      453         449
Professional fees                                          561         547
Other                                                    2,710       2,589
                                                     ---------   ---------
   Total non-interest expense                           18,612      17,351
                                                     ---------   ---------

Loss before income taxes                                (3,589)       (278)
Benefit for income taxes                                (1,439)       (305)
                                                     ---------   ---------
   Net income (loss)                                 $  (2,150)  $      27
                                                     =========   =========

Preferred stock dividends accrued                    $     624   $     437
Preferred stock discount accretion                         156          79
                                                     ---------   ---------
Net loss to common shareholders                      $  (2,930)  $    (489)
                                                     =========   =========

Loss per common share:
   Basic                                             $   (0.44)  $   (0.07)
   Diluted                                           $   (0.44)  $   (0.07)
Weighted average common shares outstanding:
   Basic                                             6,713,103   6,609,915
   Diluted                                           6,713,103   6,609,915





TIMBERLAND BANCORP, INC.
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET
($ in thousands, except per share amounts) (unaudited)

                                         June 30,    March 31,   June 30,
                                           2010        2010        2009
Assets                                   ---------   ---------   ---------
Cash equivalents:
   Cash and due from financial
    institutions                         $  11,748   $   9,883   $  12,118
   Interest-bearing deposits in
    other banks                             83,507      65,574      31,853
                                         ---------   ---------   ---------
                                            95,255      75,457      43,971

Certificate of deposits ("CDs") held
 for investment, at cost                    15,188      18,108          --
Mortgage-backed securities and other
 investments:
   Held to maturity, at amortized cost       5,604       5,982      10,196
   Available for sale, at fair value        11,578      12,225      13,898
FHLB stock                                   5,705       5,705       5,705
                                         ---------   ---------   ---------
                                            22,887      23,912      29,799

Loans receivable                           542,577     554,880     555,961
Loans held for sale                          1,454         459       2,245
Less: Allowance for loan losses            (10,900)    (16,687)    (12,440)
                                         ---------   ---------   ---------
Net loans receivable                       533,131     538,652     545,766

Premises and equipment                      17,529      17,751      18,174
OREO and other repossessed items            12,957      13,477       7,698
BOLI                                        13,278      13,158      13,403
Accrued interest receivable                  2,709       2,996       2,918
Goodwill                                     5,650       5,650       5,650
Core deposit intangible                        612         659         809
Mortgage servicing rights, net               2,683       2,678       2,366
Prepaid FDIC insurance assessment            3,569       3,863          --
Other assets                                 6,970       8,415       4,938
                                         ---------   ---------   ---------
Total Assets                             $ 732,418   $ 724,776   $ 675,492
                                         =========   =========   =========

Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity
Non-interest-bearing deposits            $  52,018   $  49,870   $  50,153
Interest-bearing deposits                  515,967     501,854     437,266
                                         ---------   ---------   ---------
   Total deposits                          567,985     551,724     487,419

FHLB advances                               75,000      75,000      95,000
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
 advances                                       --      10,000          --
Repurchase agreements                          713         445         666
Other liabilities and accrued expenses       3,041       2,738       3,652
                                         ---------   ---------   ---------
Total Liabilities                          646,739     639,907     586,737
                                         ---------   ---------   ---------

Shareholders' Equity
Preferred stock - $.01 par value;
 1,000,000 shares authorized;               15,710      15,657      15,487
 16,641 shares, Series A, issued and
 outstanding
 Series A shares: $1,000 per share
 liquidation value
Common stock - $.01 par value;
 50,000,000 shares authorized;              10,373      10,357      10,328
 7,045,036 shares issued and
 outstanding
Unearned shares - Employee Stock
 Ownership Plan                             (2,313)     (2,379)     (2,578)
Retained earnings                           62,641      62,098      66,802
Accumulated other comprehensive loss          (732)       (864)     (1,284)
                                         ---------   ---------   ---------
Total Shareholders' Equity                  85,679      84,869      88,755
                                         ---------   ---------   ---------
Total Liabilities and Shareholders'
 Equity                                  $ 732,418   $ 724,776   $ 675,492
                                         =========   =========   =========





KEY FINANCIAL RATIOS AND DATA
($ in thousands, except per share amounts) (unaudited)


                                                Three Months Ended
                                         ---------------------------------
                                         June 30,    March 31,   June 30,
                                           2010        2010        2009
                                         ---------   ---------   ---------
PERFORMANCE RATIOS:
Return (loss) on average assets (a)           0.45%      (1.78)%      0.61%
Return (loss) on average equity (a)           3.78%     (14.56)%      4.79%
Net interest margin (a)                       3.85%       3.93%       3.86%
Efficiency ratio                             77.08%      97.32%      71.88%
Core efficiency ratio (b)                    70.92%      68.46%      64.72%


                                                Nine Months Ended
                                         ---------------------------------
                                         June 30,                June 30,
                                           2010                    2009
                                         ---------               ---------
Return (loss) on average assets (a)          (0.40)%                  0.01%
Return (loss) on average equity (a)          (3.31)%                  0.04%
Net interest margin (a)                       3.91%                   4.03%
Efficiency ratio                             78.97%                  70.64%
Core efficiency ratio (b)                    67.11%                  61.57%


                                         June 30,    March 31,   June 30,
                                           2010        2010        2009
                                         ---------   ---------   ---------
ASSET QUALITY RATIOS:
Non-performing loans                     $  21,031   $  26,351   $  25,113
Non-performing investment securities         3,482       3,262         175
OREO and other repossessed assets           12,957      13,477       7,698
                                         ---------   ---------   ---------
Total non-performing assets              $  37,470   $  43,090   $  32,986
                                         =========   =========   =========

Non-performing assets to total
 assets (c)                                   5.12%       5.95%       4.88%
Allowance for loan losses to
 non-performing loans                           52%         63%         50%
Allowance for loan losses to
 net loans receivable                         2.00%       3.00%         --
Troubled debt restructured loans (d)     $  14,359   $  18,623   $      --
Past due 90 days and still accruing      $   1,198   $   5,216   $     830

CAPITAL RATIOS:
Tier 1 leverage capital                      11.15%      11.27%      12.30%
Tier 1 risk based capital                    14.70%      14.04%      14.93%
Total risk based capital                     15.96%      15.31%      16.19%
Tangible capital to tangible assets          10.94%      10.93%      12.30%

BOOK VALUES:
Book value per common share              $    9.93   $    9.82   $   10.39
Tangible book value per common
 share (e)                               $    9.04   $    8.93   $    9.33


(a)  Annualized
(b)  Calculation excludes OTTI losses, OREO expenses, realized losses on
     investment securities, valuation allowance / recovery on MSRs and
     amortization of CDI. For the nine-month period ending June 30, 2010
     the non-recurring FDIC insurance expense accrual adjustment ($512)
     has also been excluded.
(c)  Non-performing assets include non-accrual loans, non-accrual
     investment securities, and other real estate owned and other
     repossessed assets
(d)  At June 30, 2010, $5,464 of the $14,359 in troubled debt
     restructured loans were on non-accrual status and included in
     non-performing loans.  At March 31, 2010, $10,265 of the $18,623 in
     troubled debt restructured loans were on non-accrual status and
     included in total non-performing loans.
(e)  Calculation subtracts goodwill and core deposit intangible from the
     equity component





AVERAGE BALANCE SHEET:

                                                Three Months Ended
                                         ---------------------------------
                                         June 30,    March 31,   June 30,
                                           2010        2010        2009
                                         ---------   ---------   ---------
Average total loans                      $ 552,055   $ 562,335   $ 562,105
Average total interest-earning
 assets (a)                                663,511     655,357     641,468
Average total assets                       721,001     712,205     688,411
Average total interest-bearing
 deposits                                  508,185     496,148     450,974
Average FHLB advances and other
 borrowings                                 75,859      76,561      95,612
Average shareholders' equity                85,101      87,333      88,433


                                                Nine Months Ended
                                         ---------------------------------
                                         June 30,                June 30,
                                           2010                    2009
                                         ---------               ---------
Average total loans                      $ 558,586               $ 565,274
Average total interest-earning
 assets (a)                                655,847                 630,421
Average total assets                       711,551                 676,809
Average total interest-bearing
 deposits                                  492,999                 438,762
Average FHLB advances and other
 borrowings                                 79,352                  97,954
Average shareholders' equity                86,732                  85,445


(a)  Includes loans on non-accrual status

 

Contact:
Michael R. Sand,
President & CEO
Dean J. Brydon
CFO
(360) 533-4747
www.timberlandbank.com

Washington Dental Care Program Receives National Acclaim

Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (ABCD) began as an idea by Dr. Peter Milgrom and Dr. Peter Domoto, University of Washington professors of dentistry, who recognized that huge numbers of children across the state were not receiving adequate dental care and decided to do something about it. 

Starting with a pilot program in 1995 in Spokane, they developed a model in which dentists, dental societies, local health districts, the state’s Medicaid program and the UW collaborated to encourage more dental offices to serve young children.   The Pew report notes that the program began spreading across the state in 1999 when the Washington Dental Service (WDS) Foundation learned about ABCD and contributed resources to implement the program in Benton/Franklin and Yakima counties.

Today ABCD programs provide preventive care and dental services to Medicaid-insured children under age six in 33 of Washington’s 39 counties.*  In 1997, less than one in four such children saw a dentist each year.  Since then the number of Medicaid-insured children under six receiving dental care has more than doubled, and the number of children visiting the dentist before their second birthday has more than quadrupled.

– more –

Washington’s Remarkable Program – Page 2

 

Having children teeth screened by either a physician or dentist by their first birthday is crucial.  WDS Foundation President & CEO Laura Smith says in the report, “We believe that if you can keep them from getting those first few cavities, they’re going to have better health the rest of their lives.”

Other ABCD program components that are cited by the Pew report as keys to its success include:

·        Financial incentives for dentists to perform certain preventive and restorative procedures, which encourage provider participation.

·        Training sessions for dentists that provide hands-on experience in treating very young children.

·        Local health departments that administer the program, coordinate community dental screenings and outreach events, and provide case management for the parents of children who need ABCD’s services.

·        Beginning in 2008, providing training and reimbursement for pediatricians and family physicians to provide dental health screenings, risk assessments, family education and fluoride varnish during well-child checkups.  This innovative approach is particularly promising because young children typically see a physician more than eleven times for well-child checkups before age three.

 

There are now more than 1,300 ABCD-trained dentists across the state, and the report notes that surveys show these dentists are three times more likely than other dentists to say they are comfortable seeing children under a year old. *

 

Collaboration among the many participating entities and solid policy and financial support at the state level are also cited as important factors in the program’s success.  The report lauds the cost-effectiveness of the program, noting that the state has spent only about $13.50 more per Medicaid-insured child per year in the counties with ABCD than in those without it.  That $13.50 difference is less than one-quarter of the cost Medicaid pays to restore a tooth with a cavity.

 

This is in addition to, “the many thousands of dollars saved each time ABCD’s mix of education and prevention saves a child from cavities that develop into infections or surgical extractions, requiring emergency-room visits and operating-room services,” the report says.

 

The bottom line is that the savings from avoiding expensive treatment more than covers the costs of the program.

 

“ABCD’s decade-long success in improving children’s dental health is a reflection of the sustained commitments and investments made by the program’s broad base of supporters,” the Pew report concludes.  “The program’s resilience is a tribute to its solid results and efficient public-private financing model.”

 

 

 

– more —

 

 

 

Washington’s Remarkable Program – Page 3

 

WDS Foundation has invested more than $2.5 million in grants and other support for the program.

 We are thrilled to have a part in this nationally recognized effort to improve children’s oral health,” WDS Foundation President & CEO Smith said. “Preventing disease is critical. As the country moves forward with healthcare reform legislation, programs that promote prevention and early identification of disease are critical.  ABCD is an excellent example of a successful prevention program.”

###

About the Pew Center:  The Pew Center on the States is a division of The Pew Charitable Trusts that identifies and advances effective solutions to critical issues facing states. Pew is a nonprofit organization that applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life. www.pewcenteronthestates.org.

Link to the report, www.pewcenteronthestates.org/report_detail.aspx?id=59711

About Washington Dental Service Foundation: Washington Dental Service (WDS) Foundation, a non-profit funded by Washington Dental Service, the leading dental benefits company in Washington State, is dedicated to significant, long-lasting improvements in the oral health and overall health of Washington’s young children and seniors.  WDS Foundation works to prevent oral diseases such as tooth decay and gum disease with a focus on children and seniors.  For more information, visit: www.deltadentalwa.com/wdsfoundation/wdsfoundation.htm

 

* When the Pew report was compiled 30 counties had ABCD programs and more than 1,000 dentists had received ABCD training. The release has been updated to reflect the current numbers: 33 counties now have ABCD programs and more than 1,300 dentists have received ABCD training. 

Arson Investigation at Skokomish Tribal Police Department Building

Fire units at the scene of the fire

 

 

deputies contacting a local residence during the course of the investigation.

WSP Recaps First Half of 2010 on Grays Harbor Highways

The Washington State Patrol has assigned one ADAT (Aggressive Driving Apprehension Team) unmarked patrol vehicle to Grays Harbor County. Aggressive driving contacts throughout the county have increased by 7%, with 383 aggressive drivers contacted between January and June.

The 9 troopers and 2 sergeants who make up the two Hoquiam detachments have investigated 144 collisions – a decrease of 12% as compared to 164 during the first half of 2009. There have been zero fatality collisions along Grays Harbor state routes in 2010, compared to 2 during the first half of 2009.

Joint emphasis patrols organized by the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission allow local law enforcement agencies the opportunity to work together in proactive emphasis patrol – working towards the common goal of eliminating traffic fatalities. Troopers participated in a joint St. Patrick’s Day emphasis patrol which was organized by Susan Bradbury, Grays Harbor County Target Zero Manager, as well as X52 patrols over the Memorial Day holiday weekend and the WTSC “Slow Down or Pay Up Campaign” between April 9-May 1, Nighttime Seatbelt Emphasis Patrols and a June 25th DUI patrol. Troopers also participated in Grays Harbor Traffic Safety’s “Every 32 Minutes” at Montesano and North Beach High Schools.

The WSP Hoquiam detachments saw several changes this year, with the departure of Sgt. Brain Monteer who transferred to Bremerton, and the return of Sgt. Tyler Drake. Sgt. Drake spent the majority of his career in Hoquiam as a trooper prior to promoting to Sergeant and transferring to Burlington for a short time. The Hoquiam detachment also welcomed Trooper Brett Tolon who recently graduated from the WSP Academy.

Throughout the remainder of 2010, troopers will continue conducting weekly high visibility saturation patrols in identified areas of interest, focusing on collision causing driver behaviors.

Some Aberdeen Builders Want Fair Treatment

full size image

Buoy 10 Columbia salmon season highlights a great month of fishing

“Buoy 10 is a very popular fishery, drawing tens of thousands of anglers every year,” said Joe Hymer, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).  “Fishing tends to start out slow, then accelerates quickly and builds through the rest of August.”

Bank anglers planning to fish at Buoy 10 should be aware that access to much of the North Jetty will be closed, due to a major project being conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reinforce beaches eroded by winter storms. “The North jetty provides the only real bank access to that fishery, so things could get a little crowded,” Hymer said.

The chinook fishery closes Aug. 31 at Buoy 10, but anglers can continue to keep hatchery-reared coho salmon in that area through the end of the year.  Upriver from Rocky Point, fishing opportunities for both species continue late into the year on the mainstem Columbia River and many of its tributaries.

Rather crack some crab? Fisheries for Dungeness crab are open throughout August in most areas of Puget Sound – the exception being Marine Area 7-North near the Canadian border, which opens Aug. 11. Specific regulations for each area are described in WDFW’s Fishing in Washington rules pamphlet and on the department’s website (http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/shelfish/crab/).

Meanwhile, general hunting seasons for black bear open Aug. 1 in many areas of the state, and hunters are gearing up for early hunts for deer and elk in September. Also opening in September are hunting seasons for forest grouse, dove and Canada geese.

For more information about fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities coming up in the weeks ahead, see the regional reports below:

[summary]

[pagebreak:North Puget Sound]

 

Fishing: Anglers are reeling in chinook and coho in Puget Sound, where crabbing is still an option and two additional marine areas open for salmon Aug. 1. Meanwhile, anglers are having some success at Baker Lake, which recently opened for sockeye salmon.

 

For the first time, anglers are fishing for sockeye salmon in Baker Lake, where the fish are returning in significantly higher numbers this year. Anglers fishing Baker Lake can retain up to two adult sockeye salmon that exceed 18 inches in length from Baker Dam upstream to the mouth of the Baker River. All other salmon must be released, and no fishing is allowed between the dam and the log boom at the lower end of the lake.

 

“The fish are biting, it’s just a matter of finding them,” said Brett Barkdull, fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “Most anglers have done well once they get over them, and hopefully that will continue into August.”

 

The sockeye salmon fishery at Baker Lake is open until further notice, said Barkdull, who reminds anglers to check for any rule changes at WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations. Separate sockeye salmon fisheries on portions of the Skagit and Baker rivers run through July 31.

 

Elsewhere, anglers can still find some steelhead along the Reiter Ponds section of the Skykomish River. But most freshwater anglers are gearing up for Sept. 1, when the Stllaguamish, Snohomish, Skykomish and portions of the Skagit, Snoqualmie and Green (Duwamish) rivers open for salmon fishing.

 

Beginning Aug. 16, Lake Sammamish will also be an option for freshwater salmon anglers, who will have a daily limit of four salmon, and can retain up to two chinook. All sockeye must be released, and fishing is closed within 100 yards of the mouth of Issaquah Creek.

 

On Puget Sound, anglers can fish for salmon in marine areas 7 (San Juan Islands), 9 (Admiralty Inlet) and 10 (Seattle/Bremerton). Those fishing Marine Area 7 can keep one chinook as part of their two-salmon daily limit, but must release wild coho and chum starting Aug. 1.

 

Anglers fishing marine areas 9 and 10 can keep hatchery chinook – marked with a clipped adipose fin – as part of a two-salmon daily limit, but must release wild chinook. Those fishing Marine Area 9 also must release chum salmon, while anglers in Marine Area 10 are required to release chum beginning Aug. 1.

 

The chinook selective fisheries in marine areas 9 and 10 run through Aug. 31. Beginning Sept. 1, anglers in those two marine areas will be required to release all chinook and chum. Anglers are reminded that regulations vary for inner Elliott Bay, Sinclair Inlet and public fishing piers in those marine areas.

 

August brings other opportunities in the region to catch and keep salmon. Beginning Aug. 1, marine areas 8-1 (Deception Pass, Hope Island and Skagit Bay) and 8-2 (Port Susan and Port Gardner) open for salmon. Anglers fishing those two areas will have a daily limit of two salmon but must release chinook.

 

Meanwhile, the crab fishery is under way in Puget Sound. Dungeness and red rock crab seasons are:

 

·         Marine areas 4 (east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5 (Sekiu) and 13 (South Puget Sound) are open through Jan. 2, seven days a week.

·         Marine areas 6 (eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca), 8-1, 8-2, 9, 10, 11 (Tacoma/Vashon) and 12 (Hood Canal) are open Wednesday through Saturday through Sept. 6, and open the entire Labor Day weekend.

·         Marine areas 7 South and East are open through Sept. 30, Wednesday through Saturday, and the entire Labor Day weekend.

·         Marine Area 7 North will open Aug. 11 on a Wednesday-through-Saturday schedule through Sept. 30, and open the entire Labor Day weekend.

 

The daily catch limit in Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6¼ inches. Fishers may catch six red rock crab of either sex per day, provided those crab measure at least 5 inches across. See WDFW’s sport-crabbing website (http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/shelfish/crab/) for more information.

 

Hunting: The general hunting season for black bear opens Aug. 1 in most of the region. Hunters are allowed two bear during the general season (Aug. 1-Nov. 15), but only one bear can be taken in eastern Washington. Check the Big Game Hunting Seasons and Rules pamphlet (http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/game/hunter/hunter.htm) for details.

 

On tap for next month are early archery seasons for elk, early archery and muzzleloader seasons for deer, and the general hunting season for cougar that gets under way with a statewide archery-only season followed by a muzzleloader hunt. Also opening in September are seasons for forest grouse, mourning dove, band-tailed pigeon and Canada geese.

 

Wildlife viewing: There’s still time to see salmon at the Ballard Locks. Several hundred sockeye pass through the fish ladder viewing window daily, and chinook should start showing up in greater numbers throughout the month. The Ballard Locks are located in northwest Seattle where the Lake Washington Ship Canal enters Shilshole Bay and Puget Sound. For information, call the locks’ Visitor Center in Seattle at (206) 783-7059.

 

Anyone watching wildlife or pursuing other outdoor activities should be aware that the Washington State Department of Natural Resources has instituted a burn ban on all state lands, including those owned or managed by WDFW. Exceptions include recreational fires in approved fire pits or self-contained stoves and barbeques using gas or propane. See http://www.dnr.wa.gov/Pages/default.aspx for more information.

 

[pagebreak:South Sound/Olympic Peninsula]

 

Fishing: Summer salmon fishing is in full swing along the coast, where anglers are hooking some bright chinook and nice-size coho. “Some days are better than others, but for the most part fishing has been good for both chinook and coho,” said Doug Milward, ocean salmon manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “In the coming weeks, I expect fishing to get even better as more salmon show up and the weather settles down.”

 

Anglers fishing marine areas 1 (Ilwaco), 2 (Westport-Ocean Shores), 3 (LaPush) and 4 (Neah Bay) can keep up to two chinook as part of their two-salmon daily limit, but must release any chinook measuring less than 24 inches and hatchery coho less than 16 inches. Wild coho must be released unharmed. All four ocean marine areas are open to salmon fishing seven days a week.

 

Salmon fishing is scheduled to continue through Sept. 18 in marine areas 3 and 4, through Sept. 19 in Marine Area 2 and through Sept. 30 in Marine Area 1. However, salmon fisheries in those areas could close early if catch quotas are reached. Milward reminds anglers to check for any rule changes at WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations.

 

So far this year, angler effort has been lower than expected likely because of rough weather, Milward said. “Conditions should improve as we move into August, making it easier for anglers to get out on the water,” he said.

 

In the Strait of Juan de Fuca, anglers are still having some success hooking chinook and the occasional coho in marine areas 5 (Sekiu) and 6 (eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca), while salmon fisheries in marine areas 11 (Tacoma/Vashon), 12 (Hood Canal) and 13 (South Puget Sound) continue to be slow.

 

Because salmon fishing rules vary depending on the marine area, anglers should check the Sportfishing Rules Pamphlet (http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/) before heading out on the water.

 

Prefer shellfish? The Dungeness crab fishery is going strong in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and most areas of Puget Sound. Dungeness and red rock crab seasons are:

 

·         Marine areas 4 (east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5 (Sekiu) and 13 are open through Jan. 2, seven days a week.

·         Marine areas 6, 8-1, 8-2, 9, 10, 11 and 12 are open Wednesday through Saturday through Sept. 6, and open the entire Labor Day weekend.

·         Marine areas 7 South and East are open through Sept. 30, Wednesday through Saturday, and the entire Labor Day weekend.

·         Marine Area 7 North will open Aug. 11 on a Wednesday-through-Saturday schedule through Sept. 30, and open the entire Labor Day weekend.

 

The daily catch limit in Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6¼ inches. Fishers may catch six red rock crab of either sex per day, provided those crab measure at least 5 inches across. See WDFW’s sport-crabbing website (http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/shelfish/crab/) for more information.

 

Meanwhile, WDFW enforcement officers will be increasing resource-protection patrols on the Skokomish River, where recreational salmon fishing opens Aug. 1 under several new regulations.

 

The daily bag limit has been increased this year from one to two salmon for anglers fishing from the mouth of the river to the Highway 101 Bridge through Sept. 30. However, a new rule in effect this year requires anglers to carefully release any wild chinook salmon they catch. As in previous years, anglers must release chum salmon through Oct. 15.

 

Another change this year is that recreational fishing will be closed from the Highway 106 Bridge upstream to the Highway 101 Bridge on six Mondays to avoid potential gear conflicts with treaty tribal fishers. Those closures are scheduled for Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 and Sept. 13. Recreational fishing downstream of the Highway 106 Bridge will remain open seven days a week through the fishing season.

 

Anglers fishing the Skokomish River also will be required to release any salmon not hooked inside the mouth and retain the first two legal salmon they catch. In addition, single-point barbless hooks are required and a night closure and anti-snagging rule will be in effect.

 

Hunting: The general hunting season for black bear opens Aug. 1 in most of the region. Hunters are allowed two bear during the general season (Aug. 1-Nov. 15), but only one bear can be taken in eastern Washington. Check the Big Game Hunting Seasons and Rules pamphlet (http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/game/hunter/hunter.htm) for details.

 

On tap for next month are early archery seasons for elk, early archery and muzzleloader seasons for deer, and the general hunting season for cougar that gets under way with a statewide archery-only season followed by a muzzleloader hunt. Also opening in September are seasons for forest grouse, mourning dove, band-tailed pigeon and Canada geese.

 

Wildlife viewing: Spectacular views, crisp air and blooming wild flowers are bringing thousands of visitors to Mount Rainier this summer. Hikers and wildlife viewers are taking to the many trails that start at the Sunrise Visitor Center on the eastern side of the mountain in search of views and alpine wildlife. A prize sighting is the white-tailed ptarmigan, which is a small grouse that makes it home in alpine habitat. Recent visitors on the Burroughs Mountain trail reported seeing five ptarmigan – one female and four chicks. The ptarmigan, which turns totally white in winter, is streaked brown and gray during the summer. Hikers also noted several mountain bluebirds, four horned larks and an American kestrel.

 

A popular attraction in late-August and September is the return of hatchery chinook salmon to the Deschutes River near Olympia as they begin their annual spawning run. Onlookers can watch thousands of fish gather below the Fifth Avenue Bridge in downtown Olympia before they enter Capitol Lake. From there, the fish will move up the river to spawn.

 

Just south of Olympia, Wolf Haven International will be hosting Howl-Ins each Saturday in August from 6-9 p.m. Howl-Ins include 15-minute sanctuary tours, environmentally friendly children’s activities, an eco-scavenger hunt, an interactive conservation table, Wolf-TV, family oriented entertainment, and a howling competition. For more information on the Howl-Ins, visit Wolf Haven’s website at http://www.wolfhaven.org/

 

[pagebreak:Southwest Washington]

 

Fishing:  For Columbia River anglers, this month provides a great opportunity for a triple play. Fishing seasons for fall chinook salmon and hatchery coho open Aug. 1, while summer steelhead are expected to continue providing good fishing well into September.

 

While the fall chinook season opens upriver to Priest Rapids Dam, most of this month’s action takes place in the popular Buoy 10 fishery on the lower 16 miles of the river.  A big run of 664,900 fall chinook is expected this year, setting the stage for some good fishing, said Joe Hymer, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

 

“The fall chinook fishery is looking very promising this year,” Hymer said. “Fishing tends to start slow, then accelerates quickly and builds through the rest of August.”

 

So will the catch.  Fishery managers estimate that anglers will catch 12,500 chinook salmon by Aug. 31, when the retention fishery for chinook closes in the Buoy 10 area.  They also anticipate a catch of 12,000 coho in that area and another 17,000 chinook between Rocky Point and Bonneville Dam by the time those seasons come to a close.

 

Bank anglers planning to fish at Buoy 10 should be aware that access to much of the North Jetty will be closed, due to a major project being conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reinforce beaches eroded by winter storms. “The North jetty provides the only real bank access to that fishery, so things could get a little crowded,” Hymer said.

 

For the Buoy 10 fishery, the daily limit is two salmon, two hatchery steelhead, or one of each. However, anglers may retain only one chinook salmon (minimum size, 24 inches) per day as part of their daily limit. Only those steelhead and coho marked with a missing adipose fin and a healed scar may be retained. This requirement does not, however, apply to fall chinook, which may be retained whether marked or unmarked.

 

For more rules on the Buoy 10 area and other waters upriver, see WDFW’s Fishing in Washington pamphlet, which is posted online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/regs/fishregs.htm

 

By mid-to-late August, the bulk of the chinook run historically begins to move upstream while increasing numbers of coho move into the Columbia River behind them. For anglers following the chinook upriver, Hymer recommends fishing deep, between 40 and 50 feet down. For a lure, he suggests a wobbler anchored with a heavy weight.

 

“Chinook go deep when water temperatures are high – as they are now – so that’s a good place to find them,” Hymer said. “At the same time, anglers should take care not to drop anchor in the shipping channel. That can lead to real trouble.”

 

While 2010 is not expected to be a banner year for hatchery coho, those fish will help to round out anglers’ daily limits at Buoy 10, Hymer said. WDFW currently expects about 290,000 coho to return this year, down significantly from last year’s exceptionally large run of three-quarters of a million fish.

 

“While we will likely see fewer coho this year, those fish will still make a real contribution to the fishery,” Hymer said. “They usually bite best at Buoy 10 on herring and spinners, and then later in the tributaries.”

 

Meanwhile, plenty of hatchery steelhead are still available for harvest, Hymer said. In June, anglers caught more early-run summer steelhead than at any time since the 1970s, and those fish should keep biting hooks through mid-August. By then, the larger “B-run” steelhead – many weighing in the teens – should start arriving to pick up the slack. This year’s return of “B-run” steelhead, most headed for hatcheries on the Clearwater and Salmon rivers, is expected to total about 100,000 fish, about double the size of last year’s run.

 

“The combination of three species – fall chinook, coho and steelhead – makes August a great time to fish the Columbia River,” Hymer said.

 

They’ll also liven up fishing in the tributaries, where anglers have been reeling in respectable numbers of hatchery steelhead for the past few months. As on the mainstem Columbia, the fall salmon season starts Aug. 1 on a number of area tributaries, although salmon fishing doesn’t really take off until September. Meanwhile, Drano Lake and the White Salmon River are good places to try for steelhead looking for cooler waters. 

 

Like last year, anglers will again be able to retain up to six hatchery adult coho on all tributaries to the lower Columbia River with hatchery programs. Those rivers include the Cowlitz, Deep, Elochoman, Grays (including West Fork), Kalama, Klickitat, Lewis (including North Fork), Toutle (including Green and North Fork) and Washougal. Also like last year, hatchery fall chinook are the only kind of salmon anglers can retain on the Grays, Elochoman and Kalama rivers.        

 

Some new rules will also be in effect, including a requirement that anglers release

all unmarked chinook (adults and jacks) on the Cowlitz, Toutle, Green, Washougal, Wind and White Salmon rivers, plus Drano Lake. Last year, that requirement applied only to jack salmon on those rivers. 

 

As always, WDFW strongly advises anglers to check the Fishing in Washington rules pamphlet for new rules applicable to specific waters before leaving home.

 

Of course, salmon and steelhead aren’t the only fish available for harvest in August. Walleye fishing has been good in the Columbia River near Camas, as well as in The Dalles and John Day Pools. Bass fishing has also been heating up from Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam.

 

For trout, the high wilderness lakes around Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens offer unparalleled fishing experiences for those willing to brave the mosquitoes. Riffe Lake in Lewis County is still giving up some nice landlocked coho, while Mayfield Lake, Skate Creek and the Tilton River are still receiving regular plants of rainbows.  Hatchery sea-run cutthroats should also provide some opportunity on the lower Cowlitz beginning in late August.

 

Hunting: The general hunting season for black bear opens Aug. 1 in coastal game management units and Aug. 14 in the South Cascades area. Hunters are allowed two bear during the general season. Check the Big Game Hunting Seasons and Rules pamphlet (http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/game/hunter/hunter.htm) for details.

 

Coming up in September are early archery seasons for elk, early archery and muzzleloader seasons for deer, and a general hunting season for cougar that gets under way with an archery-only season followed by a muzzleloader hunt. Also opening in September are seasons for forest grouse, dove and Canada geese.

 

Wildlife viewing: The summer sun may be shining high in the sky, but shorebirds can already feel a seasonal change. Tens of thousands of the them – sandpipers, yellowlegs, dowitchers and other species – are already flocking to Washington’s coastal areas en route from their Arctic breeding grounds to points south. Clouds of shorebirds, especially sandpipers, can now be seen from Ocean Shores to Ilwaco.

 

Unlike their spring migration, shorebirds’ flight south is a disorderly affair.  Adults often leave the Arctic before their chicks are fledged and join flocks departing at different times. They also travel at a more leisurely pace, stretching from July through October. This is also the time when most rare birds, such as off-course Asian shorebirds, show up on the coast.

 

Brian Calkins, manager of WDFW’s Shillapoo Wildlife Area, didn’t see many shorebirds during a recent walk along one of the water-control structures near the end of the
Erwin O. Reiger Highway.  The “peeps” don’t usually arrive until later, when the water level in the wetlands drops. He did, however, sight a variety of other birds, including common snipe, pied-bill grebe, coots, American bittern, mourning dove and mallards with broods of ducklings.

 

“All of those birds were on display during a 15-minute walk without binoculars,” Calkins said. “I’m sure I could have seen a lot of other species if I’d had time to look.”

 

Meanwhile, the chances of spotting a white-tailed deer in the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge recently improved, thanks to efforts by the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife (USDFW) to augment that population with white-tails from southwest Oregon. The agency transported eight animals in March and was able to locate six of them last month.

 

About 300 Columbia white-tailed deer, listed as “endangered” by the federal agency, currently live in the refuge.  Another 300 to 400 live on private lands along the Columbia River.

 

Anyone watching wildlife or pursuing other activities outdoors should be aware that the Washington State Department of Natural Resources has instituted a burn ban on all state lands, including those owned or managed by WDFW. Exceptions include recreational fires in approved fire pits or self-contained stoves and barbeques using gas or propane. See http://www.dnr.wa.gov/Pages/default.aspx for more information.

 

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Fishing:  With water temperatures rising, the month of August is usually best for warmwater-species fishing throughout the region.

 

Chris Donley, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) district fish biologist, said mixed-species waters are a good bet. Yellow perch, largemouth and smallmouth bass, and crappie can usually be caught at Coffeepot Lake in Lincoln County, Downs and Chapman lakes in southwest Spokane County, Newman and Liberty lakes in eastern Spokane County, Eloika Lake in north Spokane County, and the Spokane River reservoir of Long Lake and Deer and Waitts lakes in Stevens County.

 

Fishing at rainbow and cutthroat trout lakes near Spokane – like Amber, Badger, Clear, Fish, Williams, and West Medical lakes – is best early in the morning or at night, Donley says. The lower Spokane River has nice rainbows and browns, but river anglers need to be aware of catch limits, gear restrictions, and other rules listed in the fishing pamphlet.

 

Catfish and sturgeon fishing is usually productive in the Snake River system in the southeast part of the region in August. Catfish are often landed in the backwaters and sloughs throughout the mainstem Snake, as well as in or near the mouths of tributaries like the Tucannon River.

 

Sturgeon fishers are reminded of the minimum 43-inch and maximum 54-inch tail fork length and the daily catch limit of one sturgeon. The Snake and its tributaries upstream of Lower Granite Dam are catch-and-release only for sturgeon. The section of the Snake just east of the Tri-Cities, from the mouth to Ice Harbor Dam, is also catch-and-release for sturgeon starting Aug. 1.

 

Fishing has slowed considerably for rainbow trout in the small man-made lakes off the Tucannon River on WDFW’s Wooten Wildlife Area in Columbia County, said area manager Kari Dingman. With or without good fishing, lots of folks like to escape city heat with a weekend camping trip to the area. Dingman said hot and dry conditions, along with a recent wildfire, have resulted in a ban on campfires.

 

Dingman also reminds fishers and other recreationists that a U.S. Forest Service road, bridge and culvert over the Little Tucannon River are under re-construction for the first half of August, so state campgrounds Panjab North and South, along with the Sheep Creek and Meadow Creek trailheads, will be inaccessible during the project.

 

In the north end of the region, kokanee and walleye fishing continues to be good at Lake Roosevelt, the Columbia River reservoir off Grand Coulee Dam. Kokanee fishing is also productive at Stevens County’s Loon Lake during night time hours.

 

Some of the high elevation lakes on U.S. Forest Service property in the northeast district that are stocked with rainbow and cutthroat trout may be good destinations for camping and fishing weekends. In Ferry County, try Davis, Ellen, Empire, Swan and Trout lakes. In Stevens County, try Gillette, Heritage, Sherry, Summit, and Thomas lakes. In Pend Oreille County, try Carl’s, Cook’s, Frater, Halfmoon, Leo, Mystic, Nile, No-Name, Petit, South and North Skookums, and Yokum lakes. More information on these mostly small fishing lakes can be found in WDFW’s 2010 Fishing Prospects at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/prospects/index.htm.

 

Anglers are reminded to be extra careful with anything that could start wildfires in the region’s hot and dry conditions. Plans should include a check on campfire restrictions on public lands. See Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fire information by county at http://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/firedanger/BurnRisk.aspx.  Current wildfire conditions in Washington are available at http://www.inciweb.org/state/49/.

 

Hunting: The first hunting season in the region begins Aug. 1 for black bear in Lincoln and Whitman County Game Management Units (GMU) 133 Roosevelt, 136 Harrington, 139 Steptoe and 142 Almota (part of the “Columbia Basin” bear management unit). Black bear hunting opens Aug. 14 in Spokane County GMUs 124 Mount Spokane, 127 Mica Peak and 130 Cheney (or “Northeastern B” bear management unit).

 

Successful black bear hunters must submit a bear tooth to WDFW for age data collection. Tooth envelopes are available at the Eastern Region office, 2315 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley (509-892-1001). All black bear hunters must report hunting activity, either over the phone at 1-877-945-3492 or online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/wdfw/licenses_hunter_report.html. Successful bear hunters who report within 10 days of harvest are entered in a drawing for special hunting permits.

 

Wildlife viewing: Sometimes wildlife steps into your view without warning. WDFW Wildlife Biologist Woody Myers reminds drivers traveling through deer, elk and moose country to be observant of increased activity of whitetail and mule deer does and fawns, and elk and moose cows and calves, especially during morning and evening hours. “The young animals are old enough now to be a little bolder and more curious about things, so fawns and calves may stop in the middle of the road to look at you,” he said.

 

Myers said fawns and calves are the normal prey of cougars. “Where there are abundant deer and elk, there is likely a cougar hunting in the vicinity,” he said. Hikers, especially those on trails used regularly by wildlife, should be alert and aware of possible cougar encounters.  Travel in groups that make enough noise to warn animals of your approach and keep children close by.

 

Black bears continue their summertime foraging, including raids on unsecured garbage cans, as well as picnic and camp sites where food is not properly stored. Myers reminds both backyard wildlife viewers and weekend recreationists to avoid drawing bears into close quarters by being careful with anything that bears might eat. “That includes a lot of things because bears are omnivores – they’ll eat both plants and animals,” he said. “Bears also have excellent noses and can smell those food sources from great distances.”

 

Warm summer evenings are a good time to listen for wildlife, from coyotes howling to owls hooting and poorwills calling.  Slowly shortening summer days increasingly provide views of bird groups. “Watch for gathering flocks of some songbird species, like blackbirds and swallows, which include this summer’s offspring,” Myers said.  “Many of these young birds are now flying and will soon be concentrating at staging areas in anticipation of the coming fall migration.”

 

WDFW Swanson Lakes Wildlife Area Manager Juli Anderson said conditions are drying out fast in Lincoln County.  Both Swanson lakes and many smaller pothole lakes and ponds are completely dry already, lowering chances of seeing waterfowl or other bird concentrations in the area, she said. Anderson notes a burn ban is now in effect for all of Lincoln County.

 

[pagebreak:Northcentral Washington]

Fishing:   Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) district fish biologist Bob Jateff of Twisp reports that salmon fishing in the mainstem Columbia River is picking up with the approach of August. “An increasing number of sockeye salmon are being caught right off the mouth of the Okanogan River,” Jateff said. “Chinook salmon fishing has been slow, but should pick up as more fish pass Wells Dam.”

Jateff reminds anglers the daily catch limit is six salmon, of which no more than three can be chinook, and only one chinook can be a wild, unmarked fish.

The action should also pick up on the Methow River and its tributaries, now that stream flows are finally dropping to fishable levels, he said, noting that those waters are catch-and-release only and that selective gear is required. He advises anglers to check the sportfishing rules pamphlet to be sure which areas are open to fishing.

“Smaller tributaries within the Methow system are good during the summer for anglers who want to catch and keep brook trout,” Jateff said.  “Eightmile, Falls, and Boulder creeks are all tributaries to the Chewuch River that hold brook trout.  The daily limit on Falls and Eightmile Creeks is five fish, and on Boulder Creek it’s 10 fish.  There is no minimum size for brook trout in these waters.”

Jateff says lake fishing throughout the Okanogan district generally slows down during the hotter months, except for waters at high elevation. “Alpine lake fishing action picks up as the trails become more accessible,” he said. “Most high country lakes either have reproducing populations of trout or are sustained by periodic fish plants. Cutthroat trout is the main species in a lot of these waters.”

Jateff noted that anglers who fish deep during the cooler parts of the day – very early or late – can catch some nice rainbow trout in the lower elevation waters, too. “Wannacut Lake near Oroville, for example, is a deep lake that seems to hold up well over the summer,” he said.

Anglers can find specific information about fishing waters throughout the region, county by county, in WDFW’s <