Out & About: Washington raising stakes for drunk boating … REI project to boost Little Spokane River Trail … Mountain bikers gear up for 24 Hours … Two Rivers walleye derby … Angler nailed for taking two limits
ADVENTURE SPORTS — Fitness junkies who enjoy trail running, mountain biking, paddling and other outdoors sports will love the big event coming up based out of Farragut State Park.
Adventure Sports Week Idaho features 14 different races and clinics over eight days, June 2 - 9. Racers are traveling from long distances to join locals at this event, said North Idaho organizer David Adlard.
Trail runs include a June 2 Beaches 2 Boulders with 5k, 10k and 9 mile fun runs and the
June 8 Deepwater half marathon, marathon, 50 k and 52 mile races.
Mountain bikers can zero in on the Mad Dash races, 4 or 6hours, on June 2.
Adventure races set for June 8-9 combine a variety of sports and skills on June 8-9.
Kids are offered their own adventure race, plus a clinic on orienteering and adventure racing.
The week includes prizes, barbecue and other treats.
Plus, “Farragut is beautiful,” Adlard said.
Info: (208) 664-0135.
TRAIL – Introduce yourself to the developing Pend Oreille Bay Trail near Sandpoint with a running OR walking benefit on June 1, National Trails Day.
Pre-register online by May 28 for the 5K and 10K events, which include t-shirts and prizes. The route starts and finishes at Trinity at City Beach and goes along the lakeshore and Sand Creek.
The event will benefit Friends of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail, a group working to link a natural waterfront trail from City Beach to Black Rock and Ponder Point along the lake’s northwest shore.
Info: (208) 946-7586 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WINTER SPORTS — The Lookout Pass Ski Patrol has been named the 2012-2013 “Outstanding Patrol of the Year” for the Inland Empire Region by from the National Ski Patrol – for the third consecutive season.
“These dedicated men and women provide an outstanding service for our skiing guests and we greatly appreciate their commitment and contribution to Lookout Pass,” said Phil Edholm, ski area president.
Other ski patrols in the National Ski Patrol's Inland Empire region include:
Mount Spokane, Silver Mountain, 49 Degrees North, Echo Valley, Loup Loup, Mission Ridge, Cottonwood Butte, Snowhaven, Bald Mountain and Ski Bluewood.
FISHING — A charity fishing derby with hundreds of dollars in prizes is set for Sunday (May 19) based out of Klink's Williams Lake Resort south of Cheney.
Divisions for adults and youths.
Prizes include full weekend packages a the resort.
Cost: $10 per angler.
Info: (509) 235-2391.
RIVERS — The level of Lake Roosevelt rose to an elevation of about 1264 feet today and lake levels are expected to continue rising over the next week into the 1272-1276 range.
Lake inflows began increasing a week ago as the spring runoff began from the Columbia River's headwaters (see chart).
However, note that flows of southern tributaries were already subsiding. The Coeur d'Alene River has been dropping rapidly this week (see chart).
St. Joe River flows also are plummeting (see chart).
Get links to river flows in this region at The Spokesman-Review Outdoors topics page.
Get daily Lake Roosevelt level forecast by phone, updated daily at 3 p.m: (800) 824-4916.
Check out this NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.
PREDATORS — There's a little less love for wolves in central Idaho this week.
Idaho issues 2 kill permits on wolves near Carey after 31 sheep killed
Between May 10 and May 12, John Peavey, the owner of the Flat Top Ranch near Carey, Idaho, lost 13 ewes and 18 lambs to wolves. Idaho Wildlife Services has issued a kill permit for up to two wolves.
—Idaho Mountain Express (Sun Valley)
WILDLIFE — Elk numbers in Montana's Bitterroot Valley are up this year mostly because of better calf survival, according to reseachers.
This year’s aerial spring count found 7,373 elk in the five hunting districts that encircle the Bitterroot Valley. That's the fourth highest number of elk spotted by biologists in the 48-year history of the annual spring survey.
Range conditions and more emphasis on controlling wolves, cougars and bears played a roll in the increase, biologists say.
WILDFLOWERS — Shooting starts are among the most delicate and fascinating wildflowers, sprouting about 5 inches tall at different elevations, in damp to not-so-damp wild areas, from early spring well into summer.
They're also very difficult to photograph, although you wouldn't know it by this image snapped Thursday by Montana Outdoor photographer Jaime Johnson.
HUNTING – The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation says it’s waiving fees for auctioning state-sponsored big-game hunting tags and is challenging other groups to do the same to increase funding for wildlife conservation.
The Missoula-based foundation announced last week that it will return 100 percent of the revenue it generates from the auction of state special big game permits through its national events and programs to the individual states.
Large groups that organize tag auctions or raffles generally take a percentage of the profits for their efforts and return the rest to state wildlife agencies for managing big-game species such as elk, deer and bighorn sheep.
“These tags were intended to benefit wildlife conservation and hunting access, not the organizations selling them,” said David Allen, RMEF president.
RMEF recently auctioned a special elk permit offered by Arizona for $385,000 at its national convention.
The RMEF convention generates $700,000 to $1 million each year in the auction sale of special tags/permits from state game and fish agencies.
Similar high-bid auctions are organized by groups such as the Wild Sheep Foundation and Safari Club International.
Allen also called for groups and sportsmen to follow the auction funds to make sure they’re used for the intended purpose of managing target species.
He said wildlife conservation groups should allow complete transparency of all their financial information including the publishing of their audited financials from each fiscal year.
WILDLIFE — Idaho Fish and Game Department regional habitat biologists will discuss southern Panhandle wildlife management areas at the monthly informal Coeur d'Alene Sportsmen's Breakfast, 6:30 a.m., Tuesday (May 21) at Lake City Senior Center, 1916 N. Lakewood Dr.
FISHING — Rain, moose, bushwhacking, scattered yellow stoneflies, a half-hour hatch of March Browns, 47-degree water, one hook imbeddd in thumb requiring cord-jerk extraction (worked slick) and more cutthroats than you could shake a (fishing) stick at….
It was another great day at Cutthroat Creek, where the trout are handsome, the anglers smell strong and the fishing is always above average.
FISHING — The Idaho Fish and Game Commission today (May 16) expanded Chinook salmon fishing to include additional reaches of the Clearwater main stem and South Fork Clearwater rivers.
The Clearwater River main stem is open from the Camas Prairie railroad bridge at Lewiston upstream to the Cherry Lane Bridge and from the Lenore Bridge upstream to the Highway 11 Greer Bridge. The South Fork Clearwater Riveris open from its mouth upstream to the confluence of the American and Red rivers.
Fish and Game asked commissioners to delay a decision on Chinook fisheries in the upper Salmon and South Fork Salmon rivers to early June when fish managers will have a better idea of how many fish are heading for those waters.
“The fishing should be good tomorrow (Friday) as the river is clearing, flows are dropping, and lots of fish are passing over Lower Granite Dam,” said Joe DuPont, IFG regional fisheries manager in Lewiston.
Read on for details on all the areas open for spring chinook:
FISHING – PikePalooza is offering more than $5,000 in cash and prizes for anglers who catch northern pike in various categories during the Friday-Sunday (May 17-19) event on the Pend Oreille River.
The event on the Box Canyon stretch of the river is sponsored by the Kalispel Tribe.
The derby is part of the program to reduce numbers of the non-native species from the river.
This year, the tribe has removed around 6,000 northern pike using gillnets in the second year of a pike suppression and monitoring operation.
“The majority of these fish are age 3 or less,” said Jason Olson, the tribe’s fish conservation manager.
Pike suppression resumed last week after fish managers surveyed the river and found the spring netting had not reduced pike numbers to their target numbers, especially in the north end of the reservoir.
The highest number caught in nets last week were a dozen in South Everett and Tiger sloughs, the tribe reported.
This spring's post-suppression survey involved a total of 197 that caught a total of 410 northern pike in a week.
However, for the first time in years of surveys and two seasons of suppression, no large pike were caught in the Box Canyon stretch survey, the tribe reports.
MOUNTAIN BIKING — The annual 24 Hours Round the Clock mountain bike race is gearing up for another extravaganza of solo and team efforts supported by one of the biggest campouts of friends and dirtbaggers of the season May 25-26 at Riverside State Park.
The Seven Mile airtrip area of the park fills on the eve of the race with hundreds of bikes along with tents, RV’s, trailers and cyclists from around the country. The event begins with a La Mans start at noon May 25. Riders complete as many 15-mile dirt-trail laps before the event 24 hours later.
Read on for details from the sponsor, Round and Round Productions.
WILDLIFE — An infestation of Canada geese has been converting portions of Bend, Ore., parks into latrines for years. Frustrated parks staff and health officials raised the ire of animal rights activists when they killed about a hundred geese a few years ago — probably some of the same folks who at turkey at Thanksgiving.
So the battle continues. Read on how everything from vegetable oil to kayaks is being used to control the problem.
MOUNTAINS — A resort developement proposed along the edge of Canmore, Alberta, would be the largest in the history of the Canadian Rockers, according to a story in the Calgary Herald.
It’s the anchor of a proposal by PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc. to develop the community with a total of 2,549 residential units, 1,000 resort accommodation units and two hotels with 250 rooms each, as well as other businesses, on 1,110 acres — about 80 per cent of the remaining developable land in the mountain town.
The proposal could add 10,000 people to Canmore’s population.
Kaninaskis Country — gateway to Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park and Banff National Park and home to dozens of smaller parks — could be getting crowded.
FISHING — Salmon fishing on the Snake River has been closed in the lower two spring chinook fishery zones near Ice Harbor and Little Goose, but will remain open in the Clarkston area.
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Department issued the notice today at 4:20 p.m.
The closure affects Zones A and B:
Zone A) Below Ice Harbor: Snake River from the South Bound Highway 12 Bridge at Pasco upstream about 7 miles to the fishing restriction boundary below Ice Harbor Dam;
Zone B) Below Little Goose: Snake River from Texas Rapids boat launch (south side of the river upstream of the mouth of Tucannon River) to Little Goose Dam. This zone includes the area between the juvenile bypass return pipe and Little Goose Dam along the south shoreline of the facility (includes the walkway area locally known as “the Wall” in front of the juvenile collection facility).
Fishing will still be allowed in Zone C: Open May 19 and 20, and then open two days per week (Sunday and Monday) until further notice.
Zone C) Clarkston: Snake River from the intersection of Steptoe Canyon Road with the Wawawai River Road on the Whitman County shore upriver approximately 12 miles to the Washington state line (from the east levee of the Greenbelt boat launch in Clarkston northwest across the Snake River to the WA/ID boundary waters marker on the Whitman County shore).
Read on for more details.
FISHING — The long-term news is not great, but in the short term anglers should be prepared this weekend to take advantage of spring chinook streaming into Idaho waters.
Joe DuPont, Idaho Fish and Game Department regional fisheries manager just posted an update on all the details. In addition to the above details, he gives the sobering news that last week's surge of salmon hundreds of miles downstream into the mouth of the Columbia has pooped out.
As the Idaho Fish and Game Commissioners prepare to set chinook seasons during a Thursday meeting in Coeur d'Alene, read on for some of the data they'll be working with, as summarized by DuPont:
NATURE — Franklin County is considering legal action into the federal government's steps to apply endangered species protections to rare wildflowers found in areas such as the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River.
Franklin County commissioners voted 3-0 Tuesday to hire outside lawyers to look into suing the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service over its pending endangered classification of the yellow-flowering White Bluffs bladderpod, which grows only in a small area along the Columbia River in the county.
The plan calls for designating 2,861 acres of land in Franklin County as critical habitat for the colorful plant that’s part of the cabbage family. Most of that is federal land managed by the Hanford Reach National Monument, but 419 acres is on private land owned by people who say they are concerned.