Outdoors

Redband trout net-rescued at Spokane Falls

Brian Johnson tips a giant red band trout from his net into a bucket in a deep hole in the north channel of the Spokane River Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011. Johnson works for EES Consulting, which is a contractor on the Avista Utilities project to install a series of concrete weirs, shaped and camouflaged to blend into the rocky landscape, that will reroute the flow pattern of water through river channels in downtown Spokane. The result will be a more natural flow through a series of pools and away from several man-made alterations to the river channels. The changes are part of the relicensing agreements for Avista's dams on the Spokane River. The crew from EES was removing the fish from pools being pumped dry before work begins nearby. (Jesse Tinsley)
Brian Johnson tips a giant red band trout from his net into a bucket in a deep hole in the north channel of the Spokane River Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011. Johnson works for EES Consulting, which is a contractor on the Avista Utilities project to install a series of concrete weirs, shaped and camouflaged to blend into the rocky landscape, that will reroute the flow pattern of water through river channels in downtown Spokane. The result will be a more natural flow through a series of pools and away from several man-made alterations to the river channels. The changes are part of the relicensing agreements for Avista's dams on the Spokane River. The crew from EES was removing the fish from pools being pumped dry before work begins nearby. (Jesse Tinsley)

FISHING — The Spokane River's struggling native redband trout are in the news for more reasons that one this week.

As stream flows hit their seasonal lows in the Spokane River, Avista Utilities begins a to-do list of work on their dams and on the bed of the river. Many of the jobs are part of their 50-year relicensing agreement compiled by several stakeholder groups, including Indian tribes and environmental groups. On Wednesday surveyors and environmental consultants planned and prepared for the construction of weirs to direct river flows in a more aesthetically pleasing way.

The project included netting trout stranded in the basalt pools of the dewatered falls and releasing them safely in the river.

The effort — and a glimpse at the size of redband trout living in the Spokane Falls area — are captured in a picture story by Spokesman-Review photographer Jesse Tinsley.

The other news story this week, detailed in my column today, is the legal challenge to the docks proposed on the river by the Coyote Rock development near Plantes Ferry Park.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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