Posts tagged: outdoos
FISHING — Idaho will open a spring Chinook salmon fishing season on Saturday, May 4, on parts of the Clearwater, Salmon and Snake rivers, according to rules adopted today by the state Fish and Game Commission.
Fish counts from Bonneville Dam suggest that the 2013 return of Chinook salmon to Idaho may be significantly lower than forecast but large enough to support fisheries. Projected returns for the Clearwater River are farther below forecast levels than returns to the Salmon and Snake rivers.
Fish and Game tailored the 2013 fisheries proposals to meet hatchery broodstock needs, focus fishing efforts in areas where hatchery fish are most abundant, and still allow fishing in river reaches that anglers have grown accustomed to fishing in recent years.
The proposal for the Clearwater River approved by the commission achieves these goals by limiting fishing to four days per week and reducing the length of river open to fishing in each of the recently fished sections.
Only the Lochsa River is closed entirely to fishing.
Salmon returns to the Salmon and Snake rivers do not appear to be as far below forecast levels as those to the Clearwater. Fisheries in the Lower Salmon, Little Salmon and Snake rivers are similar to fisheries in recent years. These areas will be open seven days a week, and river sections recently fished will not be shortened – except the Shorts Bar to Vinegar Creek stretch of the lower Salmon River, which is closed.
Read on for details on Idaho areas open and closed to fishing.
PUBLIC LANDS — Cutting firewood for personal or commercial use from national forests requires a permit. Peronal use permits go on sale Monday (April 1).
Idaho Panhandle National Forests firewood permits are on sale. The minimum permit available is $20 for 4cords. Woodcutters may purchase multiple permits, up to a maximum of 12 cords of firewood per season.
OUTDO – The Washington Trails Association is recruiting volunteers for an ambitious lineup of trail-building and maintenance projects in far Eastern Washington this season.
Every year as the budgets for parks and forests dwindle, volunteers become more important, said Jane Baker, local WTA trail crew leader in Spokane.
The work parties range for day-jobs at the Rocks of Sharon to multi-day trips in the Salmo-Priest Wilderness that combine backpacking with trail clearing.
WTA is a third of the way to meeting the 2,000-hours of work at Liberty Lake County Park the group pledged in order to get a state grant. The first of several work parties planned at Liberty Lake is set for March 16, followed by work in April, May, June and July.
Other project areas include the Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge, Dishman Hills, Mount Spokane and Sullivan Lake.
Info: (206_ 625-1367.
POACHING — The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is seeking information on the illegal shooting of three deer within the boundaries of Dalton Gardens, a small community in Kootenai County just north of Coeur d’Alene.
The incidents occurred between Thursday, February 7 and Saturday February 9.
A buck, a doe and a fawn whitetail deer were each found dead, each shot with a small caliber bullet. The three carcasses were found at two different locations within Dalton Gardens. The deer were all left to waste.
The deer season in northern Idaho is currently closed, so the shooting of a deer is a violation of state wildlife laws.
Discharging a firearm within the city limits of Dalton Gardens is also illegal.
Anyone with information regarding these incidents should contact the Idaho Fish and Game Department at 769-1414; or, the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) hotline, at 1 800 632-5999.
Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a CAP reward if the information provided leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.
PUBLIC LANDS — A pine beetle outbreak that has left many Western states with vast stands of dead and dying trees has eased for the second consecutive year, the U.S. Forest Service says.
That's the good news.
The bad news is that more trees are dying at higher elevations as beetles take advantage of warm winters to gain a new foothold.
And with trees on roughly 42 million acres killed by various beetles since 2000, it could take decades for some forests to fully recover.
WILDLIFE — A Missoula-area bighorn herd that's been ravaged by disease suffered another blow recently as a single truck wiped out a third of this season's bighorn lamb reproduction in the lower Rock Creek drainage.
The unidentified Idaho driver collided with seven lambs while driving near the Rock Creek Trout Bums fly shop along the popular fishing stream south of Interstate 90.
“A tragedy in itself, the deaths also hammered a herd already halved by a pneumonia outbreak two years ago,” says the story in the Missoulian.
“They were just super frisky, and they played in a group,” said Trout Bums co-owner Deb Peltier. “They came off the mountain racing, like they always do. They were like toddlers – oblivious to everything. When I got there, there were baby sheep laying everywhere like bowling pins. It was a horrible, awful sight.”
Excessive speed on the county road is a regular problem, local authorities say.
OUTPADDLE – Two new twists highlight the 2012 Spokane River Canoe Classic: a later date and a category for stand up paddle boards to go along with canoes and kayaks that run the river.
The annual event will launch a colorful flotilla in a mass start from Post Falls’ Corbin Park at 11 a.m. on June 30 – that’s two weeks later than normal to avoid high river flows that have forced Mountain Gear organizers to move the event to flatwater some years.
An added benefit: the weather and water will be warmer, said John Schwartz, Mountain Gear store manager.
Participants can enter the Citizens Division and paddle 7 miles to Harvard Road, or the Marathon Division to challenge Flora and Sullivan rapids on the 13-mile run to Plante’s Ferry Park.
Among the various categories for men and women in canoes or kayaks, is the slot for stand up paddle boards.
“SUP is the fastest growing part of paddle sports,” Schwartz said. “It needed to be included.”
Prize divisions include best costume, most swims, oldest boat, fastest and slowest participants.
Pre-register: Forms available at Mountain Gear, 2002 N. Division, or get details and download a registration form here.
FISHING — The Colville Tribe is saying the recent loss of perhaps a million rainbow trout in commercial net pens downstream from Grand Coulee Dam might scuttle the regular release of net pen trout for anglers in Lake Rufus Woods.
A story in Northwest Sportsman Magazine quotes Colville spokeswoman Sheri Sears as saying the tribe's normal release of 4,000 3- to 4-pounders a month from fall into spring helps ensure good fishing in some areas of the 50-mile-long reservoir.
“Typically we buy $60,000 worth of triploids from the netpens. This year we probably won’t have those available,” Sears told NSM.
She said tribal managers foresaw the high flows and released their redband rainbow broodstock from the pens.
People are catching fish in a wide range of sizes.
LAKE ACCESS – The Blackwell Island public boat launch and others on Lake Coeur d’Alene will remain closed until the high water subsides, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced today.
“The launch facility is currently under 2 feet of water, with the lake level expected to rise another foot by Friday,” said BLM Park Ranger Glenn Bailey.
Other Coeur d'Alene Lake facilities affected by the high water conditions include BLM’s Windy Bay site, which is currently under about 18 inches of water.
If the water comes up as high as expected, the walk-in access into Mica Bay Boater Park will be under water as well.
“These three sites are expected to have the greatest impact from the high water situation in the Coeur d'Alene Field Office area,” Bailey said.
“Killarney Lake boat launch and Huckleberry Campground facilities may see some impacts as well.”
BLM officials say they will reassess the high water situation for the Coeur d’Alene Lake sites after June 1.
NATIONAL FORESTS — Finally, some good news on the pine beetle infestation that's left much of the West with a glut of firewood.
Wyoming’s bark beetle epidemic is showing signs of slowing, forestry officials say, for the rather depressing reason that the insects are running out of trees in the state to infest.
But the beetles aren’t out of the woods yet, according to forest experts quoted in a Casper Tribune story.
And the larger question may be how to deal with the huge expanses of dead trees they’ve already left behind.
The latest aerial survey by the U.S. Forest Service, released in January, shows an estimated 314,000 acres of Wyoming pine forest died from beetle infestation in 2010 — mostly from mountain pine beetles. That’s a fourth of tree mortality rates in Wyoming during both 2009 and 2008.
In all, about 3.1 million acres of trees in Wyoming — mainly lodgepole and ponderosa pine — have been infested since the outbreak was first noticed about 15 years ago.
Similar reports come from Colorado and Montana.