One spring, my 13-year-old step-daughter and I watched from the deck as three mallard drakes tried to impress a hen mallard. “It’s called a courting flight,” I told her. “The male ducks want the female for a girlfriend. The one who goes the fastest and busts the most moves attracts the hen.”
WDFW fish hatchery crews have been stocking more than 16 million trout and kokanee in lakes statewide in preparation for Saturday’s opener. Fish stocking details, by county and lake, are available in the annual stocking plan on WDFW’s website.
Even though there’s water everywhere this spring, two popular trout fishing lakes on the Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge southeast of Colville will be empty or dramatically lowered when the lowland trout season opens Saturday. But a third refuge fishery is getting a boost from construction projects.
Something really weird happened this year with the triploid hatchery trout stocked as a bonus in some Spokane area trout lakes. “The triploids (sterile) we get from Trout Lodge hatchery normally are nice fish running around 1.5 pounds,” said Randy Osborne, Washington Department of Fish and wildlife district biologist. “This year, for whatever reason, they’re running 4 pounds.”
Billijo Beck and her 10-year-old daughter Grace walked the dusty path between Challis Wild Horse Corral pens last week looking for an addition to their stables. There were 18 horses in the Bureau of Land Management corrals, which are few miles southeast of Challis.
U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has reversed plans to give management of Montana’s National Bison Range to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, saying that he is committed to not selling or transferring public lands.
Keep your eyes open this time of year for the wildly exciting chance to discover nature’s small fry. Spring is not lacking for reasons to lure hikers outside. Wildflowers and morels are like outdoor magnets. Opening seasons for trout and the hunting seasons for sheds and gobblers get people moving.