Outdoors

Field reports: King salmon crisis closes Alaska season

FISHING – It’s a bad year for that salmon fishing dream trip to some portions of Alaska.

Record low king runs have forced the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to close king salmon sportfishing in some rivers, including the fabled Kenai.

Returns were expected to be low, and they’ve been worse. So far only about 4,000 early-run kings have passed the in-river sonar counter. That makes the early Kenai run the worst on record.

To preserve future runs, state officials are clamping down throughout Alaska, banning even catch-and-release fishing of returning kings in Southcentral and halting subsistence king fishing on the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers.

Record sockeye run in upper Columbia?

FISHING – After several record daily sockeye counts over Bonneville Dam this week, fisheries managers’ expectations for overall record returns of sockeye salmon to the upper Columbia River are high.

The salmon fishing season in the upper Columbia above Priest Papids Dam opens today.

By mid-July, Washington Fish and Wildlife biologists expect summer chinook and sockeye fisheries to kick into high gear.

Tri-Town Float set on Pend Oreille River

PADDLING – A two-day floating festival of canoes, kayaks and other muscle-powered craft will be playing the odds on the Pend Oreille River July 14 and 15.

The Tri-Tow Float, formerly called the Poker Paddle, will have five stations giving out cards to participants as they float 16 miles from Ruby Creek to Ione the first day. Camping and food options are available.

The second day features a 5-mile float from Box Canyon Dam to Metaline, followed by prize drawings.

Info: (509) 442-4577.

Sign up by Friday for discount. Forms online at www.facebook.com/TriTown

FloatDownPokerPaddle.

Outdoor program builds teen leadership

YOUTH – The Sandpoint-based Selkirk Outdoor Leadership & Education is offering two five-day outdoor leadership programs for teens in August. Boosted by a grant from The North Face, cost for the sessions is only $50.

Youths will be on the go with activities including backpacking and kayaking and delving into a variety of activities such as wildlife rehabilitation, trail maintenance and environmental science.

Space is limited. Sessions start Aug. 5 and Aug. 14.

Info: (928) 351-7653; www.soleexperiences.org.>

Appleseed Project sets marksmanship clinic

SHOOTING – Another in a series of rifle marksmanship clinics is being offered at the Fernan Gun Club on July 14-15.

The clinics are sponsored by the Revolutionary War Veteran’s Association’s Project Appleseed, which involves shooting instruction along with history about the impact of marksmanship in the American Revolution.

The clinic teaches three rifleman shooting positions, use of the sling, six steps to firing, natural point of aim, how to zero your rifle using inches/minutes/clicks, and more.

The project also is designed to promote civic involvement.

Preregister: (208) 819-0866 or email ID@appleseedinfo.org.

Sea-kayaking deal: paddling with orcas

TRIPS – $200 discounts are being offered for guided sea-kayaking trips geared to paddling with orcas off Vancouver Island.

Nancy Mertz, co-owner of Coeur d’Alene-based Sea Kayak Adventures, said they have a few slots they’re trying to fill for camping excursions in the famous killer whale waters of Johnstone Strait. Info: 800-616-1943 or www.seakayakadventures.com.


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Rich Landers

Rich Landers

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