OUTGOING – Daniel Kuhta, 15 (pictured above), ended his career of participating in youth upland bird hunting seasons last Sunday with a limit of pheasants at the Fishtrap Lake area. It was a bittersweet weekend with his dad, Scott, their yellow Lab, Luby, and the family’s new Lab pup, Max.
“This was the last year for my son to take advantage of the youth hunt weekend,” said Scott, marking just one in the series of teen changes.
“He turned 15 in July and Sunday was the first time he drove ME to our hunting spot.”
Fishtrap is one of 29 pheasant release sites in Eastern Washington. The next release of pheasants at the sites is likely to occur the week after the Oct. 13 general pheasant season opens.
Too soon to judge Roosevelt drawdown
OUTFISH – Fishing started to pick up at Lake Roosevelt last week, with more and bigger trout being caught. But that’s not saying too much. The 2012 spring-summer season has been dismal.
“We had the second consecutive big water year with a massive drawdown,” said Chris Donley, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Inland Fish Program manager. “That means we lose fish through Grand Coulee Dam. It’s a simple formula.”
Reports earlier this month that anglers were catching small trout was hopeful news, he said. “Those are the net pen fish released this summer. They’ll be 16 inches by November. We have to hold judgment until then on how good the winter season will be.”
Dredge permit OK’d on Salmon River
OUTSUCK – Idaho Land Board has approved a mineral lease sought by Mike Conklin of Grangeville who wants to dredge a half-mile section of the Salmon River for gold and garnets.
The board voted unanimously Tuesday despite objections from conservationists who claim suction dredging harms the riverbed, threatens water quality and disturbs areas critical to fish.
After a visit to the river, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and the rest of the board concluded recreational mining is an appropriate and legal use for the river and OK’d the lease 13 miles downstream of Riggins.
Summit road closing
OUTDRIVE – Time’s running out to drive to the top of Mount Spokane. The Summit Road gate will be locked Oct. 14 for the season.