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Mike Coyle revived Spokane Fish Hatchery tours. (Rich Landers)
Mike Coyle revived Spokane Fish Hatchery tours. (Rich Landers)

OUTSTANDING – Spokane sportsmen lost one of their most enduring worker bees with the recent death of Mike Coyle.

For decades he led efforts to put a smiling face and a handshake on the good things sportsmen do with their money and volunteer energy.

His heart was into big-game hunting, but he stepped up when the tradition of Spokane Fish Hatchery tours was in jeopardy in 2006 for lack of funding and interest. Coyle pitched a plan, got support from the Inland Empire Chapter of Safari Club International, which he helped organize in 1978, and got the program rolling again.

Behind the scenes, Coyle’s efforts taught hundreds of kids about the life history of trout while helping the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department set up nets that spare fry from birds and save fish for anglers.

Three years ago, at 79, he stepped down from coordinating volunteers who guided up to 60 group tours a year through the hatchery.

In an age where hunting-related groups often get bogged down and divided in political bias, Coyle was a model for rising above it all and putting fish and wildlife first on the agenda.

Rich Landers

GU students go wild in Salmo-Priest film

OUTPRESERVE – An short film about the 43,348-acre  Salmo-Priest Wilderness produced by the Friends of the Salmo-Priest will be shown with another film in a free event on Wednesday, 7 p.m.,  at the Gonzaga University Jepson Center’s Wolff Auditorium.

The friends group, led by GU students, is observing the 50th anniversary of  the Wilderness Act and the 30th anniversary of the  Salmo-Priest Wilderness Area that straddles the Washington-Idaho border against the U.S.-Canada border.

The student film will be paired with “ Wild by Law: The Rise of Environmentalism and the Creation of the Wilderness Act,” a 1991 documentary that was nominated in the Academy Awards for Best Documentary Feature.

Gayne Sears, Colville National Forest district ranger, will discuss wilderness in the Pacific Northwest.

Cold water film must see

for boaters, anglers

OUTCHILL – A chiller and a thriller will be shown at a double-feature program Monday, 7 p.m., at  Mountain Gear Corporate Office, 6021 E. Mansfield in Spokane Valley.

  Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club members will give a program about kayaking in Costa Rica, with head-cam video that captures more excitement than they’d planned.

Also featured is a screening of “ Cold Water Boot Camp,” a must-see video for anyone who recreates around water.

Brave volunteers who jump into frigid water graphically demonstrate the risks of cold water immersion and what boaters and anglers can do to improve their odds of survival if in a similar situation.


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Rich Landers

Rich Landers

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