Field reports: Water rights proposed for Spokane River

FISHING – The Spokane River could get “water rights” to maintain minimum flows that would be especially beneficial to fish under a proposal that will be discussed in Spokane this week.

In an effort to protect and preserve water levels in the  Spokane River, the Washington Department of Ecology is proposing a  preliminary draft rule for the main stem of the river in Spokane County and a small portion of Stevens County.

An instream flow rule would give the river a water right, much like those granted to individuals, farms and municipalities.

An open-house meeting to explain the rule is set for 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday at  CenterPlace Regional Event Center in Spokane Valley.

formal public comment period and hearing will be held later in the process.

Nine Mile boat launch improvements complete

BOATING – Boat launch renovations at Nine Mile Resort on Lake Spokane (Long Lake) have been completed and the site is open for the season.

Riverside State Park officials say the access road has been repaved and new docks have been installed. A new concrete ramp has been poured that reaches deeper into the lake at a more gradual grade.

Opening the site was delayed because of late delivery of the docks. The launch fee is $7.

Spokane club offers canoe, kayak classes

PADDLING – The  Spokane Canoe & Kayak Club is launching its  annual series of paddling classes for canoeists as well as whitewater and sea kayakers starting next weekend.

The classes are taught by qualified instructors as follows:

• May 18 –  Flatwater solo and tandem canoeing.

• June 21-22 –  Beginning whitewater kayaking.

• June 28-29 –  Moving water canoeing.

• July 16, 19, 20 – Sea kayaking.

Cost for each class is $55 per paddler and participants must become club members.

Sign up: (509) 448-9214, email: “>dianecadams@asisna.com. 

Alaska grizzly largest killed by hunters

HUNTING – The largest grizzly bear killed and recorded by a hunter has been entered into the Boone and Crockett record book.

The big bruin, taken in 2013 near Fairbanks, Alaska, by Larry Fitzgerald of Fairbanks scores 27-6/16. It missed the world-record mark by seven-sixteenths of an inch but landed a spot as the second-largest grizzly ever recorded. The reigning world record is a skull found in Alaska in 1976.

Bears are scored based on skull length and width measurements.

Camping fees raised at Panhandle forests

PUBLIC LANDS – The cost of camping or using pay-for-use recreation sites on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests will increase this season, generally $1 to $2 per use.  

Group site fees will increase from $5 -$15 a day depending on the size of the site.

The last time fees were increased was in 2010, forest officials said.

The current increases are expected to remain stable through at least 2015.

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