Field reports: Columbia tribal netters selling spring chinook

FISHING – If you haven’t been able to catch your own spring chinook in this year’s run, Columbia River tribes are selling them fresh from their nets this weekend for the first time in four years.

 A two-night commercial gillnet fishery on a good 2014 run will allow fish to be sold at locations along the Columbia, including Columbia Point Marina in Richland.

Get details and other locations at (888) 289-1855, critfc.org/harvest

Turnbull Refuge fest is wild time

NATURE – A windfall of local nature expertise is converging at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday to give programs and lead tours for all ages on everything from bugs to wildflowers.

The annual Floods, Flowers and Feathers Festival, 8 a.m-3 p.m., helps the public experience and learn about the wildlife, habitats and geology of the unique Channeled Scablands landscape. 

Programs cover aquatic invertebrates, songbird banding, exploring soils, birding scavenger hunt, nature photography, geology tour, a rangeland fire demonstration, refuge management tour and guided walks to focus on wildflowers, birds and other wildlife.

 Sign up: (509) 235-4723.

Events are online at fws.gov/refuge/Turnbull.

Columbia Basin proposals due

FISHING – Comments on improving state sportfishing rules in the Columbia River Basin are due Friday, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife says. 

The department is starting a new process that will consider only public proposals affecting fisheries in the Columbia River Basin this year. Proposals for freshwater fisheries in Puget Sound will be taken next year and for coastal areas in 2015, then for saltwater fisheries in 2016.

Details: wdfw.wa.gov/fishing /regulations/rule_proposals/

Antoine Peak trail meeting set

PARKS – Spokane County Parks Department is proposing a trail and access plan for the 1,066-acre Antoine Peak Conservation Area in Spokane Valley. The plan will be presented in an open house Wednesday, 4 p.m.-6 p.m., at Mountain Gear Headquarters, 6012 E. Mansfield. 

Although the area is closed to public motorized traffic, it includes about 20 miles of roads and routes created before the county acquired it.

The plan would build more parking and access sites, create some loop trails and decommission routes that are eroding or disturbing wildlife areas.

Forests debut geocaching game

PUBLIC LANDS – The Colville National Forest and partners have started a summer geocaching game geared to families.

From this holiday weekend to Labor Day, easy-access geocaches will be located on lands designated as the Upper Columbia Children’s Forest.

Geocaching is like a treasure hunt using a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit.  Input the coordinates and the GPS unit helps navigate to the geocache.  

While the activities are geared to youths ages 8-12, all of the geocaches require driving to the recreation site followed by a short walk.

Some GPS units are available to borrow at the Kettle Falls Information Center, (509) 738-2300.

To play, go to  www.geocaching.com and search “Upper Columbia Children’s Forest geocaches” and get the coordinates to input into your GPS Unit.

State offers fish license upgrade

FISHING – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is offering current freshwater or saltwater fishing license holders the opportunity before July 20 to upgrade to a combination license for under $27.

The upgrade will give those anglers all the fishing privileges of a combination license at the cost they would have paid if they had purchased one in the first place, said Bill Joplin, WDFW licensing manager.           

Freshwater fishing license holders can purchase an upgrade to a combination license for $26.75 and current saltwater fishing license holders can upgrade to a combination license for $26.20.

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Rich Landers

Rich Landers

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