Clashes between waterfowl hunting guides and other hunters on public lands in the Columbia Basin have prompted a meeting set for Thursday.
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Department is calling for input on guided waterfowl hunting beginning at 7 p.m. at the Grant County Public Utility District auditorium, 312 W. Third Ave. in Moses Lake.
“In the past few years, we’ve been getting comments from non-guided hunters regarding a few guided hunters who hog hunting spots, kick people out of blinds and things like that on department-managed lands,” said Gordon LaVoy, department lands manager.
“We don’t know if this is a big problem or a little one. That’s what we’re trying to find out,” he added, pointing out that the department manages 250,000 acres in the Columbia Basin.
Currently, the agency does not regulate the 20-30 waterfowl guides who operate on public and private lands within the Basin, he said.
Pike fowl Montana waters
A northern pike caught by an angler in Montana’s Bynum Reservoir is another setback for fisheries in the treasure state, biologists say.
The reservoir, north of Choteau, was the only major walleye reservoir in north-central Montana that did have northern pike, said Bill Hill, biologist for the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
It’s likely the pike was put in the reservoir by a fisherman, he said.
“Illegal introduction of northern pike has been an epidemic across Montana,” said Steve Leathe, department regional fisheries manager. West of the Continental Divide, pike have been illegally transplanted into more than 60 lakes in the past 40 years, he said.
Studies in Minnesota show that pike tend to dominate walleyes in waters where they both occur, Leathe said.
Idaho hunt applications
Hunters have until Thursday to apply for spring black bear and turkey controlled hunts in Idaho.
Residents and nonresidents can mail in applications, or, for a small additional fee, can apply by calling (800) 824-3729.
Map makers seek advice
Have any suggestions to make national forest travel plan maps easier to read? The Forest Service is seeking your advice.
The Panhandle National Forests are beginning their annual revisions of seven maps covering 2.5 million acres of public land in North Idaho.
Some forest visitors have complained that the maps are confusing in the way they describe where, how and when travel is allowed on certain forest roads, said Bill Eaton, forest spokesman.
Send suggestions by Feb. 29 to Maps, Idaho Panhandle National Forests, 3815 Schreiber Way, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814.
Comment on bull trout
A proposed plan for managing bull trout in North Idaho will be discussed at two public meetings this week.
In June, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rejected a petition to list the bull trout under the Endangered Species Act because of state efforts to address threats to the native fish.
The meetings are set to begin at 7 p.m.:
Thursday, at the Sandpoint Federal Building.
Monday, at the Fish and Game regional office in Coeur d’Alene. Info: (208) 769-1414.
Volunteers sought for advisory group
The Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Inland Fish Policy Advisory Group is accepting nominations from individuals interested in addressing trout, walleye, bass and other freshwater fish management issues.
The new group is expected to provide a link between the department and fishers, conservation groups and industry representatives. The group will hold a minimum of four meetings each year, and advisors will serve one-year terms.
Anyone may submit nominations, and interested individuals may nominate themselves. Contact: Bob Gibbons, (360) 902-2329.
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