A public program on the status of Lake Pend Oreille fisheries recovery efforts and the latest research data will be presented by Idaho Fish and Game Department officials and biologists on Saturday, 8 a.m.-11 a.m., at the Sandpoint Community Center.
Since 2000, researchers have employed a variety of tactics in an attempt to stabilize and bring back declining kokanee, a popular sport fishery that also has provided the forage base for the lake’s trophy fisheries.
The boom in predatory lake trout has exacerbated the problem by creating a stubborn imbalance in the lake’s fisheries, biologists say.
Since 2006, an Angler Incentive Program has offered a reward to encourage fishermen to target rainbow and lake trout. Commercial netting equipment also has been used to relieve predatory pressure on kokanee.
In 2008, anglers removed about 13,000 lake trout and nearly 4,700 rainbow trout while commercial netters removed an additional 11,761 lake trout.
Researchers say this level of harvest should lead to the collapse of the lake trout population, enabling kokanee numbers to rebound.
Master hunters orientation set
Enrollment is open through March 31 for Washington’s Master Hunters Program, which offers special hunting opportunities for sportsmen who complete voluntary advanced hunter education criteria.
A Spokane orientation meeting is set for Saturday, 1 p.m.-4 p.m., at the Inland Northwest Wildlife Council headquarters, 6116 N. Market St.
The program has been redesigned for 2009 to promote high standards of hunter ethics, education, shooting proficiency and require 20 hours of wildlife-related public service.
License sales steady in Idaho
Idaho Fish and Game officials say sales of fishing and hunting licenses to state residents have remained steady despite Idaho’s shaky economy.
Fish and Game Director Cal Groen told the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee that as the economy worsens, people still want to go hunting and fishing. Idaho sold 1.3 million licenses and tags in 2008, he said.
Sales of fishing licenses increased 6 percent in the fall, he said.
However, license sales from people coming from outside Idaho have decreased. Groen said this appears to be connected to the wolf’s effect elk herds, not the economy.
The Fish and Game Department is funded primarily through the sale of licenses and tags.
Staff and wire reports
Bonner County group hits 75
The Bonner County Sportsmen’s Association will celebrate its 75th anniversary during its annual Gun ’n Horn show at the Bonner County Fairgrounds in Sandpoint, Feb. 27-March 1.
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