Field reports

Griz gave hiker no warning

WILDLIFE – A female grizzly bear that attacked a lone hiker near West Yellowstone recently was probably protecting her cub and a chunk of meat she had buried near the trail, Montana wildlife officials said.

Peter Sellers, 34, of Boise was attacked on a Forest Service road June 9. The bear bit him, breaking his upper arm and puncturing his neck, head, shoulders, torso and a leg.

Officials said Sellers had hiked the trail several times before and was carrying bear spray and a pistol, but the attack happened too quickly for him to respond. He hiked about three or four miles to a trailhead, where he found help.

Associated Press

Silver Lake launch briefly closed

FISHING – The public access at Silver Lake will be closed Monday through Wednesday as the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department installs a boat dock and an accessible fishing pier.

The gate is set to be reopened Thursday morning at 7:30.

A private resort on the north shore also provides access to the lake.

Rich Landers

DU throws party for waterfowlers

HUNTING – Camouflage clothing will be de rigueur at the Waterfowl Hunters Party Friday, 6-9 p.m. at the Mirabeau Park Hotel on Sullivan road at I-90.

“Wear camo and get a free chance on a gun,” said Bernard Brown, regional coordinator for Ducks Unlimited.

The party is a public event – $25, includes the barbecue – during the Washington State DU convention, which runs Friday and Saturday.

Sporting clays events on Friday and a Saturday presentation on DU projects throughout the Northwest are among sessions for attendees.

Ticket info: (425) 238-1078; www.ducks.org/

Rich Landers

Forest beetles threat to water

NATIONAL FORESTS – Water supplies for 33 million people could be endangered if millions of acres of beetle-ravaged forests in the Rocky Mountains catch fire, a Forest Service official says.

Rick Cables, chief forester for the Rocky Mountain region, told a House panel Tuesday the headwaters of the Colorado River, an important water source for residents of 13 states, are in the middle of 2.5 million acres of dead or dying forests in Colorado and southern Wyoming.

Severe fires fueled by these trees could damage reservoirs, pipes and other infrastructure that supply water to millions of people.

Staff and wire reports

Hatchery fish propagate weakness

FISHERIES – Oregon researchers were surprised to find that even wild-born offspring of hatchery fish reproduce less successfully than their fully wild counterparts.

The study, which followed steelhead at Hood River since 1991, suggests hatchery living somehow alters the fish genetically.

Previous research found that hatchery steelhead reproduce less successfully than wild fish. Then researchers looked at the offspring of hatchery fish born in the wild.

Oregon State University Professor Michael Blouin says researchers thought a full generation of wild living would restore reproduction.

But they found wild offspring of two hatchery parents were just 37 percent as successful as fully wild steelhead at producing adult offspring.

“Having hatchery parents gives you a handicap even if you were born in the wild,” Blouin said.

Associated Press

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