FISHING – Northeastern Oregon’s Wallowa Lake is producing state-record kokanee of saltwater proportions.
Wan Teece of Enterprise, Ore., caught a 26.25-inch long kokanee weighing 8.23 pounds on March 24.
“From what we currently know, this kokanee is the largest ever caught in the United States,” said Bill Knox, assistant district fish biologist in Enterprise.
The world record is 9 pounds, 6 ounces caught in 1988 in Okanagan Lake, British Columbia. Washington’s record is 6.25 pounds from Lake Roosevelt in 2003.
Wallowa Lake had already turned heads of anglers in late February when it produced a 7.5-pound state record kokanee. A 7-pounder came out of the lake in July.
Teece and her husband, Jack, were trolling near the middle of the lake with a Wedding Ring and Smile Blade setup – specifically, a Double-Whammy Kokanee Pro lure – with 2 ounces of lead to fish deep.
A Smile Blade also was used to catch the Washington state record walleye.
Federal funding helps states deal with wolf conflicts
WILDLIFE – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has offered $1 million in grants to 10 states to help livestock producers take nonlethal steps to reduce conflicts with wolves, or to compensate livestock owners for losses to wolf depredation.
Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Wisconsin can receive up to $140,000, the most among the 10 states with wolves. Washington can have up to $15,000.
The grants are offered for qualifying programs and the amount must be matched by the states.
The agency says funding allocations were determined by looking at the need, the rate of depredation by wolves and the number of wolves in each state.
Other states receiving funding were: Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico and Oregon. Indian tribes also will be eligible for funding yet to be announced.
Surge of snowmobilers killed in region’s avalanches
WINTER SPORTS – An Idaho snowmobiler killed in an avalanche near the Wyoming border April 2 was the fifth avalanche death reported in Idaho and Montana within a week.
Four of the fatalities were snowmobilers and one was a backcountry snowboarder who died in Glacier National Park.
A Canadian snowmobiler killed in an avalanche Monday in Bugaboo Provincial Park northwest of Invermere, was the seventh victim in less than a month in British Columbia. Four of the dead were snowmobilers; three were skiers.
In mid-March, a slide near Revelstoke, B.C., swept over 200 snowmobilers during a gathering and left two dead.
Three heli-skiers died in British Columbia avalanches in the same period.
In Washington, a 12-year-old Wenatchee-area boy rescued his snowboarding friends April 3 from a small avalanche in an ungroomed area of Mission Ridge Ski and Board Resort.
Lewiston trapshooters looking for a home
SHOOTING – The Lewiston Gun Club has members, money and people to donate labor and materials to rebuild – but where?
The gun club was evicted from the jointly owned city-county airport, closing down a group that boosted the local economy.
The annual Camas Prairie Trap Shoot will go to Walla Walla.
City and county officials have not followed through on their promise to help find a suitable 50-acre site to relocate the shooting facility, club members say.
Like snakes and birds, elephant seals molt
MARINE LIFE – The Seaside Aquarium director reassures Oregon beach walkers that elephant seals are OK even though they might be seen on land breathing hard, spotted with sores and missing hair patches.
They’re just molting, said Keith Chandler.
Mushrooms are showing
UPDATE – A mushroomer reports bagging her first morels of the season on Friday in Spokane Valley.