Field reports: Group buys land for grizzly migration

SUNDAY, AUG. 28, 2011

WILDLIFE – A conservation group bought 71 acres in the Yaak Mountains in northwestern Montana near Troy with the goal of improving migration corridors for grizzly bears and other wildlife in the region.

The Missoula-based Vital Ground Foundation bought the land this month from a private landowner.

The parcel is in the 2,600-square-mile Cabinet-Yaak Grizzly Bear Recovery Zone that also includes northern Idaho. Lutey said the purchased land offers low-elevation habitat for wildlife along the Kootenai River and is ideal winter range for deer, elk and moose.

Cost of the project, including buying the land, transactions fees, restoration work, and setting aside a stewardship endowment for future costs, such as taxes, is $440,000.


Catch-keep chinook Thursday on Snake

FISHING – For the first time, anglers will be able to catch and keep chinook salmon in the entire Washington portion of the Snake River in a season running Thursday through Oct. 31, the Fish and Wildlife Department announced.

A huge run is expected.

The Washington season coincides with the Idaho catch-and-keep season for fin-clipped chinook.

Rich Landers

Discover Pass sales net $2.9 million

STATE LANDS – During the first six weeks of sales, Washington’s new Discover Pass raised $2,914,434 to support state parks and other state recreation lands, the state Parks and Recreation Commission reported Wednesday.

That leaves much to be desired in making up for the $65 million biennial loss in general fund support to state recreation lands.

Don Hoch, Washington State Parks director, said those sales are critical to the future of state parks, which must now rely on user fees and donations to cover costs. WDFW and the state Department of Natural Resources also receive a percentage of those fees to maintain public access to lands they manage.

Info: discoverpass.wa.gov.

Rich Landers

Idaho wolf hunt opens Tuesday

HUNTING – Idaho’s second wolf season in history opens Tuesday. Last month, the state Fish and Game Commission reduced the price of non-resident wolf tags to $31.75 to encourage more hunters to buy them.

No wolf quota is set this time around in most units; controlled trapping will be allowed.

Rich Landers

Lucky sucker nets Idaho record

FLY FISHING A fly- fisherman is taking a ribbing from buddies, but he can stand tall in his waders for setting an Idaho fishing record with a 25-inch-long Utah sucker weighing 7 pounds, 13.8 ounces. 

Rick Thompson of Idaho Falls caught the fish Aug. 20 on the South Fork Snake River with a No. 18 Pheasant Tail nymph.

Rich Landers

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