STATE LANDS – Washington’s new Discovery Pass will be required and enforced on vehicles using state parks and other state lands starting Tuesday.
The passes have been distributed and are on sale at Riverside and Mount Spokane state parks when staff is available.
No service fee is charged when the $30 annual pass ($10 daily) is purchased at a state park.
Service fees of $2 are charged when the passes are purchased where hunting and fishing licenses are sold or $5 online.
Details about the pass and where it can be purchased are online at www.discoverpass.wa.gov/
The pass is required for vehicles on lands and access sites managed by state parks and the Natural Resources and Fish and Wildlife Departments.
Rock Creek closed to float fishing
FISHING – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has decided against extending the float-fishing season on Rock Creek east of Missoula.
Rock Creek normally closes to fishing from boats beginning July 1, but this year FWP considered a three-week float fishing extension because unusually high river flows have prevented most spring floating opportunities.
After a seven-day public comment period that yielded more than 150 comments, FWP decided not to move forward with the extension.
Patt Saffel, regional fisheries manager in Missoula, said public sentiment on the issue was diverse. A lot of appreciation for considering the extension was expressed, but also a lot of concern.
Avalanche damage extensive to Glacier’s Sperry Chalet
PARKS – Sperry Chalet, a century-old rock chalet in Glacier National Park that was damaged by a winter avalanche may be open for only a few weeks this summer after crews working to ready the backcountry hotel for the tourist season found additional damage to the two-story lodging and its kitchen building.
Repair crews will need complete access to the backcountry hotel – accessible only by trail – for much of July and then again in late August and September.
More steelhead die at Dworshak Hatchery
FISHING – Officials at Dworshak National Fish hatchery euthanized 92,000 juvenile steelhead this week to prevent the spread of the IHN disease that has plagued the hatchery for years.
Hatchery managers say they have destroyed 332,000 juvenile summer steelhead since April to protect the rest of the hatchery’s fish from the virus.
Officials say they still expect to have enough fish to release as smolts next year to meet their requirements for mitigating the impacts of Dworshak Dam on wild fisheries.
Staff and wire reports
New Maringo trailhead for Centennial Trail
TRAILS – A new 12-vehicle parking lot and trailhead for the Spokane River Centennial Trail officially opens today east of Argonne Road at the end of Maringo Drive.
Idaho proposes new rules
FISHING – Idaho Fish and Game Department officials are taking public comments through Friday on proposed changes to fishing rules.
Proposals are available on the Fish and Game website. Among them:
• Allowing filleting of hatchery salmon and steelhead harvested and recorded on a salmon or steelhead permit when certain conditions are met.