September 4, 2011 in Outdoors

Out & About: Grandma, 93, wows Valdez salmon derby


Laurie Fleming of Spokane works on Iller Creek trail.
(Full-size photo)

Map of this story's location

OUTFISH – Lenore Groundwater, 93, who lives in a retirement home in Green Valley, Ariz., reeled in a 16.58-pound silver salmon last weekend – her son netted the fish, but all involved say Lenore hooked it and reeled it in – to win the one-day derby in Valdez, Alaska.

She topped a field of 789 to win $1,000 plus prizes and the silver tiara annually awarded to the winner of the just-for-women derby, now in its seventh year.

Groundwater drew laughs, cheers and applause at the awards ceremony when she was crowned queen of the derby.

Asked if she was enjoying the attention, she replied, “Well, it’s probably not helping my high blood pressure.”

Asked which is more important when fishing, luck or skill, she answered without a moment’s hesitation. “Luck,” she said, bringing down the house. “And that’s the same thing about living so old.”

Aerial chukar surveys canceled by Idaho

OUTDONE – The last good barometer Snake River region hunters have had on the hatching success of upland birds has ended. Idaho Fish and Game biologists will no longer conduct aerial chukar surveys, officials announced this week.

The agency has conducted annual surveys since the mid-1980s primarily to provide a forecast for the upcoming season. The data was not bio- logical data used to set seasons, officials said in a press release.

The surveys offered sportsmen useful general trends in the fall population.

Washington ended its aerial chukar surveys in the ’90s, mostly for reasons of expense.

Trail work projects fall into place

OUTHELP – Volunteers are needed for two reconstruction projects on popular trails near Spokane this month.

The Washington Trails Association is coordinating the work as follows:

• Mount Spokane , Sept. 15 – the last of several Thursday work parties on re-routes of trails popular with hikers and equestrians.

Iller Creek, Sept. 17, 18, 24, 25 and Oct. 15-16 – Rerouting 1,000 feet of trail around a nasty steep rutted section in the prized Conservation Futures area on the east side of Tower Mountain.

The work qualifies toward credit for free Discover Passes, said local WTA trail work crew leader Jane Baker.

Sign up for the work parties online,


Free steelhead seminars

at Westslope Fly Shop

OUTCAST – A series of free steelhead fishing seminars and casting clinics has been scheduled on every Saturday in September at Westslope Fly Shop, 1003 E. Trent Ave., Suite 145, in Spokane.

The schedule includes a variety of classes geared to both novice and experienced anglers.

Preregister for limited slots by calling the shop, (509) 838-0252. 

The offerings include:

• Spey casting seminar and instruction, 10 a.m.-noon (except Sept. 17). Held on the Spokane River.

• Knot tying and rigging, 1-2 p.m.

Single-handed casting, 2-3 p.m. Special emphasis on heavier rods/lines and nymphing techniques for steelhead.

Steelhead fly tying, 4-5 p.m. Each week will focus on a different pattern.

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