WILDLIFE – The Oregon Wildlife Commission took bald eagles off the state endangered species list recently, five years after the big birds were removed from the federal list.
In 1963, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service estimated 417 nesting pairs across the lower 48 states.
This year, about 500 to 700 bald eagles wintered in southern Oregon’s Klamath Basin, where they followed the feast of migrating Pacific Flywater waterfowl.
Eagles also are seen around the state, in areas such as Bend, Wallowa Lake and all along the Columbia River.
Bald eagles follow some other notable success stories. The Canada goose, two types of peregrine falcon and the Columbia white-tailed deer were previously removed from the state list, while 33 animals remain listed in Oregon.
The federal threatened or endangered species list includes 1,391 animals and plants species. About two dozen have been removed because they have recovered.
Big salmon run headed for Idaho
FISHING – Fish managers expect double the number of hatchery chinook salmon to cross the Lower Granite Dam and enter Idaho this spring.
Idaho Department of Fish and Game predicts about 83,000 of the hatchery fish will cross the dam, compared with 46,000 last year.
The increase is partly because of good migrating conditions in recent years.
Steelhead runs are expected to stay stable at about 200,000 fish, as they have for the last few years, officials said.
Roughly 25 percent of the steelhead run will likely be wild fish. That’s a slight increase from last year’s crop.
Spring closure affects upper Columbia anglers
FISHING – Washington regulations prohibit fishing March 1-May 25 in two stretches of the upper Columbia River (listed as Lake Roosevelt) near Northport.
Our Fishing-Hunting report in Friday’s Sports section said anglers have been catching big spawning rainbows near gravel bars in the Northport area.
The report did not mention anglers had lobbied for the spawning closures, which prohibit fishing in stretches that include the mouths of Sheep Creek, Deep Creek and Onion Creek to protect the big rainbows at a vulnerable period.
See details on page 96 of the 2011-2012 fishing regulations.