Out & About: Chapman Lake may not reopen

SUNDAY, APRIL 1, 2012, 6:20 A.M.

Volunteer Sierra Huckins plants a tree during the 2010 Dishman Hills service project.
Gonzaga University students rake a weed removal demonstration area and haul the debris during the community work project at the Dishman Hills Natural Area on Saturday, April 9, 2011. More than 330 people volunteered to help. The event was sponsored by REI and several outdoor groups. (Rich Landers)

OUTCRY – Chapman Lake, a popular trout, kokanee and spiny ray fishing lake south of Cheney, may not reopen for public access this season.

The family-operated Chapman Lake Resort did not open gates last year for the first time in decades.

“We’re working with the private landowner to try to reach an agreement to get access into the lake, but these things move slowly,” said Chris Donley, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife lowland lakes manager.

“We won’t be stocking any big trout in the lake this year without an agreement, but we’ll stock kokanee regardless. It’s low cost to stock the fry.

“We don’t want to lose a year-class of fish. It’s difficult to get the population started again if you do that.

“We’ll spend a little state money now; then if we get the public access back, we’ll still have a kokanee fishery.”

Escure Ranch reopens, tips on vandal sought

OUTDO – The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has reopened the Rock Creek-Escure Ranch recreation area south of Sprague after dealing with about $5,000 in damage cause by vandals in mid-March.

Report any tips related to the vandalism to BLM Spokane District Office, (509) 536-1200.

Waterfalls Peak: Towell Falls at Escure Ranch is a scenic destination especially enjoyable in early April.

For directions to the area – and details on several other spring waterfall hiking destinations – see Rich Landers’ Outdoors Blog, spokesman.com/outdoors.

Dishman Hills effort set for April 22

WHAT: Dishman Hills Natural Area Cleanup, sponsored by REI.

WHEN: April 22, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.

WHERE: Dishman Hills Natural Area, Camp Caro, 625 S. Sargent Road, Spokane Valley

WHO: Community groups and volunteers needed.

About 340 helpers made a big difference last year in the appearance of this gem of habitat for trail hikers and wildlife in Spokane Valley.

Groups are organized for trail restoration and clean-up, noxious weed removal, tree planting and other projects.

REI and the Dishman Hills Natural Area Association organize the event and provide music and free food.

Preregister to get a T-shirt at rei.com/event/32772


Dig deeper into the volunteer trail work with a full weekend project sponsored by the Washington Trails Association. Sign up at wta.org.

Sportsman’s group offers pheasant chicks

OUTPRODUCE – The Inland Northwest Wildlife Council again will be distributing pheasant chicks to people who have facilities to raise 25 or more birds for around six weeks before releasing them into the wild.

Deliveries of chicks will be available Tuesdays starting in mid-April.

Reserve chicks: 328-6429.

Backpacking basics discussed at REI

OUTPACK – REI staffers will present a show-and-tell session on getting started in backpacking Thursday, 7 p.m. at the Spokane store, 1125 N. Monroe.

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