OUTLAST – The family of trumpeter swans that hatched in mid-June near the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge headquarters have been short on water this summer, an issue that hasn’t escaped visitors.
Trumpeters have become a cygnet-ure species at the refuge as they’ve resumed nesting in recent years.
Turnbull has received many queries in the past month from refuge fans concerned that low water levels in the visitor-area ponds have reduced the swans’ habitat and made them more vulnerable to predators.
One of this year’s five cygnets has disappeared, probably the victim of a severe thunderstorm, refuge staffers say.
“The swans are in a bit of a pinch because we had a control structure failure in Winslow Pool and the structure in Cheever where they usually nested had to be replaced this year,” said Mike Rule, refuge wildlife biologist. “So they are somewhat trapped in the pond they are in now until fledging.
“The water level has not dropped since hatching. The spring-fed system should maintain levels. Having more room is preferable but they should do fine in Middle Pine Lake.”
Pend Oreille River pike derby planned
OUTCAST – Sign-up is under way for the season’s second Pikepalooza fishing derby on the Pend Oreille River, Friday through next Sunday, sponsored by the Kalispel Tribe.
Prizes up to $1,000 are offered in categories such as most fish, longest fish, total length of catch and smallest fish.
During the first event June 29-July 1, about 80 anglers endured high water and windy conditions to catch 81 northern pike.
Josh Whitney won $1,000 for catching the most northern pike: 14.
Dale Smith won $500 for catching the largest pike: 46.4 inches long.
Preregister online: kalispeltribe.com
Spokane River Fest debuts Saturday
OUTPADDLE – A Spokane River Festival for paddlers is being organized by local kayak, paddle board and rafting groups Saturday, Aug. 11, at Glover Field in Peaceful Valley.
The event offers a chance to see new boats and gear, meet local whitewater enthusiasts, and more.
Hut workers needed at Mount Spokane
PARKS – Friends of Mt. Spokane State Park are constructing a 16- by 24-foot warming hut for snowshoers and backcountry skiers just off the Kit Carson Loop Road.
Helpers are needed. Contact: Cris Currie, 466-9540.