Field reports: DNR reopens Dragoon Campground
STATE LANDS – Funding from Washington’s 11-month-old Discover Pass has enabled the state to reopen a campground in Spokane County.
The Dragoon Creek Campground, 14 miles north of Spokane and just west of Highway 395, has reopened for the summer season.
The 22-site campground and picnic area had been mothballed in 2009 for lack of funding, said Brett Walker, Department of Natural Resources recreation manger in Colville.
“The Discover Pass gets the credit for providing our agency with funds to reopen this site,” he said, noting the funding also is being used to hire people to work on getting grants and coordinating volunteers to boost recreation on state lands across the state.
Extra trout stocked for Father’s Day
FISHING – Williams Lake south of Cheney is getting spiced with a late plant of 365 triploid rainbows this week to help perk up the fishing for Father’s Day weekend.
Williams is among 14 lakes in the state getting supplemental hatchery plants, said Chris Donley, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Inland Fish Program manager.
The triploid trout are sterile rainbows that average 1½ pounds each. Anglers say the fishing at Williams has continued to be good even without the extra fish.
Elk group offers to pay wolf trappers
PREDATORS – The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation wants wolves to be more aggressively managed in Montana and they’re offering state wildlife officials at least $50,000 to contract with federal trappers to kill more of the predators.
RMEF President David Allen said the state isn’t using remedies allowed under the wolf management plan to the fullest.
The state is considering the offer, as well as the possibility of following Idaho in allowing public trapping seasons for wolves.
Despite months of open public wolf hunting and some Wildlife Damage Services action to kill wolves causing livestock losses, biologists estimate Montana’s wolf population grew by at least 15 percent last year compared to 2010 levels.
The state had at least 643 wolves at the end of 2011. FWP Director Joe Maurier has said the goal in Montana is about 425 wolves.
Judge won’t halt sea lion killing
PREDATORS – A federal judge has rejected a request to halt the killing of California sea lions that eat protected salmon at Oregon’s Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River.
The Humane Society of the United States wanted to stop the lethal injections while its lawsuit against the practice works its way through the courts.
Judge Michael Simon has said the request faced difficult tests in such legal circumstances. He ruled Wednesday it didn’t pass the tests.
Eleven California sea lions were trapped and killed this spring. Another was sent to an aquarium. The rest have largely returned to their oceanic breeding grounds after the spring fish run.
Simon has said he wants to rule on the lawsuit itself before the sea lions return next year.