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Out & About: Three of five cygnets survive at Turnbull

Sun., Oct. 7, 2012

Cygnet-ure arrival: Trumpeter swans are back in a family way at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge this week. This photo shows the female rising above a newly hatched fifth cygnet on Thursday morning as two siblings look on from the nest. Her new mate had been across Middle Pine Lake, but brought two other cygnets hatched this week across the pond to take a look at the new arrival, the last of the five eggs to hatch. The female mated in 2009 with the late Solo, the male trumpeter who faithfully returned to Turnbull for two decades as a widower before finding a breeding female and ending Turnbull’s drought of trumpeter production. Solo and his new mate raised broods in 2009 and 2010. They returned last year, but Solo disappeared before they could mate, ending what biologists estimate was a remarkable 35- to 48-year tenure at the refuge. (Rich Landers)
An adult trumpeter swan preens with its four still-developing cygets in late August 2012 at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge's Middle Pond. One cygnet alread had died from the clutch produced in June. One of these cygnets also would die before the birds' wings developed enough for them to fledge in October. (Carlene Hardt)

OUTTRUMPET – A young trumpeter swan was found dead on an island at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge last week with no cause of death evident. The carcass has been sent to a health lab for analysis.

That leaves three of the five cygnets that hatched in June still swimming in the pools near the refuge headquarters.

They look good and should be making their first flight any day.

Roosevelt research fishing with gillnets

OUTSTUDY – A few anglers were alarmed this week to see gillnets in the Spokane Arm of Lake Roosevelt. The Spokane Tribe is doing annual fish community monitoring, a several-week effort that samples the entire reservoir. Data is shared with the state fisheries managers.

Girl too honest to be an angler?

OUTLYING – Jim Kujala had to reboot his piscatorial sensibilities last weekend while hosting a young girl on his boat for the Cast For Kids event at Clear Lake.

More than 50 kids were there, enjoying the day with volunteer mentors. Kujala, a perennial volunteer from the Inland Northwest Wildlife Council, especially enjoyed one highlight:

“I had a third-grade girl and her mother fishing with me and for the girl it was one missed bite and one of the bigger, if not the biggest, fish of the day – a brown trout.

“When it came time to take a picture, I asked if she wanted to hold both of the trout in my live well. Her answer: ‘But I only caught one.’”

He said he was thrilled to be in a boat, finally, with an angler of such high ethical standards.

Outdoor school struggles to survive

OUTCRY – Silvercrown Mountain Outdoor School in Northport, Wash., is having an open house Oct. 21 to demonstrate the great outdoor education they provide for youths. Donations are encouraged.

Check them out:

Hunting opportunity for disabled vets

OUTOFFER – A landowner along the lower Coeur d’Alene River is offering use of a waterfowl hunting blind to disabled vets to thank them for their service.

If you know a candidate, contact Mike Schlepp, (208) 689-3593.

Woman finds 1938 fishing license

OUTDATED – A Seeley Lake woman is looking for the owner of a 1938 game bird and fishing license she found while camping at the Benchmark trailhead near Augusta, Mont.

She says the license was issued to rancher C. Everett Davis of Monarch, who was 42. It cost $2.

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