Field reports: Idaho puts spotlight on cutthroat plan
FISHING – Idaho is formalizing ongoing efforts to perpetuate native cutthroat trout in a management plan out for public review until July 26.
See the draft plan on the Idaho Department of Fish and Game website, fishandgame.idaho.gov.
The westslope cutthroat, characterized by spotting and distinctive red coloring near its gills, occupies about 80 percent of its historical range in Idaho.
Its habitat has been reduced in areas, including streams like the Moyie River and Kootenai River.
Conservation groups filed a petition in 1997 to list the westslope cutthroat as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Though the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided so far it doesn’t merit listing, the state plan aims to protect the fish for anglers and return populations to waterways where it’s no longer found.
“There’s nothing radical in the plan,” said Jim Fredericks, Fish and Game Department regional fisheries manager in Coeur d’Alene. “It doesn’t get into rules and regulations. It just puts down on paper in broad terms our goal to conserve the westslope population.
“Fishermen have been supportive of this. Having the plan will help in partnering with other agencies and groups on trout-related efforts.”
5 black bears killed on Smith River
CAMPING – State and federal wildlife officials killed five food-conditioned black bears last week that had been getting into camps in Montana’s Smith River State Park.
Floating, fishing and camping along the Smith River is a prized opportunity regulated months in advance by a lottery drawing. But state parks officials closed the camps and floating July 6 between Camp Baker and Eden Bridge because of the danger posed by the camp-raiding bears.
The river and park will remain closed until officials can monitor camps to make sure other bears are not involved.
The bears were doomed once they got the taste of food untended by careless campers.
Limited deer hunts set in Okanogan
HUNTING – Hunters have until Aug. 14 to apply for a quality hunting season this fall on the 6,000-acre Charles and Mary Eder unit of the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area in northeastern Okanogan County near Oroville.
Submit an application for the “limited-entry” deer hunt on the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department’s website, wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/permits
/scotchcreek, or contact the WDFW office in Ephrata, (509) 754-4624.
Deer-hunting seasons for the area are Sept. 1-27 for bow hunters, Sept. 28-Oct. 6 for muzzleloaders, and Oct. 12-20 for hunters using modern firearms. Six permits are designated for each weapon category.
Inslee appoints two Wildlife commissioners
WILDLIFE – Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed Robert Kehoe of Seattle to a vacant spot on the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission. The executive director of the Purse Seine Vessel Owners Association is approved to serve through 2014.
Miranda Wecker, commission chair from Naselle, was reappointed to a six-year term.