March 17, 2013 in Outdoors

Field Reports: Cool support needed for Idaho cutthroats

 
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Background and the latest updates

FISHING – Warmer water temperatures recorded in North Idaho streams and rivers are creating unhealthy conditions for trout, especially the region’s westslope cutthroats, Idaho environmental officials say.

A recent analysis by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality shows that nearly 900 miles of streams in Kootenai and Shoshone counties are reaching temperatures up to 80 degrees in summer, well above the optimal temperature of 55 degrees or colder for the trout that attract legions of fly fishers.

The North Fork Coeur d’Alene River drainage is suffering the most of the warming trend’s impacts to trout survival primarily from the lack of tree cover that provides shade and protection.

The DEQ is proposing a plan ( www.deq.idaho.gov/) to lower water temperatures and improve access to deeper, colder waters by building more rock structures to deepen channels and improve fish access to natural springs.

Public comment on the plan will be accepted through April 10. Email comments to kajsa.stromberg@deq.idaho.gov

Yellowstone elk herd continues decline

WILDLIFE – A major elk herd that migrates between Yellowstone National Park and Montana is still in a decline that’s reduced the population by about 80 percent in 20 years.

Scientists from the park and the Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks said the Northern Yellowstone elk herd is down 6 percent this winter, to 3,915 animals.

The herd peaked at about 20,000 animals in 1992. That was just a few years before gray wolves were reintroduced to the Yellowstone area from Canada.

Also taking a toll on the herd have been hunters, harsh winters and other predators including mountain lions and bears.

IFG recruiting Panhandle citizen advisory group

WILDLIFE – The Idaho Fish and Game Department is putting together a regional citizen advisory group to help guide the management of game and non-game species.

The public is invited to the first meeting starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the IDFG regional office, 2885 W. Kathleen Ave. in Coeur d’Alene.

RSVP at (208) 769-1414 in advance of the meeting. The agency will provide pizza and beverages.

The group is likely to meet three or four times and conclude its efforts by mid-May.

DU hosts family event

CONSERVATION – A two-hour fun shoot plus demonstrations on boating safety, retriever handling and using decoy will be featured at a fundraising event Saturday at the Colton Boosters Gun Club sponsored by the Palouse Chapter of Ducks Unlimited.

A duck-calling lesson for kids and barbecue also are planned.

Info: (509) 288-7013 or (541) 979-9025.

24-hour ski fundraiser set at Schweitzer

SKIING – The fifth annual 24 Hours of Schweitzer, involving an auction dinner and a marathon skiing/snowboarding event, is set Friday and Saturday to raise money for fighting a rare disease inflicting a young Sandpoint boy.

So far, this classy event has raised more than $500,000 for the Cystinosis Research Foundation.

Info: 24hoursforhank.org.

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