OUTSPOKEN – Rumors that wolves had attacked three horses near La Crosse, Wash., have been rejected.
Several Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife police and biologists followed up on the reports that circulated widely in Whitman County.
“We tracked down the source and can verify there’s no substance whatsoever to the rumors,” Steve Pozzanghera, WDFW regional manager in Spokane, said Friday.
He said the rumors were not even a case of mistaken identity, such as stray dogs attacking livestock or anything like that.
“It’s just purely a rumor,” he said.
While putting that issue to bed, he also wanted to dispel the rumor going around that the agency has been releasing wolves in Whitman County.
“Somebody is saying they actually saw the department releasing four wolves and that’s pure rumor,” Pozzanghera said. “The department is not relocating wolves, and we have not had a capture or any hands-on activity with wolves in recent months.”
In Idaho, for the record, a wolf attack on a horse was confirmed on Aug. 20 at West Pass Creek, about 20 miles south of Clayton, according to Idaho Fish and Game Department wildlife manager Jon Rachael in Boise.
Bald eagles still slow to show
OUTWAIT – The annual gathering of bald eagles in the Wolf Lodge Bay area of Lake Coeur d’Alene continues to lag.
The eagles provide a popular wildlife-viewing attraction as the birds are lured to the northeast corner of the lake from mid-November into January to feast on the spawning kokanee that stack up in the bay.
However, Carrie Hugo, U.S. Bureau of Land Management wildlife biologist, counted only two adult bald eagles in the Wolf Lodge Bay area on Tuesday, down from three eagles she counted last Tuesday during the first of the weekly bald eagle surveys she’ll do this season.
“Last year on Nov. 20 there were 64 eagles in all,” she said this afternoon. The number built to 260 bald eagles counted on Dec. 19, 2012.
She said there’s some speculation that bald eagles may be camping out in the Lake Pend Oreille area, where kokanee are rebounding.
On the other hand, there were quite a few eagles at Pend Oreille’s Granite Creek spawning area last year at this time and plenty of eagles still showed up at Lake Coeur d’Alene.
Centennial Trail reopens at Division
OUTRIDE – The section of the Spokane River Centennial Trail that’s been closed for weeks because of sewer line construction and landscaping at the Spokane Convention Center expansion site was reopened last week.