OUTGOING – The number of bald eagles is thinning out at Lake Coeur d’Alene’s Wolf Lodge Bay area where the national symbols gather each year to feast on spawning kokanee.
After peaking at 217 two weeks ago, the number of eagles counted Thursday by U.S. Bureau of Land Management biologist Carrie Hugo dropped to 53.
The eagles came later than normal this year and stayed in large numbers longer than in the past, perhaps because many of them had been taking advantage of the revived kokanee fishery in Lake Pend Oreille.
“Chances are the number of eagles (at Lake Coeur d’Alene) is slightly higher than my count reflects,” Hugo said Thursday, noting that she spotted at least 20 soaring eagles but does not include flying birds in her surveys.
“Having said that, the numbers should continue to decline rapidly from here,” she said, adding that no more surveys would be conducted until the birds should begin returning again in November.
• See photos S-R readers snapped of Coeur d’Alene eagles and submit your own on the S-R website, spokesman.com. Click the “Bald eagle photos” tab at the top of the page.
Get your skinny on at Mount Spokane WinterFest
OUTSKI – Free cross-country skiing activities and events for novice to advanced skiers will be featured next Sunday in the first WinterFest organized by Spokane Nordic at Mount Spokane State Park.
Among the events are:
• Donut Dash Spring Race, with divisions from “lighthearted” to “competitive.”
• Backcountry skiing clinic (preregister; limited slots).
• Nordic classic and skating lessons.
• Skijoring clinic.
• Folk ski routes that lead to soup and cider at the Nova Hut.
See more details and sign up for activities at spokanenordic.org.
Washington state Sno-Park permits will be required on vehicles.
Snowboarder fined for chasing moose
OUTLAW – After a video showing a snowboarder chasing a moose down a ski run on Montana’s Big Mountain went viral, the Flathead National Forest tracked down the teenager and fined him $255 for harassing wildlife.
Forest officials issued warnings to other recreationists to avoid harassing wildlife.
Clinic: Nordic ski basics
OUTDO – Learn the differences between backcountry, telemarking and touring ski styles, plus clothing choices and where to get started at a free program Thursday, 7 p.m., at the Spokane REI store.