Field Reports: Gear up for outdoor action at annual Big Horn Show

SUNDAY, MARCH 16, 2014

SPORTS SHOWS – Hunting, fishing and other outdoor pursuits will be on display at the Big Horn Outdoor Adventure Show, Thursday-Sunday at the Spokane Fair and Expo Center.

The 54th annual sportsman’s show will fill all the fairgrounds buildings with about 300 vendors, outfitters and organizations, plus fun and games for the entire family.

Show goers can test their aim at the air-rifle or archery ranges and let the kids catch trout at the fishing ponds.

The Great Cat Show featuring a white tiger will be on display. Helicopter rides are offered outside and big-game trophies can be brought Wednesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday until noon for official measuring and display.

Seminars include sessions on elk and deer hunting. Fishing seminars will cover bass, chinook and sturgeon, and Clark Fork fly fishing.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife fisheries biologists will give programs on getting ready for the April trout fishing opener and warmwater fishing opportunities for bass, panfish and tiger musky.

Wildlife biologists will speak on spring turkey hunting and using big-game research to improve hunting success.

See a seminar schedule at spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors.

At least 13 clubs representing sports such as fly fishing, bird dogs and shooting will be at the show and the Inland Empire Fly Fishing Club will have a fly-tying theater.

The show is sponsored by the Inland Northwest Wildlife Council, which uses the proceeds for wildlife conservation projects.

Show hours are Thursday and Friday noon-8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m-8 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Pike suppression resumes on Pend Oreille River

FISHING – A third year of springtime gillnetting to curb northern pike in the Pend Oreille River began last week.

Netting started in the Box Canyon Reservoir down from Newport on March 6, said Jason Olson, the Kalispel Tribe’s leader for pike suppression authorized by the Washington Fish and Wildlife.

About 30 nets are being put out five days a week through May 2. After that, the state and tribe will do a netting census. If pike numbers are above a threshold, gillnetting will continue for several more weeks.

Northern pike are a non-native species the state has chosen to curtail the reduce the chance they will move downstream and take hold in the Columbia River where they would impact endangered salmon and steelhead stocks.

Fishing tip: The gillnets are removed on weekends so they’re not in the way of fishermen.

“There’s still 4 to 12 inches of ice on the sloughs,” Olson said Wednesday. “We’re catching a fair number of pike in the river right at the edge of the ice.

“That’s where I’d be casting.”

Although it’s too early to estimate whether pike numbers are above or below last year’s population, Olson said gillnetters caught more than 600 pike in the first five days of effort.

4th of July grooming ends

SKIING – Grooming on ski and snowshoe trails has ended at Fourth of July Pass, but good snow conditions continue on at the 614-Twisted Klister system south of I-90, the Panhandle Nordic Club reports. An Idaho Park n’ Ski Permit is required. Info: panhandlenordicclub.com.

Coming up outdoors

CLIMBING – Friday: John Mauro, the 65th American to climb the highest peak on all seven continents, will recount his expeditions, including his 2013 ascent of Everest, 7 p.m., at REI. He requests a $5 donation for his Climbing for Kids charity.

BIRDING – March 28-30: Othello Sandhill Crane Festival. Preregister for field trips, banquet and lectures to see the migration of cranes and other wildlife. Info: (800) 726-3445, othellosandhillcranefestival.org.

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