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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Outdoors blog archive for Jan. 1, 2010

FRIDAY, DEC. 31, 2010

Don Kardong has been running the  trails at Riverside State Park for decades. (Colin Mulvany)

Spokane shines in outdoor spotlight

ACTIVE OUTDOORS - 2010 will go down as the year Spokane finally got some national recognition as an outdoor town, even though it was a bit naïve and understated. Generally falling just under the national radar, Spokane was been exposed as one of the nation's…

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THURSDAY, DEC. 30, 2010

Bighorn sheep graze  in the Yakima River Canyon in 2008.  (File Associated Press)

Region's bighorns slammed by disease

WILDLIFE -- Bighorn sheep took a big hit in the Yakima region as well as in Western Montana in 2010, and no one can say the carnage is over. Pneumonia killed many of the bighorns outright while wildlife managers shot and killed even more to…

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U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo along with Kurtis Plaster, from Idaho Fish and Game released the first sockeye salmon into Redfish Lake Creek in Aug. 2010 as part of a celebration marking the species' record upstream returns.
 (Idaho Statesman)

Sockeyes make splash in 2010

FISHERIES -- Sockeye salmon were big news in 2010. Around 34 million sockeye salmon returned to British Columbia's Fraser River this year – the most since 1913 – compared with last year’s 1.7 million – the lowest in more than 50 years. The Columbia River…

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 29, 2010

Region's wolf status surveys underway

ENDANGERED SPECIES -- From land and in the air, wildlife biologists from Idaho, Montana and Wyoming have been surveying wolf packs and tabulating data from the year to come up with wolf status reports for 2010. At least 1,706 wolves in 242 confirmed packs were…

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TUESDAY, DEC. 28, 2010

Panhandle otter trapping quota reached

TRAPPING -- The Panhandle Region's River otter harvest quota of 15 was reached at 10 a.m. Tuesday, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game said. The otter season for the entire region closes at 10 a.m. on Friday, according to the rules requiring the closure…

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Species like mountain goats that live at high elevations will lose their habitat and are likely to go extinct.Associated Press
 (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

New Panhandle goat hunts planned

HUNTING -- A slight decrease in Panhandle Region moose permits is proposed for 2011, but hunters will could get the spice of two new mountain goat hunts. These and other 2011 Idaho trophy big-game hunting proposals have been released for public comment through Jan. 14.…

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MONDAY, DEC. 27, 2010

Gray whales can be seen breeching and spouting off the coast of Oregon and Washington. (Associated Press)

It's Whale Watch Week on Oregon Coast

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- While Eagle Watch Week is underway at Lake Coeur d'Alene's Wolf Lodge Bay, Oregon has begun Whale Watch Week on the state's Pacific coastline. Gray whales have started their winter migration from their feeding areas off Alaska to their calving and breeding…

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GAO scrutinizes BLM land purchases

PUBLIC LANDS — This initial brief report, which just moved on the Associated Press wire, may be of particular interest in Washington, where BLM has consolidated its land holdings into several large acreages popular with sportsmen on the East Side of the state. Here's all…

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Week's wildlife enforcement highlights

WILDLIFE COPS -- Patrolling for illegal snowmobilers in caribou country, tracking down the source of sick farm-raised Idaho elk dumped in Washington, dealing with moose in yards and haystacks -- all in a week's work for Washington Fish and Wildlife Department enforcement officers on the…

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Ron Campbell of La Grande, Ore., holds a 9.67-pound kokanee caught June 13, 2010, in northeastern Oregon's Wallowa Lake. The fish was later verified by the International Game Fish Association as the world record in two categories:  the 22-year-old all-tackle record and the largest fish recorded in the 12-pound test line class.
 (Courtesy photo)

Wallowa kokanee top fish for 2010?

FISHING -- As I research the top outdoor stories of 2010, the series of record kokanee caught this year from Oregon's Wallowa Lake comes readily to the surface. Can anyone in the Inland Northwest top the story of Ron Campbell of La Grande, Ore., who…

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SUNDAY, DEC. 26, 2010

Get nordic ski lessons in progression

NORDIC SKIING -- In addition to the normal offerings of one-day cross-country skiing and snowshoeing clinics, a new cross-country skiing progressive series course for novice skiers is being offered at Mount Spokane by Spokane Parks and Recreation. In three separate sessions, participants learned proper beginner…

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SATURDAY, DEC. 25, 2010

Digging clams is holiday tradition

SHELLFISHING -- Clam diggers can ring in 2011 with a three-day razor clam dig on Washington’s coastal beaches over the New Year’s holiday. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife approved the series of evening digs this week after marine toxin tests showed that the…

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FRIDAY, DEC. 24, 2010

Skiers run amuck at White Pass 

SKIING -- All that new terrain on White Pass’ Paradise Basin expansion apparently is not enough for some ski area guests. In the first 10 days Paradise Basin was been open this season, 14 people got lost outside the boundary, according to the Yakima Herald.…

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Holiday avalanche danger rated moderate

WINTER SPORTS -- Be careful out there. Avalanche conditions for the entire Idaho Panhandle National Forest Advisory Area are rated as moderate on all aspects greater than 30 degrees above 5,000 feet, Forest Service experts reported today. Natural avalanches are unlikely, human triggered avalanches are…

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Sandhill cranes are an annual spring attraction near Othello.   (File Associated Press)

Othello cancels Sandhill Crane Festival

WATCHABLE WILDLIFE -- The 2011 Othello Sandhill Crane Festival has been canceled. Organizers told The Columbia Basin Herald there weren't enough volunteers for the event, which usually has been held in March for the past 13 years. The festival celebrated the arrival of the migrating…

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THURSDAY, DEC. 23, 2010

A mature bald eagle cruises above the cold water looking for kokanee at Lake Coeur d'Alene. 
 (Photos by Brian Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

Bald eagles set record at CdA today

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- “I can hardly believe it myself, but the total today was 254, well over the record!” said Carrie Hugo, U.S. Bureau of Land Management wildlife biologist on Thursday after completing her weekly survey of bald eagles at Wolf Lodge Bay. In the…

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America's Great Outdoors Act foiled

PUBLIC LANDS -- A last-ditch attempt to get a package of wilderness measures and public lands bills through Congress died this week on a single vote cast by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). "These bills were bi-partisan, non-controversial, and critical for all regions of the country,"…

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 A humorous attempt to categorize the various types of Labrador retrievers.  You may have chased birds with one of these four types of hunting dogs. (Anonymous)

Which hunting dog do you have?

HUNTING -- I went out chasing pheasants through the countryside this week with a buddy who has a Labrador retriever -- about 100 pounds of brute force. Pheasants, Angus bulls and taut barbed-wire fences all fear this dog. Maybe you can pick him out of…

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 22, 2010

Trees near the top of the mountain are rimmed with snow Tuesday at Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park.  (Jesse Tinsley)

Birder applies binoculars to Mount Spokane

BIRDING -- Most people visiting Mount Spokane this month are focused on frolicking in the snow, whether it's on skis, snowshoes, inner tubes or snowmobiles. But there's a lot more life in the winter mountain forest than most visitors realize -- unless you head up…

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Bats taking a beating from fungal disease

WILDLIFE -- It hasn't been detected yet in the West, but a flesh-eating fungus known as white-nose syndrome is devastating bat populations in the eastern half of the United States. In the past four years, more than one million bats from at least seven species…

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Barbed hooks allowed on Columbia River

FISHING -- Starting Jan. 1, anglers will be allowed to use barbed hooks for fishing for Salmon and steelhead on the Columbia River, from the mouth to McNary Dam. Washington is putting the rule into effect to avoid confusion with Oregon's rule. But let's be…

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TUESDAY, DEC. 21, 2010

In this undated photo provided by Eddie Bauer First Ascent, South African kayaker Hendri Coetzee, center, paddles on the Lukuga River in Congo with local villagers. On Dec. 7, 2010, Coetze was ripped from his kayak, never to be seen again, on the same river on an expedition with two Americans.  (Chris Korbulic / Eddie Bauer First Ascent)

Kayakers detail crocodile tragedy

PADDLING -- The three world-class kayakers were in the middle of Lukuga River in Congo on Dec. 7. The remote stretch was about 100 feet wide, and the two Americans were paddling so close to South African guide Hendri Coetzee their blades would touch if…

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Outdoors blog

Rich Landers writes and photographs stories and columns for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including Outdoors feature sections on Sunday and Thursday.

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