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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Out & About

Dr. Jerry Ponti has been the Fish and Wildlife Department’s go-to man for critters issues. (File / The Spokesman-Review)
Dr. Jerry Ponti has been the Fish and Wildlife Department’s go-to man for critters issues. (File / The Spokesman-Review)


Vet has soft spot for wildlife

Shortly after opening his Otis Orchards veterinary clinic for domestic pets and livestock, Dr. Jerry Ponti exposed his wild side.

“Jerry could never turn down sick or injured animals even the wild ones, so the word spread there was a place to take the odd orphaned raccoon or injured bird,” as well as deer or moose, according to notes used in an Inland Northwest Wildlife Council presentation. The group honored Ponti Saturday for his service to wildlife.

Over the years, Ponti Veterinary Hospital has taken in about 300 deer, especially fawns, the victims of mishaps including cars collisions and dog attacks.

His staff can tell stories about Buster the badger, Beaurigard the turkey and they love to tell about Houdini, the black bear cub that gave Ponti a lesson in cage design for dexterous critters and a refresher course on tree climbing.

The Ponti staffers have exposed themselves to skunks and porcupines; they’ve sutured snakes and tended to eagles that have tangled with power lines, lead toxicity and vehicles.

State Fish and Wildlife officials often have tapped Ponti’s goodwill toward beasts to assist with critters as helpless as robin chicks and as dangerous as cougars.



California ends type of stocking

California no longer will stock millions of hatchery-raised trout to many of the state’s mountain rivers and lakes, according to a recent deal with environmental groups.

The agreement stems from a 2006 lawsuit over declines in native fish and frogs.

“A trout is the top-level predator,” said Noah Greenwald of the Center for Biological Diversity. “It’s like going out in the woods and stocking a bunch of mountain lions.”

Curtailing the century-old practice will impact recreational fishing, state wildlife officials say.


Columbia River solo

What: “The Accidental Terrorist,” free slide show about paddling the Columbia River, and forgetting to get Customs approval.

When: Monday, 7 p.m.

Where: Corbin Community Center, 827 W. Cleveland.

Who: Jim Payne of Sandpoint details solo kayaking on Columbia River and other long-distance paddles. Sponsored by Spokane Canoe & Kayak Club.


Best fishing times

Lunar tables from the U.S. Naval Observatory. Be fishing at least one hour before and one hour after peak times. Applies to all time zones.

(* indicates best days.)

Through Feb. 1

* Today: 11:55 a.m., 12:15 p.m.

* Monday: 12:40 p.m., 1 a.m.

Tuesday: 1:25 p.m., 1:45 a.m.

Wednesday: 2:05 p.m., 2:25 a.m.

Thursday: 2:50 p.m., 3:10 a.m.

Friday: 3:30 p.m., 3:50 a.m.

* Saturday: 4:15 p.m., 4:40 a.m.

* Next Sunday: 5:05 p.m., 5:30 a.m.

See the Hunting-Fishing Report

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