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Sunday, October 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

In brief: Fernan Lake blue-green algae is health risk

From Staff And Wire Reports

A health advisory has been issued for Fernan Lake because of the presence of blue-green algae.

People should avoid swimming in or drinking water from the lake, according to the advisory from the Panhandle Health District and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. This is the second advisory for lake this year, which is the subject of a University of Idaho water quality study.

Toxins produced by blue-green algae can cause upset stomachs, skin rashes, liver damage and other health problems, according to the district. Children and pets are particularly susceptible.

People who eat fish from the lake should remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking since toxins are more likely to collect in those tissues.

The public will be notified when the advisory is lifted, the health district said in a news release.

Jasper Mountain trip has forest health aim

People interested in learning more about the U.S. Forest Service’s proposed treatment for insect and disease outbreaks at Jasper Mountain near Priest River can attend a Sunday field trip.

Participants will meet at 9 a.m. at the Falls Inn Tavern, 8700 Highway 57, Priest River, and carpool to the area. The trip will wrap up around 1 p.m.

Trees are affected by bark beetles, root disease and blister rust in the 15,000-acre project area, which is close to rural residences. Follow-up workshops will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Sept. 19 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 20 at the Priest River Event Center, 5399 Highway 2.

For more information, contact Tera Little at teralittle@fs.fed.us or (406) 329-3146.

Crack in Keller Ferry shuts down service

KELLER, Wash. – The Keller Ferry across the Columbia River on state Route 21 has been taken out of service because of a hairline crack below the waterline.

The state Department of Transportation said the crack is allowing water to seep into one of the Sanpoil’s internal compartments.

Divers from the builder, Foss Maritime of Seattle, inspected the boat Tuesday and located the small crack in the aluminum plate. The cause has not been determined.

The Transportation Department is working with Foss Maritime to make repairs.

Fishermen asked to protect albatross

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Federal fisheries managers have proposed a new rule requiring West Coast commercial fishermen who unroll long lines of baited hooks on the ocean bottom to also put out long lines of fluttering plastic to scare off seabirds trying to steal the bait.

The proposed rule published Tuesday in the Federal Register is designed to protect the endangered short-tailed albatross, which once numbered in the millions but is down to about 1,200 individuals.

The West Coast is the last piece of U.S. waters within the range of the short-tailed albatross to adopt the protective measures, which are already in effect for waters off Alaska and Hawaii, said Rob Suryan, a research associate professor of fisheries at Oregon State University.

The public has 30 days to comment on the proposed rule, which is expected to take effect in November.

The new rule affects about 270 fishing boats using longlines to target primarily sablefish, also known as black cod, a fishery with average West Coast landings of $33 million a year. Albatross tend to flock behind fishing boats in deep waters.

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