Field reports: Paddlers take gamble on Pend Oreille event
Sun., Aug. 2, 2015
RIVERS – The 34th annual Pend Oreille Poker Paddle, attracting entries from craft ranging from canoes to inventive human-powered contraptions, is set for Saturday and Sunday.
The event is sponsored by the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce.
The event starts at Rotary Park boat launch under the Newport-Oldtown Bridge. Paddlers finish the first day about 16 miles downstream at the Usk boat launch, where they can camp and enjoy live music. The boaters continue on Day 2 about 16 miles farther downstream to the Ruby boat launch.
Boaters can register Saturday morning or during the Friday registration party, 5 p.m.-9 p.m., with food and music at Kelly’s Restaurant and Lounge in Newport.
Info: (509) 447-6457.
Coalition executive stepping down
FUNDING – Joanna Grist, the executive director of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, will step down in October, the group announced.
Grist has been with the coalition for 15 years. She plans to open a public affairs business and spend additional time with family.
“I’m proud of the work I have done,” Grist said in a prepared statement. “This organization’s mission promotes Washington’s quality of life, economic well-being and our natural heritage.”
According to the group’s release, during Grist’s time it has secured $472 million for 710 Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) projects. Under Grist, the Coalition also expanded support for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Permits required in Oregon wilderness
HIKING – The Forest Service is implementing permits for campers at a popular Oregon backpacking destination.
Jefferson Park in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness saw a 41 percent increase in campers from 2012 to 2014.
Willamette National Forest recreation program manager Matt Peterson says this rise in activity prompted the change. People looking to camp in the area next year will need to reserve a spot in advance for between $6 and $9 per night.
Peterson said the hope is that the permits will reduce the number of visitors who arrive to find the park’s 30 designated campsites full. He said people sometimes pitch tents wherever they can find room, which can cause damage to the environment.
Yellowstone lake trout long-term problem
FISHERIES – New research predicts it will take another 14 years of netting and killing lake trout in Yellowstone Lake in order for native cutthroat trout to be re-established to the level sought by managers.
Lake trout, which someone illegally introduced into Yellowstone in the 1980s, have shifted their diet away from cutthroat and now subsist primarily on a small type of scud that cutthroat also feed on, according to research by Montana State University graduate student John Syslo.
Lake trout suppression in Yellowstone began in 1998, four years after they were discovered. The program is now the longest running of its kind in the West.
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