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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Field reports: Ferry County trail on governor’s radar

TRAILS – Another segment of the Ferry County Rail Trail was smoothe-surfaced last month, bringing the improved sections along Curlew Lake and the Kettle River north of Curlew to 12.5 miles.

The latest project completes surfacing on more than half of the 25-mile nonmotorized rail trail that runs from north of Republic to the U.S. Canada border, said Bob Whittaker, president of Ferry Count Rail Trail Partners.

Most of the work is being done by volunteers and area businesses with the aid of nonmotorized trail grants from the The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program.

The years of grass-roots effort to transform the abandoned railway into a local and regional asset have caught attention in Olympia.

Whittaker was invited by Gov. Jay Inslee last week to a who’s who of Washington state outdoor advocates in Olympia.

The meeting, organized by John Snyder, the Governor’s Outdoor Recreation and Economic Development Policy Adviser, sought input on budget and policy priorities and a vision for outdoor recreation in the state. Snyder is a former Spokane city councilman.

“I was thrilled to be a part of it and very happy that the governor was interested in hearing from our rural part of the state,” Whittaker said, noting that Ferry County has the smallest population in the state.

Fishing guide guilty

of killing wild coho

FISHING – A longtime Washington fishing guide pleaded guilty to a federal misdemeanor charge that he violated the Endangered Species Act by helping clients keep a pair of wild coho salmon.

Photos of the fish posted on social media led to charges that could result in fines ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.

Billy Swann, who runs Rainier-based Swanny’s Guided Fishing, took three clients out on the Cowlitz River in October 2014. He clubbed two wild coho they caught, then sliced off their adipose fins – as hatcheries do with young salmon to distinguish them from wild fish – and told his clients to mark the fish as hatchery on their state catch-record cards.

People who saw images of the altered fish on social media reported them to authorities.

Swann pleaded guilty Wednesday in Tacoma.

Big-game seasons

meeting in Sandpoint

HUNTING – Public input for develop big-game hunting season proposals for 2017 and 2018 is being gathered by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game in meetings around the state.

The first public meeting is scheduled 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Ponderay Event Center, 401 Bonner Mall in Sandpoint.

Fish and game official consider a range of issues in formulating recommendations for deer, elk, bear, wolf and mountain lion seasons for the next two years.

Information will be presented on recent hunting seasons, but proposed season recommendations for these species will not be presented until early in 2017, said department spokesman Phil Cooper.

However, season proposals for trophy species – moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat – have been compiled and will be presented, he said.

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