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

In brief: Protected status upheld for four state species

Staff reports

CRITTERS – Greater sage-grouse and western gray squirrels will remain on the state’s threatened species list and snowy plovers and northern spotted owls on the state’s endangered species list, according to a vote by the the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission.

The commission took action on the protective status of the four species during a public meeting on Friday and Saturday in Olympia.

Ranges for both greater sage-grouse and western gray squirrels have shrunk over time and continue to face several threats including the loss of habitat.

The snowy plover is a small bird that lives mostly in coastal areas of Washington. Although the snowy plover population appears to be increasing on the west coast, the population in Washington is still small.

The northern spotted owl lives in mature coniferous forests in Washington and was listed as an endangered species in 1988. Habitat loss and competition with the closely related barred owl is contributing to the continued population decline of spotted owls in Washington.

In other business, the commission received a briefing on 10 proposals to acquire land for fish and wildlife habitat and public recreation. WDFW will seek potential funding from state and federal grants for approved projects later this year. Five of the proposals are on the western half of Washington and five are on the East Side.

Two proposals in Lincoln County include 5,542 acres at Lake Creek and 59 acres at Seven Springs, which would be used for a new Swanson Lakes Wildlife Area headquarters.

Fishing seminar series held at Mark’s Marine

FISHING – A six-week series of free localized fishing seminars begins this week at Mark’s Marine in Hayden.

All of the seminars are set for Thursdays, 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m., at 14355 N. Government Way.

The series will kick off on Thursday with an overview of the region’s fishing opportunities by Alan Roberts, who will detail some of the best fishing spots for each month of the year.

Other seminars in the series include:

March 10: Lake Coeur d’Alene Salmon Fishing by Jordan Smith of Finns and Feathers Sport Shop.

March 17: Lake Pend Oreille Fishing by Matt Corsi of Idaho Fish and Game.

March 24: Lake Roosevelt Fishing by Beneta Galland.

March 31: Northern Pike Fishing by Brock Marrow of Idaho Pike Association.

April 7: Electronics 301, Understanding Sonar by Aaron Thykeson, plus GoFree Insight Genesis Mapping by Kevin Lunde.

Info: (208) 772-9038, marksmarineinc.com.

Catch limits suspended for bass, walleye, catfish

FISHING – Starting on Thursday, anglers can fish for bass, walleye and channel catfish without daily catch or size limits from the mouth of the Columbia River 545 miles upstream to Chief Joseph Dam.

The emergency rule approved this week by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife removes the remaining limits for those species on the Columbia River downstream from the Washington-Oregon state line.

The new rule was adopted by for the normal July 1 start date for new regulations in order to match the Columbia River rules already adopted by Oregon.

The main goal of deregulating the fisheries for bass, walleye and channel catfish is to increase the harvest of those non-native species, said Bruce Bolding, Washington’s warmwater fish manager.

“All three species are abundant, and prey on juvenile salmon and steelhead that are listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act,” he said. “These new rules are designed to help address that issue.”

The rule also lifts fishing limits for those species on nearly two-dozen tributaries flowing into that section of the Columbia River.

Fishing seasons, boundaries and other rules for those rivers and streams are described on WDFW’s website.

Turkey hunting class offered

HUNTING – An free evening class “Basics of Turkey Hunting” is being offered by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife with a limit of 20 participants.

The course will cover natural history and management of turkeys in Washington, proper equipment needed to hunt them and techniques to be successful in harvesting a turkey.

Instructor Joey McCanna has dealt with wild turkeys as a wildlife biologist, as well as years of hunting them.

Information on local turkey hunting areas also will be discussed.

The course will run 6 p.m.-9 p.m. on March 30, at the department’s Eastern Region Office, 2315 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley.

Sign-up in advance by phone, (509) 892-1001, or at the regional office.

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