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Thursday, September 24, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

In brief: WDFW under strain of waste from recreationers

UPDATED: Wed., Aug. 5, 2020

Trash piles up outside a WDFW public restroom.  (WDFW/courtesy)
Trash piles up outside a WDFW public restroom. (WDFW/courtesy)

Use of WDFW areas and water access areas is up a lot this year, and the increased use has caused a pileup of trash, human waste, and unauthorized activity at a number of locations around the state, including in the Spokane area.

WDFW access managers work extremely hard to do general maintenance and clean the sites, but each manager has more than 20 sites assigned to them so are very limited on time and can’t even make it to each site every week.

Eastern Region’s access manager Dan Dziekan says in past years he could fill up four bags of litter in one week, but “this year I’m lucky if I don’t fill up four bags in a day.”

The increased use is creating a strain and WDFW wants to keep these locations open for everyone to enjoy. A good idea in normal times – but especially in the unique circumstances we are faced with right now – is planning to pack out your own trash, especially if a garbage can is already full.

And this should go without saying, but WDFW also asks that people do not use toilets as garbage cans – it makes it very difficult (and expensive) to pump these facilities out.

If you’re out and about enjoying recreation areas right now, best to live by the backpackers creed: “If you pack it in, pack it out.”

Rathdrum’s Palaniuk wins at Lake Champlain

Brandon Palaniuk of Rathdrum won the 2020 Bassmaster Elite at Lake Champlain in Plattsburgh, N.Y., with a four-day total of 80 pounds, 1 ounce.

In the final round on Sunday, Palaniuk racked up 21 pounds, 6 ounces.

This is the fourth B.A.S.S. win for the 2017 Angler of the Year, earning a first-place prize of $100,000.

Palaniuk placed eighth on Day 1 with 19 pounds, 12 ounces, slipped to 11th on Day 2 with a limit of 18 pounds, 10 ounces and made the final Top 10 cut on Day 3 by rising to fifth with 20 pounds, 5 ounces.

WDFW seeks comments on hunting proposals

WDFW is seeking comments on proposed alternatives for 2021-23 hunting seasons and has scheduled several meetings in August and September to discuss proposals with the public.

The proposals will be posted Aug. 17, on WDFW’s website for the public to provide comments. WDFW will accept comments through Sept. 15.

This year, WDFW has scheduled a series of virtual public meetings by topic to discuss the 2021-23 hunting season alternatives. The meetings are scheduled from 6-7 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Aug. 20: Waterfowl
  • Aug. 25: Carnivores, small game, upland game, furbearers
  • Aug. 27: General and equipment
  • Sept. 1: Licensing
  • Sept. 3: Elk
  • Sept. 9: Deer
  • Sept. 10: Mountain goat, bighorn sheep, and boundaries

The public can attend the events and ask questions in real time by visiting or calling (360) 902-2515.

There will be an additional public review process with updated proposals in January 2021. Final recommendations will be presented to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission for adoption in the spring 2021.

WDFW closes water access along Washougal River

WDFW will temporarily close the County Line Water Access Area along the Washougal River in Clark County from Aug. 20 through Oct. 15. Limited afternoon hours for public access started Aug. 3.

WDFW staff will be on site until Aug. 19 with heavy equipment to install and begin operation of a fish weir, a type of infrastructure used to capture salmon and steelhead as they swim upstream. During this time of active construction and initial operations, public access will be limited to 2-8 p.m., daily.

Starting Aug. 20, WDFW staff will begin working longer hours at the weir as increasing numbers of salmon and steelhead return to spawn.

The area will be closed to the public for two months to protect returning fish and ensure staff can physically distance while working.

FSPW sets dates for August trail work

It’s already been a productive summer for Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness trail work, and there’s still more to come.

August is one of the most active times of the year for FSPW trail maintenance. Why not lend a hand to make our wild backyard open for everyone? Trail volunteers enjoy a day in nature that ends with the satisfaction of a job well done.

To keep everyone safe this summer, FSPW staff have implemented strong social distancing and safety procedures. So come on out and enjoy the outdoors without worry!

The following are dates scheduled for August and September trail work.

  • Star Gulch Trail: Aug. 6, Sept. 18.
  • Goat Mountain Trail #135: Aug. 14; Sept. 11.
  • Ross Creek Trail #142: Aug. 21.
  • Ross Creek Trail #142 Reroute: Aug. 28-29.
  • Morris Creek: Sept. 26.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities or to sign up, visit or send an email to

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