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Wednesday, October 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Only fraction of troubled 2015 Columbia sockeyes reached spawning grounds

FISHING -- Sobering numbers from the drought-ravaged 2015 Columbia River sockeye salmon run have been released by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife: Of the 512,000 sockeye that returned to the mouth of the Columbia this summer, Fisheries and Oceans Canada staff report only...

Lingering drought seen in region’s low lakes, waterways

The Inland Northwest remains in the grip of a record-setting drought, with stream flows and lake levels far below normal. The deficit comes amid uncertainty about how one of the strongest El Niños since 1950 will affect the region’s winter snowpack

North Side black bear indicates lean fall food supply

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- The black bear that Washington Fish and Wildlife officers are currently attempting to catch in North Spokane is another indicator that the 2015 drought has left some wildlife short on food. The bear is in a neighborhood near Nevada and Lyons. Officers...

Washington state’s drought hasn’t relented, despite few rain drops

Don’t let a bit of rain in the last few weeks fool you. Washington is still in drought, state officials said. Eastern and Central Washington are in extreme drought. Western Washington is in slightly better shape, in severe drought. Winter rain and snow is expected to be below average, too, so the state might start 2016 in worse shape than it started 2015.

Drought leaves hunters, game at mercy of water

Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge will not be hosting young duck hunters this month because blinds built for Washington’s youth season are high and dry. “Our wetlands are so low this year that we cannot accommodate a youth waterfowl hunt,” said Mike Rule, refuge wildlife biologist. “The wetland we have designated for the youth waterfowl hunt has 30-40 yards of hip-deep mud between emergents and open water.”

Drought-related fishing restrictions to be lifted in Eastern Washington

FISHING -- Drought related fishing restrictions imposed in July will be lifted or changed on Sept. 16 for many Eastern Washington streams including the Spokane and Kettle rivers, Washington Fish and Wildlife officials have announced. Today's announcement follows last week's revision to emergency rules in...

Lake CdA annual fall drawdown gets head start in 2015 drought year

WATERSPORTS -- The annual drawdown of Lake Coeur d'Alene won't be necessary this year. The 2015 drought already took care of that task. Avista usually begins the fall drawdown of Coeur d’Alene Lake starting the Tuesday after Labor Day. The goal is to have the...

St. Regis River stretch runs dry in 2015 drought

RIVERS -- The fishing report for about 100 yards of the St. Regis River near Haugan was pretty bleak last week because -- the stretch went dry. The river flows from the Lookout Pass area east to the Clark Fork river at the town of...

Drought fishing restrictions eased on some rivers, but not in Spokane region

FISHING -- Washington fishery managers are easing drought-related fishing restrictions and closures on more than a dozen rivers where conditions have improved, but so far no changes have been announced in far-Eastern Washington streams. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officials in July closed or...

Hot, dry Spokane summer breaks records

It’s official. The three-month span from June 1 through Aug. 31 was the hottest and the driest summer on record in Spokane. The hot and dry conditions have caused extreme drought and monster wildfires that still are burning across the region.

Rafters evacuated off main Salmon River as wildfires advance

WILDFIRES -- The lower portion of one of Idaho's signature wilderness river rafting areas has been engulfed in smoke and danger from a fire that's blown up today on the Lower Salmon River upstream from Riggins. Rafting groups are being evacuated, as S-R reporter Betsy...

Hunters, hikers must be flexible during wild wildfire season

WILDFIRES -- Check ahead and be careful when selecting a place to hunt, hike or boat in the next few weeks. I provide key links to agency wildfire updates that include information about some of the vast land closures in today's Outdoors story: Wildfires block...

Drought, wildfires combine to impact region’s wildlife

Are the region’s wildfires cooking wildlife? Generally no, wildlife biologists say. Rather than perish in the flames, critters are more likely to starve later if a harsh winter compounds the impacts of charred winter ranges.