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Public meetings scheduled to discuss Idaho chinook fishing season

Idaho Fish and Game officials plan to hold public meetings next month to gather feedback on the spring chinook fishing season.

Pizzas will be served at evening meetings and Fisheries Managers will give a recap of last year’s Spring and Summer Chinook fishing seasons and provide information on the expected strength of this year’s run. The agency has yet to release a spring/summer preseason forecast for chinook, but regional fisheries manager Joe DuPont said this year’s run should be an improvement over the 2021 return. .

The state generally attempts to offer fishing seasons that target hatchery chinook in the Clearwater River and its tributaries, the Snake River in Hells Canyon, and the Lower Salmon, Little Salmon, and South Fork Salmon rivers.

The meetings will also include an update on ocean conditions and efforts to reduce chinook predation by sea lions below the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River.

Meetings will be February 15 at the Riggins Community Center in Riggins, Idaho Fish and Game Office in Lewiston on February 16, Clearwater Hatchery near Orofino on February 17. All meetings begin at 5:30 p.m.

Ringtail found in a sugar beet factory near Twin Falls

TWIN FALLS – Idaho Fish and Game officials recently trapped a ringtail, a relative of raccoons, in a sugar beet factory near Twin Falls.

This is only the fifth time a member of the species has been documented in Idaho.

“While a lot of people call them cats, they’re actually not a cat at all,” said Lyn Snoddy, Jerome’s Fish and Game wildlife biologist. “They are more closely related to raccoons and coatis than to cats, although they look like a cat and move like a cat.”

Fish and Game officials placed an ear tag on the animal and took a genetic sample from it before releasing it into a more suitable habitat. Idaho has no known and established populations of ringtails, but the animals are found in the southwest, including Nevada and Utah.

“They’re habitat generalists because they eat a lot more than just small rodents,” Snoddy said. “They will eat fruits, insects and amphibians if they can find them.”

The agency is asking people in southern Idaho to report sightings of ringtails and photograph them if possible.

Previous documented sightings of ringtails in Gem State include the trapping of a male near Oakley in 2015, the trapping of a female near Twin Falls in 2014, the 2012 trapping near Malta and a carcass found in 2003 near City of Rocks.

A video story produced by Fish and Game on the ringtail is available at bit.ly/3ICYGwI.

Washington Fish and Wildlife invites comments on 10-year plan

OLYMPIA — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking public comment on a draft 10-year recreation strategy for the 1 million acres of land it manages.

Agency director Kelly Susewind said department officials hope to hear from hunters and anglers, as well as others such as hikers, bird watchers, wildlife photographers, mountain bikers, cross-country skiers and target shooters.

“Outdoor recreation contributes significantly to the state’s economy and supports the health of our residents,” Susewind said in a news release. “This new strategy reflects the Department’s commitments to welcome all Washingtonians and visitors to public lands while protecting wildlife, habitat, cultural and tribal resources.”

The plan’s priorities include facilitating land access, reducing illegal activities, and increasing the agency’s ability to plan and manage recreation.

The agency will hold two online meetings via Zoom to discuss the draft strategy. The first will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on February 10 and the second from 10:30 a.m. to noon on February 24.

Details on how to join meetings by phone or online are available at bit.ly/3rWNvrW.

The plan can be reviewed and comments can be submitted by visiting bit.ly/3r3ET3J. The comment deadline is 5 p.m. on February 28.

Washington officials ask public for comment on hunting plans

OLYMPIA — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking public comment on proposed recommendations for the 2022-23 hunting seasons.

Comments will be accepted Wednesday through March 19.

Proposals and feedback forms will be posted on the Ministry’s website at bit.ly/3u7lG2S.

According to a news release from the agency, most of the proposals relate to minor changes to special big game license levels and hunting area descriptions since the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission approved Washington’s last hunting program. three years of the state in 2021.

More substantive proposals, including changes to the importation of animals to prevent chronic wasting disease and some proposals that were withdrawn during the 2021-23 hunting rulebook are also under consideration in during this process.

The commission, which sets policy for the department, will also accept public comment on the proposed recommendations at its March meeting. The committee is due to make a decision on the proposed rules at its April 7-8 meeting.

Youth shotgun shooting scheduled for Saturday near Lapwai

LAPWAI – The Lewis-Clark Wildlife Club will host a Youth Hunter Education Challenge program shotgun shooter at the club’s range near here on Saturday.

The shooting range and classroom will be used by the youth group in the morning. The six-bench and 18-bench rifle and handgun ranges will remain open to the public throughout the day.

More information about the youth program is available by contacting Dave Kapula at [email protected]

Increase in water flows from Dworshak Dam planned for next week

AHSAHKA – Army Corps of Engineers officials will speed up water releases from the Dworshak Dam and Reservoir here in a bid to prepare for spring snowmelt.

The agency is trying to meet flood control goals by the end of the month and expects flows leaving the dam to remain between 6,100 and 7,700 cubic feet per second through Monday.

Between Wednesday and Friday, the agency plans to perform tests associated with maintenance of the dam’s turbines that could result in flows fluctuating between 6,100 and 8,500 cubic feet per second, and river elevations downstream could change. up to 2 feet. Most testing is expected to take place on Thursday. Once testing is complete, throughputs will return to around 6,100 cfs.

Chaney, former Lewiston resident, inducted into Sports Shooting Hall of Fame

Arlen Chaney, former Lewiston resident and president of the sports equipment division of Blount Inc. in Lewiston, was recently inducted into the National Shooting Sports Foundation Hall of Fame.

Chaney served on the board of governors of the NSSF and served as its chairman from 1983 to 1994. According to a press release from the foundation, Chaney recognized that the industry needed funding to promote hunting and shooting and to implement campaigns to counter attacks on shooting sports. He served on the committee that created the now popular Shot Show, a trade show for the sport shooting, hunting and outdoor industries. He nurtured the foundation’s “hunters pay for conservation” program, which was distributed to more than 100,000 schools, and played a leading role in the broadcast of shooting sports on ESPN television.

For 30 years Chaney worked for the Blount Sporting Equipment division which included CCI, Speer, RCBS, Outers and Weaver. He retired in 1992 and he and his wife, Sonia (now deceased), moved to Sun Valley.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s 10-Year Plan online meetings take place from 3:30-5 p.m. Feb. 10 and 10:30 a.m.-noon Feb. 24.

Details on joining meetings, by phone or online, are available at bit.ly/3rWNvrW.

The plan can be reviewed and comments can be submitted by visiting bit.ly/3r3ET3J. The comment deadline is 5 p.m. on February 28.

Proposed changes for the 2022-23 hunting season in Washington and public comment forms are available at bit.ly/3u7lG2S. The comment period opens Wednesday and ends March 19.

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