Out & About

By Al Thomas, Columbian Outdoors Reporter



Elk Foundation takes option on land near Swift Reservoir

COUGAR — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has taken an option to buy 1,880 acres of forest land between Mount St. Helens and Swift Reservoir in Skamania County.

Bill Richardson, RMEF lands manager for Washington and Oregon, said the option is with Fruit Growers Supply Co., a California agricultural supply cooperative.

The option is good through Jan. 31, 2018.

In June, PacifiCorp bought more than 2,100 acres of elk habitat from Fruit Growers as part of its licensing requirement for the dams on the North Fork of the Lewis River.

Richardson said the lands optioned by the Elk Foundation are adjacent to the habitat purchased by PacifiCorp.

The option gives the Elk Foundation time to find a conservation buyer who will protect the Fruit Growers property from development.

Astoria’s East Mooring Basin gets fancy new fish-cleaning station

ASTORIA — Anglers have a new $130,000 fish-cleaning station at the East Mooring Basin.

The 20-foot-by-16-foot building is at the end of 36th Street between the causeway and boat ramp. There is room for several anglers to use a large aluminum cleaning table.

There are Teflon cutting boards, overhead lights, spray nozzles, waste receptacles and a drop chute to deliver fish waste into a floating barge station below the building.

The barge has a 2,500-gallon hold that when filled will be taken out into the Columbia River channel and emptied.

Troy Laws, an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist, said anglers cleaning and dumping fish waste inside the boat basin created a mess.

One of the facility design challenges was creating a station that would function during both low and high tides, which in Astoria can change water levels by more than eight feet.

Online auction garners $21,300 to help anti-poaching effort

OLYMPIA — An online auction of confiscated big-game antlers that concluded in mid-June netted Washington $21,300 earmarked for anti-poaching enforcement.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife sold 1,725 pounds of moose, elk and deer antlers that had been seized from poachers.

The money will be used for forensic work and to pay rewards to people who report poaching violations, officials said.

State needs volunteer to serve on snowmobile advisory group

OLYMPIA — Washington’s state parks agency is looking for a volunteer to serve on the snowmobile advisory committee.

An at-large member is needed to represent non-motorized winter sports enthusiasts on the 12-member panel.

The committee meets two weekends a year, once in winter and once in summer. Travel, lodging and meal costs are reimbursed.

To send nominations or request an application, contact the Winter Recreation Program at P.O. Box 42650, Olympia, 98504-2650, by email at winter@parks.wa.gov or by calling 360-902-8684.

Nominations must be received by July 31.

Sturgeon anglers in McNary pool asked to return tags from fish

UMATILLA, Ore. — Sturgeon anglers fishing in the Columbia and Snake river reservoirs upstream of McNary Dam are being asked to return special tags found in some fish.

The yellow plastic markers are shaped like a piece of spaghetti and are attached to the base of the fish’s dorsal fin.

The tagging is to learn about the abundance and distribution of sturgeon upstream of McNary Dam.

Anglers are asked to remove and return the tag along with information on the date and location of the catch and if the fish was kept or released. Anyone who keeps a tagged fish is asked to report the sturgeon’s fork length.

The tags and information should be mailed to: Sturgeon Tag Reward Program, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, 17330 S.E. Evelyn St., Clackamas, Ore., 97015.

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