Out and About 7/19

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Out & About

State debuts newsalmon website

OLYMPIA -- Washington has created a new website with information about salmon stocks and ongoing efforts to recover populations. The website is call the Salmon Conservation Reporting Engine (SCoRE) and the address is http://wdfw.wa.gov/score.

The site consolidates information about salmon populations, hatchery production, conservation guidelnes and other aspects of fish management.

Sara LaBorde, a special assistant to the director of the Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the goal is to make access to salmon-related information as easy as possible.

Compact to set fall chinook net season

CATHLAMET -- The Columbia River Compact will meet at 10 a.m. July 26 at the River Street Room, 25 River St., to adopt August commercial fishing periods for fall chinook salmon.

A run of 654,900 fall chinook is forecast to enter the Columbia River this year. That compares to 620,600 in 2011. Bright stocks -- the chinook more desirable in sport and commercial fisheries -- are 71 percent of the forecast.

Lakes to be treated to remove scrap fish

OLYMPIA -- State officials are proposing to treat three lakes in Eastern Washington with rotenone to remove unwanted species.

The waters are Fish Lake in Spokane County, Little Beaver Lake in Okanogan County and Burke Lake in Grant County to remove species ranging from brown bullhead to northern pike.

"The goal is to restore trout populations in all three lakes by removing competing species that have essentially taken over," said Bruce Bolding, a Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist. "Northern pike, which were illegally stocked in Fish Lake, are especially problematic because they can decimate other fish populations and cause significant ecological damage."

Rotenone is a naturally occuring pesticide which suffocates the fish. It is an organic substance derived from the roots of tropical plants and has been used in lake rehabilitations for 70 years.

Public comments will be considered through Aug. 31. Comments should be addressed to Bolding at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091.

Final consideration of the proposals will be made be in early September.

Wild sheep group funds vaccine study

PULLMAN -- The Wild Sheep Foundation has given Washington State University Veterinary School researchers $275,000 to carry on with the search for a vaccine against the pneumonia strain that has ravaged wild herds across the West. Foundation chairman Jack Atcheson Jr. said money is to find long-term solutions and called for others such as the livestock industry to join the effort.

With a vaccine still estimated to be a decade or more away, the foundation members stood behind the strategy that calls for keeping wild sheep and domestics separated. Domestic sheep carry bacteria that triggers the disease and has led to bighorn die-offs and lingering illness in herds across the western U.S. and Canada.