Out & About

By Al Thomas, Columbian Outdoors Reporter



Ten more free days slated at state parks

OLYMPIA — Ten additional “free days” at Washington state parks are scheduled in 2013.

Free days are when visitors are not required to display the Discover Pass to visit a park.

The schedule of free days are April 27-28 in cooperation with National Parks week; June 1, National Trails Day; June 8-9, National Get Outdoors Day; Aug. 4, peak season free day; Sept. 28, National Public Lands Day, and Nov. 9-11, Veterans Day weekend.

Discover Passes cost $30 a year or $10 per day and are required on lands managed by the state Parks and Recreation Commission, state Department of Natural Resources and state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Free days only apply at state parks, not Natural Resources or Fish and Wildlife lands.

Trout Lake preserve gets more acres

TROUT LAKE — The Trout Lake Natural Area Preserve in western Klickitat County has grown by 153 acres.

The state Board of Natural Resources on Tuesday approve a transfer of the property from the Common School Trust into the preserve.

Washington’s capital budget included $1.4 million for the value of the timber on the transferred parcel to go the public school construction account. The state Department of Natural Resources will use the $174,000 value of the land to buy other revenue-producing land for the school trust.

The 1,733-acre Trout Lake Natural Area Preserve was created in 1995 to protect the Oregon spotted frog and several plant species.

Safe boating class offered April 27

Registration is open for a boating safety class on April 27 at the Clark County Public Works Maintenance and Operations Conference Center, 4700 N.E. 78th St., Room B-1.

Offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary and Clark County Marine Patrol, the class is from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost is $10 per person.

Boating safety, navigation rules and skills, equipment requirements and more are covered in the class.

In Washington, boaters younger than age 50 are required to have a boater safety card.

To register, call 360-256-2991 or 503-799-5250.

Ocean salmon, forage fish on council agenda

PORTLAND — Ocean salmon fishing seasons off the Washington, Oregon and northern California coasts will be adopted next week when the Pacific Fishery Management Council meet at the Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel, 8235 N.E. Airport Way.

The council also is expected to adopt its first-ever Fishery Ecosystem Plan, which is designed to improve protection to unmanaged forage fish like sandlance, saucy and various kinds of smelt.

Consideration of the ecosystem plan will begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Adoption of the salmon seasons is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

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