Out & About

By Al Thomas, Columbian Outdoors Reporter



State Wildlife Commission to be briefed on elk hoof rot

OLYMPIA — A briefing on hoof rot in Southwest Washington elk will be on the agenda of the state Fish and Wildlife Commission on Saturday.

The citizen panel meets Friday and Saturday in Room No. 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E. The meeting begins at 8 a.m. on Friday and 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Elk hoof rot is the first item on the agenda for Saturday.

On Friday, the commission will get briefings on the new licensing system, the Colockum elk herd in central Washington and cabezon sport-fishing regulations.

No charge to use Washington state parks this weekend

Washington State Parks will be free on Saturday and Sunday in conjunction with National Get Outdoors Day on Saturday.

Visitors will not need to display a Discover Pass either day. Other free days will be Aug. 4, Sept. 28 and Nov. 9-11.

Legislation creating the Discover Pass, a $30 annual or $10 one-day permit required for recreation lands managed by state parks, the Department of Fish and Wildlife and Department of Natural Resources, provided that up to 12 days could be designated when the pass is not required to visit state parks.

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

Fees also are waived on Saturday at day-use sites in the national forests in Washington and Oregon, if the site is operated by the Forest Service.

Concession operations will continue to charge unless the permit holder wishes to waive fees.

Fees for camping and cabin rentals will not be waived.

Columbia River Compact to set summer chinook gillnet season

The Columbia River Compact will meet by teleconference at 10 a.m. Tuesday to consider a commercial fishing period targeting on summer chinook salmon.

Commercial fishermen in April said they would like to start their summer chinook fishing on June 16. The peak of the summer chinook run is June 16-30, then counts dwindle in July.

Skibowl Adventure Park open on weekends

GOVERNMENT CAMP, Ore. — The Mount Hood Adventure Park at Skibowl has opened for weekends and will be open daily beginning June 15.

Kirk Hanna, owner-operator of Skibowl, said the goal is to be open by Memorial Day weekend, but lingering snow the past few years prevented that.

The park includes a half-mile dual alpine slide, 18-hole disc golf course and mountain biking trails. The 800-foot-long ziplines and a new raceway at Skibowl East will open Saturday.

For mountain bikers, the Gnar Gnar, Fire Hydrant and Freeride trails are open, but the upper trails remain closed by snow.

The park will be open daily from June 15 through Labor Day, then weekends through September.

For operating schedules and prices, go online to www.skibowl.com or call 503-222-2695.

Registration open for Merwin Special Needs Kids Day

ARIEL — Registration is open through June 30 for the 15th annual Merwin Special Needs Kids Day on July 13 at Merwin Fish Hatchery on the North Fork of the Lewis River.

Children with disabilities will get a chance to catch large trout at the hatchery from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. To register, call 1-800-899-4421.

Rods, reels, tackle and T-shirts will be provided for young anglers to use and keep. A free barbecue will be served along with other activities.

About 3,000 trout ranging from 1 to 4 pounds will be the hatchery waters, all accessible by wheelchair. Volunteers will serve as one-on-one fishing coaches to assist the young anglers.

The event is a joint effort of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Pacific Power and the Go Play Outside Alliance of Washington.

The event draws youngsters from the Vancouver School for the Blind, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and Emanuel, Kaiser and Shriners hospitals.

The sponsors encourage anyone with a special needs child to participate.

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