Monday NW Hunt-Fish Roundup

Too much news as always on a Monday, but here’s some of the Northwest hunting- and fishing-related stuff from over the weekend that caught my eye when I logged in this morning.

Just because it’s green doesn’t make it good. Around 250 young elk that had been gorging on winter wheat in Central Oregon have died, the Associated Press reports.

“It is like giving a young kid the key to an ice cream shop,” ODFW biologist Mark Kirsch told a reporter about the grub that filled the elks’ bellies, but was too low on nutrients. “It is a bit addictive.”

As Columbia River salmon managers haul out their calculators, Bill Monroe reports that a spring Chinook reopener is more likely for recreational anglers than commercial fisherman. Sport fishing closes below Bonneville Dam later today.

McClatchy Newspapers report on the battle between MMA-listed sea lions, ESA-listed salmon, fishery managers, politicians, federal courts and marine mammal advocates in the Columbia. A bill with wide support among Northwest U.S. House reps has been introduced in Congress and may get more traction than a 2006 attempt to deal with the situation.

No sea lions reported around Diamond Lake, in Oregon’s Southern Cascades, but with opening day a mere 18 days, 14 hours and 55 minutes or so away, a resort there reports 500,000 hungry trout await anglers … if the ice goes away. Diamond Lake Resort is posting images of the popular lake in the lead-up to the opener.

Longtime Washington hook-and-bullet writer Dave Workman wonders why we don’t need antler restrictions in Northeast Washington’s whitetail belt — where a group of local sportsmen are arguing for a four-point restriction, a decision that will be made this weekend — when we continue to need antler restrictions in Central Washington’s muley belt.

The missive follows up on Spokane Spokesman-Review columnist Rich Landers’ scathing piece on the antler proposal, and a response from one of its supporters.

Also in the state’s muley-whitetail crossover country, the SSR opinion page calls the hound-cougar hunting peace accord between state House Rep. Joel Kretz, a Republican rancher up Bodie Creek, and Conservation Northwest, a Bellingham group that supported a ban on chasing the big cats with dogs in 1996, “rare and welcome.”

“If Kretz and Conservation Northwest can set suspicion aside and recognize the validity of each other’s concerns, they may produce more than reasonable legislation. They may come up with an antidote to the political toxin that’s become so prevalent,” the paper writes.

And one more note from Northeast Washington, organizers of a February-long coyote hunting derby report that shooters killed 227. They hope it gives the local whitetail herds “a shot in the arm.”

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