OUTDOORS NOTEBOOK: Idaho wolf season won't have quotas...High water hurts Montana fly fishing industry...S.D. closes archery paddlefish season...more
BOISE, Idaho -- Idaho wildlife managers won't have quotas on wolves in much of the state for the upcoming hunting season as they seek to significantly reduce a population now estimated at more than 1,000 animals in the state.
Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials announced the plan Friday, while Montana aims to sign off on its own wolf-hunting plan next week.
Idaho's no-quota, general season in about three-fourths of its wolf country will please those who believe wolves have multiplied beyond acceptable levels but anger wildlife advocates who fear the state will manage wolves irresponsibly.
Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore declined to name a target for kills for the seven-month season that begins at the end of August, saying only that Idaho will manage wolves so that their population remains above 150 animals and 15 breeding pairs, the point where Idaho could attract federal scrutiny for a possible re-listing under the Endangered Species Act.
There also will be a 10-week trapping season from December to mid-February. New this year, as well, hunters can shoot two wolves, from a limit of one in 2009.
Idaho Fish and Game Commission members still must sign off on the plan at their July 27-28 meeting in Salmon. And Moore left open the possibility that public comment could still result in changes to the plan.
-- Associated Press
High water hurts Montana fly fishing industry
HELENA, Mont. -- Disappointed anglers are delaying or canceling their vacations this year with Montana's blue-ribbon trout streams running higher and dirtier than in recent memory.
The murky water is the result of spring flooding and the runoff pouring off the mountains from a record winter snowpack. Water flows for many of the major rivers are at twice their normal rates or higher, churning up muck and mud that have made the water nearly opaque in some streams.
Fishing trip cancellations are running as high as 80 percent in parts of the state. Some fly shops are reporting that their business is off between 38 and 50 percent.
Guides and outfitters say their hope now is that the extra water will mean a later fishing season to help them make up their losses.
-- Associated Press
S.D. closes archery paddlefish season
PIERRE, S.D. -- The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission has passed an emergency rule to close this year's archery paddlefish season because of problems caused by high water in the Missouri River.
The season was scheduled to open Saturday and run through Aug. 7 for the Missouri River below Gavin's Point Dam.
The season was scrapped because record amounts of water are being released from Gavin's Point and other dams to get rid of excess water from heavy rains in the upper Missouri River basin. Boating is closed below Gavin's Point Dam, and there are restrictions on foot traffic in the area.
Nebraska also has closed its archery paddlefish season in that area.
The South Dakota commission said people who drew archery paddlefish licenses will get refunds.
-- Associated Press
Yamaha Outdoors offers five 'to-do' outdoor tasks
There's lots of summer left, but hard-core hunting enthusiasts already are counting the days until fall. Yamaha Outdoors offers these five things fall-lovers can do to make the time go faster:
Empty your freezer: The barbecue months are a good time to pull a few pheasant breasts or other goodies from the freezer, grill and serve them to friends and family. You'll need the room come fall.
Get in shape: Eating well during the summer months can put on some pounds. Try to maintain that good shape you were in back during spring turkey season by walking, running and working out with the weights now.
Upgrade your gear: You ride your four-wheelers hard. Do you have good riding boots, goggles and a helmet? Hunt and ride with enthusiasm this summer and coming fall, but do it safely.
Touch up decoys: Storm-battered duck and goose fakes can be restored with a touch of satin or glossy polyurethane spray. Don't want to do that? Simply clean your decoys with a wet rag to remove any mud, dirt or grass lingering from last season.
Hang some stands: If you've got deer hunting on your mind, July is a great time to place some treestands in conjunction with game trails or other areas that have proven themselves in the past.
-- Outdoor Wire
Did you know?
- Duane Holien of Cando, N.D., won the gold medal at the Regional High Power Rifle Championship held June 25-26 at the Forks Rifle Club's W.G. Coulter Range. Thomas Thompson of Bismarck won the silver, and Dan Marquart of Bismarck won the bronze. Travis Jorgenson of Fergus Falls, Minn., won the Civilian Marksmanship Program Service Rifle Match.
- A 32-pound, 7-ounce channel catfish has set a new record for the species in Nevada. Caught in the South Fork Reservoir, the new record fish tops the previous record of 31 pounds, 1 ounce, which had stood since 1980.
- Anglers will fish around the clock and across North America this September to raise awareness of the problems facing our waters in the 2011 Recycled Fish 24 Hour Fish-A-Thon presented by Scheels and Griffin Fishing Charters. The 24-Hour Fish-A-Thon is open to anglers in all 50 states and Canada. To participate, anglers sign up a team of two to three anglers at www.RecycledFish.org/FishAThon.