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Critter specialist heads into retirement

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The stars of the Wild Kingdom TV series made it glamorous, but Howard Ferguson has made his living handling and monitoring critters ranging from butterflies to moose.

Corps begins spring fish operations; Little Goose lock closed for repairs

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Thursday that it has begun implementing its 2014 “Spring Fish Operations Plan” at its four lower Snake River and four lower Columbia River dams.

Fish passage Fixes at Wanapum Dam to be completed April 15; first weeks of spring run trucked

While investigations are continuing to identify the extent and cause of a 65-foot-long crack across a Wanapum Dam spillway pier monolith, fishery experts, engineers and others are scurrying to assure passage for fast-approaching salmon spawners.

Smelt return attracts more Sea Lions to Columbia River

Lookout… here they come. Biologists counted about 1,420 California sea lions Monday nestled at docks at the East Mooring Basin in Astoria, which is double the 739 peak counted last year – which was a record high number over the course of long-running monitoring of pinniped presence.

Study finds wild steelhead fare better in marine environment

Juvenile wild steelhead are smaller than hatchery fish when they reach the ocean, but have a higher feeding success, are in better condition and grow faster than hatchery fish once they arrive in the marine environment, according to a recent study.

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A revival of earlier grace

In the early part of last century Sam Hill and Samuel Lancaster had a vision for a road that would connect The Dalles to Troutdale. They didn’t want it to be just a road; they wanted their road to have all the grace and beauty of some of the new roads that were being built in Europe.

Sturgeon seasons, new spawning sanctuary established

Spawning sanctuary extends from The Dalles dam downstream 1.8 miles to the upstream end of the boat ramp at The Dalles Marina on the Oregon shore. All sturgeon fishing, including catch-and-release, will be prohibited in this area from May 1 to July 31.

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Hidden gem: Oregon’s Niagara Falls are spectacular

Few people have even heard of this spectacular Siuslaw Forest hideaway

Alpinee fund offers outdoor grants

The Gorge Community Foundation has announced that it is accepting grant applications for projects that promote outdoor education or recreation.

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Stargazers to gather at Discovery Center

THE DALLES — Join amateur astronomer Jim White for an evening with the stars, at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, Saturday, March 29. The evening will start with a gourmet burger bar dinner at 6 p.m., followed by a Spring Stargazing presentation by Jim White at 7 p.m. If weather allows, there will be a telescope sky viewing at 7:30 p.m. White will talk about the upcoming lunar eclipse on April 14-15, planets, and other celestial events.

Judge orders fewer hatchery fish released

PORTLAND (AP) — A judge has ordered federal fish managers in Oregon to release fewer young salmon into the Sandy River this year to ensure that hatchery fish don’t harm wild fish — but has left other hatchery operations intact.

Smelt had dipnetters hitting 10-pound limits in short order

Fishery experts’ calculations of threatened eulachon (smelt) spawner returns to the Columbia River and lower river tributaries in 2014 are very much works in progress with test fishery sampling mostly completed. But ask almost any sea lion or seal, sea gull or human fisher and they’ll likely tell you the tiny, fat-filled fish species is having a rebound year.

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Critics blast fisherman for keeping whopper

Keeping "fish of a lifetime" not a problem, say fishery manager.

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Ski or snowshoe to cozy hut near Mount Rainier

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — You know what makes any adventure in the snow even better? A warm, cozy place to settle in at the end of the day. Bonus points if you don’t even have to leave the snow behind to find your haven.

Feds, Oregon defend Sandy river hatchery plans

State salmon-steelhead hatchery management plans for northwest Oregon’s Sandy River basin are moving closer towards the goal of minimizing impacts on protected wild stocks and should be allowed to play out, according to legal briefs filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland.

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