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The third time may prove a charm in a years-long effort to replace and repair two boat ramps at Pine Hollow Reservoir. After two rounds of bids came in at $140,000 over, and then $75,000 over, the $210,000 budget the South Wasco Park and Recreation District has for the boat ramps, changes to the project scope have brought the bid amount much closer to the budgeted amount, an official said.

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A mature bald eagle spreads its wings while perched in the area of the John Day Dam in this photo captured by the photographic team of Gary Elkinton and Carl Gentry, both of The Dalles.

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Visitors gather across from The Dalles Dam powerhouse during the annual Eagle Watch event at the dam visitor center. Bald eagles migrate into the area every winter, attracted by a run of shad, a small but abundant fish with a deeply forked tail.

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Weekend hikers look out over Miller Island and remnants of the Oregon Trail just west of Biggs Junction. The six-day forecast calls for fog, freezing fog and a chance of snow early in the coming week.

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Under new rules that took effect Jan. 1, the salvage of deer and elk struck accidentally by vehicles is now legal in Oregon, provided an online permit is submitted at www.odfw.com/roadkill within 24 hours of the salvage.

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The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) invites Oregonians outdoors on New Year’s Day for the annual First Day Hikes event. Visitors can choose from 32 hikes in 31 parks across the state.

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The pond at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center reflects trees along the Riverfront Trail Thanksgiving Day.

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For the first time since the Eagle Creek Fire, six miles of the Historic Columbia River Highway and several popular trails near Multnomah Falls have reopened. Reopened Gorge trails include the well-known Angels Rest, Wahkeena, and Larch Mountain Trail.

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The Oregon Department of Forestry’s central Oregon district will terminate the Regulated Use Closure for district lands Oct 9 as cooler fall weather combined with precipitation over the weekend has improved conditions.

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CASCADE LOCKS—Six miles of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, the paved bicycle and walking path closed for nearly 13 months by the Eagle Creek Fire, have re-opened between John B. Yeon Trailhead and Cascade Locks. The historic highway remains closed between Bridal Veil and Ainsworth, a six mile section, with no timeline yet for re-opening.

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PORTLAND – With the 2018-19 school year underway, it’s also time for all fourth graders and their families to claim their free Every Kid in a Park pass that allows free entry into all federal parks, forests, and recreation areas for a full year. Fourth graders can print out a paper voucher for free entry into all federal lands by visiting the Every Kid in a Park website at www.everykidinapark.gov.

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A sparrow eyes the photographer from a tree along the Riverfront Trail in The Dalles. The popular hiking trail skirts the Columbia River for much of the distance between the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and The Dalles Marina.

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October, our first full month of fall, brings colorful leaves, a nip of frost in the air, and very dark skies when the weather is clear. The bright planets Saturn and Mars are visible, but fainter, and Jupiter is sinking toward the sunset this month. However, the bright winter constellations are appearing on the eastern horizon, and the Milky Way is still stunning on dark nights.

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CLACKAMAS — With fall Chinook salmon returns to the Columbia River tracking well below preseason predictions, fishery managers announced today the Columbia River from the mouth at Buoy 10 to the Hwy 395 Bridge near Pasco, Washington will close for angling and retention of all salmon and steelhead at 12:01 am Thursday, Sept. 13.

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The combination of cooling water temperatures in the Columbia River and a river-wide steelhead retention closure have allowed managers to re-open fishing in the closed area adjacent to the mouth of the Deschutes River effective Thursday, Sept. 6.

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Eight members of the Wolf Plan Stakeholder work group met last week in The Dalles with ODFW staff to discuss methods of controlling the growing population.