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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.

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A pilot program that will offer discounted rates for electrical and full-hookup RV campsites is now available at selected Oregon state parks during September and October. Campers will be able to apply an online code to receive a $7 discount off the nightly RV campsite rate, bringing the current rate from $24-33 down to $17-26.

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Fred Walasavage of Mosier, chairman of the Oregon Hunters Association (OHA) state board of directors, has received a Special Recognition Award from the organization.

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A racoon eyes photographer Gary Elkinton from its perch between trunks of a pine tree. The Chronicle encourages readers to submit their photographs for publication, email TDCPhotos@thedalleschronicle.com.

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A custom-made contraption has catapulted the Oregon Zoo’s cheetahs toward a new level of fitness. Dubbed the “cheetahpult,” it’s an 8-foot wooden device that flings a ball far enough for a cheetah — the fastest land animal on earth — to chase. After more conventional ball launchers fell short, the cheetahpult was designed and built by staff members with the zoo’s speediest residents in mind.

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Anglers can do their part to reduce the stress fish are under, according to state officials. This is especially important when fishing in waters that include native fish that may be released.

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The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will host a public meeting to discuss big game hunting regulations and tag numbers for 2019 next week in The Dalles. The forum begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 19, in the Dalles ODFW Screen Shop, 3561 Klindt Drive.

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A native lupine blooms in the foothills overlooking the Columbia River near The Dalles.

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Six volunteers were honored for long-time support of The Dalles Dam Eagle Watch with Volunteer Excellence Coins from the Corps Foundation. “What volunteers began as a one-time event for our agencies has snowballed into an annual expectation by the community. It continues to grow, thanks to our excellent volunteers,” said Amber Tilton, a park ranger with The Dalles Lock and Dam.

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Three deer spent the day lounging at the Anderson Homestead on W. 16th St., near the Fort Dalles Museum earlier this week.

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A bronze elk appears to be leaping through the sage brush and pine of the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center on a recent sunny day.

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Once again we have two full Moons in the month of March. Sadly, neither features a lunar eclipse, but the second full Moon of the month is called a “blue Moon,” similarly to the blue Moon in January.

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The eagles have landed! The Dalles Dam Visitor Center is a popular site for visitors to see bald eagles as they congregate along the Columbia River to feed during their winter migration. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers park rangers will be on hand this Saturday to help visitors learn about our national bird, watch the raptors in their natural habitat and enjoy interactive educational activities.

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Oregon Hunter Education Instructor and long-time outdoorsman Scott Napoli of Tygh Valley shares a young girl’s first bear hunt

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A Boxelder bug (Boisea trivittatus), with orange markings on its wings and bright red eyes, hunts for a crevice in the bark of a Ponderosa Pine where it can shelter for the winter. The insects often overwinter in large groups.

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Wanda Fisher is 91 years old and enjoys feeding the birds at her home in the Pomona Meadows. These hummingbirds seem to appreciate her generosity on a cool fall day.

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A fallen leaf floats down Mill Creek south of The Dalles.

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CORBETT (AP) — A handful of state-owned trails are reopening after being closed due to the Eagle Creek Fire. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department on Monday re-opened Dabney State Recreation Area, Portland Women's Forum State Scenic Viewpoint, Rooster Rock State Park and Starvation Creek State Park.

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A biologist spreads the wing of a wild hawk that had just been banded Sunday at Bonney Butte HawkWatch on the flanks of Mount Hood.

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Wildfires and extreme fire danger have prompted new fire restrictions and closures in the Mt. Hood National Forest. All campfires and target shooting are now prohibited across the forest.

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MAUPIN – What started as a senior class project has turned into a popular physical education curriculum. Back in 2008, South Wasco County senior Kris Belozer organized a fly fishing program to help local youth understand the rules and regulations of the sport, while fishing renown bodies of water across the Pacific Northwest. His goal is to establish a baseline where kids gain a love for an activity that will last a lifetime.

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Young hunters, ages 17 and under, are invited to sign up now for the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife’s free pheasant hunts happening around the state in September.

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Are you planning to be on the water for the eclipse? The Oregon State Marine Board, marine law enforcement and boating facility providers offer boating safety tips so everyone can have an unforgettable time on the water.

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When Denise Ellis set up a trail camera in her backyard, she was hoping to catch photographs of raccoons at her fountain. Instead the camera, which is triggered automatically by heat and motion, caught this image of an owl visiting the fountain during the night.

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