pudCritical habitat destroyed by beavers in Entiat and Wenatchee river front parks

WENATCHEE – Beavers are destroying newly planted trees and shrubs in Entiat Park (currently closed – except for the boat ramp area), as well as destroying important shoreline vegetation in Walla Walla Point, Confluence and Riverfront parks. As a result, the PUD is expanding its existing contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – Nuisance Bird & Animal Control Services to trap, remove and destroy the beaver.

The PUD attempted to divert the beaver by putting cages and/or using sand-infused paint around the base of the trees in Entiat Park, but the beaver continued to destroy the trees and shrubs.

Under its Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license, the PUD is responsible for providing for and maintaining critical river shoreline habitat. The beaver activity is in direct conflict with the PUD’s license requirements.

At this time of year, the only alternative is to remove and eliminate the beaver, since relocation wouldn’t be viable during the winter because the beaver would be unable to rebuild their dens. If the beaver remain a problem in the spring, the PUD will work with Okanogan County officials to relocate the beaver in an area where their dam-building could be a beneficial erosion control method in fire-destroyed areas.

USDA will put signs in the areas where active trapping is taking place so that the public will keep their pets out of danger. The trapping will cease when the vegetation destruction stops. The USDA will trap on PUD property only.

nps logo smChelan—Early season snow grooming operations have begun at Echo Ridge Nordic Ski Area on the Chelan Ranger District of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

Ski area personnel are working to establish a good snow base for future grooming operations.  Skiers should expect typical early season conditions with varying snow depths, soft snow, and the possibility of bare spots as temperatures warm up later in the week. 

Grooming will occur on an intermittent basis.  Fees will not be charged over the Thanksgiving weekend due to the thin snow cover and variable ski conditions. Ski area personnel will continue to monitor ski conditions and determine when the fee season will begin.

In conjunction with the start of snow grooming at Echo Ridge, beginning today Purtteman Gulch Road No. 8010 will be closed to wheeled vehicles and snowmobiles to provide for Nordic grooming activities. 

When fees are charged, ski passes are required for both ski and snowshoe trail use.  Day passes are available on-site for $10 per adult, with no charge for skiers or snowshoers age 17 and under.  Season passes are available for $70 at the Chelan Ranger District office. 

All trailheads in the Echo Ridge Nordic Ski Area are plowed and open for parking.  Echo Ridge Nordic Ski Area is located 10 miles outside of the city of Chelan and is managed as a cooperative effort between the U.S. Forest Service and Lake Chelan Nordic Ski Club.

For current grooming information go online to www.lakecheleannordic.org or contact the Chelan Ranger District office at (509) 682-4900.  The Chelan Ranger District office is located at 428 West Woodin Avenue in Chelan with office hours of 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

waspThe Washington State Patrol (WSP) is seeking the opportunity to speak with anyone who may have information about an overpass that was struck by an oversize load on I-90 at milepost 63.

On November 25, 2014 just before 2 pm an unknown vehicle struck the underside of the Stampede Pass overpass and the large sign that was mounted to the side of the structure causing it and cement debris to fall to the roadway below.

WSP is requesting anyone who may have observed the collision, any oversize load vehicles in the area prior to the collision, or oversize loads travelling through Cle Elum or South Cle Elum shortly after 2 pm, to please call WSP Trooper Darren Wright at 509-679-6228.

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11/12/14 - Tasula and Len Berggren of Coquitlam, BC with their mornings catch of Lakers
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11/15/14 - Repeat customer Dean Williams, Casey McAfee, Parker Williams and Miles Kendrick of Monroe, WA with their mornings catch of Lakers
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11/15/14 our very own Jeff Witkowski with a nice holdover rainbow caught in Mill Bay on Lake Chelan.
We have made it through our first big cold snap of the winter and now we are getting our first significant snow fall, but our early winter pattern of trolling the Barrens and the Trench for Mackinaw on Lake Chelan continues hot. Also continuing hot is bank fishing and trolling for planter Rainbow Trout on Lake Chelan. The occasional holdover triploid rainbow is a bonus. Roses Lake has received it’s winter rainbow trout plant and is providing hot action for planter sized rainbows. The Upper Columbia River has been providing fair action for steelhead and other fish in the early fall.

We troll for these mostly eating sized Lakers from 220 to 245 feet deep. Fish within 3 to 5 feet of the bottom and keep your speed around .8 to 1.3 mph. Glow in the dark Smile Blades from Mack’s Lure continue to be the go to attractor here on Lake Chelan. Put those in front of a 4 inch needlefish squid rig by Silver Horde, bait them with a piece of Northern Pikeminnow and scent everything with Pautzke’s Krill Juice to keep yourself consistently into the fish. These fish are completely jammed full of Mysis shrimp. This in turn makes the meat especially delectable.   While we find those mysids in our Lakers all year, this late fall / early winter time really concentrates that feed in the lower basin to fatten up our fish.

Rainbow trout on Lake Chelan can be caught by a variety of methods. Catch them from shoreline locations with Pautzke’s Firebait in American Wildfire using a 30” leader on a slip sinker rig. You can also catch them trolling using Mack’s Lure Mini Cha Cha Squidders behind a Mack’s Lure 0000 Double D Dodger. Bait those mini cha cha’s with a piece of worm or a small nugget of Pautzke’s Fire Bait.

Pautzke’s Fire Bait will also work well from the shore on Roses Lake for planter sized Rainbow Trout. WDFW planted approximately 16,000 fish that were 2.4 fish to the pound. Those are about 9” fish. So far, Roses hasn’t frozen over and shore anglers are limiting in less than an hour.

Your fishing tip of the week is to take a page out of the tournament anglers strategy book and prepare plans A, B, C and maybe even D to make efficient use of your precious “on the water” time. This could mean rigging trolling gear and lining up lures so that if plan A’s presentation you can work through your progressions without having to search and then tie knots with chilly fingers. If you are going to switch from still fishing to casting, have those rigs prepared and ready to put into action. This requires thinking ahead and preparing at home. Keeping your presentation in a prime location in an attractive way will make you more successful. It’s only logical.

I will dispense with normal format for my first post Veteran’s Day Report to share my thoughts and feelings before moving on in future reports. I believe the best thing that we can do to honor our war dead is live well and joyously.   However, I think it is occasionally necessary to reflect and appreciate their sacrifices. My friend, Terry Gilden was killed in the Beirut Embassy bombing of 1983 by Hezbollah militants. The mission there was to bring the bloody civil war in Lebanon to an end. In 1993, my friend, Randy Shugart was killed by militants of a Somalian warlord. The mission there was to clear the way for food supplies to reach hundreds of thousands of starving civilians in rural Somalia. While critical thinking is necessary and skepticism can be useful, make no mistake.   Flawed as we might be, we are the good guys because men like my friends answer the call and do their best to implement our national will. George Orwell said it best: “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” Just reflect for a moment about the lifestyle we enjoy and give thanks for these men.

waspTrailer hit 11 sway braces on bridge, leading to collapse.

(Olympia) – Detectives from the Washington State Patrol have determined that the truck which struck the I-5 Skagit River Bridge in May 2013, leading to its collapse, was two inches over-height.

In a report released today, detectives found the truck was permitted to carry a load of no higher than 15-feet nine inches. After the collision, they noted the load measured 15-feet eleven inches. The over-height load struck eleven of the bridge’s sway braces as it crossed the structure.

The collision happened on May 23, 2013, shortly after 7:00 p.m. After the collapse, two vehicles fell into the river and the occupants had to be rescued by a Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office marine patrol unit. They suffered non-life threatening injuries and have recovered.

The only fatality related to the collapse came on May 31, 2013, when WSP Trooper Sean O’Connell was killed while directing traffic at a detour around the scene.

Detectives also determined that the pole carried by a pilot car hit the bridge structure, which should have triggered a warning. However, the driver of an over-height load is the person legally responsible for safe transit, not the driver of any support vehicle or pilot car.

Driver William D.W. Scott of Alberta, Canada was cited by the State Patrol for Negligent Driving in the Second Degree which is a traffic infraction carrying a fine of $550.

The report states Scott should have moved into the center lane of the bridge, which would have accommodated even the over-height load. Investigators determined only four seconds passed between the time the pilot car’s pole hit the bridge and the truck’s load hit the first sway brace. The truck was following approximately 350 feet behind the pilot car.

The detective’s Report of Investigation is available here: http://www.wsp.wa.gov/_secured/cid_reports/skagit_case_summary_redacted.pdf