Hunting rules and changes adopted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission will be detailed in Washington's "Big Game Hunting Seasons and Rules 2003" pamphlet, effective May 15, 2003 through May 14, 2004. The pamphlet will be available at WDFW offices and license venders in mid-May.

Hunters seeking special permits will have until June 22 to apply. In the three-year hunting rules it adopted, the commission also improved allocation of deer hunting opportunity among modern firearm, muzzleloader and archery hunters statewide.

Also adopted was an adjusted 2003 season deer and elk special hunt permits, which was in response to population changes and damage complaints. In addition, change include providing a second deer special permit opportunity in units where doe populations are high. There will also be a shift in the early archery elk season to Sept. 8 to Sept. 21 each year, as well as increased number of fall wild turkey hunting permits in northeast Washington, where populations continue to increase.

Still other changes include opening the eastern Washington pheasant hunting season two weeks later than other upland game bird seasons, in order to address landowner concerns and deer-pheasant hunting opening conflicts.

Pheasant, quail and partridge hunting season rules adopted will be detailed in Washington's "Upland Game and Migratory Bird Hunting Seasons and Rules 2003" pamphlet, and will be available after waterfowl rules are set. These should be available in late August.

Nautical Terms

"Boot camp" - During the Spanish-American War, sailors wore leggings called boots, which came to mean a Navy (or Marine) recruit. These recruits were trained in "boot camp."

"Posh" - The term came to mean elegant, luxurious and exclusive, with reference to accommodations on the shady and more expensive side of the ships plying the seas between England and India. "Port over" meant to India, while "starboard home" meant to England. This nautical history was supplied by one of our readers, "Barnacle Bill."

USCG reminder

The Coast Guard would like to remind boaters that doing radio checks on VHF Marine Channel 16 is a no-no. Recreational boaters calling for a radio check on channel 16 creates clutter on an already busy frequency and helps drown out calls for help.

Columbia River flows trap tiny salmon

(News source: Seattle P-I)

Hundreds of thousands of just-hatched salmon could die this weekend as power demand drops and dam operators hold back water from the last free flowing stretch of the Columbia River. As the Columbia's Hanford Reach receded over the past two weekends, an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 young Chinook died - either trapped in over-heated side pools or left high and dry in the sun.

"It was just amazing," said Bob Heinth, a fisheries biologist with the Intertribal Commission. "There were just fish everywhere."

The fish, just 1 to 2 inches long, are just too small to stay in the main channel of the Columbia. They drift to the shallows, where they can find food and bulk up for their trip downstream to the ocean. In these shallow areas, they are trapped when the water level drops.

This week, fisheries managers for Washington, Oregon and Idaho, as well as the tribes and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, appealed to dam managers and BPA to change the way the river is run to protect the young fish. It's very convenient - Grant County Public Utility District points their finger upstream, and the feds point their finger downstream at Grant.

Writer's note: The truth of the matter is that the federal government and the Bonneville Power Supply have never held up their end, as mandated by the Mitchell Act, thus denying the Pacific Northwest of its most valuable resource.

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