March first opener three weeks away

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The March First opener can be a big deal in the Columbia Basin. The weather is the biggest factor, as with all spring fishing openers. One of the more popular waters is Martha Lake.

Expect the parking lot to be full of campers, if the temperature is above single digits. Anglers will be fishing through the ice, if there is a sheet of ice on the lake.

Itís time to put new line on the reels, polish the lures and sharpen the hooks

Lakes opening at midnight on March first in Grant County include:

Cascade, Merry, Spring, Martha, Nunnally, Quincy, Dry Falls, Dusty, Lenore, Caliche, along with Winchester Wasteway, the portion within the Winchester Game Reserve

Public comments wanted on Blue Mountain Wildlife areas

Columbia Basin residents hunt, fish, camp and otherwise have fun while visiting the Blue Mountains. This will be of interest to those who enjoy this area. Read on.

Fish and Wildlife is seeking additional public input as it works to complete a management plan for three wildlife areas in the Blue Mountains, a region representing some of the most scenic and important conservation lands in the state.

This plan is expected to be completed in April and covers the Asotin Creek, Chief Joseph and W.T. Wooten wildlife areas, encompassing 77,000 acres in Asotin, Garfield, Columbia and Walla Walla counties.

The agency met with wildlife area advisory committees, and state, federal and local community groups in recent months, but wants to gain additional feedback from the public.

The plan proposes actions for the management of the wildlife area over the next 10 years. This includes efforts to protect wildlife species and their habitat and enhance recreational opportunities where appropriate.

The public can provide comments in a variety of ways, including submitting comments online at the SEPA webpage listed above, via email at BlueMntWLA@dfw.wa.gov or by calling 360-902-2815. The department is accepting comments through Feb. 28.

Deadline on hunting season proposals next week

Fish and wildlife will be looking for public comments on proposed recommendations for the 2019 and 2020 hunting seasons.

Comments will be accepted by Fish and Wildlife until midnight, Pacific time on Feb. 13.

Dennis note: A glance at the proposals doesnít indicate any item of major concern. However, you are invited to look at them at the Fish and Wildlife website.

Fish and Wildlife indicates most of the proposals concern minor changes in special permit levels and hunting area descriptions proposed since the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission approved the stateís latest three-year hunting package in 2018.

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