Salmon film features scheduled at YVCC

Two films related to salmon fishing, one a feature-length documentary shot in Alaska and the other a short film by Emily Washines of the Yakama Nation, will be shown Thursday at Yakima Valley Community College.

The films, “Smokin’ Fish” by Alaska-based co-directors Cory Mann and Luke Tergis, and Washines’ “100 Years Ago and Today: Sockeye in Cle Elum,” will be shown back-to-back at 7 p.m. Thursday at YVCC’s Deccio Building in the Parker Room. The event is free and open to the public.

Mann, who besides being the co-director is also the protagonist of “Smokin’ Fish,” will be on hand to discuss the process and answer questions. Washines will also be present for the showing of her film, which documents the sockeye return to the Yakima River Basin.

The double feature is part of YVCC’s Diversity Film Series and is sponsored by the Yakima Environmental Learning Foundation (YELF).

Wind, Drano returns don’t look promising

Weak returns of spring chinook salmon are predicted for the Wind River and Drano Lake in Skamania County, a not-surprising forecast given the low return expected to the Columbia River upstream of Bonneville Dam.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is forecasting a return of 3,000 spring chinook to the Wind River, 4,500 to Drano Lake and 2,200 to the Klickitat River.

Those numbers compare to 5,400 in the Wind, 8,800 at Drano and 2,100 in the Klickitat in 2012.

Given that Carson National Fish Hatchery needs about 1,500 spring chinook for spawning, it is possible there will be angling restrictions at Wind River in 2013.

Biologist Joe Hymer of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said the two-pole rule, allowed during part of the 2012 fishery, is almost certainly gone. The angling area, expanded in 2012, might return to its former size, certain days of the week might be closed or the daily bag limit reduced.

— Allen Thomas, The Columbian

Meeting to focus on boating safety

A free program on boating safety will be held tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Yakima Valley Museum (2105 Tieton Dr.), courtesy of the Yakima Valley Boat Club.

The boat club’s monthly meeting will feature a presentation on boating safety by Sgt. James Scott of the Yakima County Sheriff’s marine patrol unit, which safeguards the waters of Yakima County, including Rimrock Lake, home to the YVBC’s boating facility. The event, which will cover boating safety, regulations and enforcement, is open to the public.

For information on the Yakima Valley Boat Club, contact J.B. Hanna at hannajb@charter.net or 509-713-3213.

Shootoffs highlight W.K. Button Shoot

After each fired off perfect 25x25 series, Joel Moberly edged John Klingele in a shootoff for the men’s division button in the opening weekend of the W.K. Button Shoot, hosted by the Yakima Valley Sportsmen at the Pomona range.

The seniors division also needed a tiebreaker, Tom Rogers, Darrell Robertson, Jim Turnbull and Steve Simon all breaking 24x25 before Simons captured the button in a shootoff. Hank McCleory broke 25 targets to take home the button in the super seniors class, while Renee Blankenship took the women’s button and Casey Willson topped the juniors.

BIRD ALERT

An exciting New Year’s gift has been given to the local birding world by couple of Yakima County bird aficionados, who braved the cold wet weather this week and found a red-shouldered hawk.

This is a bird not before seen in Yakima County — in fact, there have been only a handful of reports of this west-side species in Eastern Washington. The bird has been hanging out in the cottonwood trees just southwest of the Parker Bridge.

A New Years Day hike up Rattlesnake Ridge produced a “four-falcon day” for a Parker Heights couple, with prairie falcon, merlin, American kestrel and peregrine falcon all making their presence known. Other notable birds in this area included northern harrier, sharp-shinned hawk, bald eagle, red-tailed hawk, rough-legged hawk, plus barn owl, great horned owl and northern saw-whet owl.

It has indeed been a great week for bird sightings, with reports of hunting short-eared owls, a fabulous sight over this stark but beautiful landscape along the ridge crest of Rattlesnake Ridge; a bright adult male yellow headed blackbird spotted among 200 red-winged blackbirds in the marsh south of Sarg Hubbard park; a northern shrike in a Terrace Heights yard unsuccessfully going after the birds at the feeder; 125 bohemian waxwings; red crossbills; western scrub jay on 22nd Avenue; a swamp sparrow along Toppenish Creek; and a single female common redpoll at a feeder 10 miles east of Yakima.

Report sightings by email to birds@yakimaaudubon.org or by phone message at 509-837-6930.

AROUND AND ABOUT

After being closed because of hazardous treefall conditions following a heavy winter storm, the Fish Lake and Airstrip Sno-Parks near Lake Wenatchee reopened last week to snowmobilers.

2013’s first razor clam dig starts this afternoon at Twin Harbors and expands to three other ocean beaches later in the week (Long Beach and Copis on Thursday, adding Long Beach on Friday, then back to just Twin Harbors on Sunday and Monday).

Now that the work related to the breaching of the Condit Dam has been completed, the White Salmon River has reopened to steelhead fishing from the county road bridge below the former powerhouse to the Northwestern Lake Road Bridge. Daily limit is two hatchery steelhead. All other species, including salmon, must be released.

ON THE CALENDAR

The Cascadian Trekkers and the Cascadian Free Spirits will both head out at 8 a.m. from the 40th Avenue Bi-Mart parking lot for whatever cross-country ski, snowshoe or hike deemed by the trip leaders to be best for current conditions. So come prepared, bring a lunch and the 13 essentials.

The Cascadian Pokies will head out to the North Fork Wenas Creek to snowshoe. For meeting time and place, Greg Wallace at 509-453-2374.