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  • September 29, 2006

    Klamath River Update: Federal judge backs fish ladders; ups odds for dam removal

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    In the see-saw but critically important battle over PacifiCorp’s Klamath River dams, anglers, environmentalist, and Indian tribes have claimed the latest victory. Only days after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission largely sided with PacifiCorp’s less-costly (and less-effective, many would argue) proposal to truck salmon around the dams, Federal Judge Parlen McKenna has now sided with a plan to install fish ladders—a project so expensive to implement that it could push PacifiCorp to remove the dams altogether. That action would be an enormous boost to fish and fishermen, of course, but as the dam owners point out in this Los Angeles Times story, this protracted fight is far from concluded.

  • September 29, 2006

    Atlantic Salmon Update: Maine angler lands first legal salmon since 1999

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    On the other side of the country, where Maine fisheries officials recently opened the first Atlantic salmon season in seven years, Beau Peavey of Glenburn hooked the first legal salmon since the 1999 closure--a 12-pounder below the Veazie Dam on the Penobscot River Wednesday morning. The experimental catch-and-release season designed to bolster public support for the state’s salmon restoration continues until Oct. 15. Click here for the story.

  • September 29, 2006

    Colorado Grizzly Sighting: Two hunters spy three silvertips

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    The last know grizzly bear in Colorado was killed in the South San Juan Wilderness in 1979. So state wildlife authorities were a bit skeptical when they announced yesterday that two hunters claim they spotted three grizzlies near Independence Pass in the San Isabel National Forest on Sept. 20. Nonetheless, they are posting signs warning area visitors that grizzlies may lurk nearby.

  • September 28, 2006

    Muzzleloader Maker Goes Under: Austin & Halleck to suspend operations

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    I was saving for an Austin & Halleck Mountain Rifle Select, the prettiest non-custom sidelock available as far as I’m concerned. Sadly, it (along with the 420LR Classic, the only truly handsome production in-line I can think of) will no longer be available by Sunday, as the company announced it will suspend operations on October 1. As the move toward uglier and uglier guns rolls on, this is a real blow to sportsmen who still appreciate beauty in a gun.

  • September 28, 2006

    ATF Gets Slapped: House approves new rules for gun dealers

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Since the highly publicized incidents at a Virginia gun show in which Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents were widely considered to be overly aggressive and even unruly with gun dealers, some legislators seem to be looking to slap them on the wrist. On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan, NRA-backed bill (277-131) that would force the ATF to consider intermediate penalties, including civil penalties or a license suspension, that fall short of automatic revocation of a dealer’s license. Click here for the story.

  • September 28, 2006

    Beware of Squirrels: Rodent attacks boy at California Park

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Some years ago, there was a senior editor at Field & Stream who was afraid of squirrels. I used to give her some grief, asking, “What in heck’s a squirrel going to do to you?” Well if this story is any indication, the rodents may well pounce on you unsuspectingly from the trees and start biting and scratching—which is exactly what one squirrel did to a 4-year-old boy in California’s Mountain View’s Cuesta Park on Tuesday. As usual, the editor mentioned has been proved smarter than me.

  • September 27, 2006

    Wolf Cull Denied: Feds pull plug on Idaho’s elk-recovery plan

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Ask Idaho hunters what’s needed to boost the state’s elk numbers, and many will say, “fewer wolves.” What’s more, state game official agree. But the feds have now decided that there isn’t sufficient scientific evidence showing that the carnivores are having an “unacceptable impact on the elk herd.” As a result, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s plan to cull up to 43 wolves this winter is now on hold. In the end, state officials may have to hope for and wait for delisting before any of the animals can be killed. Here's the full story.

  • September 27, 2006

    Battenkill Update: Celebrated Vermont trout river will remain wild

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    Last week, The Orvis Company threatened to withdraw a $100,000 grant for habitat restoration on Vermont’s Battenkill River if state fisheries officials went ahead with a plan to stock the ailing river with non-native rainbow trout. Now, after a public hearing, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Wayne Laroche announced that the stocking plan is dead: “The public at that meeting was I’d say four to one against stocking rainbows on that stream,” he told the Associated Press. “We’re absolutely going to listen to that.” Here's the story.

  • September 27, 2006

    Killer Teddy Bear: Stuffed toy blamed for death of 2,500 trout

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    I know you probably think your teddy bear is harmless. And he may be. But the fact that one such stuffed animal clogged the drain of a New Hampshire fish hatchery and killed 2,500 trout should raise caution. Upsetting as it may be, you may want to stop sleeping with yours. Here's the story.

  • September 25, 2006

    Trout River Catastrophe: Dam owner buries New York’s Chateaugay River in silt

    By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

    I grew up just a dozen miles from New York’s Chateaugay River. For me and a number of fellow fishermen, this wild, chasm-walled freestoner—with its abundant and willing trout--has been a secret gem. With the river now all over the news, it’s no longer a secret. And with it now choked by 4,000 cubic yards of silt released from behind the Chasm Hydro Dam in violation of state regulations, it’s no longer a gem. In fact, state fisheries officials inspecting a three-mile stretch downstream of the dam after the spill found “few living fish or invertebrates.”

    Take the time to read this Albany Times Union article. It’s important. With so many old, small dams unregulated by FERC, with state oversight so commonly underfunded, and with penalties so typically insufficient to deter anyone, a similar catastrophe could easily take place on your home river. Click here for the story.

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