New members are sought for the Omak Booster Club, which also plans a fundraiser dinner and auction next month.

The dinner is set for Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Omak Elks Lodge, 110 S. Ash St. Social hour is at 5:30 p.m., a steak dinner at 6:30 p.m. and an auction after dinner.

Special speaker will be Omak High School graduate Ken Greene, who played safety for Washington State University and in the National Football League (St. Louis Cardinals, 1978–1982; San Diego Chargers, 1983–1984).

Greene graduated from Omak in 1974 before playing for the Cougars. He was selected in the first round (19th overall) by the St. Louis Cardinals, the Cougars’ first selection in the first round in 13 years.

Greene began coaching football in 1994 at Vallivue High School in southwestern Idaho. He later coached at Fresno State University, Purdue University and Washington State University, said a wiki entry.

On the auction block will be a variety of items, including those signed by Drew Bledsoe, former WSU and NFL quarterback.

Bledsoe played nine years (1993-2001) with New England after being drafted No. 1 in 1993. He also played for Buffalo (2002-2004) and Dallas (2005-2006).

He currently is owner/founder of Doubleback Winery in Walla Walla.

Admission will be charged to the dinner.

Membership information is available at

Omak High School will have a Red and Black barbecue 3-5 p.m. Sept. 20 by the bus stop near the blacktop, the school says.

It is open to all high school students and staff.

Those attending are encouraged to wear school colors – red and black.

A high buck hunt deer hunting season for general firearms and muzzleloaders runs Sept. 15-25.

Game Management Units (GMU) include Pasayten, Lake Chelan Recreation Area, Alpine Lakes, Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, all wilderness areas on the Olympic Peninsula and Henry M. Jackson Wilderness Area.

There is a three-point minimum.

Most early archery general deer seasons opened Sept. 1 for mule deer and white-tails.

One mule deer season opened Sept. 16 for GMUs 204-242, 248, 254, 262, 266, 269, 272 and 278d.

Depending on GMUs, the other seasons could end Sept. 15, , 22 or 27.

The state general hunting season opens Oct. 12.

See for black-tail, white-tail and mule deer seasons, Game Management Units and any restrictions.

A late general season for white-tailed deer runs Nov. 9-19 in GMAs 105, 108, 111, 113, 117d, 121 and 124 for any buck.

A late archery general deer season for mule deer opens Nov. 20, Nov. 21, Nov. 27 or Dec. 9 depending on GMUs.

Late archery general deer seasons open Nov. 20, Nov. 21 or Nov. 25 depending on GMUs.

Early muzzle loader general deer season for white tail and mule deer start Sept. 28 and run to Oct. 6. Be sure to check GMUs and restrictions.

Late muzzleloader general deer season runs Nov. 25 to Dec. 8 for white-tail.

George Dunckel scored a whopping 9,310 to lead the way at Tuesday pinochle, Sept. 10, at the Eagles in Okanogan.

High scores: 9,310, George Dunckel. 7,980, Vicki Harland. 7,520, Norma Lawson. 7,370, tie between Bonnie Niessner and Dee Tarnowski.

Partners with 300 pinochle: Dick Fuller and Vicki Harlan; Joe Feddersen and Bonnie Niessner; Valerie Murray and Buck Workman; Marilyn Schieffer and Norma Lawson; George Dunckel and Joe Feddersen; Norma Lawson and Millie Jewell; Tim Norman and Bonnie Niessner; Tom Schieffer and Norma Lawson; Boyd Walton and Dee Tarnowski; Lisa Turner and Bonnie Niessner; Ida Laurie and Delia Hagen.

Flag football drew 77 teams this year of those in first through four grade, reports Jake Townsend, who said the league is in its fourth season.

Games start at 5 p.m. Wednesday and Friday from Sept. 20 to Oct. 16 at The Plex in Okanogan.

In honor of National Public Lands Day, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission set Saturday, Sept. 18, as a free day to visits state parks.

No Discover Pass will be required for day-use visits by vehicles.

National Public Lands Day is coordinated by the National Environmental Education Foundation.

The next free days are Monday, Nov. 11, for Veterans Day and Friday, Nov. 29, for autumn free day.

The impact of a new agreement between native tribes and the Canadian government to restore salmon to the upper reaches of the Columbia River will depend on how the fish are managed, says the director of the state Department of Agriculture.

The Syilx Okanagan, Ktunaxa and Secwepemc Indigenous Nations, Canada and British Columbia recently signed a renewable three-year letter of agreement to explore reintroducing salmon into the Canadian portion of the Upper Columbia River Basin.

They hope to restore fish stocks to support indigenous food, and social and ceremonial needs, according to a joint announcement.

The effort will complement current negotiations between Canada and the U.S. on modernizing the Columbia River Treaty. Whether and how much the agreements will impact irrigation water availability in the region remains up in the air.

Canada’s federal government is working closely with British Columbia and the tribes to shape its approach to the negotiations, according to the announcement.

“We agreed to discuss fish reintroduction with Canada,” a representative for the U.S. State Department Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs said in an email to the Capital Press. “We understand the issue of fish reintroduction is important to many Columbia Basin tribes and residents.”

Currently, flow augmentation from U.S. projects, supported by releases from Canadian Treaty projects, improve conditions for out-migrating juvenile salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River, the representative said.

“Maintaining and improving the health of existing stocks of anadromous fish in the Columbia Basin through sound management is an essential prerequisite to any meaningful consideration of reintroduction into blocked areas in the future,” the representative added.

The move to establish fish runs above the Grand Coulee Dam would first impact that dam and Chief Joseph Dam, said Derek Sandison, state Department of Agriculture director and former director of the state Department of Ecology’s Office of the Columbia River.

Construction of Grand Coulee Dam in the 1930s and 1940s blocked salmon from reaching the Upper Columbia River in Canada, leading to the extirpation of salmon stocks in those areas.

Bringing the salmon back would require an upstream adult salmon migration component and a downstream juvenile salmon component, Sandison told the Capital Press.

The specific methods used for each would potentially have effects on the water supply and flood-risk management, he said. Lake Roosevelt plays a large role in managing downstream flood risk. During years of high runoff, spring lake levels are significantly lowered to hold a large influx of water and prevent downstream flooding.

“In terms of downstream migration, the question is can you maintain a viable outlet for juveniles as the lake is fluctuated to that degree?” he said.

Sandison expects the impacts on agriculture to become clear as the methods are proposed.

“I don’t think there’s enough information now to make any kind of definitive judgment,” he said.

Ecosystem function was included in both the U.S. and Canadian regional recommendations for the treaty, primarily focusing on river flow more than fish passage, Sandison said.

He doesn’t expect the new agreement to make treaty negotiations more difficult.

The next round of negotiations is Sept. 10-11 in Cranbrook, B.C.

Restoring anadromous fish such as salmon was discussed extensively in 2012-2013 during formulation of the regional recommendations and sovereign review, Sandison said.

“It’s been talked about a lot,” he said.

The department is following the discussions, Sandison said.

“We need more specifics to be able to determine what the impacts might be to agriculture,” he said.

Capture and translocation operations are now complete for 2019 with 101 mountain goats moved from Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest to the northern Cascade Mountains.

Since September 2018, a total of 275 mountain goats have been translocated. An additional two-week capture and translocation period is planned for summer 2020.

The effort is a partnership among the National Park Service, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Forest Service to re-establish and assist in connecting depleted populations of mountain goats in the Washington Cascades while also removing non-native goats from the Olympic Mountains.

Though some mountain goat populations in the North Cascades have recovered since the 1990s, the species is still absent or rare in many areas of its historic range.

Mountain goats were introduced to the Olympics in the 1920s.

Former television environmental reporter Alison Morrow and former congressional staffer Ryan Rodruck joined the Department of Natural Resources’ communications team this week.

Both will be located in DNR’s Ellensburg office and will serve the communications and outreach needs of the agency’s Southeast and Northeast regions, which encompass all counties east of the Cascades.

“I’m thrilled that the work we are doing at DNR has led such talented professionals to join our team,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “We are making great progress in eastern Washington fighting wildfire, creating healthy forests, and supporting local schools and economies. The addition of Alison and Ryan will help us better tell these stories and increase our partnership with local communities.”

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has scheduled three online, interactive webinars this September and October to discuss planning and management for wolf populations once they are no longer listed as endangered in the state.

“We know that wolves are a huge topic of interest to the public and we want to hear everyone’s input, in a respectful and productive way, on how to manage them,” said department Director Kelly Susewind. “These digital open houses will allow anyone who is interested to learn about Washington’s wolves, ask questions, and find out how to provide feedback on the topic.”

While public comment won’t be accepted during the webinars, the goal is to both educate about wolves and share ways that people can voice their thoughts to the department concerning wolf management. Comments will help to inform the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process that will be used to develop a post-recovery plan for wolves.

Interactive webinars are set for noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, and 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15.

There was one earlier webinar Tuesday, Sept. 17.

Everyone is welcome to take part in these webinars. They can be accessed by going to the department’s website,, and clicking on a link there.

There are other ways to participate in the department’s scoping process. The department is accepting comments via an online survey, online commenting and in writing by mailing to Lisa Wood, WDFW – Wolf Post-Recovery Plan Scoping, P.O. Box 43200, Olympia, WA 98504-3200.

Al Camp is the sports editor at The Chronicle. Email him at

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