Brewster brings in a motivational speaker

Omak High School’s September athletes of the month are Sidney Nicholas and Evan Porter.

“Sidney Nichols has made major improvements in her strength, work ethic, and abilities both mentally and physically,” said volleyball coach Shannon O’Dell. “She is an instrumental part of our team. She has really embraced the importance of team unity and has risen above what I want to see as a team captain.

“She has worked really hard this season to always be pushing to do better and encourages her teammates this way also. She is also one of our leading players in kills and serves. All around, she is a big asset to our team.”

“Evan Porter has come a long way since I started coaching him in cross country in sixth grade, both physically and mentally as a cross country runner,” said cross country coach Sean Kato. “This season his teammates voted him as one of their team captains, and he is successfully helping to lead the boys cross country team by example.

“He frequently gives advice to the younger runners on the team and has a caring attitude. He has trained very hard over the last year and is consistently one of Omak’s top two runners this season.”

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Brewster Middle School has invited The Cuban Guy, a motivational speaker, to address the student body in an assembly at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, in the middle school gym.

He states on his website (reach.thecubanguy.com) that the ability to motivate others is crucial, but not as crucial as the ability to motivate yourself, said Brewster athletic director Greg Austin.

“He will talk about his childhood, fleeing Cuba without his parents and landing on the streets of Miami, to living his dream now,” said Austin. “He will also set aside an hour to talk to the parents at 6:30 p.m. in the middle school gym as well.

“We welcome all parents to come and hear this inspirational speaker. Our goal is that his words will motivate all of us from student, staff and parents.”

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The entire state Department of Fish and Wildlife public access site at Roses Lake near Manson in Chelan County will be closed Oct. 14-18 for paving.

The work is part of ongoing improvements to the site that includes repaving, replacing the old toilet with a new Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant one, and cutting in trail to provide more shoreline fishing opportunities.

The improvements are funded by a grant from the state Recreation and Conservation Office, said Staci Lehman, communications manager for eastern Washington with the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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Lisa Turner and Boyd Walton produced a 300 pinochle plus a round robin during pinochle on Tuesday, Oct. 8, at the Eagles in Okanogan.

High scores: 8,300, Valerie Murray. 7,410, Boyd Walton. 7,160, Dee Tarnowski.

Partners with 300 pinochle: Lisa Turner and Boyd Walton; Dick Fuller and Gail Norman; Pat Byrd and George Dunckel; Debbie Nuehring and Dee Tarnowski; Dick Fuller and Ida Laurie; Boyd Walton and Alvin Wadkins; Lisa Turner and Tim Norman; Pat Byrd and Ida Laurie; Alvin Wadkins and Mike Serles.

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The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to hear updates on wolf, cougar and bear management, and a number of proposed revisions to fishing regulations at its meetings Oct. 18-19.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, will meet at the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E., Olympia.

Fish managers will brief the commission on a number of proposed changes to fishing regulations, including opening a section of the Colville River to year-round fishing, updates to recreational sturgeon fishing, and the latest round of the department’s rule simplification proposals affecting marine fish, shellfish and forage fish.

Commissioners will also hear an update on the implementation of House Bill 1579, which directs the department to adopt rules liberalizing the bag limits for bass, walleye and catfish in many waters throughout the state. This language was passed in part to implement task force recommendations meant to increase the abundance of Chinook salmon for the endangered southern resident killer whale population.

The commission will hear public testimony on all of the proposals; the public can also comment electronically at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/season-setting.

On Friday, the commission will take public comment on proposed land transactions to protect fish and wildlife habitat and to enhance public recreation opportunities. The land transactions include the 560-acre final phase of the Grayland property in Grays Harbor County and a 900-acre addition to the Cowiche property in Yakima County.

The commission also will hear a briefing and public comment on proposed amendments to the spring black bear rule (WAC 220-415-080). The proposed amendments include minor permit adjustments in southeast Washington game management units, mandatory check-in of bears harvested and some boundary clarifications.

During Saturday’s meeting, staff will brief the commission on current cougar management. The briefing will include how the department currently manages cougars, the science behind it and comparison to neighboring states.

A full agenda is available online at wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/meetings. TVW will live stream the meetings at tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2019101048 (Friday) and tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2019101051 (Saturday).

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Some of Washington’s most popular hunting seasons got underway Oct. 12, when modern firearm deer hunters and waterfowl hunters took to the field.

“Overall, hunters should expect good opportunities for mule deer along the east slopes of the Cascades in Chelan and Okanogan counties, good opportunities for white-tailed deer in northeast Washington, and good to excellent opportunities for black-tailed deer throughout western Washington,” said Brock Hoenes, state Department of Fish and Wildlife deer and elk section manager.

While hunting prospects in many areas are good, some deer and elk populations are rebuilding, added Hoenes.

“Opportunities will be limited for elk hunters in eastern Washington this year, but elk hunters west of the Cascades can expect seasons similar to last year, with the best opportunities being associated with the Willapa Hills and Mount St. Helens elk herds,” said Hoenes.

“All indications are the black-tailed deer and most elk populations west of the Cascades have remained stable,” said Hoenes. “Severe weather and wildfire events in recent years have contributed to declines in some of Washington’s deer and elk herds in eastern Washington and populations remain below historical levels. The department has restricted doe and cow harvest in those areas to rebuild those herds.”

The department also employs management practices like prescribed burning and forest thinning on its wildlife areas to reduce risks of wildfire and improve big game habitat.

Waterfowl season takes flight in mid-October as well. Duck, goose, coot and snipe seasons opened on Oct. 12.

“Hunters have been among the nation’s largest contributors to conservation, donating time and paying for programs that benefit America’s wildlife -- and all who enjoy the outdoors,” said Eric Gardner, wildlife program director and waterfowl hunter. “Now is a great time to celebrate our hunting tradition. I’m anticipating a great year and I look forward to getting out and hunting with my new dog.”

“Favorable habitat conditions and breeding pair counts from Washington, Alaska, and portions of Canada indicate a strong fall flight,” said Kyle Spragens, waterfowl manager.

“Weather is a key ingredient to successful waterfowl hunting, but is the most difficult to anticipate,” added Spragens. “Waterfowl hunters have a first chance on local birds until the northern birds are ushered into the state from Alaska and Canada by low pressure weather systems. Things seem to be shaping up nicely with early season rains and colder temperatures settling into the north.”

Spragens reminds hunters to know the rules and how to identify species. The exceptions to October waterfowl hunting openings include dusky Canada goose hunting, which is closed to harvest. Brant season in Skagit County, determined by the midwinter waterfowl survey, is also currently closed, but may open on selected dates in January. Scaup season is also currently closed but opens on Nov. 2.

Wetland management on the Columbia Basin Wildlife Area and practice of planting grains for waterfowl on lands such as the Samish Wildlife Area Unit in Skagit County, among other management actions across the state, support healthy waterfowl populations.

Reviewing the department’s 2019 Hunting Prospects reports (https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/locations/prospects) can help hunters find their spot. The Hunting Prospects include local information on what upcoming seasons may hold.

Information on access to more than one million acres of private land can be found at the Private Lands Hunting Access page (https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/locations/private-lands). Hunters can also find information on public or private lands open to hunting by visiting the department’s hunt planner webmap (https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/.)

Hunters can purchase their licenses at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov, at any of the department’s 600 license dealers (https://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/), or by calling the licensing customer service number at 360-902-2464.

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The Brewster School Board approved Sept. 23 high school basketball head coaches this winter as Michael Taylor for boys and Stephanie Schertenleib for girls.

Also for boys are Eric Hersman for junior varsity, Jacob Schofstoll for C-squad, Kyle Woelber for eighth grade, Billy Bosch for seventh grade and Wade Gebbers as middle school boys’ volunteer.

Also for girls are Kristina Gebbers for junior varsity, Rafael Sanchez for C-squad, Dylan Gamble for eighth grade and Dan Vassar for seventh grade.

Fisheries managers are seeking public comments through Oct. 17 on a state proposal to reinstate a year-round fishing season on the Colville River in northeast Washington.

To review and comment on the proposal, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/season-setting.

Under the proposal, the Colville River, from its mouth upstream to the bridge at the town of the Valley including Meyers Falls Reservoir, would be open year-round for fishing for gamefish.

Statewide stream rules for minimum size and daily limit would apply.

This stretch previously was open year-round but was changed in 2018 to opening a Saturday before Memorial Day through Oct. 31 season to better align with stream seasons statewide.

Anglers have asked the department to reinstate a year-round fishing season on this stretch of the river, noting the river is now closed during an optimal time for trout fishing in late winter and early spring, said Bill Baker, regional biologist with the department.

“In the late spring and summer, water conditions make for challenging fishing opportunities,” Baker said. “We don’t see a conservation issue with re-opening this section of river to fishing year-round.”

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission also will hear testimony on the proposal during its Oct. 18-19 meeting in Olympia. For the specific day and time, check the commission’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission.

The commission, which sets policy for the department, is expected to take action on the proposal at its meeting in December. If the commission approves this change, the rule will take effect in early 2020.

Most of the Columbia River closed to all recreational salmon and steelhead fishing on Sept. 26.

The closure comes at the tail end of a challenging year on the Columbia that saw low returns for many salmon and steelhead runs, said Bill Tweit, special assistant with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Fishery managers still expect to meet conservation goals laid out at the beginning of the year.

“Despite record low numbers of summer steelhead, and poor ocean conditions, we have worked hard to offer meaningful fall Chinook fisheries in the Columbia, both above and below Bonneville,” Tweit said. “Offering those opportunities while meeting conservation guidelines is always a difficult balancing act, and one that we take very seriously.”

Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon will have to reduce the Columbia River commercial harvest to account for the number of upriver bright Chinook caught during the fall season.

The closure extends from a line projected from Rocky Point on the Washington bank through Red Buoy 44 to navigation marker 2 at Tongue Point on the Oregon bank, upstream to Highway 395 in Pasco.

The Hanford Reach salmon fishery will remain open as it is not affected by the rule change.

Steelhead fishing will also close in these same areas, as the upriver steelhead run size is below forecast, and several hatchery programs within the Snake and Clearwater river basins are projected to fall short of broodstock collection goals.

CORRECTION: Taylor Meyers was the Okanogan goalkeeper in the overtime loss to Cascade on Oct. 3.

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

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