MATT SCHUBERT’S OUTDOORS: Huffing about stopping the puffing

FORGIVE MY WRITER’S block, but I’m trying to say goodbye to my Parliament Lights.

It’s hard to concentrate on much of anything — even the beloved world of sports — when the thought of a quick smoke break continually wafts around your head.

Still, this is something that has to be done; if not for my physical well-being (I’ve been told smoking is bad) than for my mental health (I’ve been told this ad nauseam since high school).

It’s bad enough when I go to the doctor to get a rash examined and receive a 10-minute diatribe on the ills of smoking instead.

But when I have to hear about it from coworkers, family members and strangers on the street, the motivation to quit quickly morphs into a desire to simply change the topic.

(Side note: Everyone has a quitting smoking story, and they are all equally boring . . . much like this column.)

So cut me a little slack during the next week or two, my dear Peninsulites.

Pardon the (increased) grammatical goofs and (increased) factual foul-ups.

The pull of the Parliaments is a strong one, especially when one quits cold turkey (my doctor pitched me Chantix, but I won’t give him the satisfaction).

And I’m doing all I can to fight it off.

Meeting approaches

If you care about fishing Lake Sutherland — and judging by all of the letters, you do — then Wednesday night is an important date.

That’s when the state Department of Fish and Wildlife will hold a public meeting in Port Angeles to discuss a five-year fishing moratorium on the Elwha River watershed.

Done in conjunction with the removal of two major dams on the Elwha, the moratorium would affect all tributaries and basins that drain into the glacial-fed river.

That could include Sutherland, which has a kokanee population that fishery managers hope to build into an annual run of sockeye salmon.

“Once those dams are gone, we’ll have a tremendous opportunity to rebuild fish runs that have been blocked from the upper river for the past century,” Fish and Wildlife regional fish manager Ron Warren said in a news release.

“A fishing moratorium would support that goal, but we want to talk to area residents before we formally propose a plan to the commission.”

Some anglers argue that a partial closure of Sutherland coinciding with the return of spawning sockeye salmon would achieve the same goal without taking away a popular Clallam County lake fishery.

They will have a chance to voice that opinion at Wednesday’s public meeting at the Peninsula College campus, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd., Port Angeles.

The meeting is set to begin at 6 p.m. in Room M-125 of the Information Technology Building.

At the meeting, resource managers from Fish and Wildlife will outline their proposal, which would begin next fall.

Written comments on the proposal will be accepted through Dec. 31.

Comments may be submitted to WDFW Rules Coordinator Lori Preuss at Lori.Preuss@dfw.wa.gov or 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501.

The National Park Service, which manages Olympic National Park, and the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe have already endorsed a five-year fishing moratorium for the fisheries they manage in the watershed.

Survivor’s events

Survivor’s Outdoor Experience — a nonprofit focused on providing outdoor opportunities to cancer survivors — will hold a pair of events open to the public this week.

• Survivor’s founder Jack Ganster will lead an interpretive walk through Dungeness Wildlife Refuge on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Hikers will trek along picturesque Dungeness Spit. A $5 donation is suggested.

• Ganster will hold a free introductory snowshoe clinic at Swain’s General Store, 602 E. First St. in Port Angeles, on Sunday at 11 a.m.

A former co-owner of Olympic Mountaineering, Ganster will cover the ins and outs of snowshoeing the winter landscapes of the Olympics.

For more information on Survivor’s, as well as each event, visit survivorsoutdoorexperience.org or phone Ganster at 360-477-1619.

________

Matt Schubert is the outdoors and sports columnist for the Peninsula Daily News. His column regularly appears on Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at matt.schubert@peninsuladailynews.com.

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