OUTDOORS: Storm’s toll unknown yet on West End

The west end bore the brunt of the recent rain storms with rain and meltwater smashing flood records on a number of area rivers and streams.

State Department of Fish and Wildlife staffers are getting a better look at how hatcheries handled the big water of recent days.

“Bogachiel [Hatchery] has water in several of the buildings with severely high water at Sol Duc,” Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Eryn Couch said. “Staff have been working hard to successfully maintain operations. We’ll have a better sense of any damages as we inventory equipment in the next few days.”

There’s a couple of schools of thought on what impact these record floods may have on future salmon runs.

The strength and fury of the flows was more than enough to impact the redds of wild kings or pinks, potentially scouring away nests and sending them far downstream.

Or those spawners may have been pushed up tributaries and smaller streams by the high water, inadvertently aiding the health of those water courses and improving the overall health of the ecosystem.

We will see in a few years, regardless.

Commission meets

A bit more insight into potential coastal steelhead decision making came into focus at Wednesday’s Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting.

Fish and Wildlife Director Kelly Susewind is eyeing “extremely careful or closed [seasons]” on South Coast streams, and “a little piece for everyone” up on the northern rivers.

Susewind also fell on the grenade for last winter’s blanket ban on fishing from a floating device and said he would not institute such an all-encompassing limitation this time around.

A discussion of agreed-upon fisheries will be discussed at the fourth virtual town hall meeting on coastal steelhead set for 5 p.m. Nov. 29.

To participate, visit wdfw.wa.gov/coastal-steelhead.

Gear swap

The Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Club’s gear swap fundraiser will be held outside in the Black Ball Ferry parking lot, 101 E. Railroad Ave., from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20.

The event allows outdoor sports enthusiasts to buy, sell and trade all manner of outdoor equipment including skiing, snowboarding, paddling, surfing, hiking, biking and more.

Outdoor gear such as skis, snowboards, bikes and kayaks can be dropped off at the site between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, Nov. 17-19 and from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. the day of the sale.

Shopping will run from noon to 2 p.m. and unsold gear can be picked up at 3 p.m.

Admission to the sale is $5 per individual and $8 for a family.

A Winterfest-ish winter season kickoff and happy hour will follow under 7 Cedars big-top tent from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with drinks available for purchase from The Roosevelt and winter films from Tim Stanford.

Outside food can be brought to the event.

Admission to this event is $10 per person or $25 for families.

Proceeds will fund winter sports operations at Hurricane Ridge.

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Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-406-0674 or [email protected] dailynews.com.

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