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Gib Mathers

Park rangers continue to interview witnesses and hiking companions of an 18-year-old Russian woman who plunged 400 feet to her death Thursday near Inspiration Point in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park. They are calling the fatal incident an accident, though it remains under investigation.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead is asking the federal government to expedite the process for delisting the grizzly bear.

Although Saturday is free fishing day, it behooves potential anglers to bone-up on Wyoming fishing regulations before wetting a fly or drowning a worm.

In conjunction with National Recreational Fishing and Boating Week, free fishing days are designed to educate folks about fish habits and the means to catch fish, said the Wyoming Game and Fish Department 2012-13 fishing regulations.

Gloom and doom is not in the immediate forecast for local irrigators, even though the mountain snow pack is nearly depleted.

As of Monday, the snow water equivalent in the Shoshone River basin was at 60 percent of the 30-year average, compared to 145 percent on the same date last year. The Big Horn River basin is worse — 57 percent, compared to 224 percent May 21, 2011. The good news is the Big Horn Basin is faring better than most of Wyoming, with the exceptions of the Madison and Yellowstone river basins at 78 and 73 percent respectively. The Upper Bear River basin was melted out, and the statewide SWE average stood at 22 percent.

The Cody Elk Group has completed its work. The group’s recommendations will be presented to the Cody Game and Fish office in the near future, then to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission.
Although there are nearly 2,000 more elk in the Cody Elk herd than the population objective set by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, calf birth and survival rates are low in some areas.

Lousy luck is as good a reason as any to explain a barn fire that killed some stock and two dogs Thursday night in Clark.
A pony, a ewe, two lambs and two dogs succumbed to the blaze off Road 1AB on Line Creek, near the Shoshone National Forest boundary.

April 10, 2012 7:47 am

Reservoirs holding steady

Snow is melting quickly in the Absaroka Mountains, but so far reservoirs in the Big Horn Basin are filling or are expected to do so.

Water storage in the local big three reservoirs — Buffalo Bill, Boysen and Big Horn/Yellowtail — is looking pretty good.

Yellowstone Lake cutthroat trout may be increasing ever so slightly, and that is welcome news. But efforts to decimate lake trout must continue with dogged determination, experts say.

According to rough estimates, between 300,000 and 400,000 non-native adult lake trout dwell in Yellowstone Lake. To save cutthroats, the lake must be rid of the intruding lake trout and their spawn.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department posted a draft addendum to the Wyoming Gray Wolf Management Plan, mostly in response to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s peer review panel summary report proposing delisting the wolf.

The addendum clarifies how Wyoming will maintain a sustainable wolf population, said Mark Bruscino, statewide supervisor of the large carnivore management section.

But legal challenges likely to continue

Gov. Matt Mead signed Wyoming’s wolf management bill Wednesday, following nearly unanimous support of the bill by both houses of the Wyoming Legislature.

Senate File 41 sticks closely to the agreement Mead hammered out with the federal government last fall. It would allow predator zones in much of the state and a trophy game area in a portion of northwest Wyoming, where a license would be required to hunt the canines.