Outdoor briefs: WMA comment period extended

Comment period extended on WMAs

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has extended the public comment period on proposed management plans for the state’s 32 wildlife management areas.

Each plan is available for review and comment on Fish and Game’s website at fishandgame.idaho.gov/wma.

The plans are often more than 100 pages long and some reviewers asked for more time to be able to evaluate them carefully. The deadline to provide comments has been extended to June 10.

These plans are revised periodically to reflect changes in habitat and to identify new management priorities and actions.

Comments may be submitted on the website or mailed to Idaho Fish and Game, P.O. Box 25, Boise, ID 83707.

Parks requiring 2 boating permits

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks are now requiring separate permits for non-motorized boats.

In previous years, each park honored the other’s permits, even though a Yellowstone permit only cost $10 a season. Grand Teton charged $20.

The Jackson Hole News &Guide reported the change came about because Yellowstone officials have begun requiring boat inspections for invasive aquatic species.

A Yellowstone spokesman says the park wants boaters to get a Yellowstone permit to make sure the inspection is done.

Grand Teton has required such inspections for several years.

25,000 steelhead released in break-in

SEATTLE (AP) — Someone released an estimated 25,000 juvenile steelhead during a break-in at a fish hatchery east of Seattle — and some are wondering if a disgruntled angler might be to blame.

Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife recently announced that it would not release hatchery steelhead into any Puget Sound rivers but one this spring, after a conservation group sued over the hatchery program.

While fishing fans are happy to catch the hatchery-raised steelhead, the Duvall-based Wild Fish Conservancy argued in federal court that the hatchery fish program hinders the recovery of wild steelhead in violation of the Endangered Species Act. The break-in at the Tokul Creek hatchery was discovered Tuesday morning. In a statement, the conservation group said it deplored the vandalism and is calling on federal fisheries officials to join the investigation.

2 men charged with cheating at tourney

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Two north Alabama men are free on bond after being arrested on charges of cheating at a bass fishing tournament.

Authorities say 45-year-old Robert Gallaspie of Boaz and 37-year-old Gary Lee Minor Jr. of Albertville are charged with tampering with a sporting event.

The men turned in enough big bass to win a fishing tournament at Lake Guntersville last week.

But officials say the men took the fish out of a hidden holding tank where they had been stored before the competition began.

Tournament organizers have barred the two from future competitions.