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Out & About: Spectacle bluegills released in Sprague Lake

Bluegills are panfish anglers prize for catching fun and eating quality. (Rich Landers)
Bluegills are panfish anglers prize for catching fun and eating quality. (Rich Landers)

OUTFISH – Sprague Lake recently received a plant of about 2,000 adult bluegills netted from Spectacle Lake in Okanogan County.

Marc Divens, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department warmwater fisheries biologist, said the fish should give a boost to Sprague’s struggling panfish population.

Bluegills, which are popular among anglers across the country for sport and eating, were stocked in the lake after it was rehabilitated in 2007.

“Bluegill numbers obviously are not what we hoped for by now,” Divens said, noting that few are being caught by anglers.

Surveys have found bluegills up to 9 inches long in Sprague, but the fish population is very small for some reason.

“Looking back, maybe we should have stocked bluegills every year after the rehab until they got going real well,” he said, noting that plans call for the lake to be managed primarily for largemouth bass, bluegills and channel catfish, with an interim stocked trout fishery.

Fishing advocate Bob Bates dies

OUTSTANDING – Bob Bates, 83, died on Wednesday, a week after he was at the monthly Inland Empire Fly Fishing Club meeting as curious as ever about the sport.

Bates, the consumate volunteer, was active in instructing students in his specialties from fly tying to his stint as director of the Mt. Spokane Ski School.

For more than a decade, he headed up the Spokane Fish Hatchery tours for students and groups to learn about trout.

Local Mountaineers more than climbers

OUTGROUP –  The Spokane Mountaineers, an outdoors club that’s been exploring the region’s mountains, waters and trails for nearly a century, will describe their activities in the annual Meet the Mountaineers presentation, Monday, 7 p.m. at the Spokane REI store, 1125 N. Monroe St. 

Members plan to offer a visual tour of club schools, programs and outings, including bicyling, climbing, conservation, hiking, paddling, and skiing. 

Info: 270-8867.

Arrow removed from Republic deer

OUTDONE – Washington wildlife officials are looking for ways to reduce the number of mule deer that congregate in the city limits of Republic, Wash.

But in this one case, local officials felt the poor doe deserved a second chance.

Fish and Wildlife biologists Wednesday removed an arrow stuck in the neck just under the skin of a mule deer that wanders the Ferry County town with her two fawns.

The wounding comes just a week after state officials requested local residents help them figure out ways to cull the deer.

The deer was treated and released. Cost: $1,000 including staff time, fuel, drugs and equipment.

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4 favorite Gonzaga basketball teams

The basketball court at the McCarthey Athletic Center is photographed before an NCAA college basketball game between Gonzaga and BYU, Feb. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) (Young Kwak / AP Photo)

While we look ahead to future seasons of Gonzaga Bulldog basketball , it’s fun to look at highlights from past years.