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The Warden's Words

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Spring fishing and honey-dos

    It definitely feels like spring has finally arrived. Runoff is clouding the water and roads are somewhat passable. Geese on the nest, Wood ducks on the ponds and two days of sunshine in a row. It appears that a few of the Snowbirds are starting to arrive, also. This is the time of year when I get really torn between the things I need to do and those things I want to do. I suspect that this type of indecision hits most of us during the spring. The problem only arises in the choice we make.
    I look at my yard and see a dozen things that need to be done. The raking of last fall along with clean up of trees that went down this winter. Hauling the entire mess to my burn spot and waiting for a suitably wet day to torch it and roast a marshmallow. Not only do I have my own list for spring, but the wife also has a “honey-do” list for me to do. For some unknown reason I find it necessary to do my list, but the wife’s list is something to plot against and wriggle out of doing. It seems like when it comes time to take on the “honey-do” list the sun is shining and I just have to check anglers or I hope the phone will ring and I will just have to answer the call. It just seems to me there is no choice between a chore at home or leaning up against a rock with the sun in your face, your fishing line stretched out in front of you and your child asking you what type of snake is this. It just couldn’t get any better than that.
    For those wishing to be fishing you missed a fine week of possibilities. The daytime temperatures have been slowly climbing up and the wind has slowly been dying down. Most of the lakes are all ice free now and providing some excellent suppers. The rivers open to fishing are generally running a little high and muddy, but those that have the experience have still been catching. There have been some good days on the Clark Fork River with some 20-pound rainbows being caught. Those doing the catching there are using roe and bouncing along the bottom. You will catch some Bull trout so be gentle and put them back. Out on the big lake mac fishing has slowed down and a few large rainbows (22lbs) have been taken near the surface. As always those fishing the mud line seem to be doing the best. Antelope lake is just as quiet and peaceful as always. The fishing was great just after ice off, but as usual it has started to slow down. It looked like even the ospreys were having a problem finding dinner. Folks have started to fish Denton Slough with some success on the perch and bullheads. Most of the lakes south of Sandpoint have been producing some nice fish and the hatchery crew has been hard at it planting fish like crazy. Maybe next time I will introduce you to the hatchery crewmembers you see delivering your fish.
    This is the part were I get to whine again. Along with the nice weather and the fishing comes a bug. This bug seems to be with us no matter where we go. It is easy to spot because it leaves its droppings everywhere. This particular bug can take a beautiful scene and make it ugly. Of course I talk of the litterbug. To walk along the shore of a lake with your family and find beer cans and bottles, worm containers, discarded fishing line, cigarette packs, food wrappers and various other objects both in and out of the water is, at the very least, very discouraging. These public areas belong to all of us and I do not care to have some idiot soiling my yard.     Fortunately for us we do have some great folks out there that have started carrying plastic bags with them so that they can clean up certain areas. My hat is off to you!! The solution is to convince those folks that are too lazy to clean up after themselves that it is in their best interest to do so. I would personally enjoy spending the rest of my career ticketing those litterbugs. Maybe I will!
    Enough whining for now. I need to get this off and actually do something. So, enjoy what we have, enjoy it with the family and leave it better than when you found it.
    PS. Don’t forget to put in for your Moose controlled hunt permit by April 30th.

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JJ Scott JJ Scott was a Fish & Game warden for the state of Idaho, now retired

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