Club offers outdoors work for teenagers

High school seniors who want to earn money for college next July but don't want to spend their summer indoors can apply with the Siskiyou Mountain Club to help clear trails in the Kalmiopsis and Soda Mountain wilderness areas.

The club is offering $1,500 in scholarship money to students willing to spend two weeks clearing trails in the Kalmiopsis that were damaged by the 2002 Biscuit fire, according to Siskiyou Mountain Club Executive Director Gabe Howe.

The program will run from July 2-16, with a mandatory orientation on June 1-2. Participants will learn how to use a crosscut saw and properly remove brush, as well as adopt strong leadership and other life skills. They'll camp in the remote Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area during the program.

Participants will receive $1,500 through their college's financial aid department. Only students attending accredited colleges starting fall 2013 are eligible. Part-time, nontraditional and community college students are encouraged to apply, Howe said.

The club also will hire youths from Southern Oregon for a 10-day crew that will work in Ashland's Soda Mountain Wilderness Area on an ecological trail-conservation project. The Soda Mountain project is tentatively set to run from July 23-Aug. 1.

Those interested can apply online for the scholarship at

Apply for the Soda Mountain jobs at

Applications will be accepted through April 30, and preference will be given to applicants who apply for both projects.

For details, contact Howe at 541-708-2056 or

Spring wild turkey season opens Saturday

Upland gamebird hunters head to the field this week with the start of the spring wild turkey season.

The season starts Saturday when young guns take to the field during the two-day youth season that predates the traditional April 15 regular spring opener.

The youth season, for hunters under the age of 18, is designed to give them a good early chance at bagging a gobbler without pressure from adults.

The youth season does not include mentored hunts, during which licensed adults can take kids hunting with the adult license and tags. That does not start until the regular season.

The season runs through May 31.

New this year is a lifting of the minimum shot size required for gamebird hunting. In the past, hunters could not use shot smaller than No. 6, but some ammunition manufacturers are now producing some very dense shot, such as No. 71/2, which would be suitable for turkey hunting, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The change was made through an emergency ruling by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, and it is scheduled to become a permanent rule with a commission vote next August, according to the agency.

Local lakes get fresh trout

A smattering of local lakes and ponds received stockings of fresh, legal-sized trout this week.

Expo Pond in Central Point on Monday received 1,300 legals, the biggest stocking there so far this year, according to Cole Rivers Hatchery, where the trout were reared.

Emigrant Lake also saw its trout population rise by 3,500 fish, while the largest stocking of the week in Jackson County came when 4,500 trout were released into Willow Lake.

Lake Selma, which is outside of Selma in Josephine County, got 5,000 legals earlier this week, as well.

Chinook still no-shows at hatchery

Last week's rains helped get winter steelhead moving in the Rogue River, but it didn't do much to push spring chinook toward Cole Rivers Hatchery.

Hatchery technicians cleaned out their fish trap Wednesday and found close to 400 winter steelhead, which had arrived since the trap was last processed April 2, hatchery Manager David Pease says.

Conspicuously missing, however, were any spring chinook. That keeps the chinook total at zero, Pease says.

But fret not, you hordes of Rogue anglers who can't wait to get your hands on a spring chinook, prized as the tastiest fish caught in Oregon freshwater.

Over the past decade, the earliest date that a springer arrived at the hatchery was March 30 in 2010, Pease says. The latest was June 3 in 2008.

Last year's first spring chinook entered the trap on May 9, and it was April 19 in 2011, Pease says.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or

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