Testimonials: Idaho Angler Sets New Westslope Cowthroat Record

From staff reports

A Post Falls man caught one for the record books.

According to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Daniel Whitesitt caught and released a 25-inch westslope cutthroat trout in Idaho's portion of the Clark Fork River in mid-April, surpassing the state's previous catch-and-release record of 24 inches.

Whitesitt recorded the fish's measurements and took photos before releasing the fish on April 13 in northern Idaho.

The previous record was set in 2021 by Madison Nackos of Priest Lake, Idaho.

Westslope cutthroat is one of three cutthroat subspecies found in Idaho. They are found in rivers and some lakes in the central and northern parts of the state.

Historic properties in North Idaho are on the verge of modernization

Two historic buildings in North Idaho are set for a facelift.

The U.S. Forest Service said it is planning upgrades to the Little Guard Lookout north of Prichard and a restroom replacement for the Shoshone Park site near Mullan.

Both properties are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Forest Service is accepting public comments on both projects through Tuesday.

Patrick Lair, a spokesman for the Forest Service, said the agency plans to upgrade the roof and make some other improvements to Little Guard Lookout, located near the peak of the same name. The overlook is available to rent on

At Shoshone Park, the agency plans to replace an aging vault toilet with a newer double-stall toilet.

Lair said both projects were funded by the Idaho Panhandle National Forest's Resource Advisory Committee. Approximately $65,000 was spent on the observation tower and $135,000 was spent on replacing the toilet.

The public can view documents and provide comments on the bathroom replacement project at

For information about the Lookout Project, visit

Idaho's popular target shooting range will remain closed until June 7th

A popular shooting range east of Hayden Lake will remain closed until June 7 as logging operations continue.

The U.S. Forest Service announced it began closing the Hayden Creek shooting pit about 4 miles southeast of Highway 95 on Monday.

The closure is intended to prevent people from shooting at workers who are part of the Kootenai Fuel Reduction Project, a multi-year effort to thin out timber materials and limit wildfire risk at the wildland-urban interface.

In response, the Fernan Rod and Gun Club is expanding its offering of public shooting days during the closure.

For those 18 and older, the club charges $10 per shooter. People under 18 can shoot for free.

North Idaho section of trail closed due to logging operations

A 3.5-mile hiking trail near Burnt Cabin Summit in Idaho will remain closed through July because loggers cut down trees in the area.

The U.S. Forest Service announced in a news release that the portion of the Huckleberry Trail east of Burnt Cabin Summit will be closed to all travel until July 1 at 4 p.m.

The closure extends from the trail's intersection with Forest Service Road 206 to the intersection with Forest Service Road 1587.

Forest Service officials wrote in the news release that the closure was to protect the public as loggers cut down trees in the area.

The Spokane Audubon program focuses on chickadees and nuthatches

A wildlife biologist will give a talk to the Spokane Audubon Society next week about two well-known backyard birds found in Northeast Washington.

According to a news release from Audubon, Mike Munts, biologist at Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge, will give a presentation on the life cycles of chickadees and nuthatches that live in the refuge east of Colville.

He will discuss three species of each bird – black-capped, mountain and chestnut-backed tits, as well as red-breasted, white-breasted and pygmy nuthatches.

Munts is originally from Sandpoint. Before working in the preserve, he spent 14 years with the National Park Service in Washington, Idaho and Alaska.

The public meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Finch Arboretum, 3404 W. Woodland Boulevard. It will also be streamed online via Zoom. The link is available at

Anna Harden

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