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OUTDOORS BRIEFLY.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Alpine ski season in Cascades to hit full stride Friday

The downhill ski season in the central Cascades will be in full swing Friday, thanks to a Thanksgiving weekend series of storms that dumped almost two feet of snow on Santiam Pass. Willamette Pass Ski Area announced Monday that it will open for the season at 9 a.m. Thursday. Ray Gardner, the ski area's mountain manager, reported a snowpack of about 26 inches at the lodge Monday morning, following an overnight snowfall of about 12 inches. Almost 50 inches of snow was measured on the summit of Peak Two, he said. Willamette Pass plans to operate four days a week (Thursday-Sunday) this season. For updates, call 345-7669 or see www.willamettepass.com.

Hoodoo Ski Area opened Saturday, its earliest start in several seasons. However, the ski area will be closed as originally scheduled until Friday at 9 a.m., when it will begin operating six days a week (closed Wednesdays). Hoodoo's automated weather station reported 51 inches of snow near the summit Monday morning. Updates are available at 822-3337 or www.hoodoo.com.

Meanwhile, Mt. Bachelor Ski Area west of Bend has been operating daily since Nov. 18. It was reporting 54 inches of snow at the base Monday morning. Updates are available at www.mtbachelor.com and at (541) 382-7888.

Birds of Africa subject of tonight's Audubon program

The birds and mammals of Southern Africa will be the focus of a Lane County Audubon Society program tonight in Eugene. Dan and Anne Heyerly's presentation will include photos from the Johannesburg and Cape Town areas, Kruger National Park, the Transvaal and the Karoo in the Republic of South Africa, as well as from the Drakensburg Mountains of Lesotho. The free program begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High St.

Learn how to make seasonal evergreen wreaths

Mount Pisgah Arboretum will conduct a wreath-making workshop Sunday. Florist Bethany Little will demonstrate how to make seasonal wreaths using native evergreens, cones and other natural materials. The workshop begins at 1 p.m. in the Visitor's Center. Materials are included in the $25 fee. The event is a fundraiser for the Arboretum's Education Program. Details, pre-registration: 747-1504.

FISHING, HUNTING & WILDLIFE VIEWING

Oregon angling highlights

Rivers and streams: The Elk and Sixes Rivers have been producing very good catches of fall chinook when they are in fishable shape. Driftboaters backbouncing eggs and backtrolling plugs have had the best results. Call the Elk River Hatchery (541) 332-7025 for river reports. High waters have slowed coho fishing on the Umpqua River. The Siletz and Alsea rivers have been blown out, but may be fishable by week's end, according to Northwest River Forecast Center projections. The Columbia River Gorge remains good for sturgeon.

Lakes: Flood control reservoirs in the southern Willamette Basin all offer fair to good opportunities to catch holdover trout. The coastal lakes are also good bets for trout.

Marine zone: Good catches of surfperch are reported at Horsfall and Bullards beaches when surf conditions permit angling. Bottom fishing is also good, conditions permitting. Bay crabbing prospects are poor, due to excessive freshwater inflows.

Hunting

Timely tips: Fern Ridge Wildlife Area is open for waterfowl and upland birds; no goose hunting is allowed. Waterfowl reservation hunts are held Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings in East and West Coyote units. Hunter-harvest success in reservation hunt areas on opening day, Nov. 18, was 3.3 birds per hunter (bph) and Nov. 20 was 2.2 bph. Hunters who did not apply for reservation hunts can try to hunt on a standby basis by going to the Neilson Road check station 90 minutes before legal shooting time. On Nov. 18, all nine standby hunters got a chance to hunt and on Nov. 20, three standby hunters out of seven were able to hunt. The Fisher Butte and Royal Amazon units are open until 1 p.m. seven days a week for walk-in hunting.

Wildlife viewing

Best bets: Burrowing owls are usually associated with dry desert landscapes in southeast Oregon. There are historic records of them living in the western Oregon valleys, but they are rare now. This fascinating small, slender owl is the only bird of prey to use underground burrows. A pair of burrowing owls can often be seen during the winter months from Smithfield Road on the north side of Baskett Slough Wildlife Refuge.

Another critter associated with eastern Oregon sagebrush country, the black-tail jackrabbit, was also once common in Willamette Valley prairie habitats. Now jackrabbits can occasionally be found in young Christmas tree plantations and pastures on the west side of the Willamette Valley from Monroe south to Loraine. They are most visible at daylight and dusk.

- Compiled from ODFW and Register-Guard reports. Updates available at www.registerguard.com/news/outdoors_front.php.

CALENDAR

To submit events

Submit listings to: Outdoor Editor, P.O. Box 10188, Eugene, OR 97440, or: mstahlberg@guardnet.com. Unless otherwise noted, events are free.

Bicycling

SATURDAY

GEARS: The road-biking club plans a 50-mile ride to Creswell via Greenhill and Hamm roads. Faster riders leave Alton Baker Park at 10 a.m., slower riders at 10:30. Route details: www.eugenegears.org.

SUNDAY

GEARS: A 40-mile ride to the Crow area. Faster riders leave Alton Baker Park at 10 a.m., slower riders at 10:30.

Hiking

WEDNESDAY

The Obsidians: Margaret Prentice will lead a 6-mile hike on the McKenzie River Trail. Details, sign-up sheet at the Eugene Family YMCA, 2055 Patterson St., Eugene.

THURSDAY

The Obsidians: Marshall Kandell - 4-mile hike in the Shasta Loop/Woodson area. Details, sign-up sheet at the Eugene YMCA, 2055 Patterson St., Eugene.

SATURDAY

Altair Ski And Sports Club: 6.3-MILE Takenitch Creek hike; leave Eugene at 9 a.m. Details, RSVP: Demetri Liontos 345-0207

SUNDAY

The Obsidians: Jim Pierce - 2.5-mile Sweet Creek Falls hike. Details, sign-up sheet at the Eugene YMCA, 2055 Patterson St., Eugene.

Fishing

SATURDAY

G.I. Joe's: Tips & Tactics for Winter Steelhead seminar by Shane Groshong of Fish-On Guide Service, noon, G.I. Joe's, 1030 Greenacres Rd., Eugene.

Nature

SATURDAY

Willamette Resource Educational Network: Sponsoring a West Eugene Wetlands work party to clean up a section of Amazon Creek; meet at 10 a.m. at the Wetland Project Office, 751 S. Danebo, Eugene. Gloves will be provided.

NEXT MONDAY

North American Butterfly Association: Oregon State University entomologist Andy Moldenke will discuss pollinator ecology and the role of native bees in Western Oregon, 7:30 p.m., EWEB Training Center, 500 E. Fourth Ave., Eugene.

Paddle sports

TUESDAY

Cascade Canoe Club: Clear Lake's under-water forest and other Cascade Lakes are the subject of a slide and video presentation, 7 p.m., Room 202 at South Eugene High School.

Walking

WEDNESDAY

Mossbacks Volkssport Club: Moderately easy 7.4-mile walk in the Alton Baker Park/east Eugene area, 8:30 a.m., Willamalane Adult Activity Center, 215 West `C' St., Springfield. Details: www.mossbacks.org, or 747-6470.

Altair Ski And Sports Club: 5-mile Hendricks park walk, 9 a.m. Details, RSVP: 726-8154.

FRIDAY

Altair Ski And Sports Club: 5-mile Hendricks park walk, 9 a.m. Details, RSVP: 726-8154.

SATURDAY

Altair Ski And Sports Club: 4-mile walk on the Valley River bike path, 9 a.m. Details, RSVP: Walt Jacobsen 343-7893.
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Title Annotation:Recreation; NEWS & NOTES
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Nov 28, 2006
Words:1216
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