PERCH PARTY CANCELED AT ROCKPORT STATE PARK
Peoa- Due to ice conditions, the perch party at Rockport State Park scheduled for Saturday, January 21 is canceled. For information on current conditions, please call (435) 336-2241.

Volunteers Needed to Teach Kids How to Fish

Adult volunteers are needed to teach six- to 13-year-olds about fish and fishing in communities stretching from Logan to Salem. Volunteers will be helping the Division of Wildlife Resources and the communities with their community fishing programs.

Youth fishing clubs have been established in Logan, Brigham City, Ogden, Roy, Syracuse, Clinton, Clearfield, Farmington, Bountiful, Murray, South Jordan, Orem, Spanish Fork and Salem in 2006, and each club needs volunteers to help.

Volunteer training will be held in each community in February. The training takes about one evening to complete. The clubs of about 40 to 80 children each will be formed by April and will meet for about eight weeks.

To volunteer, or for more information, call Andrew Cushing, community fisheries biologist for the DWR, at (801) 538-4774 or send an e-mail to him at andrewcushing@utah.gov

Anyone Can Help

While patience and good communication and teaching skills are needed, Cushing says adults don't need a lot of fishing experience to volunteer. "Regardless of the person's fishing skills, after the training I'm sure they'll feel completely comfortable getting together with their youth fishing club," he said.

After training, volunteers will spend about two hours once a week, through the spring and/or summer, teaching children about fish and fishing by fishing with them at a local water.

Cushing says many rewards await those who volunteer. "When they see the look on a kid's face, the first time that child catches a fish, it'll probably make their whole summer," he said.

Youth Fishing Clubs Growing in Popularity

Over the past five years, more than 5,000 kids have graduated from Utah's eight-week youth fishing program. And the number of kids who want to participate continues to grow.

Cushing says city recreation departments are starting to offer fishing as a sport, and that's the main reason for the clubs' growing popularity. "For the first time, fishing has found its way into mainstream sports, right along with soccer, baseball and football," he said.

Cushing says the popularity of the clubs has led to some challenges. "The number of kids who can participate is tied directly to the number of adults who volunteer to help," he said. "If we don't get enough volunteers, some of the kids who want to participate this year won't be able to."

Big Game Hunting Applications Available by Jan. 17

A Division of Wildlife Resources official has some advice for those who apply for 2006 Utah big game hunting permits.

Beginning Jan. 17, applications for general buck deer, limited entry, once-in-a-lifetime and Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit hunts will be available from hunting and fishing license agents statewide, the Division of Wildlife Resources' Web site (wildlife.utah.gov) and DWR offices.

To be included in the draw for permits, applications must be received through the mail or an overnight mail service no later than 5 p.m. on Feb. 16, or through the DWR's Web site no later than 11 p.m. on Feb. 16.

Based on the number of applications received last year, DWR officials expect to receive almost 190,000 applications. Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the DWR, has some tips hunters can follow to help ensure their application is included in the draw:

* Apply Early

Applying early is the best thing hunters can do to ensure their application is entered in the draw and save themselves time and frustration in the process.

"Most of the hunters who apply on the Internet wait until the last week to apply. Thousands of people trying to apply at the same time really slows the system down," she said. "If you apply early in the application period, it should take less than five minutes to submit your application."

Tutorow encourages hunters to include an e-mail address when they apply online. "Having an e-mail address allows us to send a confirmation to you so you can double-check and make sure you entered your information correctly," she said. "Also, we'll send an e-mail to you in April, letting you know whether you drew a permit."

Hunters who submit paper applications also are encouraged to apply early. "It takes a few days for a paper application to arrive in their mail, so make sure you mail it far enough in advance that we receive it by 5 p.m. on Feb. 16," she said. "Also, if there's an error on your application, but we receive it by 5 p.m. on Feb. 9, you'll receive a correction letter and a chance to correct and resubmit your application."

* Write Your Credit Card Number Correctly

Incorrect credit card information is the biggest reason applications are rejected. Tutorow advises hunters to write their credit card number slowly and clearly (so the people receiving the application can read it) and to double-check that they wrote the number correctly. Also, credit cards must be valid through May 2006 to be used as payment.

Tutorow also wants to make hunters aware of the following:

* Fifteen percent of the general buck deer permits in each region have been set aside for youth hunters who will be 18 years old or younger on Aug. 19 (the start of Utah's 2006 general archery buck deer hunt). This should give youth hunters a better chance of drawing a Southern Region permit. Youth hunters who apply as part of a group will not be included in the 15 percent, however, so youths who want the best chance of obtaining a Southern Region permit are encouraged to apply individually.

* Lifetime license holders can now go the DWR's Web site (wildlife.utah.gov) to complete their lifetime license questionnaire and select the general season deer region they want to hunt. Lifetime license holders must submit their questionnaire and select their region hunt choice by Feb. 16 to be guaranteed a deer hunting permit for the region of their choice.

* Hunters who obtained a 2005 limited entry or once-in-a-lifetime permit, but did not report their harvest success, may not apply for a 2006 big game permit. Hunters who have questions about this requirement may call the Utah Wildlife Administrative Services office at 1-800-221-0659 for more information.

License Fee Increases Approved by Utah Wildlife Board

Salt Lake City -- Funding needed to keep Utah's wildlife populations healthy and properly managed would be received by the Division of Wildlife Resources through license fee increases approved by the Utah Wildlife Board on Jan. 5.

Before the fees become official, they must be approved by the Utah Legislature. The fee increases would provide the DWR with as much as $2 million in additional funding.

"If we don't receive the additional funding, we'll have to make significant budget cuts that will include reducing the number of employees," said Jim Karpowitz, director of the DWR. "If we lose that budget money and those employees, the state's wildlife will suffer."

Most of the license fee increases approved by the board are less than $5. "The fee increases have also been spread out, so no single group of hunters or anglers will be impacted more than another group," Karpowitz said.

A complete list of the proposed license fee increases is available at the DWR's Web site ( http://www.wildlife.utah.gov/news/06-01/fees.pdf ). The following is a partial list:

Current Rate Proposed Rate

Resident Fishing License $26 $28
(14 to 64 years of age)

Resident Small Game License $17 $20
(14 years of age and older)

Resident Combination License $34 $37
(12 years of age and older)

Resident General Season Deer Permit $40 $45

Big Game Application Fee $5 $10

Karpowitz says the fee increases are needed because of pay increases and other salary-related issues, the increased cost of gasoline and an overall increase in the cost to manage Utah's wildlife.

"What most people don't realize is that we receive very little money from the state's general fund, which is money the taxpayers provide," he said. "Almost all of the funding we receive to manage Utah's wildlife comes from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses and a federal excise tax that people pay when they buy hunting and fishing equipment.

"We need this additional funding to continue to manage Utah's wildlife properly," he said. "If we don't receive the additional funding, wildlife in the state will suffer."

Spring Bear Hunting Approved

Salt Lake City -- Fewer female bears should be taken in Utah during the 2006 hunting season after the Utah Wildlife Board approved a recommendation that will allow more of the state's black bear hunting to be held in the spring.

The spring portion of the hunt will run from April 8 to May 31. A total of 172 permits will be available for the spring hunt.

The fall portion of the hunt will run from Aug. 26 to Sept. 30 and Nov. 1 to Nov. 26. A total of 70 permits will be available for the fall hunt.

The 242 permits available for the spring and fall hunts are an increase of four permits over the 238 permits that were available for Utah's 2005 hunt. An additional 13 permits also will be given to several Indian tribes in Utah this year.

Applications for 2006 black bear hunting permits will be available by Feb. 1. Applications must be received no later than Feb. 28 to be included in the draw for permits. Draw results will be available by March 29.

Spring Bear Hunt

Switching more of Utah's black bear hunting to the spring should result in hunters taking fewer female bears.

"For the past five years, we've conducted an experimental spring bear hunt on three hunting units to compare the number of female bears taken in the spring with the number of females taken on four fall-hunting units," said Kevin Bunnell, mammals program coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "The four fall units chosen for the experiment were close to the spring units and had bear populations that were similar in size."

The results from the five-year experiment are encouraging. On the four spring units, 21 percent of the bears taken by hunters were females. On the four fall units, 31 percent of the bears taken were females.

"Switching more of Utah's black bear hunting from the fall to the spring should result in hunters taking fewer females, and that should lead to an even healthier bear population in Utah," Bunnell said.

Spring hunting reduces the number of females taken by hunters two ways.

"Male bears usually come of their dens in the spring earlier than females, so it's more likely hunters will encounter male bears in the spring," he said. "Also, a female bear's cubs stay close to her in the spring. When hunters see cubs close to a bear, they know they've found a female."

For more information, contact the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.

National Hunting and Fishing Day Adds Another New Partner: Woolrich

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.--Woolrich, the original outdoor clothing company and a brand long supportive of sportsman-based conservation, has officially joined the renaissance of National Hunting and Fishing Day.

The company has offered a sponsorship package to help return the federally recognized holiday to its early glory as the most successful sporting campaign in American history.

The movement to energize the 35th annual commemoration, set for Sept. 23, 2006, is being driven by Wonders of Wildlife, the National Fish and Wildlife Museum and Aquarium. Based in Springfield, Mo., the official home of National Hunting and Fishing Day is the only hunting- and fishing-focused facility that's both affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution and accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.

Partners include the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which founded National Hunting and Fishing Day, The Outdoor Channel, Bass Pro Shops and Realtree. More are expected to come on board to help unify America's hunters and anglers into the cohesive force that hallmarked early years of the celebration.

"We are honored to partner with Woolrich in re-energizing this celebration of our hunting and angling heritage," said Tony Schoonen, Wonders of Wildlife executive director. "Woolrich is a company who cares about the preservation of this heritage and the conservation of our natural resources."

"Woolrich is committed to helping ensure a future for the American traditions of hunting and angling," said Tim Joseph, director of marketing and media for Woolrich, Inc. "We believe National Hunting and Fishing Day is important to raising awareness and engaging more youth and families in the great outdoors."

Country music star Tracy Byrd has been named honorary chairman for National Hunting and Fishing Day 2006. Byrd also served that role in 2005.

National Hunting and Fishing Day, formalized by Congress in 1971, was created by NSSF to celebrate the conservation successes of hunters and anglers. From shopping center exhibits to statewide expos, millions of citizens learned to appreciate America's sportsman-based system of conservation funding. That system now generates more than $1.7 billion per year, benefiting all who appreciate wildlife and wild places.

National Hunting and Fishing Day is observed on the fourth Saturday of every September.

For more information, visit http://www.nhfday.org .



LITHICS ID WORKSHOP AT EDGE OF THE CEDARS STATE PARK MUSEUM

Blanding - Ever find an arrowhead and wonder how old it is, how it was made, or who made it? On Saturday, January 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum and the Utah Site Stewardship Program host a free Lithics Identification Workshop presented by USDA Forest Service Archeologist Don Irwin. The workshop will be held at Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum in Blanding.

The term lithics refers collectively to pre-Columbian (prehistoric) tools, such as grinding tools and projectile points (commonly called arrowheads), manufactured from a variety of stone materials. At this workshop, participants will learn about the stages and strategies of stone tool manufacture, different material types, and basic field identification. Please note: this workshop is not a flint knapping class.

The Lithics Identification Workshop is a FREE PUBLC EVENT. To participate, please register by contacting Liam Downey at liamdowney@utah.gov or call 435-678-2238.

UTAH STATE PARKS SNOWMOBILE GROOMING REPORT

Below are current grooming conditions as of Tuesday, January 3. Utah State Parks staff encourages all riders to carry appropriate avalanche gear and get an avalanche advisory at 1-800-OHV-RIDE or http://www.avalanche.org .

Logan Canyon
One foot of new snow in the higher elevations.

Amazon - December 30
Beaver Creek - December 30
Cottonwood - not enough snow to groom
Franklin Basin - December 30
Garden City - December 26
Temple Canyon - not enough snow to groom
Tony Grove - December 30
Sinks Trail - December 26
Swan Flat - December 29

Hardware Ranch
Hardware Ranch north through Strawberry, then north to the Hodges Canyon turnaround, then south to Mill Hollow, cross country to Elk Valley GS and then east to Strawberry - December 30.

Monte Cristo
47 inches of snow at Dry Bread Pond and 57 inches at Monte Cristo.

Curtis Creek Loop - January 1
Highway 39 - December 31
Highway 39, Arbs Basin, Ant Flat to Rocking C - December 30
Highway 39, Arbs Basin, Wasatch Ridge, Ant Flat to Scare Canyon - December 29

Wasatch Mountain
Snow conditions are good at higher elevations, however snow is melting fast at trailheads due to warm weather and rain.

Snake Creek Canyon - December 27
Cummings Parkway to Cascade Springs - December 27
Pole Line Pass in American Fork Canyon - December 27
Cascade Springs Road has not yet been groomed due to lack of snow

Mirror Lake / Mill Hollow
Temperatures have been very warm and the grooming conditions have been terrible. Even with warm temperatures, the trails are in decent shape. Recent storms dropped approximately eight inches of snow and riding conditions are improving.

Bear River Service to Whitney
No new report

Uintah Basin
No new report

Scofield/ Joe's Valley/ Skyline Drive
North Skyline has 25 inches of snow at the trailhead at Fairview top.
The trail is scheduled for grooming January 3.

Fish Creek Ridge has 25 inches and is scheduled for grooming January 3.

Tucker/Starvation/Pondtown has four to 10 inches at the trailheads and 25 inches on top. Tucker Trail was last groomed December 23.
Starvation and Pondtown may be groomed January 4 depending on snow depth.
Be advised that Pondtown has some marked dangerous hazards approximately three miles from the trailhead.

White River has 10 inches at the trailhead and 25 inches on top.

Miller's Flat has 23 inches and is scheduled for grooming January 5.

Joe's Valley has two to six inches of snow at the lower trailhead and 20 inches at Middle Mountain. This trail will be groomed when more snow has accumulated.

Mt. Nebo
One to two feet of new snow. The lower elevations near both trailheads are still lacking in good snow. No grooming until January 11.

Ephraim/ Manti/ Twelve-Mile
Ephraim will be groomed December 30 or January 3. The roads accessing the trail are very slick and four-wheel drive is highly recommended. Philadelphia Flat has three feet of snow.

Manti Canyon - No new report

Twelve-Mile - Snow is poor until Spring Hill. Watch for rocks when leaving the trail especially if on Julius
Twin Reservoir to 12-mile campground - December 23

Fish Lake
For best New Year riding conditions on a groomed trail, head to Puffer Lake above Beaver. Fishlake and Mt. Terrill have also been groomed from Bowery Haven to Mt. Terrill Guard Station to Cold Springs.

As of January 3, one to four feet of good snow exists above 8,500 feet on Beaver, Fishlake and Monroe mountains. Below 8,500 feet, marginal snow with emerging bare spots exist. Many snowmobilers are staying on established roads to avoid potential hazards in traditional play areas.

Beaver Mountain trails are scheduled for grooming January 4.

Cedar Mountain/ East Fork

No new snow on Cedar Mountain since December 27. Duck Creek reports about four to six inches. There are about eight to 10 inches total in the Midway and Sage Valley areas. The snow is settling so the total depths are not increasing. Grooming will begin when conditions permit.

Strawberry Valley
Three inches of new snow at the trailheads and approximately two feet at higher elevations.

Co-op to Lake Creek to Strawberry - January 3
Mud Creek to Clyde Creek - January 3
Due to mechanical problems on the snowcat, the run over Indian Creek and Trail Hollow was cancelled.

UPCOMING UTAH STATE PARKS EVENTS

January 7 to February 4 Iron Mission State Park Museum - Cedar City
Sweet Spots: Landscapes of Southern Utah and Beyond. Enjoy the paintings of artist Travis Humphreys. For more information, please call (435) 586-9290.

January 10 Iron Mission State Park Museum - Cedar City
Children's Story Time: Beginning January 10 and continuing each second Tuesday of every month, Iron Mission State Park Museum staff offers preschool children an opportunity to learn about the past in a fun and entertaining atmosphere. The story and activity start at 12:30 p.m. and last approximately 30 minutes. The cost is 50 cents per child, and parents are free. For more information, please call (435) 586-9290.