Buoy 10 Columbia salmon season highlights a great month of fishing

Anglers are reeling in chinook salmon off the coast, pulling up pots full of crab in Puget Sound, and casting for trout in alpine lakes on both sides of the Cascades.  Summer fisheries are in full swing, and anglers can look forward to even more great fishing opportunities in the days ahead. 

A prime example is the Buoy 10 salmon fishery, which opens Aug. 1 at the mouth of the Columbia River. A big run of 664,900 fall chinook is expected to return to the big river this year, and fishery managers predict that anglers will catch approximately 12,500 of them between Buoy 10 and Rocky Point, 16 miles upriver.

 WDFW Weekender:

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Opening day of lake-fishing season expected to draw 300,000 anglers

The state’s most popular fishing season opens April 24, when hundreds of thousands of anglers will head to lakes and ponds stocked with millions of trout by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Although many lakes are open year round, the last Saturday in April marks the traditional start of the lowland-lakes fishing season, which extends through October.

"This is our biggest fishing season opener and it traditionally draws more than 300,000 anglers of all ages," said WDFW Director Phil Anderson. "It’s a good time to gather family and friends at local waterways to cast off winter and celebrate spring."

With lakes in every county of the state well stocked, anglers can keep travel costs down by enjoying good fishing close to home, said WDFW Inland Fish Program Manager Jim Uehara. He reports that more than 20.5 million trout will be stocked in lakes and streams for this year’s fishery, including those planted in waters that opened earlier this spring or are open year-round.

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Lewis County man sentenced to 90 days for workers’ compensation fraud

TUMWATER, Wash. - Joseph Woolf of Onalaska has been sentenced to 90 days in jail and 12 months of community supervision for illegally collecting workers’ compensation pension benefits while working on his family owned farm.

Woolf was also ordered to repay the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) more than $200,000 he illegally collected, plus penalties and court costs.

Woolf, 54, was receiving pension benefits based on a lower-back injury from working on the family farm. While claiming that the injury left him permanently unable to work, he continued to perform all of his normal activities on the farm.

Chehalis Woman Runs For 13 Years, Returns to Face Parental Kidnapping Charges

CHEHALIS, Wash. - A former resident of Lewis County, Washington, KAREN KRISTINE SUDDERTH, 52, formerly of Chehalis, Washington, was taken into custody today at Sea-Tac Airport as she arrived on a flight from Thailand. There has been a warrant out for SUDDERTH’s arrest since January 22, 1997, for Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution. In July 1999, SUDDERTH was indicted by a federal grand jury for International Parental Kidnapping. According to court documents, the case began on August 30, 1996, when SUDDERTH failed to bring her son, who was then five-years-old, to a scheduled weekend visitation with his father. Mother and son fled the U.S. in September 1996, and remained out of the reach of law enforcement until today. The son turned 18 last week, prompting SUDDERTH to contact law enforcement and return to the United States.

Spent Labor Day weekend home? You weren’t the only one

OLYMPIA, Wash. - It could have been the rain, wind, economy or school calendar. Whatever the reason, the result was clear. There were fewer vehicles on the road in most places for Labor Day 2009.

WSDOT collects and provides data on its Web site on routes that typically see an increase in travel over holiday weekends to help drivers have the information they need to know before they go on holiday trips.

On I-90 across Snoqualmie Pass, WSDOT counted nearly 187,000 vehicles during the Labor Day weekend, a 9 percent decrease from Labor Day 2008.

Most areas in Washington showed a similar decrease, with traffic on US 2 over Stevens Pass even lower, with 29,900 vehicles on US 2 over Stevens Pass from Friday through Monday. That’s down 6,500 vehicles (or 22 percent) from 2008.

Traffic on I-5 near the U.S./Canadian border showed a small increase from 2008. WSDOT counted 129,700 vehicles on this stretch of highway from Friday through Monday, an increase of 3,400 vehicles (or 3 percent) from Labor Day weekend 2008.

Westport to Receive Ecology Funds to Prevent Flood Damage

WESTPORT, Wash. - The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is providing nearly $1.4 million to help 12 Washington communities fund projects to prevent future damages from floods.

During the 2009 legislative session, state lawmakers created a special account to help local towns, cities and counties fund targeted flood damage prevention activities.

The Legislature directed Ecology to give priority to communities least able to fund flood mitigation projects and those projects most ready to proceed.

WSP Seeks Witnesses to Collision Involving Deputy

LEWIS COUNTY, Wash. - The Washington State Patrol Major Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) is seeking additional witnesses to the tragic collision that claimed the life of Lewis County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Gallagher. The collision occurred August 17, 2009 at about 8:25 p.m. on State Route 12 on the west side of Packwood where his patrol car collided with an elk.

Detectives are interested in speaking to anyone who may have seen the collision or any of the events leading up to the crash. If you know someone who may have seen the collision, please call the numbers below and give us their information so we can contact them.

If you have any information, you are asked to call Detective Sergeant Jerry Cooper at (360) 805-1192 or Detective Curt Ladines at (360) 805-1160.

WSDOT highlights work zone safety with memorial and techniques being developed to increase safety

OLYMPIA - On April 23, WSDOT will recognize the more than 5,000 WSDOT workers and the thousands of city, county and contractor crews working to improve Washington's roadways, and the risks they face every day.

Just days later, WSDOT will launch the second activation of its newest work zone safety device, the Automated Traffic Safety Camera.

"Speed continues to be the leading cause of work zone collisions. So we are asking drivers to slow down and pay attention when driving through work zones," said WSDOT Secretary Paula Hammond. "The men and women who work on our state and local highways are often working in and near traffic, and we want everyone to go home to their loved ones at the end of their work day."

The Work Zone Memorial is an annual ceremony to recognize roadway workers and honor those who have lost their lives in work zones. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 23 at the WSDOT Building, 310 Maple Park Ave. SE in Olympia. The public and media are invited to attend.