Field Reports: Idaho angler lands new record Westslope cutthroat

May 1—From staff reports

A man from Post Falls caught one for the record books.

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

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

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

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

Historic properties in North Idaho set for upgrades

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

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

Both properties are on the National Register of Historic Places. The Forest Service is taking public comment on both projects until Tuesday.

Patrick Lair, a Forest Service spokesperson, said the agency plans to update the roof and make some other improvements at the Little Guard Lookout, which is near a peak of the same name. The lookout is a rental available on

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

Lair said both projects received funding from the Idaho Panhandle National Forest's Resource Advisory Committee. About $65,000 was put toward the lookout, and $135,000 went toward the toilet replacement.

The public can review documents and comment on the bathroom replacement project at

Information for the lookout project is available at

Popular Idaho target shooting site to be closed through June 7

A popular target shooting area east of Hayden Lake will be closed through June 7 as timber work continues.

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

The closure is intended to keep people from shooting toward workers carrying out part of the Kootenai Fuel Reduction Project, a multiyear effort to thin woody materials and limit wildfire danger in the wildland urban interface.

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

The club charges $10 per shooter for those 18 and older. Those under 18 can shoot for free.

Trail segment in North Idaho closed for logging work

A 3.5-mile stretch of a trail near Burnt Cabin Summit in Idaho will be closed until July while loggers fell trees in the area.

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

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

Forest Service officials wrote in the release that the closure is meant to protect the public as loggers remove trees in the area.

Spokane Audubon program to focus on chickadees, nuthatches

A wildlife biologist will give a presentation to the Spokane Audubon Society next week on two familiar backyard birds found in northeast Washington.

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

He'll discuss three species of each bird — black-capped, mountain and chestnut backed chickadees and red-brested, whitebreasted and pygmy nuthatches.

Munts is originally from Sandpoint. Before working at the refuge, 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 at 3404 W. Woodland Boulevard. It will also be streamed online via Zoom. The link is available at