Outdoors briefs: State rec office seeks committee members

OLYMPIA -- The state Recreation and Conservation Office is looking for 17 volunteers to fill vacancies on advisory committees for parks, trails, and firearm and archery ranges.

The advisory committees make recommendations to the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board on project funding and policy issues.

Send a completed application and support materials to the Recreation and Conservation Office no later than Feb. 13.

Applications and more information are available online at http://www.rco.wa.gov/rcfb/temp/adv_cmte_recruit_forms.htm or by contacting Lorinda Anderson at lorinda.anderson@rco.wa.gov.

Fishing conditions, opportunities improve

Fishing conditions are beginning to improve and so are the opportunities, according to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists.

Paul Hoffarth, a department fish biologist from Pasco, said 147 steelhead have been caught and 125 retained through Jan. 18 in the Columbia River Ringold fishery near the Tri-Cities.

Catch and harvest is picking up, he says. Bank anglers averaged one steelhead for five hours of fishing and boat anglers averaged one steelhead per eight hours of fishing.

Minimum hunting age bill introduced

OLYMPIA -- Fourteen would be the minimum age for a hunter in Washington without adult supervision under legislation introduced by Rep. Brian Blake of Aberdeen.

At a hearing Thursday in Olympia, others recommended minimum ages of 16 or 18.

The proposal arose in part because of the fatal shooting of a hiker in August in Skagit County by a 14-year-old who allegedly mistook her for a bear.