Outdoor briefs: Steelhead fishing to pick up on Columbia River

Steelhead fishing should pick up this month on the Columbia River from the blue bridge to Ringold, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Paul Hoffarth, district fish biologist from Pasco, said the Ringold fishery is open for bank and boat anglers through this month for catch-and-release, except that up to two hatchery-marked steelhead may be retained.

From April 1-15 the fishery is restricted to the eastern shoreline adjacent to the Ringold Springs Fish Hatchery and for bank fishing only.

Hoffarth said an estimated 167 steelhead were caught in the Ringold fishery in February, based on staff sampling of 27 percent of total angler effort (155 anglers interviewed). Overall effort was estimated at 2,168 angler hours, with bank anglers averaging 20 hours of fishing per fish and boat anglers averaging 10 hours.

Idaho's Tamarack Resort closes down

BOISE -- Tamarack Resort in central Idaho, which billed itself as the nation's first new destination ski resort in 25 years when it opened in December 2004, has closed.

Factors dooming Tamarack include a spending spree by French owner Jean-Pierre Boespflug that drained a $250 million construction loan, tight credit markets, collapsing resort real estate demand, foreclosure litigation and $20 million in unpaid construction bills.

The last failure of a Western resort approaching Tamarack's size and aspirations was the 1974 demise of Stagecoach Ski Area near Steamboat Springs in Colorado, said Michael Berry, president of the National Ski Areas Association.

Tamarack, on the shores of Lake Cascade reservoir, has seven lifts.

Of 2,100 planned chalets, condos and town homes, only 250 are completed, near a Robert Trent Jones, Jr.-designed golf course.