More steelhead call Touchet River home



The Touchet River is becoming more popular with steelhead, according to Larry Hooker, ag projects coordinator with the Walla Walla County Conservation District.

A trap above Dayton yielded 583 natural steelhead as of April 25, along with 146 hatchery endemic stock, and 40 Lyons Ferry stock hatchery steelhead. Those were removed and placed in the Dayton juvenile fishing pond.

The trap on Coppei Creek upstream from Waitsburg counted 129 adult steelhead, including five hatchery steelhead. Outlook for future years could be good, with total redds (nests) at 76 in the Coppei, about double what has been seen in previous years.


PAM CONOVER, retiring after 20 years of teaching in Waitsburg, put a touch of humor in her letter of resignation, which she read to the school board. "I'd rather people say ‘I didn't think she was old enough to retire,' than ‘I thought she died years ago.'"

A fifth-grade teacher, Conover was honored in December as Washington Conservation Teacher of the Year by the Washington Association of Conservation Districts.


A ROSE IS replaced. Actually 49 roses have been replaced in the John Hesketh Memorial Rose Garden in the Athena City Park.

The new roses replaced plants that were dead, missing or had "gone wild." Eight new memorial roses were added to the garden.

Volunteers were LaVerne Mitchell, Doug Mitchell, Marjalene Harris, Tracy King and Kim Rudolph.

Mitchell would like to hear from those who have questions or information about a memorial rose that was planted in the past. He is working on a history of the garden. Mitchell can be reached at 541-566-3948.


HAPPY ENDING for a fawn who was swept down the Touchet River recently. According to an article in the Dayton Chronicle, a Waitsburg resident named Derrick was camping along the river when he heard the baby crying. He managed to get her out of the cold water and swift current, then carried the "drenched, frightened and ... violently shaking" animal to find help.

Sylvia Griffen picked the pair up, and drove them to Waitsburg. A local game agent took the fawn back to the river, located the mother, and the pair were reunited.

Carrie Chicken can be reached at or 522-5289.


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