AENEAS VALLELY – The Tonasket American Legion held a fishing derby for local children last week at Round Lake.
Sports and Outdoors
ANTOINE TRAIL, HAVILLAH – Digging holes doesn’t immediately come to mind as an activity for a group called the Backcountry Horsemen.
But on one rainy spring day, it was exactly the plan.
OROVILLE – Oroville senior catcher Nathan Thompson was selected by the NCW “B” League Coaches to the First Team All League. Thompson, who batted .419 in the regular season, was a unanimous choice by league coaches.
TONASKET – Fire.
It’s the dirtiest of the four-letter words for many home owners, farmers, ranchers, recreation seekers and others across the dry, arid west.
It’s the summertime worst case scenario, an out-of-control blaze that eats up miles of forest, towns and homes.
But firefighters and others entrusted with protecting both the backcountry and private lands know that the best way to fight it is with another form of fire, a cleaner version, controlled by those around it.
“We’re emulating what Mother Nature would do,” said Tonasket District Ranger Mark Morris. “If Mother Nature’s happy, we’re happy.”
Last week, the Tonasket Ranger District of the Okanogan National Forest completed work on a 1,000 acre swath of the Upper Aeneas, lighting a fire by hand and chemical-infused ping-pong balls dropped from a helicopter.
But the flames are the result of a long effort in preparing the area for burning.
The Forest Service first arranged a commercial logging effort in the area to be burned, Morris said.
Commercial loggers remove small-diameter trees and logs, a boost for the economy. Once they’re done, the forest service continues to remove “ladder fuels” or the piles of discarded branches, weeds and brush deemed unusable by loggers. At this point, the forest is much less dense.
OROVILLE – The team of Fred Bender and Claude Roberts took home top honors at this year’s May Festival Bass Tournament with fish weighing a combined 22.46 pounds.
The first anglers showed up that morning at about 4:15 a.m. and were soon joined by 12 more teams coming to register and wait for 6 a.m. to arrive.
“As we waited there was talk of tournaments past and just a little talk about how to catch the big ones on this day,” said Roberts, who also serves as tournament director.
“The day greeted us with cool, windy conditions which made fishing tough, but the weather did not hinder the effort the teams put into their fishing,” he adds.
The results of the tournament were as follows:
OROVILLE – Fifty-three teams took to the courts for this year’s May Festival 3 on 3 Tournament, but only nine would walk away as champions Saturday.
“Everything went real well and the weather was actually great for playing basketball,” said John Neal, co-chairman for the event which is sponsored by the Oroville Booster Club.
“We had 53 teams which was an increase from last year when we had 47… everything went smoothly and everyone was well behaved,” Neal said.
In the Men’s Open 18 teams vied for the championship in their division. Romine Fuel, made up of Jason Romine, Casey Watts, Tony Block and Geoff Miller, were victorious and took home the championship.
The Women’s Open was won by Chelocals, Jessica Graham, Megan Gale, Olivia Larson and Amber Lynch.
The Silent Street Spankers, Felipe Gayton, Jacob Longmire, Toshiya Ijichi and Jordon Bebee, won in the Boy’s High School division.
For the Girl’s High School division it was Tonasket, made up of Jayden Hawkins, Cierra Silverthorn, Rachel Hutchins and Dana Pryor.
NORTH COUNTY – The Oroville and Tonasket Chambers of Commerce are sponsoring a Watchable Wildlife Weekend from May 23 to May 25 with a full schedule of opportunities to enjoy the flora and fauna of Okanogan County.
Friday, May 23
The weekend begins the evening of Friday, May 23 with “The Best Dam Tour in Oroville.” The Porters will be giving rides from Lake Osoyoos Veterans Memorial State Park down the Okanogan River to Zosel’s dam aboard their family party boat. They promise views of beaver dams, waterfowl and other interesting sights along the way. The boat will then return to the park. Departure times will be announced next week.
Saturday, May 24
The next day, Saturday, May 24, starting at 8 a.m. there is the Forde Lake Narrated Nature Hike. Participants are asked to join Dale and Kathy Swedberg as they team up to discuss the flora and fauna calling the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area home. This is a one-mi1e hike at a snail’s pace between Conner and Forde Lakes. The Swedbergs will lead the hike and discuss wildflowers, butterflies, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians of the area.
Dale Swedberg, manager of the wildlife area, will talk about fire ecology, ponderosa pine forest and management and the history of the area. The hike presents a great opportunity to see the bird blind and put it in use.
The hike is on uneven ground with some short, steep, uphill climbs and the scenery is second to none, according to Swedberg, who will also answer questions about the new trails in this area.
To find the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area go south out of Loomis (6.5 miles) or north out of Conconully (15 miles) on the Sinlahekin Road to Forde Lake.
TONASKET – It’s been a long spring for the Tonasket girl’s softball team.
The girls are currently two and 12 with two games to go before the season ends next week.
“We just want to get by this year,” said head coach Dave Shaw. “We want to make it through the season.”
OROVILLE – Oroville’s Lady Hornets are attracting loyal fans wherever they go as they play in their most successful season since the Hornets started playing fastpitch softball.
The girls are 10 and four for the season and nine and three in the NCW 2B League. Last week, Thursday, April 24, they put away the Waterville Shockers in a double header going just seven innings. They won the first game 18 to one in four innings and the second 18 to two in three innings.
Yellow and blue have taken over the tennis courts.
The Tonasket High School tennis team began their spring season last week with two away games and one home meet.