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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
November 20, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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November 20, 1997

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Outdoors / Operation Game Thief: 1.800-992-3030 Operation Cal- Tip: 1.800-952-5400 Pahrmnp Valley Gazette, Thursday, November 20, 1997 23 [ Bighorn Sheep back home in the Delamars Goose hunang off to good Geoff Schneider ties, according to the NeDivision of Wildlife. The bright spot for penerwas Key were taken atthe areaon fill for hunters White River Valleys. Several hunters mistakenly shot at snow geese Saturday at the refuge. Duck hunting has slowed at the area and hunters only managed to take 20 ducks on Saturday. Roy Horsley, of Overton Wildlife Manage- ment Area, Saturday's opening day. They harvested five Canada geese, two snow geese, one Ross' goose and 51 ducks. Currently there m-e approximately 350 geese and 3 ducks at Overton. fuel taxes. Durin taxesthat will be by C. Douglas Nielsen More than 20 years after being identified as a high priority release site for desert bighorn sheep, the Delamar Mountain Range in Lincoln County has fi- nally received its first shipment of the elusive animals. Under the watchful eye of Nevada Division of Wild- life (NDOW) biologists, 19 sheep, four young rams and 15 ewes, scrambled from a transport trailer and into their new home. "This is a big step forward for our sheep program," said Craig Stevenson, NDOW biologist. "We have been working for many years, laying the necessary groundwork, so we could begin the process of reestab- lishing a resident population of bighorn sheep in this range." The 19 sheep were transplanted from the River Mountains located between Henderson and Lake Mead, nearly 100 miles from the release area. Prior to being moved, each animal was tested for parasites and dis- eases which might create problems later on. "Eventually we would like to see between 200 and 250 sheep in this area, "said Stevenson. "It may take 15 to 20 years to reach that goal, but if conditions are right it may happen sooner." According to Stevenson, the Delamar Range pro- vides excellent bighorn habitat and has probably al- ways done so. Historical and archeological evidence seems to support his thoughts. There are numerous anecdotal accounts of the animal's presence, and de- pictions of bighorn can be found at Native American petroglyph sites throughout the area, he said. "Not long after the settlers' arrival, bighorn popula- tions began to dwindle as livestock and land use practices significantly altered the animal's habitat. Water then became the limiting factor as natural water sources were piped off or dried up," Butch Padilla, supervising habitat biologist said. In addition to the lack of fresh water supplies, unregulated hunting by early Nevada residents also took its toll on the overall sheep populations. In 1974, NDOW identified the Delamar Range as a priority release site in the agency's plan for reestablish- ing bighorn sheep populations throughout the state. However, before sheep could be released, the area's water problem had to be resolved. "The main factor holding up the reintroduction of sheep was the lack of natural water sources in the Delamars. Therefore, we had to build water develop- ments before beginning the reintroduction process," explained Stevenson. NDOW began laying the paperwork foundation for the necessary water developments during the 1980s, but the status of the Delamar Range as a Wilderness Study Area slowed the process significantly. Approval for proposed water developments was long in coming, with final approval being given by the Bureau of Land Management early this year. Once the projects were approved, however, the division moved quickly. By the end of April, with the assistance of volunteers from local sportsmen's orga- nizations, two 7,000-gallon water developments were completed and ready for water. "These water developments are designed to catch and store rainwater for use by the sheep when natural sources are unavailable. Though they are designed specifically with sheep in mind, we have aady docu- mented more than 64 different wildlife species that are using the water developments. There are probably far more," Stevenson said. NDOW began to actively transplant bighorn sheep in 1969. At that time, the desert bighorn was found in fewer than 25 mountain ranges throughout the state. Today they can be found in more than 50 mountain ranges. Managcr'sofficc at submitted beforeDecember 1. expansion for public review The Bureau of Land management (BLM) and County of San Bemardino have released a joint fedend-county Fmal Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) for the proposed Castle Mountain Mine Expansion Project for public review and comment. The final EIS/EIR was prepared with the assistance of a third party contractor. The EIE/EIR analyzes the POtential environmental impacts of the proposed expansion and contin- ued operation of the Castle Mountain open pit,  leach gold mine, including geology, water resources, vegetation, wildlife, air quality, vimal resources, cultural, land use, and cumulative effects. The Castle Mounlain lvlineq located in  San Bemardino County, is operated by the Viceroy Gold Coqx ration. Viceroy has proposedto mine orets adjacant to deposits currently being mined. The proposal would include expanding existing and planned open pit areas, anlargingthe age meas, creatiugJ may490acrcs, and  140 acaes ofopen mincpi, Under present permits, the mine can  Sage grouse wings needed for study by Chris Healy The Nevada Division of Wildlife is conducting a long-term study of the state's sage grouse popula- tions and would like hunters to contribute one wing from each bird harvested this season to assist biolo- gists in their work. "Sage grouse populations throughout the west have been in decline for sometime now," said upland bird staff biologist San Stiver. "The most important thing we can do now, to understand why this is occurring, is to collect good data." The best single source of data on sage grouse comes from the wings of harvested birds. Biologists can take the wings and determine a myriad of things about individual birds as well as the sage grouse population as a whole. "We earl take a barrel full of wings and deter- mine the number of males, females and young of the year along with how successful the females were in reproducing," says Stiver, " and all of this information can be gathered from studying the wings." The Division of Wildlife is leaving it up to the state's hunters to gather the wings." needed for the sage grouse "wing bee" study that will be held after the hunting season. "Hunters harvest birds in a wide variety of locations, a far greater number of locations that we can get to as biologists," Stiver added. Hunters are asked to make the voluntary donation at wing barrels located in the field, or with NDOW employees whom they may contact while in the field. Wings can also be left at any division office. Hunters planning to donate wings are asked to keep them cook, dry and away from flies. A paper lunch sack is suggested as a way to make sure the wing remains in good enough shape for biologists to study. A diagram and instructions on where to detach the wing and for its proper care is included in the 1997- 98 upland game bird seasons brochure which is avail- able at license agents and Division of Wildlife of- flees. Fishing Report by Coff Schneider Nevada Disiom of Wildlife LAKE MEAD - During the.past week there have been days when the striped bass fishing has been outstanding and other days when the fishing has been dismal. The best area for finding stripers has been from Pyramid Island to the Hemenway Wall and Govexnment Wash. Stripers are also being taken with surface lures from midnight to sunrise at Hemenway Harbor. Several boaters have reported catching stripers that weigh from eight to 10 pounds. Most of the large fish have come from deep water by vertical jigging and trolling deep with lures and anchovies. Largemouth bass fishing has been good with the fish being caught in coves with spinners, artificial worms and Sassy Shad. LAKE MOHAVE. Striped bass fishing has been good for the small number of anglers who have been trying their luck. Stripers weighing up to two pounds are being caught around Owl's Point. Smaller fish are being caught in the Six Mile Cove area. Most anglers are going deep with lead line and whole ancho- vies to catch the fish. Drifting cut anchovies is producing small stripers. Two fishermen reported catching more than 30 small stripers and several channel catfish by fishing from shore immediately above Cottonwood Cove. They also caught a 10-inch rainbow trout. WAYNEE.KIRCH WILDLIFEMANAGEMEI'Cr ARlgA - Cold weather and fair fishing for rainbow trout is.still being found at Cold Springs and Haymeadow Reservoirs. Largemouth bass fishing is very slow. EAGLE VALLEY RESERVOIR - Anglers report having only fair success for recently planted rainbow trout. ECHO CANYON RESERVOIR - Very few anglers have been seen at the Lincoln County reservoir during the past week. Fishing is reported to he fair for stocked rainbow trout and slow for largemouth bass and crappie.