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Colorama Festival coming May 12-14

A new 5K Colorama Color Run will be held at North Dam Park this year, adding literal “color” for Colorama to participants who want to revel in the spirit of the festival.

The run begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 13, at North Dam Park. For those who pre-register at or at the Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce, the cost is $22 and includes a T-shirt. Registration on the day of the run will cost $25, and a T-shirt is not guaranteed.

Those on the run will receive a T-shirt and can get an optional spray of color at six locations along the way.

The route will cross North Dam and wind its way along trails for the 5 kilometers (3.1 miles). The racers will not run along the highway.

The Colorama carnival will feature a Ferris wheel, among a string of other rides, according to Rainier Amusements spokesperson Traci Newton.

Newton said Monday that, in addition to the Ferris wheel, there will be rides such as the YoYo, Spider, Helicopter, Vortex and Ali Baba. This will be Rainier Amusements’ first Colorama visit.

Newton said Rainier Amusements takes pride in providing family entertainment and that rides for all ages are a feature of the firm.

The popular pre-sale for carnival tickets began this week, with a one-day ticket selling for $20. The cost of a daily ticket at the site will be $28.

Pre-event tickets are available at the chamber of commerce office, the Coulee Dam Federal Credit Union, Coulee Hardware, Loepp Furniture, H&H Grocery, Trading Post near Nespelem, and The Star newspaper.

Also, Colorama button sales started last week, with buttons available at a number of local businesses. The $3 buttons are numbered for prizes in a drawing scheduled for Saturday, May 13.

Another popular feature of Colorama this year will be helicopter rides.

For the fifth year, Inland Helicopter will be on hand to take Colorama visitors on a helicopter ride over the area. Flights cost $30 per person if there are at least three people along, or $40 each if there are fewer than three.

Flights will be available from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday. Flights take off from the ball field at North Dam Park.

Read more about the event at

50,000 trout released in Rufus Woods Lake

Staff from the Colville Tribal Fish Hatchery have released 50,000 triploid rainbow trout into Rufus Woods Lake between February and March, a press release from the Colville Tribes Fish & Wildlife Department stated. The fish average two pounds each, and some are fitted with tags.

Rufus Woods Lake is the length of the Columbia River from the Grand Coulee Dam to Chief Joseph Dam.

Anglers who catch the tagged fish are encouraged to contact Colville Tribal Fish & Wildlife at (509)-634-2113, to report information related to the catch to assist biologist in managing annual fish releases.

All non-tribal-members who are fishing by boat on the boundary waters of the reservation or from the shore of Rufus Woods at the Designated Fishing Area (DFA) must have either a valid Colville Indian Reservation Fishing Permit or a valid fishing license issued by the State of Washington. Non-members fishing from the reservation shoreline outside of the DFA must have a tribal permit.

At this time, there is only one DFA on Rufus Woods which is located downstream of the Pacific Aquaculture Fish Farm net pens. Colville tribal members must possess a Colville tribal identification card that serves as a permit to fish. Anglers who purchase tribal permits help support the continued success of this fishery.

Pictured below are Erica Moses, Fisheries Tech, at the Rufus Woods release, and the Rufus Woods Net Pens

Kokanee and rainbows reportedly coming on strong

D’Wayne Darlington displays a couple big Kokanee caught in Lake Roosevelt Jan. 23, 2017.

D’Wayne Darlington with Hurd’s Guide Service displayed a couple of good-sized Kokanee on the dock at Crescent Bay Sunday, fish he guessed weighed close to 5 pounds each.

The land-locked salmon have reportedly been biting, but regional anglers have been frustrated as many boat launches on Lake Roosevelt iced over during the recent cold weather. Crescent Bay was one of those that remained open.

Darlington said Tuesday (1-24-17) the Kokanee and now rainbow trout are hitting.

“Once you find a good group of them, it’s like hammer time,” he said. “It’s non-stop.”

The guide said he was catching Kokanee between Lincoln and Keller Ferry last weekend, including a 6.1-pound fish. He predicted that someone would likely break the state record of 6.25 pounds sometime soon.

Video offers aerial view of coulees

Geologist Bruce Bjornstad recently released a visually stunning video highlighting the Great Blade near the Lake Lenore caves located between Soap Lake and Coulee City. The video is the 11th in a series exploring the geological impact of the Missoula Ice Age Floods.

Using a drone, Bjornstad captures aerial views of the region, offering a unique, birds-eye view of the coulees that we call our home. The videos are complemented by new age music and facts that explain, among  other things, how glaciers and floods shaped the region.