Out and About 

Free Fishing Day set for Saturday, June 8

Looking for a triple threat of family recreation? The Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge has your back with a day of activities that are not only fun and educational, but will get your kids outside and away from the boob tube for a while.

The seventh annual BioBlitz 2013 is set for Friday, June 7-Saturday, June 8, at the refuge at Lake Lowell south of Nampa. Participants have 24 hours to find and identify as many different species of plants and animals at the refuge as possible.

Typically, it's been scientists, naturalists and volunteers who have been carrying out these bio-blitzes in the past, but this time around, the public is invited to help out.

Beyond looking for an unidentified cryptid, the refuge is hosting a festival to go along with the search on Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Visitor Center. It's a free event and the public can check out guided boat trips, bird and photography walks, as well as insect-collecting trips and classes.

If you'd rather catch your fish a different way, the event happens to coincide with Free Fishing Day on Saturday, June 8, at lakes and rivers throughout Idaho.

Would-be anglers of all ages can fish across the state without a fishing license, although other state fishing regulations like limits and restrictions still apply.

Deer Flat will have fishing poles available to borrow during the day and host activities and classes for kids.

For more info on the BioBlitz, visit fws.gov/deerflat. For more info on Free Fishing Day, visit fishandgame.idaho.gov.

And while fishing regulations may be loose, authorities are clamping down at the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. The Bureau of Land Management has added several supplemental rules to crack down on prohibited activities in the area, which is world-renowned as a home for birds of prey.

Rock climbing, bouldering and rappelling in the Snake River Canyon within the Conservation Area boundaries are not allowed since 16 species of raptors nest in the canyon throughout the year.

Those looking for a good place for a paintball game should look elsewhere, too--it's not allowed within one-quarter mile of the canyon rim. Apparently, some people had been using historic cabins and petroglyphs as targets.

Open fires are also banned outside of BLM-approved fire rings. We don't need any more wildfires, now, do we?

The cost of violating any of these rules could cost perps up to $1,000 in fines and/or up to 12 months in jail.

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