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What a dive

Anyone who hasn't finished their four certification dives can still sign up for spots remaining at a July 13 trip to Homestead Crater in Midway, Utah.

Four certified dives can be completed there with instructors present, according to a news release by Steamboat Scuba and Water Sports.

The cost is $200, which includes instruction, equipment and certification processing fees. Call 870-8175 for more information.

Nothing fishy

The Colorado Division of Wildlife will host a roundtable discussion July 25 about the removal of northern pike from the Yampa River. It will be held at the Carpenter Ranch, three miles west of Hayden.

Wildlife officials will discuss the purpose and scope of the pike removal project in an informal setting, said DOW biologist Lori Martin.

"There's been a lot of information flying around about what we're doing and why," Martin stated in a press release. "We want to the give the public a chance to ask us directly."

The pike removal project began last year as part of an effort to recover the endangered native fish of the Yampa River Basin.

Biologists have determined the removal of northern pike will be necessary to allow these native fish to recover.

Family fun

Yampatika has started two new summer programs for adults and children.

The Nature Family Backpack program: Children and their parents can pick up a backpack stuffed with nature books, a magnifying glass and other informative hiking aids for free. The idea is to enrich the hiking experience, said Karen Vail of Yampatika.

The packs are free for a day's use and can be picked up at Yampatika, Steamboat Lake, the U.S. Forest Service and Vista Verde ranch.

Yampatika Nature Den: Located at the top of the gondola at the Steamboat Ski Area, the Nature Den is in the yurt at the top of mountain and features information about plants, animals and anomalies in the Routt National Forest. There also is a hands-on table for children, Vail said.

The yurt can be visited during the hours of gondola operation, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., through Sept. 3.

An interpreter will be at the site from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursdays and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays.

Call 871-9151 for more information.

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