Fishing And Hunting

fishhuntWashingtonians are reeling in chinook and coho salmon off the coast, pulling up pots of crab in Puget Sound, and casting for trout in alpine lakes on both sides of the Cascades. Summer fisheries are in full swing, providing some of the best opportunities of the year.

Also this month, hunters will take to the field to hunt for black bear in the first big-game hunt of the season. Many others will also be out scouting hunting areas to prepare for deer, elk and cougar seasons beginning in September.

“This is a good time to locate game animals and get the lay of the land, particularly if you’re planning to hunt a new area,” said Dave Ware, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) game manager. “But it can get hot out there in August, so it’s important to be aware of fire danger and stay hydrated.”

WDFW land managers are urging everyone planning to spend time outdoors this month to take care not to spark a wildfire. Wildfires have already burned tens of thousands of acres of land in eastern Washington, including portions of some WDFW wildlife areas.

People recreating outdoors are reminded that a Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) burn ban is in effect through Sept. 30 on all DNR-protected lands – including WDFW lands. For more information, check DNR’s website, as well as the Governor’s website.

Meanwhile, the popular Buoy 10 chinook salmon season runs Aug. 1 through Sept. 1 at the mouth of the Columbia River. A huge run of 1.5 million fall chinook is expected to return to the river this year, with expectations that anglers will catch about 45,000 of them – primarily between Buoy 10 near the mouth of the river and Rocky Point, 16 miles upstream, by Sept. 1.

Anglers fishing at Buoy 10 may also retain marked, hatchery-reared coho salmon or steelhead as part of their daily catch limit.

“All signs point to a spectacular salmon fishery in the Columbia River,” said Joe Hymer, a fish biologist for WDFW.

Thousands of salmon also are moving into Puget Sound, where anglers are reeling in fish throughout the region.

Rather catch shellfish? Crab fishing is open throughout the month in most areas of Puget Sound, the exception being Sub-Area 7 North, which opens for crabbing Aug. 15. For all crab-fishing rules.

For a region-by-region description of fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing available in August, see the Weekender Regional Reports posted on WDFW’s website. These reports are updated throughout the month to provide up-to-date information about recreational opportunities around the state.

WDFW News - August 1, 2014