If you’ve ever had questions about fishing and hunting
regulations, or want to keep updated on recent changes to seasons,
etc., you should bookmark the Washington Department of Fish and
Wildlife Web page. Just about everything you want to know is at
That said, I recommend you check out the WDFW Weekender Report.
Scroll down the column on the right side of the page and you’ll see
it. It updates recreational opportunities and updates from regions
throughout the state.
On the current site, you can read about some upcoming salmon
derbies, among others things, in the South Sound/Olympic Peninsula.
Here’s an example of what you’ll find on a regular basis. If you’re
a hunter or fisher, you’ll like it.
South Sound/Olympic Peninsula
Fishing: Salmon fishing continues to clip along
off the coast where anglers may now keep up to two chinook as part
of their daily limit. Meanwhile, pink salmon are making their way
from the ocean to Puget Sound, where Hood Canal recently opened to
From Ilwaco to Neah Bay, anglers are consistently catching their
limits due to good weather and a slug of coho salmon, said Erica
Crust, WDFW ocean port sampler.
“Folks are mainly catching coho, but some chinook in the
30-pound range have been caught off Westport with the coho weighing
about six pounds,” Crust said. In Ilwaco, the catch makeup has been
about one chinook for every nine coho, while anglers fishing off La
Push and Neah Bay are catching a mix of coho and pink salmon .
Crust reminds anglers that the limit for chinook is now two fish
per day in all ocean areas. “There was enough fish remaining in the
quota to ease the one-chinook limit, which is good because we’re
still in the midst of some primetime fishing,” Crust said
All coastal areas are open seven days a week, including llwaco
and Westport (marine areas 1 and 2), and La Push and Neah Bay
(marine areas 3 and 4).
The daily limit in all marine areas is two salmon – two chinook,
or two hatchery coho or a combination of both. All wild coho must
be released. Westport anglers may add one pink salmon to their
limit, while those fishing the north coast may add two. As of Aug.
1, all chum and chinook must be released east of the
Bonilla-Tatoosh line in Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay).
On the Strait of Juan de Fuca, anglers will be required to
release all chinook salmon in marine areas 5 and 6 (Sekiu and the
eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca) after the end of the day Thursday,
Aug. 6, which is earlier than scheduled. The decision to end the
fishery was based on conservation concerns for wild chinook, which
must be released if encountered by anglers, said Pat Pattillo,
salmon policy coordinator for WDFW.
Pattillo reminds anglers that fishing opportunities for pink
salmon, hatchery coho and sockeye still abound on the Strait. “The
fishing has been excellent and anglers should enjoy a good season
through September,” Pattillo said.
Creel checks conducted during the Aug. 1-2 weekend near Sekiu
(Marine Area 5) showed 762 anglers catching 406 pink salmon and 328
coho. The salmon fisheries in marine areas 5 and 6 are open seven
days a week, with a two-fish daily limit. All chum, chinook and
wild coho must be released. In addition, anglers may add two pink
salmon to their daily catch.
Pink salmon heading for the Puyallup River basin should help
boost fishing success near Tacoma (Marine Area 11), where a creel
check taken Aug. 2 at the Dash Point Dock showed 94 anglers with 20
pink salmon. Salmon fishing in Commencement Bay got under way Aug.
The salmon fishery in Marine Area 11 runs seven days a week,
with a two-fish daily limit, plus two additional pink salmon. The
minimum size for chinook is 22 inches with no minimum limit for
other species. All wild chinook must be released.
Area rivers may also be an option for salmon anglers. The
Skokomish River in southern Hood canal is now open and anglers can
fish from the mouth of the river to the Hwy. 101 bridge. The daily
limit is one salmon; all chum must be released. In northern Hood
Canal the Quilcene River opens Aug. 16 from Rodgers Street to the
to the Hwy. 101 bridge. The fishery is open seven days a week
through Oct. 31. The daily limit is four coho only, with a minimum
size of 12 inches.
The Puyallup River, which empties into Commencement Bay, also
opens Aug. 16. Before heading out, anglers are advised to check the
2009-2010 Fishing in Washington rules pamphlet at
http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/regs/fishregs.htm for details on size and
For those interested in winning a boat, some cash or just
getting out on the water, three derbies in the Northwest Salmon
Derby Series are coming up in Puget Sound. On Aug. 8, participants
in the Gig Harbor Salmon Derby can try for the $1,000 first prize
for catching the largest chinook or coho salmon. For more
information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
The ninth annual Hood Canal Salmon Derby will be held on Aug. 15
and 16. Tickets are $25 and participants can try for a first prize
of $1,000. Weigh-ins will be at the Port Dock near Hoodsport.
Contact Clint Muns at 360-490-8482. Coming up Aug. 22-23 is the
Sinclair Inlet Salmon Derby, located near Bremerton on the Kitsap
Peninsula. Contact Gramdiok@msn.com for more information.
Participants in all of these derbies will be entered in a raffle
for a 20-foot Stabi-Craft fishing boat, motor and trailer. For more
information, visit http://www.discovernorthwestfishing.com
In other derby news, The Westport/Grayland Chamber of Commerce
is hosting a Summer Beach Perch Fishing Derby Aug. 15 along the
beaches around Westport. The event starts is sponsored by Angler
Charters at 2401 Westhaven Drive, across from Float 8 at the
Westport Marina. Participants can register for the derby by calling
1-800-422-0425, or visit www.anglercharters.net
Meanwhile, the Hood Canal (Marine Area 12) Dungeness crab
fishery is now under way and will run through Jan. 2. Marine Area 7
North (Lummi Island/Blaine) will be open Aug. 12-Sept. 30. Both are
open Wednesdays through Saturdays only, plus the entire Labor Day
Crab fisheries in marine areas 6, 8-1, 8-2, 9, 10 and 11 are
open on a Wednesday-through-Saturday schedule, plus Labor Day
weekend, closing the evening of Sept. 7. Crabbing is open seven
days a week in marine areas 4 (Neah Bay east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh
line), 5 and 13 through Jan. 2.
Crab fishers may retain male Dungeness crabs only with shells
measuring at least 6π inches. The daily limit is five crabs. All
undersized crabs, female Dungeness crabs and softshell crabs of
either sex must be returned to the water. Additional information is
available on the WDFW website at
Hunting: The general hunting season for black
bear is under way in most areas of the state. Hunters are allowed
two bear during the season (Aug. 1-Nov. 15), but only one bear can
be taken in eastern Washington. The general hunting season for
cougar will start with a statewide archery-only season Sept. 1-25,
followed by a muzzleloader-only season Sept. 26-Oct. 16. Beginning
Oct. 17, hunters may use any legal weapon to target cougars in most
areas of the state.
Hunters are allowed one cougar during the season. Applications
to participate in a permit-only cougar hunt held after the general
season are due to WDFW by Aug. 31. Check the Big Game Hunting
Season and Regulations for details:
Wildlife viewing: Spectacular views, fresh air
and blooming wild flowers are bringing thousands of summer visitors
to Mount Rainier. Hikers and wildlife viewers are taking to the
many trails that start at the Sunrise Visitor Center on the eastern
side of the mountain in search of views and alpine wildlife.
A prize sighting is the white-tailed ptarmigan , which is a
small grouse that makes it home in alpine habitat. Recent visitors
on the Mount Fremont Trail reported seeing a male and female
ptarmigan accompanied by several offspring. The ptarmigan, which
turns totally white in winter, is streaked brown and gray during
the summer. Hikers also noted gray-crowned rosy finch, pine
grosbeak, rock wren, young mountain bluebirds, American pipit and
juncos . Sightings of several dozen mountain goats have also been