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Still best up-to-date info

Get the latest on what’s open and what’s not at wdfw.wa.gov/about/covid-19-updates (or coronavirus.wa.gov).

Fire restrictions remain

Early hunting seasons are still on, but pay close attention to fire bans on state wildlife areas and other forest areas. Current info at 800-323-BURN or on the web at www.dnr.wa.gov or www.dnr.wa.gov.

Kids need the outdoors

KEEN is still asking for help as they get kids outdoors amidst COVID-19. Your few bucks will help match others. Check it out at www.ycic.org.

Salmon

Lake Wenatchee sockeye season opened Monday. Info at WDFW Region 2, 509-754-4624 or teamephrata@dfw.wa.gov.

Hunting and shooting

Apply soon to hunt deer this fall on the 6,000-acre Charles and Mary Eder unit of the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area in Okanogan County. Go to wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/permits/scotchcreek. No charge to enter.

Note that hours and cancellations for shooting and sight-in on local public ground are being strictly enforced (fire danger). Check your favorite spot and clean up carefully after yourself.

Report wildfires or any untended fire to 800-562-6010.

Fishing

Upper Columbia fishing for summer kings is doing well (Wells Dam area). Fall kings look very promising. Info from Hooked on Toys (509-663-0740) and Travis Maitland (509-665-3337).

Ocean salmon fishing is on. More fish than earlier in the season, with two Chinook now allowed in some districts. All Pacific fishing towns have family activities. Info at 800-345-6223, www.westportgrayland-chamber.org or www.oceansportfishing.com.

Current info from Northwest Fishing Reports (www.northwestfishingreports.com).

Fish the Snake

Stay tuned: fall salmon seasons are looking good, and some are already set and open. Get full info on some generous possibilities for hatchery fall chinook and hatchery steelhead on the Snake River at idfg.idaho.gov/fish/chinook/rules. Keep an eye on the fish and wildlife departments of Washington, too, for updates.

Wildlife and family fun

Regional descriptions of fishing, hunting, and wildlife viewing opportunities are found in the monthly Weekender Reports at wdfw.wa.gov/weekender (regularly updated).

Butterflies are still on nectar-producing flowers around the valley. Take a guidebook and your camera.

It’s the perfect time for alpine lakes and cutthroat, rainbow and golden trout. Take a hike.

California bighorn sheep are being seen in the lower two miles of Oak Creek and on hills above the wildlife area. Lots of ewes, lambs and some young rams. Watch the riparian zones.

Hawks, falcons and eagles are beginning to concentrate over mountain ridges, riding thermals and updrafts. Our best area is Red Top Mountain on Teanaway Ridge, west of Mineral Springs Resort off Blewett Pass road (FS road 9738 to 9702).

Elk bugling on your wish list? Check out the area around Raven’s Roost in the Little Naches drainage. Camp out or arrive before daylight and walk the Cougar Valley trail. They’ll likely be on open hillsides until about 7 a.m. when they move into timber. Be careful with fire.

While you’re in the neighborhood, check for mountain goats above the road to Timberwolf Mountain near Naches.

Hunting

Several seasons for big and small game and birds open in just over three weeks. Plan ahead for access and fire or camping restrictions.

Good duck numbers on the breeding grounds this year means U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is recommending seasons for 2020-2021 similar to last season. Goose seasons similar to last year with fairly generous goose limits. Statewide duck season open from Oct. 17-25 and Oct. 28 to Jan. 31 (scaup closed Oct. 17 — Nov. 6). Youth hunting day is Sept. 26 on the West Side and Oct. 3 on the East Side. On Feb. 6 next year, a special youth, veterans and active military waterfowl hunt happens in our Pacific Flyway. See the new Migratory Waterfowl and Upland Game Seasons pamphlet (online at www.eregulations.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/20WAGB_LR1.pdf).

The fair is not happening. (Thank you COVID-19!) Plan now to get your fresh air out in the valley or the hills. Take the family (and a neighbor who doesn’t get out enough) for a taste of the valley best air and find some berries or wildlife. Take the camera.

— JH

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