I-90 wildlife spotting

Please report wildlife sightings on Snoqualmie Pass on the relaunched website — a collaboration among Conservation Northwest, CWU, our state Department of Transportation, WDFW, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service. Report at i90wildlifewatch.org. You will find a lot of interesting wildlife news at the site, as well.

Plan ahead

Two weeks from Saturday is the First Saturday Bird Walk. Kittitas Audubon leads the trip at 8 a.m. at Irene Rinehart parking lot. Dress properly, and bring a field guide, optics and a friend if you wish. All are welcome. Info about getting “A Birding Guide to Kittitas County” is at info@kittitasaudubon.org. Discover — and join — our local Audubon Chapter in the current newsletter at www.kittitasaudubon.org.

Hunting coming

Seasons for several big and small game critters and birds open in a bit over a week. Plan now for access/fire/camping restrictions.

Shooting: cancellations for sighting-in on public ground are still enforced to reduce fire danger. Check out Cascade Field & Stream Club’s range on Hayward Hill (first and third Wednesday and Saturday of each month — mandatory 8 a.m. orientation) or find some safe USFS or private ground, then follow their rules and clean up after yourself.

In three weeks

Still room (maybe) in the Washington Outdoor Women workshop (9/13-15). Basics of fishing, hunting and all outdoor skills with lodging, meals and gear for women only. Jen Syrowitz at 425-785-3555 or www.washingtonoutdoorwomen.org.


Yakima River trout fishing ranges from consistent to great with nymphs and streamers and grasshoppers. Info from Worley Bugger at 962-2033 or www.worleybuggerflyco.com.

Upper County ponds and lakes are still producing. Mostly eggs and red or yellow trout baits.

Easton has been producing fat ‘bows on most any small lure from the surface to 25 feet. Kachess kokes are schooled up and nailing Wedding Rings trolled with bait or “Bite Me” bugs.

Hanford Reach king salmon should continue to pick up over the next couple weeks. Boat to holes from White Bluffs landing to a half-mile or so above the Vernita Bridge. Success trolling plugs or anchoring and drifting salmon egg skeins. Fish can top 30 pounds and are commonly over 10. Check the regs, as closures can happen at any time.

Salmon and tuna opportunities continue. Family activities still happening in all the fishing towns. Current info is available 24 hours a day at Info at 800-345-6223, www.westportgrayland-chamber.org or www.oceansportfishing.com.

Get up-to-date salmon coaching and info at www.salmonuniversity.com.

Current Northwest Fishing Reports reside at www.northwestfishingreports.com.


Fires are still big news for outdoor users, so keep this info handy: Current DNR fire info will be found at 800-323-BURN. You will find more info on wildfire risk and restrictions info from www.dnr.wa.gov or www.dnr.wa.gov.

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

Snake River

You may now catch and keep six adult hatchery fall Chinook salmon and six any-origin jacks seven days a week on the Snake. Check regulations for Washington, Oregon or Idaho for details.

Wildlife and family fun

Grouse, bears, deer, elk, coyotes and cougars are on meadows across Paradise. Use cameras and binoculars, but give critters the room they need as they fatten up for coming cold. With bears, just back away slowly, talk quietly and avoid eye contact.

Bull trout are spawning for another week or so in Indian Creek, a tributary of Rimrock Lake. Keep your distance and avoid stepping on bottom gravels among redds (nests for eggs). Chinook have been spawning in the Yakima below Lake Easton. Good viewing right now.

Elk are now in full bugle around Raven’s Roost in the Little Naches drainage. Arrive before daylight and walk the Cougar Valley trail. Go check out the mountain goats along the road to Timberwolf Mountain in mid-morning.

Test your bear species identification skills on the DFW website. Check out the program at westernwildlife.org/grizzly-bear-outreach-project/bear-identification/html and learn to correctly identify black bears and grizzly bears. Fun for the family and valuable training for bear hunters.

Hunting out of state?

Check the regs for chronic wasting disease rules for deer or elk carcasses and body parts. Info at 360-902-2515 or on DFW web. This is serious: penalty can be up to $5,000 or a year in jail.

I have a few reports of late huckleberry patches, but chokecherries seem plentiful in the Upper County. Take the kids and some housebound soul and make a late summer memory. The foothills are pretty dry, but perfect hiking right now.

— JH


Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.