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.

Hunting and shooting

Apply by midnight a week (the 14th) to hunt deer this fall on the 6,000-acre Charles and Mary Eder unit of the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area in northeastern 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 salmon fishing for summer kings are doing well (Wells Dam area). Fall kings are looking very promising. Get info from Hooked on Toys (509-663-0740) and Travis Maitland at 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.

Info and coaching for salmon across the state at www.salmonuniversity.com.

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

Fish the Snake

Stay tuned: fall salmon seasons are looking good, but not all set yet. Possible September 1 opening for hatchery fall Chinook and hatchery steelhead on the Snake River. At this point, Idaho plans a September 1 opening with generous daily and possession limits. Keep an eye on the fish and wildlife departments of both states 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 over two weeks. Plan ahead for access and fire or camping restrictions.

WOW (Washington Outdoor Women) workshop is September 13-15. More than 20 outdoor skill classes. $340 (includes lodging, meals and use of gear) per adult woman (some partial scholarships). Info at www.washingtonoutdoorwomen.org or from Jen Syrowitz at 425-785-3555.

Good duck numbers on the breeding grounds this year means US Fish and Wildlife Service is recommending seasons for 2019-2020 similar to last season. Goose seasons similar to last year with fairly generous goose limits. Statewide duck season open from Oct. 12-30 and Nov. 2 to Jan. 26 (scaup closed until Nov. 1). Youth hunting day is Sept. 21 on the Westside and Sept. 28 on the Eastside. On Feb. 1 next year, a special youth, veterans and active military waterfowl hunt will happen for the first time in our Pacific Flyway. Details available in the new Migratory Waterfowl and Upland Game Seasons pamphlet (online at wdfw.wa.gov/publications/02079).

The fair is coming. Plan now to get your fresh air at the Fair. Take the family (and a neighbor who doesn’t get out enough) for a taste of the valley’s real wild life! Then go find some water or berries or wildlife. Take the camera.

— JH

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