Now

KEEN’s Outdoor Nature Day Camp is now available for study and registration. 29 June to 27 July and you may choose any one or all five weeks. Weeks each have a theme. Check it out at www.ycic.org/keens-summer-camp-pond-to-pines. (Pre-school options will come open soon!) There may be a scholarship for your child — or you may help fund one for another kid.

Proposed 2020-21 hunting regs are open for your review and written comments through Feb. 26. Check them out at wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations.

Friday

Central Washington Sportsmen Show starts Friday and is on through Sunday in the SunDome. Free giveaways go to the first 150 in the door Friday. Sunday is Kids’ Day, with free fishing and many special giveaways and activities. Somewhere in there is the answer to every hunting or fishing fantasy you ever had. See the great photos from the contest. Win an adventure or two. Kids’ activities include the Kids’ Lunker Lake fishing pond and Trout Races, and the Cabela’s Young Sportsmen Journal (a great chance to win cool stuff). The Annual Horn and Antler Competition and the Dog Pullers Weight Competition will be on. You will not believe what you see with Nature Nick’s Amazing Animal Adventures — check it out. Find it all at www.shuylerproductions.com.

The Great Backyard Bird Count runs Friday through Monday also. Sponsors National Audubon Society and the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology invite your family to get and submit your own list — or just watch North American numbers roll in at gbbc.birdcount.org.

Next week

Port Susan Snow Goose Birding Festival, No. 15, is next week. Tours and speakers for all levels of birders in the Stanwood and Camano Island areas. Info at www.snowgoosefest.org.

NRA Foundation Yakima banquet is a week and a half away — Feb 22. At the Yakima Fairgrounds. Info from Dave Douglas at (509) 901-8073, or ykmfnra@gmail.com.

Coming

NRA Foundation Ellensburg banquet is on for May 9. Info from Brian Huss at 509-607-1677.

Fishing and seafood

Local ponds and lakes are soon getting eating-size rainbows. Current stocking list is available at DFW’s office in Yakima or check out wdfw.wa.gov/fish/plants/weekly. Go fish.

Columbia Basin lakes are waiting, too, with many opening on March 1. Fishing is expected to start strong. Check out Lenice and Nunnally, Burke, Quincy, Upper Caliche and Martha Lakes and the seep lakes (Blythe, Canal, Corral, Heart, North Windmill and Windmill) just south of Potholes.

Early salmon numbers are coming. Meetings are scheduled and on the North of Falcon website at wdfw.wa.gov/fish/northfalcon. Be the first on your block to know 2019 salmon seasons.

Ocean fishing gets underway in March. Tuna and salmon coming, too, and halibut openers in May. Check out westportwa.com/business/charter.html and www.oceansportfishingcharters.com.

Wildlife watch

Bald and golden eagle watching is happening across the valley. Watch especially around cattle.

Elk and deer around the Oak Creek Wildlife Area and our valley feeding areas are beginning to shed antlers, but most areas above the feeding sites are not open to public access until May 1.

Great blue heron males are in traditional communal nesting spots, waiting for the females. You can watch along the Yakima (west of mile 104 on I-90 or south of exit 26 on I-82). Watch cars.

The 23rd annual Othello Sandhill Crane Festival is March 20-22. See thousands of the four-foot tall, seven-foot wide noisiest, dancingest birds in the world. A few bucks for the festivities (speakers, vendors and displays) and kids are free. Some field trips. Get info at 509-488-2802 ext. 100, registration at 866-726-3445, or check out www.othellosandhillcranefestival.org.

Hunting and firearm safety

Spring bear hunt applications must be in two weeks from Friday, Feb. 28. Purchase special permit application on line (have your Wild ID Number handy) or at a license dealer.

Kittitas Field and Stream Team has two more Basic Hunter Education classes. February class starts next Tuesday and the final class starts in March. Info at www.kittitasfieldandstream.org (click the Hunter Education link), and then go sign up online.

Easton class is ahead (April 21) with Dave Anderson at 509-260-0652.

One more women’s handgun class is scheduled for Feb. 22 (others into May) with NRA-certified pistol instructor Marilyn Mason. Info at 509-962-3002 or online at www.kvrpc.org.

Spring is almost in the air! Red-winged blackbird males are beginning to stake out turf in marshes and wetlands all over the valley. Take the family, optics and cameras, and make some fun. Hook a kid on the outdoors.

— JH

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