Fire danger still high

You’ve been hearing about summer burn bans on publicly-managed ground in local counties. Restrictions are posted at campgrounds and wildlife areas, with more info at www.dnr.wa.gov and www.dnr.wa.gov. Cook with camping stoves, and use great care.

Report a wildfire or untended campfire to 800-562-6010.

Don’t forget your Discover Pass.

Camping

Wild berries are attracting bears and other wildlife. For us, berries are great treats, but for the wildlife they are about survival. If you find yourself in a disagreement with a cougar or bear, resist the urge to run. Pick up any children, stand as tall as possible (arms above your head) and make noise. Get upwind and leave it an escape route. Don’t look it directly in the eye (an aggressive sign, often), and fight back hard if you are attacked. DFW’s dangerous wildlife reporting line is 1-877-933-9847, and the emergency incident hotline is 1-800-477-6224. In any genuine emergency, call 911. Enjoy our high country, but be aware. Check out wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/living (“dangerous wildlife” link).

You can help

Be part of DFW’s Game Management Advisory Council. Many new appointments coming and you can have an important voice in the future. Apply by 15 Aug. Fill out the application at dfw.wa.gov/about/advisory/gmac and email it to heather.bonagofski@dfw.wa.gov.

Fishing

The river is off and on — seems best in evenings, as water bug activity picks up. Check with any of the fishing pro shops for current information, generously shared.

Summer kokanee are still on the bite, and there are some local rules because of sockeye reintroduction (check the new regs). Small spinners, red beads, and maggot-baited hooks wrapped with red yarn are working for most fishers. Popular lakes include Kachess and Keechelus (11- to 12-inchers), Rimrock Lake (8- to 10-inchers). These little landlocked salmon are arguably the best eating of our fresh-water fish. Go get them. Check out Rimrock’s west end for trolling and still fishing.

Potholes Reservoir is producing fat rainbows, and walleye fishing is still strong in the sand dunes. Buzz baits are luring largemouth and smallmouth bass are on buzz baits. Bluegill and perch are still hanging and biting around MarDon Resort dock. Most fishing is best at night. More info from www.mardonresort.com.

Westport and Ilwaco are now producing salmon, lings, and sea bass. Get full info on both areas from 800-345-6223 or online at www.funbeach.com, www.westportcam.com, www.oceansportfishing.com or www.pacificsalmoncharters.com.

Salmon time

Fall salmon fishing is looking pretty good. Several reaches will open for various adult salmon. Check out the new 2019-2020 regs, go online, or check in with Travis Maitland, District 7 Fish Biologist in Wenatchee, at 509-665-3337.

Always current info and coaching for salmon across the state at www.salmonuniversity.com. Click various tabs for fishing reports, resources, how to, etc.

Info and coaching for salmon all over the state. Find it all at www.salmonuniversity.com. Click tabs for fishing reports, resources, how to, etc.

For more fishing videos, current reports, lake maps and so forth, see the free and abundant info at www.northwestfishingreports.com.

Family wildlife fun

Remember your bird bath. It helps your backyard bird buddies beat the summer heat.

Abundant and striking wildflowers still being reported in our high country. While you’re enjoying the color, watch for marmots, pikas, gray-crowned rosy finches, hummingbirds, and butterflies, too. You don’t have to go far, just head up and enjoy.

Hunter safety training

Online classes are most always available. Find them and register on DFW’s web page at www.hunter-ed.com/washington.

Make it a point to get youngsters into the high country or out camping. Have lessons prepared to help them develop safe habits with campfires, camp stoves, combustibles, catalytic converters on motor vehicles, or anything else that might spark a wildfire. They are our emissaries to a time we will never see; help them take your wisdom along.

— JH

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