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Welcome back outdoors

It’s still slo-o-w -ly happening! For details, rules, and the latest info on opening our outdoors your best site is still DFW’s wdfw.wa.gov/about/covid-19-updates or coronavirus.wa.gov.

Kids outdoor camps are still on

KEEN is registering the Pond to Pines Summer Camps (K through grade 6) which run from June 29 to July 31. Info for all camps is at www.ycic.org.

Hunting and shooting

Permit drawing results are available. Login at fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/#/login and accept congratulations or condolences from the rest of us. Permits will be out in July.

Remember, target shooting along Durr Road is allowed only between sunrise and 10 a.m.

Camping and outdoor play where possible

DNR and other agencies have instituted fire warnings and bans on a fair amount of the publicly-managed ground in eastern Washington. Check out www.dnr.wa.gov/ for the latest news and opportunities. Report vandalism or illegal dumping (note license plate numbers and get a description of any vehicles involved) at 800-562-6010. Make sure your Discover Pass is posted.

Bears are out and about. Dispose of camping trash in bear-proof containers or pack it home. Keep food in vehicles or ten feet up a tree and away from the trunk. If you are camping, no food or odors in tents.

Guard against ticks, too, with insect repellent around cuffs which are tucked into or tied to boots. Deet is effective with ticks, but follow instructions carefully when applying to kids.

Fishing

DFW Trout Derby is now full on. Check it out at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/contests/trout-derby.

Father’s Day fishing is up! Hundreds of fat fish have been dropped into Cooper Lake and others around Paradise. Check out www.wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington.

Free reports, maps and plenty of info about fishing at www.northwestfishingreports.com.

Get the free “Fish Washington” app (wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington/mobile_app.html).

Columbia River reaches will be open for fall salmon. This year’s fall fish numbers look OK, so far. Find current rules and info at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations or contact DFW fish pro Paul Hoffarth (509-545-2284).

Fishing for channel cats and bass has been fair to good in the Lower Yakima. Limit consumption of catfish to a meal a week (likely chemical and heavy metal contamination).

Yellow perch are still hot in Moses Lake (five to 25 feet of water), and walleye are playing, too.

Some ocean fishing is underway and folks are warming up one or another salmon song. Limits this year are reasonable, so check out fishing info for Westport and Ilwaco at 800-345-6223. Or go online at www.funbeach.com, www.westportcam.com, www.oceansportfishing.com or www.pacificsalmoncharters.com.

Wildlife and family fun

Warm, sunny days make great butterfly watching. Dozens and dozens of species are found on asters, fleabanes, daisies, thistles, dogbanes, buckwheats, penstemons, wild cherries, mints, milkweed and lilacs. Purples, whites and yellows seem most attractive. Stake out wet sand, gravel and mud on hot days in alpine meadows. “The Butterflies of Cascadia” by Robert Pyle is a great guide for the whole family. “Audubon Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest” is good, too.

Riparian areas in the canyons around Yakima are prime butterfly spots, too.

WildWatchCams (eagles, bats, bluebirds, seals and many more) bring great family fun as you watch small critters get bigger. Google “wildlife baby cameras” and check it all out. Watch osprey and many other youngsters at explore.org/live-cams/player/osprey-nest, also.

Train up your youngster

Trevin Roletto’s June hunter safety class starts next Monday, June 22, and again on Monday, July 20, in Cle Elum. Register on the DFW hunter education web page.

Take time to honor your father this week for all he has given you. Then teach kids to safely walk the woods and safely use camp fires or cooking gear. Wildfire danger is rising, so leave the banned fireworks at home or go play with the pros; who have a fire department standing by. Summer really is on its way.

— JH

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