Anglers are reeling in chinook salmon off the coast, pulling up pots full of crab in Puget Sound, and casting for trout in alpine lakes on both sides of the Cascades. Summer fisheries are in full swing, and anglers can look forward to even more great fishing opportunities in the days ahead.
A prime example is the Buoy 10 salmon fishery, which runs Aug. 1-28 at the mouth of the Columbia River.
A big run of 776,300 fall chinook is expected to return to the big river this year, and fishery managers predict that anglers will catch approximately 11,000 of them between Buoy 10 and Rocky Point, 16 miles upriver.
“Buoy 10 is a very popular fishery, drawing tens of thousands of anglers every year,” said Joe Hymer, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “Fishing tends to start out slow, then accelerates quickly through the month of August.”
Bank anglers planning to fish near the mouth of the Columbia River should be aware they will need to purchase a Discover Pass to park on State Parks property near the North Jetty.
With some exceptions, the pass is now required to park a vehicle on lands managed by State Parks, WDFW and the state Department of Natural Resources.
The Discover Pass was created by the Legislature earlier this year to keep recreation lands open to the public in the wake of steep budget cuts.
An annual Discover Pass costs $35 and a one-day pass is $11.50, when purchased online from WDFW ( https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/ ), by phone, or from retail license vendors.
However, holders of most annual fishing and hunting licenses are not required to purchase a pass to use WDFW lands and water-access sites.
For more information, see the Discover Pass website ( http://www.discoverpass.wa.gov/ ) or call 1-866-320-9933.
Meanwhile, crab fishing is under way in most areas of Puget Sound. Under new rules adopted earlier this year by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, all marine areas of Puget Sound will be open for crabbing Thursday through Monday of each week.
The daily catch limit in Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6¼ inches.
General hunting seasons for black bear open Aug. 1 in many areas of the state, and hunters are gearing up for early hunts for deer and elk in September. Also opening in September are hunting seasons for forest grouse, dove and Canada geese.
For more information about fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing available this month, see the Weekender Regional Reports posted on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/weekender
These reports are updated throughout the month to provide up-to-date information about recreational opportunities around the state.