THE WASHINGTON OUTDOORS REPORT

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Washington State Rendezvous takes place August 16-18

A bounty of dungeness crab. Courtesy of WDFW and Laura Coyle

Fishing around Buoy 10 equals salmon success. Courtesy St Laurent Guide Service

Summer is slipping away.  If you have a family and haven’t gotten out to fish, hike, paddle or camp do so before the kids head back to school.
Saltwater Fishing
Crabbing is a great option and you don’t need a boat to get in on the action.   The marina at Westport is a fun place to go crabbing and several of the local fishing charter offices will rent out crab rings and sell you bait.  Crabbing is open every day along the ocean coast year-round.  In Puget sound you can crab off of any number of public piers at state, county and city parks north of Edmonds but crabbing in much of the Middle to South Sound from Seattle to Olympia (Marine Areas 10, 11, 13 and part of Marine Area 12) is closed for the summer and no crabbing is allowed anywhere in Puget Sound on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.  Check the WDFW regulations for more details.
Freshwater Fishing  
Columbia River – Early reports from guides fishing around Buoy 10 at the mouth of the river indicate there are good numbers of Chinook and Coho present and anglers are having success despite challenging tides the first few days of the season which opened August 1st.
Western Washington – The crowds have thinned at Baker Lake where the sockeye salmon run this year is shaping up to be 25 percent lower than the last two years and much lower than the healthy runs seen in 2015 and 2016.  
Central Washington – Heather Cruz at Bonaparte Lake Resort in Okanogan County says early morning has been good for tiger trout including an eight-pound brute that was reeled in.  Lots of smallmouth bass are being caught too including several three-pound bass caught off the resort dock.  
Eastern Washington – WDFW reports fishing is slow at SE Washington’s Tucannon Lakes due to warm summer temperatures but Sprague Lake off of I-90 is fishing “really well” in the morning and late in the day for largemouth bass up to six pounds.  There is also “pretty good” fishing for rainbow trout up to 22 inches long.  
Hunting
Several hunting seasons open up in September and now is the time to sight in your rifle, break some clay pigeons at your local skeet & trap club, or practice shooting that bow.  It’s also a good time to contact landowners and ask permission to hunt on their private property.  Consider bearing gifts, offering to help with chores or promise to share the harvest in return for the privilege to hunt on their private land.  It also helps to have references who will vouch for you being a good steward of the land you hunt on.
Hike, Bike,
Paddle of the week
Hidden Lake near Lake Wenatchee in the Central Cascades may be the easiest mountain lake you’ll ever walk to and is a great introduction to hiking for those who haven’t done it before.   From the trailhead near the south shore of Lake Wenatchee (Forest Service Recreation Pass required) you’ll hike ¾ of a mile through towering pines and cedars to the outlet creek and the small wood-lined lake.  Cross the creek and walk a few yards to some large rocks near the water’s edge which are perfect for a picnic or go left where you’ll find an area used by overnight campers at the south end of the lake.   It’s a good swimming lake and there’s also a few brook trout.  https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/hidden-lake
Outdoor events
Elk Rendezvous – The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s annual Washington State Rendezvous takes place August 16-18 at the White Pass Ski Resort and is open to all members (and those who want to become members).  Bring your RV, pitch a tent or stop by for a day and take part in all sorts of activities going on here to include an archery competition and horseback rides.  Get more details and buy tickets at https://events.rmef.org/shop.aspx?eid=7408

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