The Washington Outdoor Report - week of Oct. 24

Hunting And Fishing Roundup

Rob Endsley, host of The Outdoor Line on ESPN 710 in Seattle, tagged out opening weekend on this massive Okanogan County buck – Courtesy Rob Endsley

Dave Kilhefner caught this salmon in the Columbia River Gorge fishing with guide Brianna Bruce – Courtesy Dave Kilhefner

Columbia Gorge Coho

 

Brandi Jo Moore At Gorge Outfitters Supply says the coho salmon fishing is really good on the Columbia River at the mouth of the Klickitat. In Moore’s words, “There are lots of anglers there and lots of salmon being caught.” At the mouth of the Deschutes Moore says, “It’s slower, there are less anglers, but it’s still producing.” As far as how anglers are catching these coho salmon Moore suggests casting Blue Fox spinners or trolling Brads Wigglers. Moore said they are also still catching Chinook salmon at the mouth of the Klickitat River as well and hover fishing with salmon eggs remains an effective way to catch the Kings.

 

Another species to go after in the Columbia River Gorge is walleye. Moore says, “The walleye fishing is starting to pick up and the hot and heavy fishing for trophies should take off in about a month.” Try trolling a Bandit plug, jigging or fishing a spinner-worm harnesses deep for success right now on the Columbia River between Rufus and Boardman. You’ll find all of these lures and more for walleye and salmon at Gorge Outfitters Supply in Rufus.

 

Trout Derby Finale

 

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s annual trout derby ends after Halloween. This year 100 lakes were stocked with tagged fish and if you catch one and report it, you’ll be eligible for a nice prize. Over 70 businesses provided prizes this year valued at $38,000. So why are we bringing up this derby so late? Because more than half of these tagged fish have not yet been caught and this is a great time to fish for trout as they put on the proverbial feedbag before winter. You can find a stocked lake near you and more details about this program at

https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/contests/trout-derby.

 

Opening Weekend Hunting Results

 

Staci Lehman, the Public Affairs Officer for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in Eastern Washington, said some 300 hunters came through staffed check stations in Northeast Washington during the opening weekend, the vast majority of them deer hunters. There were about 50 harvested deer brought in and samples were taken from white-tailed deer to see if any of them test positive for Chronic Wasting Disease. There were no check stations in the Winthrop area this year but there are plans to have it open next October.

 

Captain Mike Sprecher said the opening weekend for deer hunters was “fairly typical” but hunter numbers were down a little. Unfortunately, WDFW Enforcement Officers did find several hunters doing things they shouldn’t be doing to include trespassing on private lands, spotlighting deer at night and taking some non-legal animals.

 

As for duck hunting, Lehman was able to forward me information from three WDFW regulated access waterfowl hunting areas in the Desert Wildlife Area within Grant County. Hunter numbers were down this year, partially due to the drought and a lack of water. A total of 54 hunters were checked with 115 ducks for an average harvest of 2.1 ducks per hunter. In comparison, 3.1 ducks were taken on average by hunters in the same area last year during the opening weekend of waterfowl season.

 

Lehman encourages hunters to stop by check stations, even if they aren’t successful. The staff members at these stations want to know what you are seeing in the field and answer any questions you have. If you do harvest a deer, biologists can help you figure out the age of your buck and if it’s your first deer ever, they’ll even give you a certificate commemorating that milestone event!

 

 

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