Fishing

A man casts his line into the Chehalis River last year near Galvin. 

OLYMPIA — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is celebrating National Hunting and Fishing Day all month long with a virtual event each day in September.

“In previous years, we’ve worked with volunteers, sponsors and conservation partners from across the state to host in-person events for hundreds of youth and their families. Participants learn about hunting, fishing, shooting sports and conservation,” WDFW Hunter Education Division Manager Dave Whipple said. “This year we are celebrating National Hunting and Fishing Day virtually, all month long.”

Each day in September, WDFW will release a new event or activity. The first week of September’s activities will highlight amphibians, pollinators, salmon, archery, hunter education, elk, and turkeys. Opportunities will span from do-it-yourself activities like making a turkey call and backyard pollinator activities to video demonstrations about hunter education.

“We hope that families will join us in learning about the outdoors and follow along with us for the whole month of September,” added Whipple. “This is an opportunity to learn about hunting, fishing, and conserving Washington’s wildlife and places, and you can even participate at home.”

In 2019, Governor Jay Inslee proclaimed Sept. 28 as Hunting and Fishing Day in Washington. In 1971, Congress unanimously authorized National Hunting and Fishing Day on the fourth Saturday of every September. On May 2, 1972, President Richard M. Nixon signed the first proclamation of the annual celebration.

To participate in daily activities and learn more about this event, visit WDFW’s National Hunting and Fishing Day webpage at wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/requirements/education/hunt-fish-day.

Hunting seasons underway, salmon move upriver

With fall nearly here, hunters are heading out for major hunting seasons as anglers are still reeling in salmon from the ocean, Columbia River, Puget Sound and other fisheries, plus trout from lakes throughout Washington.

September highlights include:

• Deer and elk: Early general archery hunts will open for deer and elk in many areas of the state.

• Youth-only hunts: The special pheasant hunt for hunters under age 16 is Sept. 19-20 statewide.

• 65-plus or disability hunts: The special pheasant hunt for hunters 65-plus or hunters with disabilities is Sept. 21-25.

• Eastern Washington lakes: This month is the last chance to fish several of the region’s rainbow and cutthroat trout fishing lakes.

• Puget Sound halibut: Marine Areas 5-10 are open three days per week — Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays — through Sept. 30 or until the remaining quota is taken.

With wildfires burning in several areas of the state, hunters and people recreating outdoors are advised to check fire conditions and for related access closures before heading out. Fire restrictions are in effect on lands managed by WDFW, including a statewide ban recreational shooting.

For information about hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities available this month in each region of the state, see the Weekender Regional Reports online at wdfw.wa.gov/places-to-go/weekender.

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