Loon Lake kokanee are beginning to change a little as the spawn nears, but the fish two friends and I caught Monday night were showing no red and all were over inches long. We found them in feet of water on the west side of the lake. Fishing was early and fast, beginning at and ending with limits minutes later.
The fall chinook run is picking up at Bonneville Dam. It looks like the return to Idaho could come in greater than the forecast, and larger than last year.
The fall salmon run on the Hanford Reach is about to begin. More than , chinook are expected to return to this stretch of the Reach, and enough coho salmon to allow anglers to keep them as part of a daily limit.
All areas of the Columbia River, including Buoy , remain open for coho fishing in September. Buoy chinook retention closed in late August, but remains open all of September for waters upstream including above Bonneville Dam. This includes the Chelan, Wenatchee and Entiat rivers. Chinook fishing is also open on the Columbia from Priest Rapids Dam to Rock Island Dam.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced new restrictions on steelhead fishing in the Snake River, as well as several Snake and Columbia river tributaries. Fishery managers have reduced hatchery steelhead limits in part of the Snake and Grande Ronde rivers, while closing steelhead fishing on other sections of the Snake River, as well as the Touchet, Tucannon, and Walla Walla rivers. The new regulations join similar restrictions in Oregon and Idaho, as well as proactive steps WDFW and co-managers took prior to the start of the season.
A friend and I made the drive to Curlew Lake last Thursday to fish for perch. The bite was slow for us except for a lot of small perch and largemouth bass. We ended up keeping only good-sized perch.
The Spokane Arm of Lake Roosevelt is providing the most walleye action, but most reports complain of small fish.
Year-round lakes continue to provide good fishing for bass and panfish, including Spokane County’s Silver and Newman lakes. Long Lake is usually good this month for largemouth and smallmouth bass, perch and rainbow trout.
Some of Washington’s best September walleye fisheries are Wallula Junction, the Snake River below Ice Harbor Dam, and the Columbia River from Boardman upstream to McNary Dam. Smallmouth bass share habitat with walleye.
They move into the shallows as waters cool and food sources become available, and remain shallow until cold water sends them to deeper water.
Halibut season in Puget Sound and along the northern coast kicked off in mid-August and is expected to remain open three days a week, Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays, through Sept. or until the remaining quota is reached.
Sport white sturgeon retention is open for two days, Saturday and Sept. on portions of the lower Columbia River, from the Wauna power lines upstream to Bonneville Dam, including the Cowlitz River.
With wildfires burning in many parts of Eastern Washington and some public lands closed by extreme wildfire danger, some hunting opportunities may be affected this year. Land closures and restrictions are detailed on WDFW’s wildfire information web page. Current rules allow hunters to exchange tags for seasons and areas less likely to be affected by emergency land closures. You can exchange your tag if both of the following apply:
You may also choose to return your permit and not hunt this year. If that is your choice, you must return it two weeks prior to the season starting. If you turn in your permit and fire conditions improve, permits will not be returned. If you decide to return your permit, mail it to: WDFW – Point Restoration, Box , Olympia, WA -. If you have questions about point restoration, call – or email wildthingdfw.wa.gov.
Sept. – is the special youth-only upland bird hunting season in Washington. Nonhunting adults at least years of age must accompany young hunters, A special pheasant hunting opportunity for hunters years of age or older and hunters with disabilities is Sept. -.
The Columbia Basin provides the best opportunities in Washington for mourning dove hunting, which runs through October. Grant was Washington’s top mourning dove-producing county in .
Washington general archery season for spike-bullantlerless elk is open in GMU , the Yakima Training Center YTC for the first time in decades.
There are plenty of elk there, but the terrain is open, and access can be limited due to training activity. YTC has an additional set of rules separate from WDFW that includes hunter orange for all hunters and companions. Anyone unfamiliar with rulesaccess for YTC should start by reviewing rules on the YTC’s page.
Modern firearm general season for elk has been open since Aug. but opens in Eastern Washington’s Elk Area on Saturday.
Elk early archery general season also opens in Eastern Washington on Saturday in select Game Management Units. Archery hunters usually fare best in GMUs and . In the central district, archery hunters tend to do best in GMUs and . In the northeast district, archery hunters usually do best in GMUs , and .
The Washington forest grouse season starts Wednesday. The season will go two weeks longer than in the past, to Jan. .