The Washington Outdoor Report – week of October 24


Columbia Gorge Coho

Brandi Jo Moore of Gorge Outfitters Supply says coho salmon fishing is really good on the Columbia River at the mouth of the Klickitat. In Moore’s words, “there are a lot of fishermen out there and a lot of salmon are caught.” At the mouth of the Deschutes Moore said: “It’s slower, there are fewer fishermen, but it continues to produce. As for how anglers catch these coho salmon, Moore suggests casting Blue Fox spinners or dragging Brads Wigglers. Moore said they also always catch chinook salmon at the mouth of the Klickitat River and hover fishing with salmon roe remains an effective way to catch Kings.

Another species to look for in the Columbia River Gorge is walleye. Moore says, “Walleye fishing is starting to pick up and hot and intense trophy fishing should take off in about a month.” Try trolling a Bandit plug, jigging, or fishing a deep spinner worm harness 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 final

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 will be eligible for a nice prize. Over 70 companies presented awards this year valued at $ 38,000. So why are we approaching this derby so late? Because more than half of these tagged fish have yet to be caught and now is the perfect 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 on this program at competition / derby.

Opening weekend hunting results

Staci Lehman, head of public affairs for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in eastern Washington, said some 300 hunters passed through manned checkpoints in northeast Washington during the opening weekend, the vast majority of them being deer hunters. About 50 slaughtered deer were brought in and samples were taken from white-tailed deer to see if any of them tested positive for chronic wasting disease. There was no checkpoint in the Winthrop area this year, but it is slated to open next October.

Captain Mike Sprecher said opening weekend for deer hunters was “pretty typical” but the number of hunters was down a bit. Unfortunately, WDFW enforcement officers found several hunters doing things they shouldn’t be doing, including breaking into private land, spotlighting deer at night, and taking illegal animals.

Regarding duck hunting, Lehman was able to provide me with information on three WDFW restricted waterfowl hunting areas in the Grant County Desert Wildlife Area. The number of hunters was down this year, in part due to drought and 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 caught on average by hunters in the same area last year during the opening weekend of the waterfowl season.

Lehman encourages hunters to stop at checkpoints, even if they are unsuccessful. The staff at these stations want to know what you are seeing in the field and answer all of your questions. If you harvest a deer, biologists can help you determine the age of your buck and if this is your very first deer, they will even give you a certificate commemorating this milestone!


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