Fishing and Hunting Report: Crabbing Reopens; Geese, Ducks Are on the Move

By Kimberly Mason / For The Chronicle
Big Game and Waterfowl Hunting
The modern firearm season for deer starts on Saturday and continues through Oct. 31.
Waterfowl hunting opportunities also open Saturday.
Cougar-hunting season for muzzleloaders only is open through Friday, then on Saturday hunters can take their choice of any weapon including modern firearm, archery, muzzleloader or 22. The black bear season continues through Nov. 15.
Ducks, coots and snipe season opens Saturday throuogh Oct. 19. then closes for two days and reopens Oct. 22 through Jan. 29.
Goose-hunting seasons also get under way Saturday in most areas and continue daily through Oct. 27 before picking up again in November. An exception is goose management area 2A (Cowlitz, Wahkiakum and part of Clark County), which does not open until Nov. 12. Make sure to read your regs before you head out, the goose hunting laws aren’t easy reading.

Rivers and Streams
The Toutle, Kalama and Lewis don’t have a lot going on, said Charles McElroy, sporting goods clerk at the Sunbird Shopping Center.
“The Nisqually has plain turned off,” McElroy said, “but the south Sound is fishing well and the Puyallup is full of silvers.”
Sunday the Newaukum, Chehalis (from Porter Bridge to high bridge on Weyerhaeuser 1000 line) and Skookumchuck rivers will open to salmon fishing. Single-point, barbless hook will be required.

The Cowlitz is full of fish, according to McElroy, but it’s getting them to bite that’s the hard part.
“Try big jigs, big maribous — one fourth, three eights or half ounce — and twitch ‘em, just like you would for bass,” said McElroy.
Last week Tacoma Power recovered 2,671 fall chinook adults, 148 jacks, 4,860 coho adults, 339 jacks, 33 summer-run steelhead, 24 sea-run cutthroat and four pink salmon during seven days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 457 coho adults, 21 jacks, 170 fall chinook adults and two jacks into the Upper Cowlitz River at the Skate Creek Bridge in Packwood, and they released 821 fall chinook adults, 67 jacks, 1,052 coho adults and 25 jacks into Lake Scanewa behind Cowlitz Falls Dam. Also, 276 fall chinook adults, 33 jacks, 246 coho adults and seven jacks were released into the Cispus River, near the mouth of Yellow Jacket creek.
During the week 1,044 fall chinook adults, 33 jacks, 179 coho salmon adults, 16 jacks and seven cutthroat were released into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.
A total of six cutthroat trout and four pink salmon were released into the Cowlitz River at the Barrier Dam boat launch during the week.
River flows at Mayfield Dam are about 4,980 cubic feet per second on Monday. Water visibility is 16 feet.

Lakes
There is only a handful of diehard lake anglers hitting the lakes at the height of salmon season, according to McElroy.
But those that are out there fishing are getting their limits, he said, they just have to work harder.
As of Oct. 1, on Scanewa Lake WDFW doubled the daily limit from 5 to 10 rainbow trout, minimum size 8 inches. Only hatchery rainbow trout, with the clipped adipose fin, may be retained.

On the Beach and Ocean
Marine areas 4 through 8 and a portion of Marine Area 9 reopened to sport crabbing on Saturday.
Marine areas 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island) and 13 (South Puget Sound) will reopen for sport crabbing at 8 a.m. on Nov. 21.
In each area, crabbing will be allowed seven days a week through Dec. 31.
Annual quotas were reached earlier this year in marine areas 10 (Seattle/Bremerton Area), 12 (Hood Canal) and the portion of marine area 9 south of line that extends from Olele Point to Foulweather Bluff, sport crabbing will not reopen in those areas.
The daily catch limit in Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6 inches. In addition, fishers may catch six red rock crab of either sex per day, minimum size at least 5 inches across.