Fishing and Hunting Report: Big Game and Waterfowl Hunting Is On

By Kimberly Mason / For The Chronicle
The modern firearm season for deer started on Saturday and continues through Oct. 31.
Under this year’s rules, deer hunters with a valid cougar license and transport tag can take a cougar during the modern-firearms deer season in all 39 counties — including Okanogan, Chelan, Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille and Klickitat.
In previous years, general cougar-hunting seasons in those six counties were delayed to accommodate hunters with special permits to track cougars using dogs.
“In those six counties, we’re back to relying on general hunts to manage cougar populations,” said Dave Ware, WDFW game manager. “We can make that work, but it does present some different management challenges.”More than 100,000 hunters are expected to take to the field this month for the modern-firearms deer season that runs through various dates around the state. Cougar hunting is open through the end of the year, although few are taken outside of the major deer and elk hunting seasons, Ware said.
The black bear season continues through Nov. 15.
Duck, coot and snipe season closed Oct. 19, then reopens Oct. 22 and runs through Jan. 29.
Goose-hunting season continues 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
There are “tons of fish” in the Cowlitz River, according to all reports.
“I went out on Sunday and we pulled in eight silvers and a couple of kings,” said Marshall Borsom, of Fish Country in Ethel. “It was a good day, but the river is packed with fishermen. And I must have seen 200 corkys floating by us.”
Borsom was using eggs and shrimp and said he saw a lot of bankies find success using a long leader with a corky and yarn.
Mark Hoffmann, at the White Pass Sports Hut in Packwood, said anglers have been having a lot of success near the Franklin Bridge.
“They’re trucking fish up here at least once a day,” Hoffmann said. “The river is full of fish.”
The Cowlitz is about the only game in town, according to Charles McElroy, sporting goods clerk at the Sunbird Shopping Center.
“The Willapa and Naselle are slow,” McElroy said. “They’re netting on the Chehalis six days a week. Not much is coming through.”

Lakes
According to McElroy, there aren’t but a handful of anglers hitting the lakes, but out of that handful, most are getting their limits within a few hours, he said.
American Lake was fishing well in midweek, said McElroy. “I had friends that said they had their limit of kokanee by 9:30 a.m.”
Jumbo rainbow trout are being planted in Island, Kokanee, Lost, Nahwatzel, Spencer and Trails End lakes in Mason County this week.
“The lakes that are being stocked are open year-round and provide anglers a great fall and winter trout fishing opportunity,” said Downen. “Some of the jumbo rainbow trout will continue to grow and be available to anglers next spring as well.”
As of Oct. 1, at 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.
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Kimberly Mason is a freelance writer based in Cinebar. She can be contacted at kz@tds.net.