The sun is setting earlier and the leaves are starting to turn color – signs of another change of season. Fall is in the air, and hunters are heading out for the first major hunting seasons of the year.
Salmon fisheries are also underway in the Columbia River, Puget Sound and other waters, and anglers are still reeling in 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.
- Canada geese: Hunters will get their first chance this year to bag Canada geese, which have grown in number since 2016.
- Youth-only hunts: The traditional bird hunt for hunters under age 16 is split between two weekends this year. The youth hunt for waterfowl is scheduled Sept. 16-17, followed by the youth hunt for pheasants and other upland game birds Sept. 23-24.
- Columbia River salmon and steelhead: The popular fishery shifts to a new phase in September as anglers pursue salmon and steelhead farther up the Columbia River and its tributaries. Any steelhead caught on the Snake River must be released.
- Eastern Washington lakes: Fishing for trout and warmwater species, such as bass and yellow perch, should continue to be good at several eastern Washington lakes.
With wildfires burning in several areas of the state, hunters and others are advised to check fire conditions at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/state/49/ before they head out. Fire restrictions are currently in effect on lands in eastern Washington managed by WDFW (see http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/jun2717b/).
For information about hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities available this month in each region of the state, see the Weekender Regional Reports at http://wdfw.wa.gov/weekender/
Regulations for hunting seasons can be found in the Big Game Hunting pamphlet and the Waterfowl and Upland Game pamphlet at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/. Additional information is available about upcoming hunting seasons is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/aug3017a/
Regulations for fisheries are described in the sport fishing rules pamphlet, available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/