HOOK AND FUR
By Bob Brown
The upper portion of the Puyallup River opened to sport salmon fishing Oct. 1, while the lower stretch opened Oct. 3. The fishery will run through Dec. 31 in both sections of the river.
Salmon fishing will open daily in the upper river from the city of Puyallup outfall structure across the river from the junction of Freeman Road and North Levee Road upstream to the mouth of the White River.
The lower portion of the river will also open daily, except closed to fishing Oct. 1, 2, 6-9 and 13 -16. That stretch of river runs from the 11th Street Bridge upstream to the outfall structure.
Pat Pattillo, WDFW salmon policy coordinator said the lower river closures are necessary to avoid potential gear conflicts between anglers and treaty tribal fishers. Thus fall is structured to ensure everyone has a safe and fair opportunity to catch salmon. Through October 31 anglers fishing the Puyallup have a daily limit of two salmon, plus two pink salmon, but wild chook must be released. Coho and hatchery chook must measure at least 12 inches to be retained. Also through November 30 single-point barbless hooks are required. Night closure and anti-snagging rule is also in effect through November.
The WDFW is planning two series of evening digs at four ocean beaches in October, providing marine toxin test show the clams are safe to eat. Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish managers said we are still in the process of additional fall and winter digging opportunities, but we want to give people a chance to start making plans for October. Information pertaining to the scheduled October razor-clam digs can be found on the department’s website.
Anglers should take note that several area lakes closed to fishing Sept. 30) for the season. Mineral Lake is one of those lakes. The Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet lists those lakes closed for the season and those open to fishing year-round.
Anglers fishing in the lower Columbia River last week made 16,256 trips and caught 6,645 adult chinook (3,189 kept and 3,456 released), 14 summer steelhead (nine kept and five released) and 73 adult coho (46 kept and 23 released).
Campfire risk isn’t over
Campfire restrictions have been lifted on most WDFW managed lands east of the Cascades where cooler temperatures and recent rains have reduced fire dangers, but Clay Sprague, WDFW land manager cautions campers and other to be extremely cautious. Spraque also emphasized that some localized fire restrictions will remain in place, including a campfire ban from April 15 to Oct. 15 at all wildlife areas in Benton, Franklin, Yakima and Kittitas counties. Also, a campfire ban is in place at the Columbia Basin Wildlife Area in Grant and Adams counties. All fire restrictions on WDFW lands in western Washington were lifted Aug. 15.