Crabbing ends, rivers open for salmon Sept. 1

Mark-selective fisheries for hatchery chinook salmon has ended in Puget Sound, but anglers still have other opportunities in the region. Coho fisheries remain open in the marine areas, where crabbing also continues through Sept. 1. In the freshwater, anglers can cast for steelhead while they await the Sept. 1 salmon opener on several rivers in the region.

Steve Thiesfeld, WDFW fish biologist, reminds anglers fishing in Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet) that they have a daily limit of two salmon, but must release chinook, chum and wild coho, which can be identified by an intact adipose fin.

Marine areas 7 (San Juan Islands), 8-1 (Deception Pass, Hope Island and Skagit Bay) and 8-2 (Port Susan and Port Gardner) also are open for salmon, but Thiesfeld said fishing has been slow the last couple weeks in those three areas.

Meanwhile, the summer crab fishery is winding down. Crabbing will remain open through the Labor Day weekend and the region’s marine areas close one hour past sunset Monday, Sept. 1.

In the rivers, anglers can still find some steelhead along the Reiter Ponds section of the skykomish River. But most freshwater fishers are gearing up for Sept. 1, when the Snohomish and portions of the Skykomish, Skagit and Snoqualmie open for salmon fishing. Anglers fishing those four rivers must release chinook. Anglers fishing the Snohomish, Snoqulamie and Skykomish also are required to release pink salmon.

Youth/senior pheasant hunts

A youth pheasant hunt for those licensed hunters under the age of 16 will be held Sept. 20 and 21 commencing at 8 a.m. each day at the Arnold Farm release site south of Oak Harbor. Young hunters wanting to participate should be accompanied by an adult age 18 or older.

A limited number of experienced mentor hunters with dogs will be available to accompany youth hunters who do not have an adult with them.

For more information, call Dave Graham at 675-5639.

A senior, age 65 and older, pheasant hunt will be held Sept. 22 through 26 also at Arnold Farm commencing at 8 a.m. each day.

To get to the Arnold Farm release site, take Highway 20 east out of Oak Harbor about 3.5 miles to Arnold Road. Then follow Arnold Road .6 miles to Zlylstra Road. The release site is approximately .5 miles down Zylstra Road and the parking area is on the right

The general pheasant season begins at 8 a.m. Sept. 27 at the following Whidbey Island release sites: Arnold Farm, including a small site about a quarter mile east of the Arnold Farm release site on Zylstra Road, Bayview, Ebey Prairie, and three NAS Whidbey Island sites which are OLF Coupeville and the Upper and Lower Game Ranges on the Sea Plane Base.

The NAS sites require special hunting permits which can be obtained by both civilian and military hunters at the hunting registration meeting to be held at the Gallery Golf Course on Golf Course Road in Oak Harbor between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 3 and again on Sept. 24. Prospective hunters must present a Department of Defense or state-issued photo identification, a Washington small game license and pheasant (odd/even) permit.

There is an $11 fee. No licenses will be available at these registration meetings.

For information on NAS permits, call John Phillips 360-257-8873.

Hunters are reminded that the odd/even system for hunters under age 65 is in effect at all Whidbey Island sites and that non-toxic shot is mandatory.

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