Kevin Geoghegan’s 28.52-pound chinook, with a few pounds to spare, took the $5,000 first-place prize in the adult division of the Bellingham Puget Sound Anglers Salmon Derby held July 13-15.
Young Morgan Pease topped the kids’ division entries with a 17.14-pound king.
Other leaderboard money fish in the adult division were 25.52- and 25.34-pound kings landed by Doug Marr and Kelli Martin, respectively.
Jake Pease and Trey Krause took second- and third-place prizes, respectively, in the kids’ division with 16.16- and 14.74-pound chinook.
Two other money fish closest to a preselected hidden or mystery weight were 6.72- and 4.52-pound kings entered by Adam Frantz and Jim Lawson. Both earned $500 cash prizes.
Derby organizers report that 375 adult ($50) tickets were sold for the 2012 event together with 74 kids’ (free) tickets. The three-day angling contest in the San Juan Islands saw 181 salmon landed and entered, 164 by adult contestants and 17 by youth fishers.
The Bellingham PSA derby is the fifth of 14 salmon angling contests scheduled this year in the Northwest Marine Trade Association’s Northwest Salmon Derby Series.
The next event is the South King County PSA Salmon Derby out of Des Moines set for Saturday, Aug. 4.
In conjunction with these derbies, NMTA will raffle off a sport fishing (boat, motor, trailer, accessories) package in September.
DRYLAND DEER HUNTS RAFFLED Deer hunters interested in partaking of a quality limited-entry hunt in the northern Okanogan region have until midnight Wednesday, Aug. 15, to enter the lottery.
A total of 18 special permits will be issued, six each to bowhunters, muzzleloaders and modern firearms hunters, for the opportunity to access the Charles and Mary Eder Unit of the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area.
The Eder Unit is located in the shrub-steppe highlands east of Lake Osoyoos and north of the Chesaw (Oroville-Toroda Creek) Road out of Oroville.
Hunts for each weapons type are timed to take place during the normal September and October hunts for each. The unit is otherwise off-limits to deer hunting.
Applications may be made free of any charge online at wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/per mits/scotchcreek/ and also by calling the WDFW north-central region office at 509-754-4624 or WDFW’s Olympia headquarters at 360-902-2515. The drawing will be held Thursday, Aug. 16, and entrants can check online the last week in August for the results. Access permits and maps of the Eder Unit boundaries will be mailed then to successful applicants.
SHORT LIST FOR REHAB Efforts to remove unwanted fish from three Eastern Washington lakes have been proposed for 2012-13 by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Nominated for treatment with rotenone this fall are Spokane County’s Fish Lake as well as Burke Lake in Grant County and Little Beaver Lake in Okanogan County.
Targeted at Fish Lake, located five miles northeast of Cheney, will be an infestation of illegally released northern pike that have taken over these waters. Before the advent of pike dominance, fish and wildlife department records show Fish produced the most recent state record tiger trout, a 14-pound specimen. Fish also receives brook trout.
In Little Beaver Lake, one of a string of lakes along the Chesaw (Oroville-Toroda Creek) Road on the Okanogan National Forest, it’s yellow perch that are competing with what once was a good crop of eastern brook trout.
Burke Lake, one of four finger lakes in western Grant County south of Quincy, is managed by the department for an annual March 1 trout fishing opener. To that end, fingerling rainbow trout are released in early fall to grow through the winter in Burke’s seep-fed waters. Unfortunately, a bevy of competing fish species is stymieing this strategy, which, by the way, is a less costly way to provide trout fisheries.
Starting Tuesday, July 24, four successive evening meetings with the agency’s Fish Program staff, at Twisp, Spokane, Ephrata and Olympia will enable the public to learn more about the projects and provide direct feedback.
Written comments on the proposal to use the widely-used, U.S. EPA-approved refined chemical compound rotenone to eliminated unwanted fish will be accepted until Friday, Aug. 31. Letters and emails should be directed to Bruce Bolding in care of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091. HUNTER TRAINING COURSES With the first of 2012’s summer/fall hunts (general black bear season) now just 10 days away, lining up hunting documents is in order. For some that will mean getting a little schooling before putting down money.
Under Washington law anyone born after Jan. 1, 1972, must provide proof of successful completion of a certified hunter education course to buy their initial hunting license.
Similar training is required to obtain a trapping license in Washington, but currently this state does not require separate training for bowhunters, though other states do. Within its hunter education program, Washington provides basic hunting safety and education, trapper training for certification and a third course option tailored to bowhunting (preparation for licensing in other states).
There are several ways that first-time purchasers of Washington hunting licenses can successfully accomplish the training needed to get their authorization to hunt.
If a sanctioned hunter education course was successfully completed in another state, a certificate of accomplishment issued by that state will be accepted as proof at the time a hunting license is purchased at a license dealer.
Would-be hunters may also register for and take an online course of study provided though the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Hunter Education Program. Students may pace themselves and take the on-line exam as many times as needed to obtain a passing grade.
Upon receiving a qualifying grade, a one-time fee of $19.60 is charged the participant for the online coursework and a certificate can be printed out. The only remaining requirement for the online matriculate is to register for and appear at a range skills evaluation session to demonstrate certain proficiencies after which a license may be purchased.
The website for Washington’s online study is hunter-ed.com/washington/index.html.
The third way to obtain hunter education certification in Washington is to take a 10-14 hour traditional classroom course.
These classes are offered year-around with some available right up to and during the general hunting seasons. A formalized clearinghouse and registration center for these classes is now available online at wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/huntered/courses.html.
Instructors post public notices of their classes on this Web site, so it’s less likely nowadays that you can just sign up or show up for a local traditional course.
Local traditional and range skills evaluation sessions are coming up here in Whatcom County.
In August Doug and Yvonne Isakson will provide both a traditional class set for Aug. 21-23 and 25 as well as a range skills evaluation session (limited to persons age 15 and older) on Aug. 26. Both will take place at the Custer Sportsmen’s Club, but do not call CSC; class details and registration are available only via the Web, so watch for both these opportunities online at WDFW’s clearinghouse. In September, Dave Vanderhoek of Dave’s Sports Shop in Lynden will teach a traditional class at Lynden Middle School. The dates are yet to be determined but this class option also should be posted soon on WDFW’s hunter education site and it’s there that you can register.
Other traditional classes as well as the range skills evaluations are slated for the next few months in nearby Skagit, Snohomish and Island counties.
These are highly sought-after classes and sessions can fill up quickly. Do regularly check the class clearinghouse Web page until you find the most convenient course.
If formal training of some sort is just not in the cards this year for an unlicensed hunter, a last option available in Washington is a hunter education deferral. Good for one year, persons opting for this can get a license with a deferral but may only hunt in the company of another licensed hunter. To get their next hunting license, they must pass a course of hunter ed training and present a certificate.
Details for this one-time, $20 stop-gap option for first-time Washington hunting license buyers can be found at wa.gov/hunting/huntered/he_deferral.html.
SKYKOMISH KINGS FAIR GAME With returns of hatchery summer chinook salmon expected to exceed broodstock needs for egg-take at Wallace River Hatchery, the lower Skykomish River fishery for chinook has resumed.
The open section is from its mouth (the confluence with the Snoqualmie River) upstream to the mouth of the Wallace River above Sultan with the following provisos by reach.
The mouth to Lewis Street Bridge in Monroe with bans on night fishing and potential snagging tackle takes effect Wednesday, Aug. 1, while the Lewis Street Bridge in Monroe to Wallace River with bans on night fishing and potential snagging tackle is in effect now.
Anglers now may keep two hatchery chinook salmon per day with minimum size 12 inches as well as the gamefish species spelled out in the permanent fishing regulations on page 42.
Doug Huddle, The Bellingham Herald’s outdoors correspondent, since 1983 has written a weekly fishing and hunting column that now appears Sundays. Read his blog and contact him at pblogs. bellinghamherald.com/outdoors.