Just as returning Samish River fall chinook start chugging up the tiny Skagit County stream in earnest, as few as 15 days may remain in the 2013 river fishing season.
Under this year's regulations package a closure is called for Sunday, Sept. 8.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officials then will evaluate angler compliance with fishing, property access and anti-litter rules. If they deem the performance has been acceptable, an emergency reopening will be ordered and sport salmon fishing will resume. If it's thumbs down, salmon fishers are done with kings.
Between now and then, if you want to help paint Samish anglers in a good light, you can follow the simple rules of gear and presentation as well as get permission to enter the lands along the river.
If you need reminders, WDFW district fishery managers have put together a tutorial that is easy to follow.
SCHOOLING OPTIONS FOR NEW HUNTERS
Bear season already is underway and more options are coming in September.
If you're a first-time Washington hunter born in 1972 or after you must take and pass a hunter education class to be able to buy an Evergreen State hunting license.
In this era of the Internet, there are more options to get this crucial last-minute schooling.
For more details on how to fish the Samish for kings in a legal fashion and where and how to get schooled for the hunting season, read Sunday's Outdoors Column.
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 http://pbogs.bellinghamherald.com/outdoors.