Some of Washington’s most popular hunting seasons will get under way Oct. 15, when hunters take to the field for ducks, geese and deer. Other hunting seasons opening in October include those for pheasant, quail, chukar and gray partridge.

Migratory waterfowl numbers are expected to be strong this year, said Dave Ware, game manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

“The wet winter and spring really benefitted migratory waterfowl populations,” Ware said. “As usual, early hunting opportunities will be focused on resident waterfowl, then turn to migratory birds as more start arriving in November.”

Big game hunts also look promising this fall, said Ware, who expects hunters’ success to be similar to last year. “Overall, hunters had a decent season for elk and deer last fall,” Ware said. “That should be the case this year as well.”

Ware notes that area-by-area summaries of hunting prospects around the state are available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/prospects/ .  

All hunters must carry a valid 2011-12 hunting license for the species they are hunting. Detailed information on upcoming hunting seasons is available in WDFW’s Big Game Hunting pamphlet and the Waterfowl and Upland Game Regulation pamphlet, both available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/ .

Meanwhile, a highly anticipated fishery for hatchery steelhead is now open on the upper Columbia River above Rock Island Dam, and on the Wenatchee, Icicle, Entiat, Methow, and Okanogan rivers. Salmon fishing on the Columbia River from Wells Dam to Brewster also re-opened Sept. 28 and will run through Oct. 15.

In Puget Sound, anglers are hooking coho salmon in Puget Sound, where the best action for silvers will likely shift to the rivers later in the month.

For more information about fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing available this month, see the Weekender Regional Reports posted on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/weekender/ . These reports are updated throughout the month to provide current information about recreational opportunities around the state.  

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