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  More to do Outside!

Photos: Winter hikers in snow; fisherman with winter steelhead; two elk resting in snowy forest
Region One: Eastern Washington Region Two: North Central Washington Region Three: South Central Washington Region Five Region Six: South Sound/Olympic Peninsula Region Four: North Central Sound
October 2016

Head outdoors for deer, waterfowl and salmon

Some of Washington's most popular hunting seasons get underway in October, when hunters take to the field for deer, ducks, geese and other game birds. 

Meanwhile, fall chinook salmon continue to make their way up the Columbia River. And anglers can take advantage of openings for coho fishing in several Puget Sound-area rivers that were announced recently by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

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Popular outdoor opportunities this month include:

  • Waterfowl: Migratory waterfowl are expected to make another strong showing this year. Hunters should expect great hunting this year, depending on weather.
  • Columbia River salmon: The bulk of this year's Columbia River fall chinook run has now moved past Bonneville Dam, invigorating fisheries at Drano Lake, the Klickitat River and farther upstream to areas such as Hanford Reach. But there are still opportunities to catch some nice fish in the lower Columbia River.
  • Puget Sound-area salmon: Coho salmon are returning in some areas in higher numbers than expected, allowing state salmon managers to open fisheries originally scheduled to be closed. The Skagit, Snohomish and Green rivers as well as Lake Washington have coho openings this month.
  • Big game: Hunts for big game species such as deer and elk look promising this fall. Hunters had a pretty good season last year and, with the mild winter in many parts of the state, that should be the case again this year.
  • Fall migration: Migrating birds, such as sandhill cranes, snow and Canada geese, can be spotted by wildlife-watchers at a variety of spots across Washington.

For more information about fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities available this month, see the Weekender Regional Reports posted on WDFW's website. These reports are updated throughout the month to provide current information about recreational opportunities around the state.

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