Fish & Feathers: Things to do right now

Matt Wright and his son are pictured with one big black-tail deer.

The Seahawks’ season is slowly going south, and the rain has returned to our part of the world — and that last part is good news. Rivers are rising, duck and deer seasons are opening this weekend — intermixed with elk, black powder, archery and all matters of outdoor activity. All you have to do is pick and choose your favorite sport.

Recreational crabbing has reopened in the lower river. Pots set near North Jetty and in the Columbia River are both doing well. You have to pick and choose when crabbing, as there are still some light, soft crab around. But there are some nice crab to be taken — around 80 percent full. They should be robust around mid-November.

Crab fishers may fish for crab in Oregon waters and land in Washington ports on the Columbia. Dungeness crab must be 5.75 inches. The limit is 12 males and you must retain the back shell while in the field. All soft-shell, females and under-size crab must be released.

As of this past Oct. 1, anglers fishing in the Buoy 10 area may again retain two adult salmon per day. Anglers must release all salmon other then Chinook and hatchery coho. With the recent rain, fishery managers expect that anglers will catch a lot more fall Chinook as well as coho, which are moving into the river. “This year’s catch of fall Chinook will likely set a new record,” Joe Hymer, a fish biologist for the WDFW, said in an online update.

Fishery managers now predict nearly 1.2 million fall Chinook, including 735,000 upriver brights, will return to the Columbia this year. Fall rainstorms will help move an infusion of Chinook and late-run coho salmon into the tributaries of the Columbia over the next month.

If you are planning on going to Eastern Washington bird hunting, in addition to ducks and geese, quail season has just opened. Quail hunting is expected to be good again this year with good over-winter survival and great summer conditions for brood success.

The one thing you may not be able to do for a while is dig clams. Elevated toxins have delayed the opening of our beloved clam season, which at the earliest will be mid-November… Maybe.

Ron Malast can be reached at 665-3573 or

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