Outdoor scene

West Bar, in the Colockum, has been closed to public entry to protect a group of about 200 elk which have been feeding there. The state Fish and Wildlife Department is worried that human presence on the bar, a grassy area on the west bank of the Columbia about midway between Wenatchee and Vantage, may force the animals to swim the River and damage valuable crops on the east side. This has happened more than once in the past, said WDFW game program manager Dave Ware.

The closed area is in the Quilomene Game Management Unit (GMU 329) and the elk are part of the 4,500-animal Colockum herd, drawn to West Bar by fresh grass growing there after a summer fire and recent rains.

Elk season opened in the Colockum on Saturday, but Ware said the closed area was posted with yellow signs prior to the opener.

  • Duck hunt: The “duck taxi” service for waterfowl hunters on Potholes Reservoir is on tap again this fall and winter, ferrying hunters daily from MarDon Resort to sand dune islands and other choice spots on the reservoir. Unguided, “drop-off” hunts include the boat ride, a blind, and decoys, for $125 per person, two-person minimu. Fully guided hunts go for $175 per person, three-person minimum. Call 1-800-416-2736.

  • Winter salmon derby: Everett Bayside Marine’s annual winter salmon derby is scheduled for Nov. 4-5 this year, and yes, the blackmouth season opens here Nov. 1. This will be the ninth edition of the popular event, featuring a first prize of $1,000. Tickets, $25 for both days, are available at Bayside Marine, 1001 14th Street, Everett; phone 425-252-3088 for more information. Donate five or more cans/items of non-perishable food and receive $5 off the price of your derby ticket. Dan the Man says the event raised 864 pounds of food for the needy last year.

  • Steelhead clinic: The Everett Steelhead and Salmon Club presents its annual steelhead clinic Nov. 8, 8 a.m. to noon, at Floral Hall, Forest Park, Everett. The event will cover all the basics to fish steelhead in local rivers, along with fly fishing techniques and tackle. Local expert Jim Brauch will cover the basics, Jim Seaman the fly fishing, and there will be a professional river guide from the local area and one from Forks there to recommend specific rivers and times. There will also be the usual range of hands-on tables, featuring knot tying, slinky making, egg curing, and other good stuff.

  • Upcoming seasons: The north end of Lake Washington is now open for coho, through Nov. 30, daily limit six fish. General bull elk season opens in all areas except Western Washington (which opens Nov. 6) on Oct. 30. Winter blackmouth season opens in most parts of Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca on Nov. 1. The Snake River steelhead run is expected to be a very good one this fall and winter – counts of hatchery and wild steelhead over Lower Monumental Dam show a run above last year’s, and that one was the best in 15 years.

  • Razor clams: Remaining recreational razor clam openings this fall and winter, afternoon tides only, are as follows: Nov. 10-11, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, and Kalaloch only; Nov. 12-16, Kalaloch only; Nov. 24-25, all beaches; Dec. 8-9, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, and Kalaloch only; Dec. 10-12, Kalaloch only; Dec. 13, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, and Kalaloch only; Dec. 14, Kalaloch only.

  • Hunter ed: Successful completion of a certified hunter safety class is required in order to obtain a first Washington State hunting license for those of a certain age, or for those planning on hunting as a non-resident in any of several other states. For information on upcoming classes, call certified instructors Dick Abbey, at 206-542-2792 (leave a message if no answer), or Jim Elliott at 425-353-2211, after 5 p.m.

  • Build a rod: Greg’s Custom Fishing Rods in Lake Stevens presents a second rod building class this fall, 7-9 p.m. on Nov. 6, 8, 13, and 15, for a fee of $25. Call for reservations or more information, 425-335-1391.

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