Washington Fishing, Hunting, Boating

Whether a stream wader, a lake fisher, or a salt-water enthusiast, the angler will find sport to suit his taste in Washington. Cutthroat and rainbow trout flash in the rivers; lake trout include Eastern brook, Dolly Varden, and Mackinaw, and the Beardslee trout of Lake Crescent (see Tour 3A), said not to be found elsewhere. Other fish rising to bait in fresh water are bass, perch, chub, catfish, and crappie. Sturgeon are caught in the larger rivers -- the Columbia, Snake, and Clark Fork. State hatcheries annually stock streams and lakes.

Salmon fishing, one of the leading outdoor sports, is followed by both the expert and the novice. Spinning and trolling are popular methods in catching the silver, the king, and other varieties. A light rod with drag reel is used in spinning, with a medium-test line and leads, depending upon the tide. Trolling is practiced in a powered or oared boat, with a heavy-test line from 600 to 900 feet in length.

Annual salmon derbies are held in a number of Puget Sound cities. Women as well as men enter these events, which begin in the spring and continue through the summer months.

The hunter seeking big game will find bear, cougar, and deer in the mountainous country. In deer season, the bag is limited to one buck; the law also forbids slaying a doe and the use of dogs. The mule deer, averaging 140 pounds dressed, is found on nearly all the islands of Puget Sound; the larger whitetail, dressing from 250 to 300 pounds, roams the Cascades. Herds of Roosevelt elk (wapiti) range the Olympic National Park, one of the three abodes in the country for this species. Complaints by farmers of elks' raids on crops, coupled with alleged deterioration of the species from overcrowding, have moved the State game commission to permit a short open season. The Olympic area is the haunt also of predatory animals, including the savage mountain lion (cougar).

The uplands of eastern Washington afford grouse, pheasant, and quail, while the best duck hunting is found in the marshes, sloughs, and lowlands west of the Cascades.

Puget Sound is ideal for boating, whether in the "flattie," the sailboat, or the expensive cruiser. Yacht clubs hold cruises and competitions throughout the year, featuring annual races from Seattle or Tacoma to British Columbia ports.

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