Don Hogue of Pasco reeled in a two-day total 29.13 pounds to earn the Washington state adult championship, and Jake Cook of Kennewick reeled in five fish for a total of 14.4 pounds to earn the age 15-18 Western Division title in Bass Federation Nation competitions held Wednesday and Friday on the Columbia River.
"It felt good. It was a pretty big accomplishment to beat ten different states," Cook said of his win. "I thought I had an advantage because I lived here for so long, but there were kids from other states that were fishing really well, too."
The Bass Federation Nation national championships are scheduled for the third week in October at the Harris Chain of Lakes in Florida.
Kiana Clark, 13, of Richland won the Bassmaster's Casting Kids accuracy contest Thursday evening and will compete in Florida for the chance to win a $5,000 scholarship.
"I just practiced for a month-and-a-half to two months, for an hour every night, for three to four days every week," Clark said.
Washington led all states with an overall weight of 304 pounds. Oregon was second with 220 pounds, and Colorado third with 201.
Spring chinook season opens on Yakima River
Spring chinook fishing has opened in the Yakima River from the Interstate 182 bridge in Richland to 400 feet downstream of the the Horn Rapids Dam, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said.
Fish and Wildlife and Yakama Nation fishery managers predict a return of between 10,000 and 15,900 adult spring chinook to the Yakima River in 2009. About
56 percent are predicted to be hatchery salmon originating from the Yakima/Klickitat Fisheries Project research hatchery at Cle Elum.
Jim Cummins, a department biologist, said spring chinook throughout the Columbia River Basin are late arriving, but fish are starting to enter the Yakima River and may peak the last couple weeks of May or early June.
Fish counts at Prosser and Roza Dams can be viewed at the following Web site: www.cbr.washington.edu/dart/
Officials estimate 20 percent will be wild Naches River chinook, the weaker of the two non-hatchery stocks returning to the Yakima Basin, and not supplemented by hatchery production.
"Water flows frustrated anglers last year and there's the same potential this spring," Cummins said in a statement. "Temperatures in the mountains get into the high 70's and the mountain snowpack begins to melt. Best fishing flows are in the range of 600 - 1,500 cfs as measured at Roza Dam. Flows higher than 2,000 cfs at Roza generally make the river unfishable."
The daily limit is two chinook, with a minimum size of 12 inches. Hatchery salmon are identified by a missing adipose fin and a healed scar in the location of the missing fin. Wild salmon (adipose fin intact) must be immediately released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release, officials said.
Special hunt permit deadline approaching
Hunters who want to apply for special hunting permits for fall deer, elk, mountain goat, moose, bighorn sheep and turkey seasons have until midnight Wednesdaymay 20, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The deadline is a month earlier than in past years. Permit winners will be selected by random drawing, with the results available by the end of June, said Dave Ware, game manager for the department.
Hunters selected to receive special permits qualify to hunt in areas and at times of the year that may not be available to those with only general hunting licenses.
Application instructions and details on special-permit hunts are described in the 2009-10 Big Game Hunting Seasons and Regulations pamphlet, available at WDFW offices, license vendors and online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regs_seasons.html
Before applying for a special-hunt permit, hunters must purchase an application and any necessary hunting licenses and transport tags on line, by phone, or from a licensed dealer for each species they wish to hunt. The cost for each application is $5.50 for residents, $55.00 for non-residents, and $3.30 for youth under 16 years of age.
All applications must be submitted via a toll-free telephone number (1-877-945-3492) or WDFW's website.