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News / Sports / Outdoors

Out and About: Feel Free to Hunt in Cathlamet block of land

The Columbian
Published: October 24, 2019, 11:07pm

The Weyerhaeuser timber company has enrolled over 6,600 acres in the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Private Lands Access program. Those lands were opened by the WDFW as Feel Free to Hunt access.

“We are excited that Weyerhaeuser Company has chosen to provide free public hunting access on these parcels,” said Kessina Lee, WDFW Region 5 Director in a news release. “This greatly expands portions of their property for hunting opportunities for our southwest Washington hunters and those who visit from around the state.”

Called the Cathlamet block, the property spreads across parts of three counties: Cowlitz, Pacific, and Wahkiakum. The parcels are adjacent to Department of Natural Resources lands.

The site is now open for all hunting activities, and hunters do not need a permit. While there are some areas accessible by roads, other sections are walk-in only.

“We’ve seen deer, elk, and black bear on this property,” Lee added. “We’re hoping our hunters and recreationists enjoy quality outdoor time in this forest.”

Anyone using the site must follow Weyerhaeuser Company’s access rules posted at weyerhaeuser.com/recreational-access/northwest-region/faqs/. For a map of the area, follow this link privatelands.wdfw.wa.gov/private_lands/hunt/850/.

The Private Lands Access program allows the WDFW to find and secure access on private properties. The department now has 1.3 million acres enrolled statewide.

Columbia reopened for coho salmon, sturgeon

Fisheries managers from Oregon and Washington have reopened the Columbia River to recreational coho fishing and added two days of white sturgeon retention. The first day of retention was Saturday. The river will also be open for retention on Thursday.

Retention will be allowed from the Wauna power lines at River Mile 40 upstream to the fishing deadlines at Bonneville Dam, including the Cowlitz River.

About 720 fish were retained during the initial three days of the fishery. About 510 fish remain of the 1,230 harvest guideline.

Anglers may keep one legal-sized white sturgeon a day and up to two fish for the year. Managers remind anglers to use care when measuring sturgeon to keep. A legal-sized sturgeon is defined as one measuring 44-50 inches fork length.

The states reopened coho salmon retention on the Columbia beginning Friday, and it will stay open through Oct. 31 from the Tongue Point/Rocky Point line to The Dalles Dam. Below the Hood River Bridge anglers may keep only adipose-fin clipped hatchery coho. Release all steelhead and chinook.

For more information and regulation updates, please see ODFW’s Columbia River Zone online. (ODFW)

Hunters reminded they can wear pink

The WDFW wants to remind hunters that fluorescent hunter pink is now legal in Washington. Senate Bill 5148, passed last spring, became law in July, and it allows for hunters to wear pink instead of orange when hunting.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission acted recently to implement the legislation and has adopted rules to do so. Hunters may wear orange, or pink, or both in the field during this year’s seasons.

Other states have also passed laws to allow for hunter pink.

“Hunters must follow the same requirements as hunter orange if they wear hunter pink,” said David Whipple, WDFW hunter education division manager in a news release. “If you hunt during a season that requires visible clothing, you’re required to wear a minimum of 400 square inches above the waist that is visible from all sides.”

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Hunters are reminded that a hat alone does not meet the requirements.

State Senator Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, sponsored the bill, and has coupled the effort with breast cancer awareness. Pink is the color symbolizing the movement to raise awareness and find a cure for breast cancer.

The Senator has been undergoing treatments for the disease.

The requirement to wear hunter orange, as well as requirements for hunter education, have been lauded as two reasons hunter accidents are down in Washington.

“I’ve worn fluorescent orange plenty of times,” said Wilson in a news release, “but pink will be a great option because it’s super visible in the outdoors, probably more than orange in a lot of situations.”

Those who wish to learn more about hunter safety can visit our hunting education and requirements page at wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/requirements. (WDFW)