It’s Mother’s Day, so why not take mom outside where there is plenty to do in this sunny weather.
That includes everything from taking a hike or a walk to going fishing. Even after today, there are plenty of outdoor options in May.
The fourth annual statewide trout fishing derby continues through Oct. 31. All one needs to participate is a 2019-20 fishing license. More than 1,000 tagged fish are stocked in lakes.
While the weather is warm, local waters are not.
During spring, the air warms but Washington’s waterways are still below 60 degrees — cold enough to cause an involuntary gasp and kill even strong swimmers in less than one minute. Before you head out on the water, make sure to be properly equipped with life jackets and all necessary safety gear.
The popular spot shrimp season opened Saturday in Puget Sound. The limit is 80 spot shrimp per day in all areas.
Several areas of Puget Sound will open for halibut fishing in May with a higher halibut quota compared to recent years.
For marine areas 5-10, the halibut fishery will be open May 18, 24 and 26. Depending on available quota, those areas will re-open June 6, 8, 20 and 22.
There is a one-fish daily catch limit and no minimum size restriction. The annual limit is four halibut.
May provides good fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass across western Washington as waters warm and adult fish prepare to spawn. Look for bass around grass lines, docks, pilings, and rock piles.
On larger lakes, look for shallow shorelines with a southern exposure, allowing for quicker warming than the main area.
Details on all recreational salmon fisheries for the 2019 seasons will be provided in the 2019-20 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, which will be available in late June.
The statewide spring wild turkey season continues through May 31.
This year, WDFW is offering a First Turkey program. Send in your first turkey harvest information and receive an official WDFW First Turkey certificate. You can also register your turkey with the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) Washington Chapter to receive an official First Turkey pin.
For more seasoned turkey hunters, the WDFW is offering a new challenge, the Wash Turkey Slam.
Harvest all three turkey subspecies either in a single season or over multiple seasons, and you can receive a brass pin courtesy of the NWTF Washington chapter.
Hunters have through May 22 to apply for special hunting permits for fall deer, elk, mountain goat, moose, bighorn sheep and turkey seasons. Special permits allow hunters to hunt at times and places beyond those allowed by a general hunting license.
Most special hunting permit applications cost $7.10 for residents, $110.50 for nonresidents, and $3.80 for youths under 16. Applications for mountain goat, bighorn sheep, moose and “quality” categories for deer and elk cost $13.70.
Join forces with conservation and science partners from across the Pacific Northwest to collect information and create the first-ever bumble bee atlas for the region. Data collected will help to enact more effective conservation measures that will benefit these important native pollinators. To get started, visit pnwbumblebeeatlas.org.
It’s also the time of year when young wildlife may be seen as you enjoy the outdoors. Remember to leave those wild babies in the wild — even when they may appear to be orphaned or abandoned. More often than not, just leaving a young animal alone affords it the best chance for survival.
Wild animals reproducing this month can become a nuisance if they take up residence under a porch, in a crawl space, or in a garage or attic.
Skunks and raccoons are among the most common in this region, but bats, squirrels and woodpeckers can become problems as well. Sealing up spaces where these animals try to nest or den is the first step to avoid bad situations.