Trout fishing opens statewide April 26, capping off a month of ‘opening days’

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For many anglers, “opening day” is synonymous with the start of the lowland lakes trout-fishing season, which gets under way April 26 this year. Hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians typically descend on trout-stocked lakes to kick off the state’s biggest outdoor event.

To prepare for the upcoming season, hatchery crews from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) have been working since last year to stock more than 16 million fish in hundreds of lakes throughout the state. Anglers can find how many went where at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/

But anglers – and hunters, too – are also looking forward to a variety of other “opening days” this month for outdoor adventures ranging from razor clam digs on ocean beaches to turkey hunting in fields throughout the state. In addition, several Washington communities are hosting festivals this month to mark the seasonal migration of waterfowl and shorebirds.

“April really marks the start of the new year for fishing, hunting, and a wide range of outdoor activities,” said Joe Stohr, WDFW deputy director. “The annual cycle is beginning again and a lot of us are glad to see it arrive.”

For most people, a valid 2014-15 fishing or hunting license will be required to participate in those activities after March 31, when all 2013-14 licenses expire. The exception is young people under age 15, who can fish for free.

Licenses and permits are avaiIable online (https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/ ), by phone (1-866-246-9453) and from sporting goods stores and other retail license dealers around the state. A list of license vendors (http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/ ) is available online and from local WDFW offices around the state.

Key dates to keep in mind in April include:

April 1 – Several dozen lakes in the Columbia Basin open to fishing.

April 4-6 –The first Olympic Peninsula BirdFest takes place in Sequim near the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

April 5-6 – A two-day spring turkey hunt for hunters age 15 and younger is scheduled statewide.

April 14-20 – A seven-day morning razor clam dig is tentatively scheduled on various ocean beaches. For details, see WDFW’s razor clam webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html .

April 15 – The general spring turkey hunt opens for hunters of all ages and runs through May 31. See WDFW’s Washington Wild Turkey Spring Season pamphlet at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/ for more information.

April 16 – Lingcod fishing season opens in the Neah Bay area (Marine Area 4).

April 25-27 – The Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival, based in Hoquiam, celebrates shorebirds. For information, see http://www.shorebirdfestival.com/ .

April 26 – Hundreds of lakes open to trout fishing across the state for the biggest “opening day” of the year.

Win a rod and reel by taking a state fisheries Puget Sound fisheries enhancement survey!

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A state Fish and Wildlife Puget Sound sport fisheries enhancement survey will draw one person to win a fishing rod and reel.

The brief survey was created to get the public’s perspective of the Puget Sound Recreational salmon and Marine Fish Enhancement Program. Take the survey through March 31 at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/salmon/psrfef/survey.html.

The program created in 1993 by the state Legislature to boost and promote recreational fishing in Puget Sound and support sustainable populations of salmon and marine bottomfish. The program is supported by revenue generated from the sales of certain fishing licenses.

The winner will be selected in late April.

“This is a short survey designed to give us a better idea of people’s understanding of the program and where our efforts should be focused in the future,” Ryan Lothrop, a state Fish and Wildlife Puget Sound recreational salmon manager said in a news release. “We are looking at how best to improve recreational fisheries in Puget Sound and our efforts to introduce people to sportfishing.”

Washington State Fish and Wildlife Fishing Reports July 30th – August 4th

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Everett ramp – July 30: 37 boats with 84 anglers caught 13 chinook, four coho and 18 pinks; July 31: 38 boats with 76 anglers caught 18 chinook, six coho and nine pinks; Aug. 2: 79 boats with 178 anglers caught 35 chinook, 16 coho and 26 pinks; Aug. 3: 231 boats with 564 anglers caught 30 chinook, 56 coho and 95 pinks; Aug. 4: 246 boats with 587 anglers caught 44 chinook, 56 coho and 101 pinks.

Shilshole Bay ramp – July 30: 42 boats with 87 anglers caught 19 chinook, 16 coho and 25 pinks; July 31: 73 boats with 133 anglers caught 22 chinook, 16 coho and 26 pinks; Aug. 1: 41 boats with 82 anglers caught 23 chinook, nine coho and 13 pinks; Aug. 2: 76 boats with 162 anglers caught 29 chinook, 31 coho and 24 pinks; Aug. 3: 140 boats with 309 anglers caught 28 chinook, 31 coho and 39 pinks; Aug. 4: 72 boats with 165 anglers caught 10 chinook, 33 coho and 55 pinks.

Kingston ramp – July 31: 24 boats with 49 anglers caught two chinook, 23 coho, four pinks and five herring.

Don Armeni ramp, West Seattle – Aug. 2: 13 boats with 23 anglers caught four chinook, one coho and three chum; Aug. 4: 77 boats with 177 anglers caught 22 chinook, seven coho and 29 pinks.

Port Orchard ramp – July 29: Six boats with nine anglers caught two chinook; July 31: Six boats with 12 anglers caught three chinook.

Manchester ramp – July 30: 11 boats with 18 anglers caught no fish.

Ediz Hook ramp, Port Angeles – July 30: 29 boats with 51 anglers caught 22 chinook, one coho and 40 pinks; July 31: 27 boats with 56 anglers caught 33 chinook and 33 pinks; Aug. 1: 14 boats with 23 anglers caught eight chinook, one coho and five pinks; Aug. 2: 39 boats with 73 anglers caught 31 chinook, one coho and 66 pinks; Aug. 3: 62 boats with 135 anglers caught 38 chinook, five coho and 139 pinks; Aug. 4: 54 boats with 116 anglers caught 17 chinook and 84 pinks.

Olson’s Resort, Sekiu – July 30: 41 boats with 100 anglers caught 46 chinook, nine ocho and 77 pinks; July 31: 23 boats with 52 anglers caught nine chinook, two coho and 77 pinks; Aug. 1: 70 boats with 166 anglers caught 51 chinook, 11 coho, 97 pinks, three rockfish and 13 kelp greenling; Aug. 2: 76 boats with 193 anglers caught 103 chinook, seven coho and 124 pinks; Aug. 3: 15 boats with 41 anglers caught 13 chinook, five coho, 11 pinks and seven rockfish; aug. 4: 152 boats with 419 anglers caught 74 chinook, 38 coho, 219 pinks and five rockfish.

Van Riper’s Resort, Sekiu – July 30:
39 boats with 97 anglers caught 38 chinook, 11 coho and 89 pinks; Aug. 1: 42 boats with 103 anglers caught 38 chinook, eight coho and 101 pinks; Aug. 2: 41 boats with 97 anglers caught 58 chinook, five coho and 88 pinks; Aug. 3: 13 boats with 25 anglers caught 12 chinook, seven coho and 27 pinks.

John Wayne Marina, Sequim – Aug. 4: Eight boats with 16 anglers caught four chinook.

Glenn Street ramp, Bellingham – July 29: Six boats with 17 anglers caught three chinook and three pinks; Aug. 2: Two boats with six anglers caught one chinook and three pinks; Aug. 3: 15 boats with 42 anglers caught five chinook and 11 pinks; Aug. 4: 21 boats with 46 anglers caught five chinook and 37 pinks.

Blaine ramp – July 29: One boat with two anglers caught no fish; Aug. 3: Two boats with seven anglers caught two chinook; Aug. 4: Three boats with eight anglers caught no fish.

Cornet Bay ramp, North Whidbey Island – July 29: Seven boats with 15 anglers caught two chinook, four coho and 10 pinks; Aug. 2: Seven boats with 21 anglers caught 12 chinook, one coho and 13 pinks; Aug. 4: 31 boats with 71 anglers caught seven chinook, two coho and 32 pinks.

Washington Park ramp, Anacortes – July 29: 17 boats with 44 anglers caught five chinook and 10 pinks; Aug. 2: Nine boats with 19 anglers caught one chinook and two pinks; Aug. 3: 17 boats with 40 anglers caught four chinook and three pinks; Aug. 4: 17 boats with 47 anglers caught nine chinook and 14 pinks.

Griffin Bay ramp, San Juan Island – Aug. 2: One boat with one angler caught no fish; Aug. 3: Four boats with 13 anglers caught 13 pinks; Aug. 4: Five boats with 11 anglers caught 24 pinks.

Swinomish Channel ramp – Aug. 2: Three boats with seven anglers caught one chinook.

Redondo Beach ramp – July 29: 31 boats with 89 anglers caught one chinook, five coho, 13 pinks and 10 flounder; July 30: 51 boats with 93 anglers caught six chinook, one coho, 33 pinks and 13 flounder; Aug. 3: 122 boats with 268 anglers caught seven chinook, one coho, 146 pinks and 98 flounder.

Dash Point Pier – Aug. 3: 103 anglers caught 44 pinks, 36 flounder and 12 herring.

Brownsville ramp – Aug. 3: 27 boats with 60 anglers caught seven chinook, 10 coho, 17 pinks and one flounder.

Solo Point ramp, South Tacoma – July 29: One boat with four anglers caught two flounder.

Narrows Park Properties Pier – July 29: 14 anglers caught five pinks.

Point Defiance Park Boathouse, Tacoma – July 29: 27 boats with 31 anglers caught seven chinook, one coho and five pinks; July 30: 24 boats with 31 anglers caught eight chinook and five pinks; Aug. 2: 30 boats with 36 anglers caught seven chinook, two coho and three pinks; Aug. 4: 33 boats with 62 anglers caught three chinook, two pinks and 19 flounder.

Point Defiance Park ramp, Tacoma – July 29: 30 boats with 58 anglers caught four chinook and 13 pinks; July 30: 52 boats with 111 anglers caught 10 chinook, 22 pinks and nine flounder; July 31: Seven boats with 16 anglers caught eight chinook, one coho and 12 pinks; Aug. 4: 178 boats with 398 anglers caught seven chinook, two coho, 76 pinks and 56 flounder.

Gig Harbor ramp – July 29: 18 boats with 28 anglers caught two pinks; July 31: 12 boats with 24 anglers caught one chinook and five pinks; Aug. 4: Five boats with nine anglers caught one chinook and two pinks.

Narrows ramp – July 29: Seven boats with 18 anglers caught one pink; Aug. 3: Four boats with eight anglers caught one pink; Aug. 4: Seven boats with 16 anglers caught one pink and one flounder.

Narrows Marina – Aug. 3: Eight boats with 12 anglers caught six chinook.

Zittel’s Marina – July 29: Five boats with 10 anglers caught no fish; Aug. 4: 16 boats with 35 anglers caught 35 flounder.

Boston Harbor Marina – July 30: One boat with two anglers caught no fish; Aug. 3: Two boats with three anglers caught no fish.

Steilacoom ramp – July 30: One boat with two anglers caught no fish; July 31: One boat with one angler caught no fish.

Luhr Beach ramp – July 30: Six boats with 12 anglers caught five flounder; Aug. 3: Eight boats with 16 anglers caught no fish.

Hartstene Island ramp – Aug. 3: One boat with two anglers caught one chinook.

Hoodsport shoreline, Hood Canal – July 29: 29 anglers caught three pinks; Aug. 4: 24 anglers caught five chinook and one pink.

Skokomish ramp, Hood Canal – July 29: Five boats with 10 anglers caught no fish; Aug. 2: Six boats with 12 anglers caught one chinook; Aug. 4: 13 boats with 31 anglers caught two pinks.

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Washington State Fish and Wildlife Salmon Checks July 8th -14th 2013

The Pinks are Coming!
“It is wall-to-wall pinks and lots of silvers up at Neah Bay, and it hard to get your line down to catch a chinook because you’ll end up nailing a pink or coho,”. “In no time the rest of the Strait will get inundated with pinks.”

Just east off Sekiu, the hatchery king fishing has been just fair at best, but there are increasing numbers of pinks and coho.

“Most of the boats at Sekiu are hanging in close to shore looking for kings, and the pinks are being caught further offshore,”. “I’m sure if they ventured father out they’d get into a lot of pinks. Some of the pinks I’ve seen at Port Angeles are decent size in the 5 pound range.” said Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife fish checker in the Strait. “We had over 200 pinks checked at Port Angeles and they are catching them right along the shore.”

Don Armeni ramp, West Seattle — July 11: Nine boats with 19 anglers caught two chinook; July 12: 11 boats with 24 anglers caught 44 flounder; July 13: 21 boats with 42 anglers caught two chinook; July 14: 18 boats with 37 anglers caught three coho and one pink.

Eddie Vine ramp, Shilshole Bay — July 12: 11 boats with 19 anglers caught one coho and 15 flounder; July 13: 36 boats with 78 anglers caught 28 coho, one pink and 37 flounder; July 14: 39 boats with 85 anglers caught 12 coho and 37 flounder.

Mukilteo ramp — July 13: Four boats with seven anglers caught no fish.

Everett ramp — July 12: 12 boats with 26 anglers caught 13 flounder; July 13: 47 boats with 101 anglers caught two chinook, four coho and 52 flounder; July 14: 33 boats with 77 anglers caught two chinook.

Manchester ramp — July 8: Five boats with 10 anglers caught four flounder.

Port Orchard ramp — July 8: One boat with three anglers caught no fish; July 12: One boat with two anglers caught no fish.

Glenn Street ramp, Bellingham — July 8: Four boats with 12 anglers caught one chinook; July 12: Two boats with six anglers caught one chinook; July 13: 34 boats with 88 anglers caught 36 chinook and nine pinks; July 14: 26 boats with 79 anglers caught 45 chinook, one coho and one pink.

Cornet Bay ramp, North Whidbey Island — July 8: Seven boats with 15 anglers caught one chinook; July 12: 11 boats with 24 anglers caught nine chinook, seven coho and five pinks; July 13: 17 boats with 48 anglers caught 22 chinook, 32 coho and 30 pinks; July 14: 24 boats with 58 anglers caught 27 chinook, 31 coho and 43 pinks.

Washington Park ramp, Anacortes — July 8: 13 boats with 26 anglers caught four chinook; July 9: Five boats with 10 anglers caught four chinook; July 12: Eight boats with 17 anglers caught four chinook; July 13: 40 boats with 84 anglers caught 15 chinook, seven pinks and one sockeye; July 14: 28 boats with 61 anglers caught five chinook, four coho, 13 pinks and two sockeye.

Olson’s Resort, Sekiu — July 10: 61 boats with 155 anglers caught 66 chinook, 65 coho, 65 pinks and four rockfish; July 11: 57 boats with 127 anglers caught 45 chinook, 51 coho, 53 pinks and six rockfish; July 12: 68 boats with 170 anglers caught 54 chinook, 89 coho and 139 pinks; July 13: 160 boats with 426 anglers caught 132 chinook, 160 coho and 283 pinks; July 14: 69 boats with 190 anglers caught 57 chinook, 63 coho, 87 pinks, 24 rockfish, 16 kelp greenling and four lingcod.

Van Riper’s Resort, Sekiu — July 10: 43 boats with 98 anglers caught 54 chinook, 46 coho and 66 pinks; July 11: 53 boats with 136 anglers caught 85 chinook, 36 coho, 54 pinks, one rockfish and one flounder; July 12: 50 boats with 119 anglers caught 38 chinook, 35 coho, 78 pinks, three rockfish and five lingcod; July 14: 49 boats with 135 anglers caught 41 chinook, 41 coho, 40 pinks and nine rockfish.

Curley’s Straitside Resort, Sekiu — July 10: 16 boats with 37 anglers caught 15 chinook, nine coho and 23 coho; July 12: 16 boats with 43 anglers caught 12 chinook, 11 coho, 27 pinks and four rockfish.

Freshwater Bay ramp — July 13: 39 boats with 59 anglers caught 29 chinook, 29 coho and 16 pinks.

Ediz Hook ramp, Port Angeles — July 8: Six boats with 11 anglers caught one chinook, three coho and four pinks; July 9: Five boats with 12 anglers caught nine chinook and 12 pinks; July 10: Six boats with 14 anglers caught nine chinook and four pinks; July 11: 12 boats with 29 anglers caught 23 chinook, one coho and 14 pinks; July 12: 56 boats with 104 anglers caught 82 chinook, 11 coho and 117 pinks; July 13: 84 boats with 173 anglers caught 80 chinook, 18 coho and 258 pinks; July 14: 73 boats with 169 anglers caught 72 chinook, 12 coho and 138 pinks.

Port Angeles West ramp — July 9: Three boats with six anglers caught four chinook and three pinks; July 12: 19 boats with 40 anglers caught 14 chinook, five coho and 47 pinks; July 14: 33 boats with 75 anglers caught 23 chinook, two coho and 61 pinks.

John Wayne Marine, Sequim — July 12: Two boats with six anglers caught three chinook.

Port Townsend Boat Haven Marina — July 8: One boat with two anglers caught no fishl July 9: Two boats with six anglers caught no fish; July 13: Five boats with 10 anglers caught three kelp greenling; July 14: Four boats with nine anglers caught one chinook.

Hoodsport shoreline, Hood Canal — July 13: Two anglers caught one pink; July 14: 20 anglers caught four pinks.

Union ramp, Hood Canal — July 13: Two boats with four anglers caught no fish.

Twanoh State Park ramp, Hood Canal — July 12: One boat with two anglers caught no fish.

Skokomish ramp, Hood Canal — July 12: Two boats with three anglers caught no fish; July 13: Four boats with seven anglers caught no fish; July 14: Eight boats with 13 anglers caught one pink.

Redondo Beach ramp — July 10: Five boats with nine anglers caught no fish; July 14: 62 boats with 137 anglers caught three chinook, one coho and 20 flounder.

Narrows Marina and ramp — July 10: One boat with three anglers caught no fish; July 11: Three boats with four anglers caught no fish; July 12: 10 boats with 16 anglers caught one chinook.

Gig Harbor ramp — July 10: Seven boats with 15 anglers caught one chinook; July 11: Five boats with 10 anglers caught one chinook; July 13: 25 boats with 49 anglers caught five chinook and eight flounder.

Point Defiance Park ramp and Boathouse, Tacoma — July 8: 13 boats with 17 anglers caught one chinook; July 9: 10 boats with 17 anglers caught three chinook and 32 flounder; July 10: 18 boats with 30 anglers caught two chinook, one coho and 30 flounder; July 11: 69 boats with 104 anglers caught six chinook and 75 flounder; July 12: 35 boats with 64 anglers caught four chinook and 26 flounder; July 13: 111 boats with 236 anglers caught eight chinook and 165 flounder; July 14: 165 boats with 363 anglers caught 17 chinook, one coho and 95 flounder.

Solo Point ramp south of Tacoma — July 12: Eight boats with 14 anglers caught three flounder.

Luhr Beach ramp — July 12: Two boats with three anglers caught no fish; July 14: 11 boats with 22 anglers caught no fish.

Zittel’s Marina — July 8: Three boats with six anglers caught no fish; July 13: Nine boats with 18 anglers caught no fish; July 14: 13 boats with 24 anglers caught 43 flounder.

Brownsville ramp — July 12: Three boats with five anglers caught no fish.

Boston Harbor Marina — July 8: Five boats with 12 anglers caught no fish.

Olalla ramp — July 10: Two boats with three anglers caught no fish.

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Willipa Bay Area Map

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Opening Day Fishing in Washington Part 1: The Hatchery Component & Opening Day Fishing in Washington Part 2: The Fishing Experience

Martha Lake, Snohomish County

2013 WDFG Spot Prawn Shrimping Dates

Ron Garner with a typical Puget Sound Spot Prawn:

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Fishing seasons for various areas of Puget Sound opening May 4 are:

  • Hood Canal Shrimp District (Marine Area 12): Open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 4, 8, 15, 18 and 22
  • Discovery Bay Shrimp District (Marine Area 6): Open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 4, 8, 15, 18 and 22
  • Marine Areas 4 (east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5, 6 and 13 (excluding Discovery Bay Shrimp District): Open daily beginning May 4 at 7 a.m. The spot shrimp season closes when the quota is attained or until Sept 15,whichever comes first. The exception is Marine Area 13, which closes for spot shrimp May 31
  • Marine Area 7 East and South: Open May 4 at 7 a.m. and will be open May 8-11, May 15-18, May 29 – June 1
  • Marine Area 7 West: Open May 4 at 7 a.m., open Wednesday through Saturday each week until June 1, after June 1 open Thursday through Saturday each week until quota is attained or September 15, whichever comes first
  • Marine Areas 8-1, 8-2, 9, 10 and 11: Open May 4 and May 8 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Also, the state has decided to initially schedule only two rec openings for MA’s 8-11
(all of the central Sound areas); May 4 & 8, then we will see if there are enough
pounds left anywhere to reopen for an extra day a week or two later. If we have
lbs remaining for an extra day we don’t know if it is going to be enough for a
Saturday (18th ?) or a Wednesday (22nd ?), we need more lbs for a Saturday
opener, we’ll see. My guess right now is that all but MA 9 should probably get an
extra day.

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Rules and Regulations Link:

http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/shrimp/license.html

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The 2013 Salmon Forecast!

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After watching the numbers for a number of years (never mind how many…) I’ve found that you can “call some shots” by digging into the forecast numbers. The WDFW, DFO Canada and The PFMC (Pacific Fisheries Management Council) work very hard to get their chinook and coho abundance estimates out in a timely manner. These figures take some pouring through to find the real “meat” but don’t worry, I’ve done all the leg work for you right here!

2013 Preseason Adult Chinook Forecasts

  • Willapa Bay Fall Run: 271,000
  • Hoh River Fall Run: 3,100
  • Nooksack River/Samish River Summer Run: 46,500
  • Skagit River Summer Run: 13,200
  • Stillaguamish River: 1,300
  • Snohomish River Wild:3,600
  • Snohomish River Hatchchery: 6,800
  • Tulalip Bay: 10,900
  • South Puget Sound Wild: 5,200
  • South Puget Sound Hatchery: 101,900
  • Hood Canal Wild: 3,300
  • Hood Canal Hatchery: 65,700

This is a very significant Puget Sound chinook forecast to say the least! Easily the highest number we’ve seen for a decade and a half. We can be fairly safe in the assumption that chinook seasons may be similar to last year. Generally these selected stocks are up from 2012, most notably in the Skagit, Snohomish, Tulalip Bay and south Sound. However, on the coast Willapa is down sharply and the Nooksack/Samish checks in with a solid forecast as well which should drive a very strong Marine Area 7 summer chinook season.

The Silver Story! 2013 Preseason Adult Coho Forecasts

  • Straits Wild:14,800
  • Straits Hatchery: 15,400
  • Nooksack River/Samish River Wild:45,400
  • Nooksack River/Samish Hatchery: 49,200
  • Skagit River Wild: 137,200
  • Skagit River Hatchery: 16,300
  • Stillaguamish River Wild: 33,100
  • Stillaguamish River: 3,100
  • Snohomish River Wild: 163,800
  • Snohomish River Hatchery: 109,000
  • South Puget Sound Wild: 36,000
  • South Puget Sound Hatchery: 150,900
  • Hoods Canal Wild: 36,800
  • Hoods Canal Hatchery: 68,600

While slightly down overall, we should still see a smokin’ coho opportunity in the Sound. The increase in Skagit stocks is almost double last year’s run and a look at the Snohomish numbers have me thinking that 2013 will not make many anglers stray far from Puget Sound come September! In fact, the overall feeling among fisheries managers is one of optimism bone of increasing oceanic salmonid survival.

Speaking of survival…. We can look for over 6 million pink salmon to stream into Puget Sound this summer as well!!! We’ll have a better breakdown of the “Humpy Hordes” coming to you in this blog in the very near future!

Keep in mind that these numbers are but the “raw material” that the co-managers will use to craft our local seasons and only by attending the North of Falcon meetings can you have an impact on the process. We will keep you posted here but I sincerely look forward to meeting some of you….at the meetings!!!

Thanks to Tom Nelson of the “Ouutdoor Line” for the information!