Outdoors

Calendar of events

Learn safe boating

Saturday: The Olympia Sail and Power Squadron is offering a Boat Smart Class from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fee is $40 if you're not sharing a manual and $20 if you're sharing the manual.

This class will be at the Lacey Fire District 3 Headquarters Station, 1231 Franz St., Lacey.

On Sept. 29, The Olympia Sail and Power Squadron is offering a Chart Smart class from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. This class builds upon curriculum presented in the Boat Smart class. The class will be at the Lacey Fire Station 33 at 6500 Mullen Rd. SE. The cost is $35.

You may register for both of these classes on Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Lacey Fire Station 33, 6500 Mullen Rd. SE. There are savings of $5 to $10 if you register for classes.

For more information, call 360-493-1678 or 253-435-0814.

Hiking

Right now: Thinking about taking a hike, but you're not sure whether your trail still exists after last winter's huge storms? The Washington Trails Association has an online guide to backcountry storm damage throughout the Cascades and Olympics.

The guide, which will be updated regularly, can be found at www.wta.org/trail damage.

People interested in volunteering on a trail work party should call WTA at 206-625-1367 or sign up online at www.wta.org.

Hunting

Right now: The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is looking for volunteers to help coordinate special-permit elk hunts near Mount St. Helens this fall. Volunteers are needed to staff access points, post signs, distribute information and perform other tasks.

The hunts will be on 200,000 acres of Weyerhaeuser Co. land near Mount St. Helens.

Volunteers must complete a orientation on Weyerhaeuser Co. safety rules and Fish and Wildlife guidelines.

For more information, go to http://wdfw.wa.gov.

Wednesday: Applications are due for hunters who want to take part in a pilot cougar-hunting season. The hunts, which will use dogs to track cougars, begin Dec. 1 in five northeastern Washington counties.

A 1996 public initiative banned hunting cougar with dogs. However, in response to public safety and livestock depredation concerns, the state Legislature voted in 2004 to allow hunting cougar with hounds during specific seasons in Chelan, Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties where cougar populations pose potential public-safety problems.

The 2007 legislature approved an extension of the cougar hunt for 2007-08. The special cougar hunt is by permit only and limited to Washington residents who own hunting dogs capable of tracking and treeing cougar. Hunters will be chosen at random and notified by Oct. 4. Cougar permit applications can be purchased for $5.48 at http://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov or by calling 877-945-3492.

Saturday and Sunday: A statewide youth duck hunt is scheduled. For more information, go to http://wdfw.wa.gov.

Shellfishing

Right now: Go catch some crab! Sport crabbing season is now open in South Puget Sound (Marine Area 13) seven days a week. Most other marine areas, including Hood Canal, are open to sport crabbing on a Wednesday-through-Saturday schedule. The South Puget Sound crab season will end Jan. 2.

All sport crabbers fishing in Puget Sound will be required to report their Dungeness crab catch on separate summer and fall/winter catch record cards during the course of the season. The new cards will be separate from the multi-species card used to record catches of salmon, halibut and other fish.

The daily limit in Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6.25 inches. In addition, crabbers may catch six red rock crab of either sex per day, provided those crab measure at least 5 inches across. Additional information is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/regs/fishregs.htm.

Right now: The sport oyster fishing season at Cushman Park is open until further notice.

Cushman Park is in Mason County on the west side of Hood Canal.

A license is required for anyone age 15 or older. All diggers must have a 2007-08 shellfish/seaweed license. Licenses can be purchased on the Internet at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov, by telephone at 866-246-9453 or in person at more than 600 license vendors throughout the state.

For more information, call the Shellfish Rule Change hot line at 866-880-5431.

Shooting

Saturday: Sign up now for a women-only class on firearm safety and instruction at the Capitol City Rifle and Pistol Club. Women on Target 2007 costs just $5, but the classes, which begin at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., provide instruction, free use of .22-caliber rifles and pistols and firearms safety classes.

For more information, call 360-866-4900.

Fishing

Tuesday : Noted Olympic Peninsula author, angler and guide Doug Rose will present "Fall Fly Fishing from the Elwah to the Quinault" at the South Sound Fly Fishers meeting. Rose's articles have appeared in Northwest Fly Fishing, American Angler, Fly Fishing & Tying Journal, and several other outdoor magazines. Doug has published two books: "Fly Fishing the Olympic Peninsula" and "The Color of Winter - Steelhead Fly Fishing on the Olympic Peninsula."

South Sound Fly Fishers meet at the American Legion Hall, 3201 Boston Harbor Road N.E. The meeting is open to the public and starts at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 360-754-4429.

Sept. 22 and 23: The Everett Coho Derby - the last event in the Northwest Salmon Derby Series - has anglers fishing for prizes - and hoping to win a 23-foot, center-console boat, motor and trailer. All anglers entered in the derby series are entered in the drawing for the boat. Youth anglers are entered into a drawing for a 14-foot boat, motor and trailer. For more information, go to www.discovernorthwestfishing.com.

Mount St. Helens

Sept. 29: Join the Mount St. Helens Institute and community volunteers from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to clean up and restore streamside areas and maintain trails along the Headwaters of the East Fork of the Lewis River in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Please bring a water bottle, work gloves and wear sturdy boots. Come dressed for "rain or shine" weather.

For more information, call 360-449-7887 or visit www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/volunteering/BecomeaVolcanoVolunteer.shtml.

If you know of an event that should be included in The Olympian's Outdoors Calendar, contact Olympian Outdoors, P.O. Box 407, The Olympian, Olympia, WA 98506, by fax at 360-357-0202, call 360-754-4226 or send e-mail to callen@theolympian.com. Include date, short description and contact telephone number.

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