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March 2017
Region 4: North Puget Sound
(Island, King, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom counties)
 Photo: Man fishing with a fly rod in Puget Sound.
Photo credit: Gary Marston

Blackmouth salmon: Areas of northern Puget Sound open for blackmouth salmon fishing include marine areas 8-1 (Deception Pass, Hope Island and Skagit Bay), 8-2 (Port Susan and Port Gardner), and 9 (Admiralty Inlet). These areas have a two-salmon daily limit, one of which may be a hatchery chinook. All coho and wild chinook salmon must be released. Marine Area 7 (San Juan Islands) closed to salmon fishing Feb. 11 until further notice.

Cutthroat trout: Anglers should also consider targeting cutthroat trout and resident coho in the Sound. Catch-and-release fishing for sea-run cutthroat picks up in March. Shoreline anglers often have success with chum fry patterns and small spinners during tidal changes near rivers and on beaches.

Squid: There are still opportunities for people to jig for squid in Puget Sound. Good spots include the Elliott Bay Pier in Seattle and the Edmonds Pier. More information is available on the department's squid fishing webpage. Information on fishing piers is also available on WDFW's website.

Lowland lakes: As spring approaches, lowland waters are warming and will provide productive fishing for bass (smallmouth and largemouth), panfish (yellow perch, pumpkinseed, rock bass, bluegill), and catfish (channel and brown bullhead). Angle, Meridian, Stevens, Samish and Cavanaugh lakes should be prime fishing spots for spring kokanee.

For more information on fishing in western Washington, anglers can visit Fish Washington. Anglers should also consult WDFW's sportfishing regulations for details and the emergency rules site for any last-minute rule changes.

Photo: Two bull elk standing in a field
Photo Credit: Doug Steffins

Multiple-season permit: Deer and elk hunters have until March 31 to enter their name in a drawing for a 2017 multiple-season permit, which can greatly increase their opportunities for success in the field. In mid-April, WDFW will award 8,500 multiple-season deer permits and 1,000 multiple-season elk permits.

Multiple-season permit holders can hunt all three weapon choices (modern rifle, muzzleloader and archery) until the tag is filled. Elk multiple-season permit holders can hunt in both eastern and western Washington.

Hunters may purchase a multiple-season permit application at an authorized license dealer, on WDFW's website or by calling (866) 246-9453. The permit application is $7.10 for residents, $110.50 for non-residents and $3.80 for youth.

Photo: Barrow’s Goldeneye sea duck flying over the water
Photo Credit: Eric Ellingson

Birding festival: Birdwatchers have an opportunity to take part in the "Wings Over Water" Northwest Birding Festival March 10, 11, and 12 in Blaine, Semiahmoo and Birch Bay. The festival features wildlife viewing field trips, speakers and family-friendly activities. For more information visit the festival website.

Gray whale migration: The annual gray whale migration is under way and whale watchers could have several opportunities in March to spot the large marine mammals. The whales are making their annual journey north from the coast of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean, where they spend the summer feeding before heading south again. While most continue on to Alaska, some gray whales linger in the waters of the Pacific Northwest during the spring and summer months, dipping into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and other areas of Puget Sound. The best way to spot a gray – from land or sea – is to look for "spouts" of water that can reach 10 to 12 feet in the air when the whales exhale.

Region One: Eastern Washington Region Two: North Central Washington Region Four: North Puget Sound Region Six: South Sound/Olympic  Peninsula Region Five: Southwest Washington Region Three: South Central Washington