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March 2017
Region 6: South Sound/Olympic Peninsula
(Clallam, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason, Pierce, Thurston and Pacific counties)
Photo: Young boy kneeling on beach next to his razor clam limit and shovel.

Razor clams: [Update March 29, 2017] Razor clam diggers can finish out March with an opening that begins March 30 on morning tides.

The dig is approved on the following beaches, dates and morning low tides:

  • March 30, Thursday, 8:58 a.m.; -0.6 feet; Mocrocks
  • March 31, Friday, 9:47 a.m.; -0.6 feet; Copalis
  • April 1, Saturday, 10:40 a.m., -0.5 feet; Mocrocks
  • April 2, Sunday, 11:39 a.m.; -0.1 feet; Copalis

Salmon: Several areas of Puget Sound are open to fishing for blackmouth salmon, including: Anglers fishing near Sekiu (Marine Area 5) and near Tacoma and Vashon Island (Marine Area 11) can keep two hatchery salmon each day but must release coho and wild chinook. Those fishing the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca (Marine Area 6) can only keep one chinook as part of their two-salmon daily limit and must release coho and wild chinook.

Anglers fishing south Sound (Marine Area 13) can keep two hatchery salmon each day but must release wild coho and wild chinook. Those fishing along Hood Canal (Marine Area 12), also have a daily limit of two salmon, but are only required to release wild chinook.

Looking ahead, planning for Washington's summer salmon fishing season is underway. Several public meetings have been scheduled throughout March as fishery managers continue to develop the 2017 salmon seasons, which will be finalized in mid-April. For more information on the meetings, visit WDFW's North of Falcon website.

Ocean bottomfish: Anglers can expect changes to recreational bottomfish fisheries when ocean marine areas re-open March 11 to fishing for species such as lingcod and rockfish. More information is available here.

Lingcod: Fishing for lingcod begins March 11 in marine areas 1-3, south of Cape Alava, with a daily limit of two fish per angler. For lingcod fishing regulations, check the Fishing in Washington pamphlet.

Steelhead: For hatchery steelhead, anglers should try fishing rivers in the Chehalis River Basin. The Satsop, Skookumchuck and Wynoochee rivers offer the best opportunities for hatchery steelhead in March.

Cutthroat trout: Anglers should also consider targeting cutthroat trout in Puget Sound. Catch-and-release fishing for sea-run cutthroat picks up in March. Often anglers fishing from shore can have success fishing during tidal changes near rivers, using flies or spinners.

Photo: Three generations of hunters enjoying the sport together.
Photo Credit: Tim Kramer

Apply for a multiple-season tag: Deer and elk hunters have until March 31 to enter their names into the drawing for a 2017 multiple-season tag, which can greatly increase the opportunity for success in the field. WDFW will hold the drawing in mid-April, randomly selecting names for 8,500 multiple-season deer tags and 1,000 multiple season elk tags.

Winners of the drawing will be eligible to purchase a special tag allowing them to participate in archery, muzzleloader, as well as modern firearm general hunting seasons for deer or elk in 2017. The deadline to purchase the multiple-season tag is July 31.

Winners may choose any weapon type when applying for a special permit to hunt deer or elk. Winners who purchase the multiple season elk tag can participate in general elk hunting seasons in both eastern and western Washington.

A multiple season application can be purchased from authorized license dealers, online at http://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov, or by calling (866) 246-9453. The application costs $7.10 for residents and $110.50 for nonresidents.

Photo: An orca whale breaching in the Puget Sound waters.
Photo Credit: Jeff North

Whale-watching:  Gray whales are making their annual journey north from the coast of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean, creating whale-watching opportunities in the waters of the Pacific Northwest. Although most of the gray whales simply pass through on their way to Alaska, others linger along the Juan de Fuca Strait and other areas of Puget Sound in spring and summer months. In February, whale-watchers reported several sightings of killer whales around south Puget Sound. For recent whale sightings, visit Orca Network.

Bald eagles: This time of year, bald eagles can sometimes be seen nesting at the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. The last week of the month is also a good time to see and hear spring migrant birds at the refuge. For more information, visit the refuge's webpage.

Winter Speaker Series: Olympic National Park continues its winter speaker series March 14 with a presentation about the history of fire on the Olympic landscape, its ecological benefits, and the park service's options for managing fire. The monthly talk, which is open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. at the park's visitor center, 3002 Mt. Angeles Road, Port Angeles. Check out the park's webpage for the full schedule of speakers.

Discovery Speaker Series: This series continues March 16 with a presentation on derelict fishing gear in Puget Sound. The event takes place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at LOTT's WET Science Center, 500 Adams St. NE, Olympia.

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