Salmon: All four marine areas off the Washington coast are open daily for salmon fishing in July. Anglers have opportunities to catch and keep chinook and hatchery coho in all four areas.
Anglers fishing in marine areas 1 and 2 have a daily limit of two salmon, only one of which can be a chinook. In areas 3 and 4, anglers will have a two-salmon daily limit. In all areas, anglers must release wild coho.
In Puget Sound, salmon fishing continues in marine areas 11 (Tacoma/Vashon Island) and 13 (south Sound), where anglers can keep two salmon but must release wild chinook in both areas and wild coho in area 13.
Marine areas 5 (Sekiu) and 6 (East Juan de Fuca Strait) open July 1 for salmon fishing. Anglers fishing in those areas can retain two salmon but must release chum, wild coho and wild chinook. Anglers fishing the eastern section of Marine Area 6 can also keep two additional sockeye.
Marine Area 10 (Seattle/Bremerton) opens July 1 for hatchery coho fishing. Beginning July 16, anglers fishing in marine areas 10 and 9 (Admiralty Inlet) can retain two salmon daily but only one hatchery chinook. Anglers must also release chum, wild coho and wild chinook. Anglers should check the 2017-18 Washington sport fishing rules pamphlet for information on special rules and closed sections in both marine areas.
Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) is open for salmon fishing south of Ayock Point with a daily limit of four fish. Anglers must release chum and wild chinook. Those anglers who have a two-pole endorsement can fish with two poles.
Hatchery chinook are returning to the Quillayute and Sol Duc rivers. Anglers can keep six salmon, including up to two adults, daily but must release wild adult chinook and wild adult coho. Meanwhile, other rivers in the region that open July 1 for salmon fishing include the Nisqually and the Deschutes rivers.
Steelhead: The Chehalis Basin offers several opportunities to fish for summer-run steelhead this month. The Humptulips and Wynoochee rivers are good bets in the basin.
Hatchery steelhead numbers should also be increasing in the Bogachiel and lower Calawah rivers.
Trout: Regional lakes recently stocked with trout include Carrie Blake Park Pond (Clallam County), Duck Lake (Grays Harbor County), Panhandle Lake (Mason County), Tanwax Lake (Pierce County) and Black Lake (Thurston County). Trout anglers can check regional trout-stocking reports online for the latest information.
Shrimp: In Puget Sound, fishers can harvest spot shrimp in marine areas 4 (east of the Tatoosh-Bonilla line), 5 (western Strait of Juan de Fuca) and 6 (Port Angeles Harbor). Shrimpers can harvest 120 shrimp (any species) in Marine Area 6 but are limited to 80 spot shrimp per day in areas 4 and 5.
Crab: Starting July 1, most Puget Sound marine areas are open to sport crabbing with the exception of areas 8-1 and 8-2. Crabbers can also head to Washington's coastal waters, which are open for crabbing year-round.
The daily catch limit in Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6¼ inches. Fishers may catch six red rock crab of either sex per day, provided those crab measure at least 5 inches across.
Information on the rules, including how to properly record and report catch information is available on WDFW's crab fishing webpage. The page includes links to a printable "Crabbing in Puget Sound" brochure and a "Puget Sound Recreational Dungeness Crab Guide," both of which have information on crabbing regulations.
Hunter Education Courses: Avoid the autumn rush and sign up now for a summer hunter education class. All hunters born after Jan. 1, 1972, must complete a hunter education course to purchase a hunting license. WDFW offers both traditional and online options to complete the hunter education training requirement.
The traditional classroom experience includes practical exercises and live-firing activities taught by certified volunteer instructors. The online class offers the same classroom content, but on the student's schedule. An in-person Field Evaluation Course is required with the online class for students to demonstrate what they have learned.
Photo credit: David Jennings
Olympic National Park: Warmer weather in July makes for a pleasant time to visit Washington's coast to view wildlife. Olympic National Park provides information online about exploring tidepools at its beaches. The Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary has posted an online guide of seabirds, marine mammals, fish and invertebrates (sea stars, anemones and jellyfish) that beach-goers may find.
All summer long, Olympic National Park is offering ranger-led walks and educational programs at a variety of locations, including Lake Crescent, Mora, Quinault Rain Forest, Staircase and the Hoh Rain Forest. A list of times and locations are available on the park's events webpage.
Fire restrictions: WDFW land managers are urging everyone planning to spend time outdoors to take precautions to avoid sparking a wildfire. Fireworks are prohibited year-round at all 33 WDFW wildlife areas and 700-plus water access sites around the state. So is throwing a lit cigarette or any other burning material from a motor vehicle on a state highway.