WDFW Weekender Report

Discover recreational opportunities in Eastern, North Central, South Central, North Puget Sound, Southwest, and Coastal Washington.

Summer fishing is still hot, fall black bear begins Aug. 1


Summer fishing is in full swing throughout the state this month, providing some of the year’s best opportunities to reel in fish from lakes and streams, along the coast, and on the Columbia River.

Some hunters will take to the field for black bear in the first big-game hunt of the season, while others will scout deer and elk hunting areas in preparation for fall seasons. Make sure you're aware of local land closures and restrictions before heading afield.

Wildfire prevention and closures

In response to increased fire risk and nationally depleted firefighting resources, all WDFW-managed lands in Eastern Washington, including water access areas within wildlife areas are currently open for day use only (6 a.m. to 9 p.m.). Water access areas that allow camping and are located outside of wildlife areas remain open.

In addition, campfires, target shooting, and some other activities on department-managed lands in Eastern Washington are not allowed. These restrictions help reduce the risk of additional wildfires, especially with a drought in effect. Check WDFW's closures.

Columbia River salmon

The always-popular Buoy 10 fishery opens Aug. 1, with anglers able to fish for Chinook and coho salmon through Labor Day. Other portions of the lower river are also open throughout August, but rules vary; be sure you know the regulations for the section of river you’re fishing.

Puget Sound crab

Many Puget Sound marine areas remain open for crab on select days throughout August, with the summer season ending on Labor Day. If you're already done for the season, now’s the time to think about returning your crab catch record card – summer cards are due by Oct. 1.

Catch a fish, win a prize

The 2021 Trout Derby continues through Oct. 31! No entrance fee or registration required. Just catch a tagged trout and you win. You can find more information on lakes that still have prizes on our trout derby webpage.

Puget Sound & Ocean salmon

Several marine areas offer anglers opportunities to fish for salmon this month. Make sure to check the 2021-22 fishing regulations and emergency regulations before heading out. You can also download the Fish Washington mobile app, which provides up-to-date fishing regulations on your phone.

Black bear

Fall black bear season begins Aug. 1 and runs through Nov. 15.  Bear hunters in certain Eastern Washington GMUs are reminded that it’s possible to encounter some protected grizzly bears, so species identification is critical. If you're hunting in those areas, you must score 80% or higher and carry proof that you have passed the WDFW test or an equivalent test from another state.

2021-2022 Migratory Waterfowl and Upland Game Seasons and Rules available

Check out this year's regulation pamphlet details rules for migratory waterfowl and upland game. Make sure that you take note of new rule changes in the pamphlet. Some of the changes include: Expansion of fall turkey and chukar seasons in many areas, and forest grouse season now runs from Sept. 15, 2021 - Jan. 15, 2022 to protect brood hens with chicks.

Protect your property and Puget Sound

The Puget Sound shoreline is in constant flux, with wind, waves, and other forces shaping and reshaping our bluffs and beaches and moving sediment along the shoreline. It’s a natural process that ensures a healthy ecosystem for salmon, shorebirds, and other species. But if you’re a waterfront homeowner, you might be concerned about how erosion could damage your property.

Join the WDFW Team

If you think you’d enjoy helping to preserve, protect, and perpetuate the state’s fish, wildlife, and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities, then check out some of our current job openings. From enforcement officers to budget experts, hatchery staff to acquisitions, fish scientists to human resources, these positions make a difference and we hope you’ll consider a career with us. Don’t want to have to keep checking the website? Sign up for job alerts.