Discover Coastal Washington

Skokomish river winds through its estuary

Counties served: Clallam, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, Thurston

Director: Larry Phillips

48 Devonshire Road
Montesano, WA 98563

Email: TeamMontesano@dfw.wa.gov

Telephone: 360-249-4628

Fax: 360-249-1229

October fishing tips and news

Go clamming! 

Abundant razor clams populations should give diggers a lot of opportunities to hit the beaches this fall. Pending marine toxin results, the following dates in September are slated for the razor clam season. More information is available on our Razor Clam Beaches and Seasons webpage

A.M. TIDES ONLY:

  • Oct. 3, Sunday, 4:52 A.M.; 0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 4, Monday, 5:33 A.M.; 0.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 5, Tuesday, 6:12 A.M.; -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
     

P.M. TIDES ONLY:                            

  • Oct. 6, Wednesday, 7:20 P.M.; -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 7, Thursday, 8:04 P.M.; -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 8, Friday, 8:50 P.M.; -1.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 9, Saturday, 9:38 P.M.; -1.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 10, Sunday, 10:32 P.M.; -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 11, Monday,11:32 P.M.; -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 19, Tuesday, 6:47 P.M.; 0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 20, Wednesday, 7:23 P.M.; 0.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 21, Thursday, 7:58 P.M.; -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 22, Friday, 8:32 P.M.; -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 23, Saturday, 9:07 P.M.; 0.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 24, Sunday, 9:43 P.M.; +0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 25, Monday, 10:25 P.M.; +0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis

Reel in salmon in Puget Sound 

Planning fall fishing trips? Many Marine Areas offer great opportunities for coho fishing 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. For more information, visit WDFW’s salmon season summaries and sport fishing rules pamphlet

Comment online: Puget Sound conservation and rebuilding 

WDFW fishery managers are also looking for public feedback on a scoping document to inform actions to conserve and rebuild Puget Sound Chinook salmon. Comment online by Oct. 22. More information is available in our news release

Share your feedback: Coastal steelhead management, Oct. 26 virtual town hall 

This fall, WDFW is hosting a series of virtual town halls to gather feedback from the public on coastal steelhead management ahead of the 2021-2022 season. During the first town hall in late July, fishery managers shared more information about initial indications for 2020-2021 fishery returns and heard comments from the public on the 2020-2021 season. Join us virtually for our next town hall, scheduled for Oct. 26. To view past meeting recordings, more information, and upcoming opportunities to stay engaged in pre-season planning, visit our Coastal Steelhead webpage.

Help shape future halibut seasons: Oct. 18 meeting 

Halibut anglers are invited to an Oct. 18 virtual public meeting, the second of two meetings scheduled this summer and fall to discuss season structure and proposed dates for the 2022 sport halibut season. View a recording on our YouTube page of the Aug. 23 virtual public meeting. Visit our recreational bottomfish and halibut webpage for more information. 

Annual trout derby 

The 2021 statewide Trout Derby is still underway and will wrap up Oct. 31. The free statewide event features more than 100 stocked lakes and over 100 participating businesses. They are offering more than 1,000 prizes valued at over $40,000. The derby is open to anyone with a valid 2021 fishing license; no entrance fee or registration required. Just catch a tagged trout anytime between April 24 and Oct. 31 and you win! Find a lowland lake near you

Be Whale Wise while boating in marine waters 

With the news of three Southern Resident killer whale pregnancies, it's especially important that boaters give these endangered whales some extra space and quiet the waters.  Just by following a few simple steps, you can make a big difference for endangered Southern Resident killer whales and their ability to move about, find food, and socialize. 

  • Stay at least 300 yards from Southern Resident killer whales and at least 400 yards out of their path or behind the whales.
  • Reduce your speed to seven knots within one-half nautical mile of a Southern Resident killer whale.
  • Watch for the Whale Warning Flag, a tool to let others know that there might be whales nearby. If you see the flag, slow down! Get a flag of your own from our partners at the San Juan County Marine Resources Committee. 
  • Turn off fish finders and/or depth sounders if you do see Southern Residents in the distance. 
  • Help to encourage positive behavior: Report violations.  

Learn more at bewhalewise.org or in our video below. 

Find ADA-accessible facilities to enjoy the outdoors 

 Whether you’re looking for fishing, hunting, or wildlife viewing opportunities, our website offers many tools to find ADA-accessible facilities to enjoy the outdoors. WDFW-managed lands with ADA facilities include water access areas and wildlife areas. Our website also has a list of fishing piers that you can filter by county and availability of ADA-accessible facilities. Visit our blog post to learn more

October hunting tips and news

Animal sealing requirements:

When you harvest a cougar, bighorn sheep, bobcat, mountain goat, or river otter this season, you must schedule an inspection for pinning or sealing through regional offices or Olympia headquarters. 

  • Eastern Region 1 - 509-892-1001 
  • North central Region 2 - 509-754-4624 
  • South central Region 3 - 509-575-2740 
  • North Puget Sound Region 4 - 425-775-1311 
  • Southwest Region 5 - 360-696-6211 
  • Coastal Region 6 - 360-249-4628 
  • Olympia Headquarters – 360-902-2515 

In addition to scheduling your inspection, we require that you practice physical distancing and wear a face covering to your inspection.

Take your hunter education course 

Take a hunter education course this fall! All hunters born after January 1, 1972, must complete a hunter education course to purchase a hunting license. WDFW offers online and in-person options to complete the hunter education training requirement. 

Traditional course: The traditional classroom course is a multi-session instructor led training with an average of 15 hours of instruction. This format is recommended for young students and people seeking a classroom experience. Course availability may be limited in 2021. Register for a traditional course. 
Online course: The online hunter education course takes approximately 10 hours to complete, but students can do it in multiple sittings. Register for online course. You will also need to register for an online Virtual Field Day course. 

Hunter Education Deferral: You may also qualify for a once-in-a-lifetime Hunter Education Deferral, which allows a one year deferral for individuals new to hunting who are accompanied by an experienced hunter. More information is available on the Hunter Education Deferral webpage.  

For assistance, please email huntered@dfw.wa.gov or call 360-902-8111.

Waterfowl: Hunting season starts Oct. 16 for migratory ducks, geese, and other waterfowl.  Plenty of waterfowl hunting opportunity can be found on public land.  Additionally, a number of private landowners in Region 6 have enrolled with WDFW to allow waterfowl hunting.  Please visit our website for specific property locations. 

Deer: Early muzzleloader general deer seasons end Oct. 3. The modern firearm general season for black-tailed deer begins Oct. 16. 

Depending on which Game Management Unit is hunted, Region 6 offers numerous public and private land hunting opportunities. Public land opportunities include DNR and USFS lands that are open to hunting.  Although most private timber companies require hunters to purchase a permit to access their lands, many companies do offer options for recreation without an access permit requirement either allowing walk-in or motorized access. Hunters are advised to contact the timber company directly to inquire about access restrictions in areas they plan to hunt.

Elk: The western early muzzleloader season for elk runs from Oct. 2-8 in designated game management units (GMUs) throughout the region.

Bear: Bear hunts are underway in the region. Hunters can harvest two black bear during the general season, which is open through Nov. 15, if they buy two tags. 

Forest grouse: The statewide hunting season opened Sept. 15 and runs through Jan. 15.  Blue (sooty) grouse tend to occur in the coniferous forests at higher elevations, while ruffed grouse can occur throughout the region in coniferous and mixed forests. In the fall, either species can be found feeding on berries like salal, Oregon grape, and huckleberry.

Quail: The season opened Sept. 25 in western Washington and runs through Nov. 30. Although frustratingly unpredictable, quail in District 15 (Mason, Kitsap and east Jefferson counties) are most likely to be found in two- to six-year-old clear-cut forests, under power lines, and in tall stands of scotch broom throughout Mason and Kitsap counties. Their tendency to run rather than fly or hold for a pointing dog makes them an especially challenging upland game bird. Locations to try include the DNR parcels on the Tahuya Peninsula northwest of Belfair and the industrial timberlands between Shelton, Matlock, and McCleary. Walk-in opportunities are also numerous on timber company clear-cut forests around Mason Lake.

Pheasants: Pheasant season in western Washington opened Sept. 25 and goes through Nov. 30. 

October wildlife viewing

Celebrate Washington’s great outdoors with #LifeOutdoorsWA! 

Send us your best photos of how you spend time outdoors! Your photos may be featured on WDFW’s Facebook and Instagram to celebrate the variety of ways people enjoy outdoor lifestyles and to inspire others to spend time in nature.

Enter our monthly photo contest August-December 2021 for a chance to win a Cabela’s gift card! Each month has a new theme and a new winner. October's themes are mushroom foraging and seafood grilling! 

Participating is simple:

  1. Visit WDFW’s Life Outdoors webpage from now through December 2021 to find out the outdoor recreation theme for the current month.
  2. Submit pictures of you, your friends, or family participating in the month’s featured outdoor recreation theme on WDFW’s website.
  3. When submitting your photo, select #LifeOutdoorsWA in the category section. In the description area, tell us a little about your experience!
  4. On the last Friday of the month, a winner will be selected and featured on WDFW’s Facebook and Instagram. Winners will also be contacted via email to receive their prize.

Celebrate Orca Recovery Day, Oct. 16! 

This Orca Recovery Day, WDFW is joining alongside Washington’s conservation districts and other partners to grow our effort to save endangered Southern Resident killer whales. Whether you join a socially distant Orca Recovery Day volunteer event near you or opt to incorporate small actions in your everyday life, we can all make a difference for Southern Residents. Learn more at betterground.org/in-your-community/events/ord/.

Habitat at Home

Create an edible garden with native plants

Strawberries, green onions, and salad greens are just a few of the delicious vegetable garden staples that have native alternatives to benefit both you and wildlife!

Growing native edible plants is ideal for those who:

  • Enjoy eating food
  • Like saving money, water, and time
  • Want to contribute to wildlife conservation

Native plants are a great choice for many reasons. First, they are adapted to the natural rainfall, climate, and soil of the area and as a result tend to be very low maintenance. This means you won’t have to spend as much time and money on watering and caring for your garden.

Additionally, these plants have co-evolved with native wildlife species and are best suited for supporting these species. One drawback of planting non-native plants is that they often don’t support insect species during all life stages. Studies have shown that caterpillar and bird abundance and overall biodiversity are significantly higher in urban gardens that are filled with native plants compared to gardens without native plants. By using native plants, you are helping to support a more robust insect population, which is critical to pollination and the support of many other wildlife species such as birds.

Keep in mind that some species will require you to plant more than one for them to reproduce via pollination. Research your plants ahead of time to gain a better understanding of what will work best for you. Most native plants will come back year after year with no need to replant. If you decide to grow a native edible garden this year, show us how you did! Use the hashtag #habitatathome to share your photos with us on social media.

Strawberries

Close up of wild strawberry plant
Peter Pearsall, USFWS

Coastal strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis), woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca), and wild or blue-leaved strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) are three great native alternatives to traditional strawberries. In fact, the coastal strawberry is one of two varieties that were hybridized to create the modern supermarket strawberry. Coastal and wild strawberries are drought tolerant and prefer full sun and well-drained soils. Woodland strawberries do great in semi-shade under trees and shrubs. If you’d like to make full use of the plant, add the young leaves to salads and soups!

Onions

Close up of nodding onion (Allium cernuum)

The nodding onion (Allium cernuum) is a delicious and stunning alternative to green onions. The entire plant is edible (raw or cooked), including the flowers! It’s a drought-tolerant plant often found in prairies and rocky bluffs. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil. It blooms in early summer, but you can harvest it for food year-round, though it will die back in the winter. The nodding onion is equally as beautiful as it is delicious and can be used ornamentally in your yard.

Lettuce

Close up of miner's lettuce

Miner’s lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata) is an easy-going plant that can be the main ingredient in your salads. It is thin and crunchy and has a mild sweetness to it. Like other lettuce plants, it is shade tolerant and will become bitter in taste if exposed to too much direct sunlight. It’s great eaten raw or cooked like spinach, and the whole plant is edible!

Share your backyard wildlife photos

We want to see what birds and other wildlife visit your habitat. Share your photos or videos with us at wdfw.wa.gov/share and select the category “Wildlife Viewing”. 

Event calendar

Types of events

  • Public meeting
  • Community event
  • Key date

Meet your Regional Director: Larry Phillips

Larry Phillips, South Puget Sound and Coast Region Director
Larry Phillips, South Puget
Sound and Coast Region
Director

Larry Phillips has served as the South Puget Sound and Coast (Region 6) Director since 2016. Larry was first employed by the Department in 1996 as a Fisheries Technician collecting creel survey data on the Snake River. In 1998 he was hired as a permanent employee by the Fish Program in Spokane and later transferred to Olympia to serve as the Area Fish Biologist for South Puget Sound. In 2007 Larry was promoted to District Fish Biologist. He remained in this position until 2015 when he was promoted to Inland Fish Program Manager with state-wide responsibilities. In 2016 Larry promoted to his current position.

Larry holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Lewis Clark State College in Lewiston (Idaho) and a master’s degree in Fisheries Science from Eastern Washington University. Larry enjoys fishing, hunting, hiking and camping.

Watch the Nov. 21 digital open house with Larry Phillips and Director Kelly Susewind.