Discover Coastal Washington

Skokomish river winds through its estuary

Staff furloughs

With Washington’s economy hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is planning one day of agency-wide furloughs each month through November.

While public safety-related needs will remain staffed, most other WDFW services, including customer service, will be unavailable Friday, Aug. 14, Friday, Sept. 4, Friday, Oct. 30, and Wednesday, Nov. 25.

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

Director: Larry Phillips

48 Devonshire Road
Montesano, WA 98563

Telephone: 360-249-4628

Fax: 360-249-1229

August fishing tips and news

Salmon: Many Marine Areas remain open for salmon fishing this summer. For more information, visit WDFW’s salmon season summaries and sport fishing rules pamphlet

Crab : Sport crabbing got underway Thursdays through Mondays as of July 2 in several Puget Sound marine areas and is open daily on the coast. Check the department’s recreational crab fishing webpage for more details.

Halibut: Coastal halibut fishing will kick off Aug. 6 with additional dates added for Puget Sound as well. For more details, check out our news release

New regulations available: The 2020-2021 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet is now available, outlining regulations for rivers, streams, and lakes throughout the state. Pick up your copy at a local license dealer, or visit our fishing regulations webpage to download the new regulations.

Catch a fish – win a prize: The 2020 statewide Trout Derby opened May 23 with prize claims starting on June 1. The derby will run through 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. For more on how it works, visit the derby information page.

When Reporting Your Catch to WDFW Staff: Recreational fishery samplers collect catch information at fishing access sites throughout Puget Sound. To keep anglers and WDFW staff safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, please practice physical distancing and give others at least 6 feet of space as you share information about your catch.

August hunting tips and news

Black bear
Hunters can start looking forward to general hunting seasons for black bear. The season opens Aug. 1 in the coastal, east Cascades and south Cascades zones. More information can be found in Washington’s 2020 Big Game Hunting Season and Regulations pamphlet.

Check your raffle results
Eager to find out if you’ve been selected for one of Washington’s coveted raffle hunts? The department will notify winners and post the results online by mid August.  

2020-2021 Migratory Waterfowl and Upland Game Seasons and Rules available 
Check out this year's regulation pamphlet details rules for migratory waterfowl and upland game.

Take your hunter education course online
Avoid the autumn rush and sign up now for a summer hunter education class. All hunters born after January 1, 1972, must complete a hunter education course to purchase a hunting license. WDFW offers online options to complete the hunter education training requirement. 

The online class offers the same content as a traditional classroom experience, 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.

August wildlife viewing

Recreate Responsibly to protect yourself, others, and the outdoors. Review the guidelines below before heading out on your outdoor adventure! 

  • Know before you go. Check the status of the place you want to visit. If it is closed, don't go. If it's crowded, have a back up plan (or two).  
  • Explore locally. Limit long-distance travel and make use of local parks, trails, and public spaces. Be mindful of your impact on the communities you visit. 
  • Plan ahead. Bring essentials like hand sanitizer and a face covering. 
  • Leave no trace. Respect public lands and waters, as well as native and local communities. Take all your garbage with you. 
  • Practice physical distancing. Keep your group size small. Be prepared to cover your nose and mouth and give others space. If you are sick, stay home. 
  • Play it safe. Slow down and choose lower-risk activities to reduce your risk of injury. Search and rescue operations and health care resources are both strained.  
  • Build an inclusive outdoors. Be an active part of making the outdoors safe and welcoming for all identities and abilities. 

Meet your Regional Director: Larry Phillips

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

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. 

Event calendar

Types of events

  • Key date
  • Public meeting