Discover Coastal Washington

Skokomish river winds through its estuary

Coastal - Region 6

Customer service staff in the Montesano Regional Office are available for walk-in service 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Port Townsend District Office will be open by appointment only. Please call 360-302-3030 to schedule an appointment.

Counties served
Clallam, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, Thurston
Office hours
Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. excluding legal holidays
Phone
360-249-4628
Email
TeamMontesano@dfw.wa.gov

48 Devonshire Road
Montesano, WA 98563
United States

Director
Vacant

Fishing tips and news

New to fishing in Washington? Check out our Fish Washington blog post for a guide on how to get started. 

2023-24 Sport Fishing Rules 

The 2023-24 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet is available online and at hundreds of license dealers around the state. The updated rules can help anglers make decisions about how to spend their time on the water. 

Current fishing regulations and emergency Fishing Rule Changes are also available online at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations

Coastal steelhead season runs through March

Man holds net containing steelhead
Photo by Joe Princen

WDFW fishery managers have announced regulations for the state’s 2023-24 coastal steelhead fishing season. Included are special rules allowing fishing from a floating device on two sections of the Hoh River during certain days of the week to help determine impacts to wild steelhead.

Fishing is scheduled to be open through March 31 with some opportunities to fish from a floating device. Selective gear rules and single point barbless hooks will be required on all systems open to fishing. These include: 

  • Quillayute River System 
  • Hoh River 
  • Willapa Bay River System (select tributaries will close Feb. 28) 

For full details on the season and regulations, see our news release.

Please remember to fish responsibly

Woman holds wild steelhead in water
Photo by Joe Princen

Angling etiquette is important for popular winter steelhead fisheries, whether you're sharing a stretch of river with drift boats and rafts, or wading a crowded riverbank near a fish hatchery. Find tips in our blog post.

In Washington's freshwater areas, salmon, steelhead, and bull trout must be kept partially in the water if it is unlawful to retain those fish, or if the angler releases the fish. This includes while netting the fish and taking photos. Handling fish responsibly is not only the ethical thing to do, but also one of the best ways anglers can help ensure we have these fisheries in the future.

Boston Harbor Access Area reopens to the public

Boston Harbor Access Area boat launch
Photo by WDFW

One of South Puget Sound's most popular launching destinations, Boston Harbor Access Area in Thurston County, has reopened following construction. The modernized access features a new ramp, ADA-accessible loading platform, and new restrooms, along with a freshly paved parking area. Happy boating!

Razor clam digs tentatively planned through March

Shellfish managers have approved razor clam digs at coastal beaches from Feb. 6-12. More digs are tentatively planned through March 31 depending on biotoxin levels. Open beaches may include Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks and Copalis, though not all beaches will be open for every dig.

Razor clam diggers try their luck at sunset on a coastal beach
Photo by WDFW

The daily limit is 15 clams per person, and you must keep the first 15 clams you dig, regardless of size or condition. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container. 

For more information, see the full news release. Check the razor clam page before heading out to confirm beach openings. Domoic acid toxin levels are tested regularly by WDFW and Department of Health; more information is available on the domoic acid webpage.

Hunting opportunities and news

For an overview of hunting in Washington and how to get started, visit our Hunt Washington blog post.

2023-24 Hunting Regulations 

The 2023-24 Game Bird and Small Game Hunting Regulations and Big Game Hunting Regulations pamphlets are available online and at hundreds of license dealers around the state. The updated rules can help hunters make decisions about how to spend their time in the field. 

Current hunting regulations are also available online at wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations

Check out the Washington Sportsmen's Show

Logo with mountain, birds, elk, and anglers

Join other hunters, anglers, and boaters at the Washington Sportsmen’s Show, held at the Washington State Fairgrounds in Puyallup. 

Dates and times are:

  • Feb.1-2 — noon to 8 p.m.
  • Feb. 3 — 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Feb. 4 — 10 am. to 4 p.m.

There will be seminars, interactive activities, contests, information, giveaways, food, and more. See you all there!

Youth, Veteran, and Active Military waterfowl hunt planned

Three western high Arctic brant feeding on sea grasses in shallow water on a marine shoreline
Photo by WDFW

A special statewide Youth, Veteran, and Active Military waterfowl hunt is planned for Feb. 3. This can be a quality experience for those who qualify, as few hunters will be in the field.

Detailed regulations can be found in the Game Bird and Small Game Regulations under Youth, Veterans & Active Military Personnel Hunt Information. More information is also available on our Game bird and small game webpage.

 

Late season goose hunt runs select dates

A late season goose hunt, including Canada, cackling, snow, and white-fronted geese, will occur in Goose Management Area (GMA) 2 Inland on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from Feb. 10 through March 6. This GMA includes Grays Harbor County east of Highway 101.

A Canada goose stands in shallow water.
Photo by Ty Smedes

During this time, national wildlife refuges and WDFW lands will be closed to goose hunting as a management tool to reduce agricultural depredation on private lands. Hunters should check the WDFW website for specific areas where hunting is allowed and other rules; scouting and private lands access will be key to consistent success.

Geese will be migrating northward and can be found in groups throughout February and March. Please note: electronic calls are not allowed for goose hunting in GMA 2 during this late-season goose hunt. For details, refer to the Migratory Game Bird Regulations.

Photographers: Send us your big game pics 

A herd of Roosevelt Elk standing in a clearing
Photo by Chase Gunnell

We’re looking for Washington big game photos for next year's Big Game Hunting Regulations pamphlet. The contest theme is "Live big game animal,” and the winning photo will be featured on the pamphlet cover. 

See contest info and submit your photo on our website. Photo submissions will be accepted until Feb. 15. Good luck – we can’t wait to see your pics! 

Wildlife watching and recreation

Find more tips on our wildlife viewing webpage. 

Statewide wildlife viewing abounds in February

February is an excellent time to view spectacular wildlife in Washington!

Bald eagle
Photo by Justin Haug

Many bald eagles can be viewed along the Skagit River at Concrete, Rockport, and Marblemount. The Skagit River Interpretive Center is open Feb. 4-5 and Feb. 11-12, 11a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and offers guided nature walks and eagle viewing and photography tours. The Nooksack River near Bellingham also offers incredible eagle watching.

Visitors from the High Arctic, brant geese spend the winter resting and feeding on Puget Sound and coastal bays. Learn about these unique sea geese and where to see them in this new blog post.

WDFW’s Skagit Wildlife Area continues to offer unique sightings of tens of thousands of wintering snow geese and swans as well as raptors and shorebirds. Be sure to Be Bird Wise while out viewing or photographing. We have tips for birders and hunters sharing space on public lands in this blog post. Take a short drive north from the Skagit and experience the La Conner Birding Festival on Feb. 3-4.

At WDFW's Oak Creek Wildlife Area, visitors can watch elk dine on alfalfa hay and pellets. For details about feeding times, guests can call 509-653-2390.

Wild Washington Youth Education Program 

Embark on a wild crafting adventure and introduce your learners to Washington’s wildlife though art.

Wildlife tracks in snow with glove
Photo by WDFW

Crafting animal track stamps allows kids to explore the imprints left behind by critters in the winter snow and mud. Using simple materials like craft foam, cardboard, and paint, kids can design and carve their favorite animal tracks!

This activity also provides you with an opportunity to engage kids in conversations about the animals associated with the tracks, fostering an appreciation for the rich biodiversity of Washington's landscapes. You can use this mammal track guide or search Washington’s wildlife for inspiration.

Keep wildlife wild — please don't feed the animals

When the temperature drops and snow falls, many people want to feed deer and other wildlife to “help” the animals. However, feeding wildlife can cause more harm than good.

Black-tailed deer in fallen leaves
Photo by Stephanie Pelham

The greatest drawback to feeding deer or elk is the potential harm to their health. Non-natural food sources can be extremely difficult for wildlife to digest and can upset their digestive systems. Concentrating deer and elk at a feeder can create problems by making the animals more vulnerable to disease, predation, and poaching.

Please help to keep wildlife wild by not providing non-natural food sources. Deer, elk, and other animals have developed adaptations that allow them to survive harsh winter conditions without human intervention.

Conserving species and habitats

Habitat at Home: Great Backyard Bird Count

One adult and one youth look through binoculars toward wildlife
Photo by Mark Peaslee

Grab your binoculars and cellphones – the Great Backyard Bird Count is here! Every February, folks around the world come together to count their local birds and anyone can join in the festivities. Submit your count Feb 16-19! In the Seattle area? Join WDFW and our partners at Bird Fest for hands-on learning, bird walks, and more on Feb. 17!

Submit comments on killer whale status review

Orcas in San Juan Islands
Photo by Chase Gunnell

WDFW is seeking public input on a draft Periodic Status Review for killer whale that includes a recommendation to keep the species on Washington’s endangered species list due to the status of the Southern Resident killer whale population. The public comment period is open until Feb. 19. 

The draft Periodic Status Review for killer whale is now available on WDFW’s website. For more information, including how to submit your comments, see our news release

Please don’t tamper with European green crab traps 

European green crab trap
Photo by WDFW

Friendly reminder: please do not tamper with traps set out to control European green crabs!

European green crab (EGC) traps are usually deployed in shallow areas exposed at low tide, often staked into the mud. They are typically identified with a bright orange buoy and an official tag or permit.  

WDFW, other state and federal agencies, and co-managers, tribes, and partners take steps to minimize bycatch and harm to other species during EGC trapping. Tampering with EGC traps impedes efforts to protect Washington’s environment and natural resources by removing this harmful invasive species. 

Check out our November/December European Green Crab Public Update to learn more.