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 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. excluding legal holidays

48 Devonshire Road
Montesano, WA 98563
United States

Chris Conklin

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. Fishing seasons are in full swing, and 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

Coastal razor clamming kicks off with 36 days of tentative digs 

Razor clam digging at Copalis Beach
Photo by Mark Yuasa

Shellfish managers have announced 36 days of tentative razor clam digs at coastal beaches through Dec. 29. Open beaches may include Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks and Copalis depending on biotoxin levels. Kalaloch Beach in Olympic National Park remains closed due to lower populations of harvestable clams. 

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 WDFW website 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 this webpage.  

Share your feedback: Coastal steelhead management, Oct. 25 virtual town hall  

A WDFW employee holding a fish

This fall, WDFW is hosting a series of virtual town halls to gather feedback from the public on coastal steelhead management ahead of the 2023-2024 season. These virtual town halls will inform pre-season efforts to design 2023-2024 coastal steelhead fisheries that meet management objectives and provide necessary protection for declining wild steelhead populations. 

Anglers and other interested members of the public are invited to attend a 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 25, virtual town hall to learn more about trends in abundance, preliminary catch estimates, monitoring efforts, upcoming opportunities to stay engaged in pre-season planning, and to provide their feedback for the 2023-2024 season. Future virtual town hall meetings will occur in November ahead of season announcements later this year. For more information, visit our coastal steelhead management web page.  

Fishing for coho salmon in Hood Canal and South Puget Sound  

Puget Sound coho salmon fihsing
Photo by Karsten McIntosh

Coho and chum salmon are streaming into South Puget Sound and Hood Canal. In much of Hood Canal, chum and Chinook must be released through Oct. 15, while coho retention is allowed along with any late pink salmon. Chum and coho retention is allowed Oct. 16-31. Check regulations for details before hitting the water

Additional opportunities to fish Hood Canal rivers for chum will arrive in November. The lower reaches of the Duckabush and Dosewallips rivers will open for chum from Nov. 1 until Dec. 15. The Hoodsport Hatchery zone will also open Nov. 1 with a daily limit of four chum. 

River fishing for salmon and steelhead 

October is prime time for river anglers looking to hook chrome coho. Several areas also remain open for brawny Chinook, and fall chum are also starting to arrive. Be sure to check the regulations, including any emergency rules. Whether you’re casting from the bank, floating in a raft, or powering upstream in a jetboat, there are ample opportunities for river fishing in Region 6, from the lower Chehalis and Humptulips rivers to the Sol Duc and Hoh. Some summer steelhead are also still available in the region’s rivers, including the Wynoochee.  

Releasing salmon properly 

Salmon fishing from shore

Selective fisheries for hatchery-produced salmon and catch-and-release fisheries are increasingly important to providing recreational fishing opportunities around Washington. 

To ensure these salmon fisheries are successful long-term, it is vital that anglers do their part to comply with all regulations, especially how to properly release unmarked, sublegal (undersized) and out-of-season fish to improve their survival. Watch our YouTube video below and read our guide to releasing salmon properly

Trout fishing 

Thousands of trout are waiting to be caught in many lowland lakes that should provide decent opportunities as cooler weather arrives this fall and trout become more active. Anglers can keep tabs to the Weekly Trout Plant Reports for trout stocking updates. 

WDFW Trout Derby 

WDFW 2023 Trout Derby runs April 22 to October 31, 2023

The annual WDFW Trout Derby continues through Oct. 31. Thousands of tagged trout are stocked in 100+ lakes. Catch a tagged trout and you win a prize! Click on WDFW trout derby link for details. 

Many other lakes statewide are open year-round, and regularly stocked with catchable rainbow trout and other species, including in the lead-up to opening day. See what lakes have been recently planted at our stocking report, and see this year's statewide trout and kokanee stocking plan for more information about when lakes in your area might be stocked.   

Be a part of fisheries management: Submit a voluntary Salmon Trip Report today!  

Youth holding Salmon in Puget Sound

Did you know? By completing a voluntary Salmon Trip Report during a day’s salmon fishing trip, you can have a direct role in WDFW’s ability to monitor salmon fisheries. Salmon Trip Reports help to increase the amount of data available for in-season management and can help fisheries managers make better informed decisions.  
WDFW’s voluntary Salmon Trip Report program provides critical data that WDFW fishery managers use to maintain salmon fishing opportunities as part of the annual salmon season setting process, commonly referred to as North of Falcon. The program spans coastal Washington and Puget Sound (Marine Areas 1-13).  
These trip reports are just one tool in a suite of options fisheries managers use to collect biological and fishery data for Puget Sound salmon. Other monitoring tools include dockside sampling, test fishing, and boat surveys.  
Learn more on our voluntary Salmon Trip Report web page. For more information about the annual salmon season process, which will kick off later this winter, check out our blog post

Be Whale Wise while boating in marine waters  

Transient orca whale in the San Juan Islands with Mt. Baker in the background.
Photo by Chase Gunnell

Planning a boating trip very soon? Remember to Be Whale Wise, give these endangered whales some extra space, and slow down to help quiet the waters. Just by following Be Whale Wise regulations, 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.  

Learn more at 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.  

Learn how to identify and report European green crabs 

European green crab identification graphic, 2022

Attention beachgoers: help us control invasive European green crabs by learning how to identify and report them at: 

Hint: they're not always green and can be yellow, orange or red! The best ID tactic is to count the five "teeth" on either side of their eyes. Most are small, around the size of a quarter, but they can reach up to four inches across when fully grown. 

European green crabs have been detected on the Washington Coast and at sites in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, San Juan Islands, Hood Canal, and near Bellingham and Anacortes. 

These invasive shore crabs are found in shallow areas—typically less than 25 feet of water—including estuaries, mudflats, intertidal zones, and beaches. Please photograph and report suspected European green crabs to WDFW if encountered. If reports are verified as European green crabs, our staff will follow up with trapping and monitoring if needed. Regular updates and more information are also available on the WDFW European green crab webpage. Or sign-up for our green crab management email list

Hunting opportunities and news


A forest grouse

Hunters planning their seasons throughout Washington may also want to check the 2023 Hunting Prospects reports, which outline hunting opportunities in specific game management districts. 

Hunters can use the hunting regulations web map, which allows them to find permit and general season hunts based on location, date, weapon choice, and more. Recent surveys indicate 2023 should be another good hunting year. 

Forest grouse hunting season will once again run through Jan. 15, 2024. You can find information and hunting tips on our webpage and this year’s Migratory Waterfowl and Upland Game Seasons and Rules pamphlet

Mourning Dove season runs through Oct. 30. 

Waterfowl:  Statewide, most waterfowl hunting seasons take flight Oct. 14. Duck hunting lasts through Oct. 22 during the early season, followed by the regular season opening on Oct. 25. Goose hunting also starts Oct. 14, but exact season ending dates vary by Goose Management Area. Be sure to check the migratory waterfowl regulations for detailed rules and bag limits. Tens of millions of ducks and geese use the Pacific Flyway, and Washington is routinely ranked among the best states in the U.S. for waterfowl hunting, with diverse species and opportunities from coastal bays and marshes to farm fields and big rivers. Just as diverse are chances to watch migratory birds. 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. 8. The modern firearm general season begins Oct. 14.  

Elk: The western early muzzleloader season for elk runs from Oct. 7-13 in designated game management units (GMUs) throughout the region. 

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

Pheasants: Pheasant season in western Washington goes through Nov. 30.  

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 some 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 check the specific district’s hunting prospects or contact the timber company directly to inquire about access restrictions in areas they plan to hunt. 


Wild turkey and upland bird survey 

A group of four wild turkeys grouped together
Photo by Doug Kuehn

Help us monitor summer broods and year-round distribution of wild turkeys and upland birds by reporting your observations. A brood survey provides information on productivity, which is the number of surviving offspring produced in a population and provides information on average brood sizes, the percentage of hens with offspring, and a production index, which is a ratio of the total number of offspring to the total number of adult hens. A distribution survey assesses where birds are located and helps managers to track what habitats they’re using, how that might vary seasonally, and where their ranges are expanding or contracting. Visit the game bird survey page for details. 

Sign up for in-person hunter education 

The minimum age to take the all-online hunter education course has increased to 18. In 2020, we implemented an all-online hunter education course for students at least 9 years old.  Recognizing the importance and value of in-person and hands-on firearm safety instruction, WDFW’s goal has always been to move back to, or towards, in-person course delivery when it made sense to do so. While the COVID landscape is still a bit uncertain, things are getting back to normal. We recognize that this change may take some time to get used to, and we are committed to offering as many in-person courses as we can. For more information, visit the Hunter Education page. 

Wildlife watching and recreation

Wild Washington pumpkin Template

Wild Washington

It is officially spooky season, and what better time to feature animals that go bump in the night. From bears, bats, and beavers to moths, moles, and muskrats, many Washington animals are most active after dark. Celebrate these nocturnal creatures by featuring them on your holiday pumpkin! We have created five pumpkin carving templates featuring Washington animals just for you!  

Use one of these free templates, or carve your favorite Washington animal, and be sure to tag us in photos of your creation! (Instagram: @thewdfw // Facebook: @WashingtonFishWildlife


The return of hatchery salmon to the Deschutes River near Olympia is another draw for wildlife-watchers in the late summer and fall. 

Onlookers can watch thousands of fish gather below the Fifth Avenue Bridge in downtown Olympia before they enter Capitol Lake and move up the fish ladders to the Tumwater Falls Hatchery

To find a salmon-viewing location near you, visit our salmon-viewing map. Prefer to stay virtual? Watch salmon and steelhead live on our fish and wildlife live camera webpage.  

Foraging for edibles: mushrooms 

Fall is peak season for chanterelle mushrooms. Usually yellow, these mushrooms can range from tan to light orange. They’re typically found in conifer forests and vary from the size of a finger to as big as your hand. Chanterelles have false gills that look like wrinkles and run partway down the stem. 

When mushroom hunting, be sure to confirm the species before harvesting. Stay aware of your surroundings, carry a GPS or mapping application if possible, and let someone know your plans before heading out on a hunt. There are lots of great spots on public lands. Pack a lunch and make a day of it, but be aware that you may have competition – take your bear spray just in case! 

For more on chanterelles and other edible mushrooms found in Washington, check out our blog

Wildflower viewing 

Late summer and early fall can be good time for wildflower viewing especially along mountains and hillsides. As wildflowers have come into full bloom that means butterflies and bees are enjoying them too. Right now is one of the better months to see the greatest variety of butterflies. 

Backyard wildlife activities 

Learn how to landscape for wildlife: Vegetation is key to attracting a variety of wildlife. Native plants provide the food, shelter, and nesting habitat for songbirds, hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and other wildlife. You can use this extra time at home to map out how you’d like your property to look and figure out which plants would thrive where you live. Visit the Washington Native Plant Society’s website for resources. 

Add a water source to your yard: Put in a birdbath, garden pond, or other source of water outside your home. A safe place to bathe and drink will act as a magnet to many animals. You can make a simple birdbath with things you probably already have. Visit the Audubon’s website for an easy do-it-yourself bird bath using an old cake pan or flower-pot tray. 

Build a bird house or nest box: Add bird houses to your property, or better yet, try to leave snags (dead trees) if they don’t pose any risk. Cavity-nesting birds have been especially impacted by urban development. A bird house of the proper dimensions can substitute for snags where these birds used to nest. There are lots of easy instructions online to build your own bird house or nest box. Visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Backyard Birding webpage for resources. 

Keep your cats and wild birds safe: Domestic cats can make great pets, but when they are allowed to roam outdoors, there can be serious consequences to local wildlife. Cats kill about 2.4 billion birds every year in the U.S. alone. Visit the American Bird Conservancy website for information on their Cats Indoors Program and learn how to keep pet cats and wild birds safe. You may even consider an outdoor enclosure (like a “catio”) for your cat. 

Make a window cling to protect birds: Up to a billion birds die each year from flying into glass. You can help prevent that from happening at your house by making your own window clings using recycled plastic and puffy fabric paint. Check out this tutorial video from the Audubon Society. 

Conserving species and habitats 

Celebrate Orca Recovery Day, Oct. 15! 

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 an 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

Conserving species and habitats

 fawn in the tall grass (top), Pacific tree frog on greenery (center), American bushtit fledglings on a branch (bottom)
Photo by Laura Rogers, Lisa Bruney, Jennifer Landahl

Habitat at Home

Biodiversity is the full range of life in all its forms. This includes the habitats where life occurs, the ways  species and habitats interact with each other, and the physical environment and  processes necessary for those interactions.   

Washington is experiencing unprecedented biodiversity loss. Human population growth and climate change have been the driving factors for landscape changes affecting biodiversity in Washington. 

You can help protect and support fish and wildlife by promoting biodiversity where you live and play.   

  • When planting, choose native species and try to diversity the plants in each area. Native plants support more wildlife species than non-native plants.   

  • Insect diversity is at the base of species diversity. Avoid pesticides to protect nature and our waterways. Instead, help create a balanced environment that relies on natural predators of pest insects.   

  • Create natural spaces that include all layers of vegetation, from groundcover to tree canopy.   

  • Work to eliminate invasive plant species. Native wildlife species often can’t get what they need from invasive plants, so they are less likely to live in an area dominated by invasive species. 

Learn about ways you can support biodiversity and wildlife in Washington by visiting WDFW’s new Stewardship at Home webpage. 

Event calendar

Types of events

  • Key date
  • Community event
  • Public meeting
  • Commission meeting
  • Advisory group meeting

Meet your Regional Director: Chris Conklin

Chris Conklin, Region 6 director
Chris Conklin, Coastal Region Director

Chris Conklin, Coastal Region Director (Region 6), has worked with WDFW since 2013, most recently as deputy director of the Department’s Habitat Program. He began his career with WDFW as a habitat biologist working out of the Coastal Region office in Montesano, before becoming the assistant regional habitat program manager there.

Before joining WDFW, Conklin worked as a fishery technician at the Idaho Panhandle National Forest and a fish habitat biologist with the Quinault Indian Nation, as well as a forester for the Washington Department of Natural Resources. Conklin holds a bachelor’s degree in fishery resources from the University of Idaho. In his free time, he enjoys volunteering for search and rescue, working around his property with his son and wife and recreating near the water or in the hills above Naches.