Discover North Puget Sound

Landscape view of wetland with snow-capped mountains in background.

Counties served: Island, King, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, Whatcom

Director: Brendan Brokes

16018 Mill Creek Boulevard
Mill Creek, WA 98012-1541

Email: TeamMillCreek@dfw.wa.gov

Telephone: 425-775-1311

Fax: 425-338-1066

Fishing tips and news

Fish for free June 12-13

No license? No problem! June 12-13 is Free Fishing Weekend statewide. Fishing licenses are not required to fish and people do not need a Discover Pass to visit lands managed by WDFW, Department of Natural Resources, or Washington State Parks. The annual Free Fishing Weekend is a great time to introduce friends and family to fishing who haven’t had the opportunity before.

Young angler with first fish
Tim Compton

Catch a fish, win a prize

The annual trout derby continues through Oct. 31. Specially tagged trout are stocked in 100+ lakes statewide with over 1,000 prizes up for grabs valued at more than $38,000. The derby is open to anyone with a valid fishing license; no entrance fee or registration required. Just catch a tagged trout at a participating lake and you win!

Fish at your local lake

Check out what lakes have been recently planted in WDFW's trout stocking report, and review this year's statewide trout and kokanee stocking plan for more information about when lakes in your area might be stocked with fish.

Find a lowland lake near you, and be sure to check the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for statewide regulations before you go.

Head to the river for trout

Most Puget Sound-area rivers opened the Saturday before Memorial Day for trout fishing. Under the statewide rule for trout, there is a two-fish daily limit and a minimum size of 8 inches in most rivers and streams. Check the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet and emergency rules for any specific river regulations before heading out. 

Reel in some bass

June is a great time to fish for smallmouth and largemouth bass across Western Washington as waters are warmer and fish become more active. To target bass, fish around grass lines, docks, pilings, and rock piles. On larger lakes, look for shallow embankments and shorelines with a southern exposure that will warm quicker than the main lake. 

Update on Marine Area 10 salmon season

The salmon season opener is delayed until June 16. However, the following year-round piers will remain open for salmon fishing: Bremerton Boardwalk, Illahee State Park Pier, Seacrest Pier, and Waterman Pier. 

Hunting tips and news

Special permit drawing results

Drawing results are available in late June for hunters who applied for special big-game hunting permits for upcoming fall seasons. Drawing results will be posted in your WILD account at WDFW’s licensing website. Winners will also be notified by mail or email.

Spring turkey reports

The spring wild turkey season ended May 31, so it’s time to submit your spring turkey report, even if you plan to hunt turkeys again this fall. Reports are required before Jan. 31, 2022, whether or not you were successful in harvesting a turkey. Hunters can file reports on WDFW’s licensing website or by calling 1-877-945-3492. 

This information is used to help monitor hunter effort, distribution, harvest, and trends. Although the reporting period is open until Jan. 31 for both spring and fall seasons, WDFW recommends completing your spring report while your memory is fresh. Hunters who do not fulfill their tag in the spring must submit reports for both spring and fall by the Jan. 31 deadline.  

Online Hunter Education

Due to COVID-19, WDFW has cancelled all in-person hunter education classes until further notice. However, students 9 years of age and older can complete the online course for certification. Students 8 years of age and younger can still complete the online course, however they are required to complete an in-person field skills evaluation prior to certification.

Online course: The online hunter education course takes approximately 10 hours to complete, but students can do it in multiple sittings. You can register for and complete the online hunter education course at https://www.huntered.com/washington/. Next, register for and complete the online Virtual Field Day course at https://www.huntercourse.com/virtualfieldday/

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.

Wildlife watching

Online "Camp Washington" event June 10

Join WDFW and Washington State Parks for a virtual live event from Millersylvania State Park. Presenters will provide tips on how to make camping reservations, find ADA-accessible recreation opportunities, and camp around wildlife. Viewers will also find out which state parks are best for viewing wildlife in Washington. Join us on Thursday, June 10 at 6 p.m. via Zoom. 

Find a birding trail near you

Find the best places for bird watching in North Puget Sound by exploring routes along the Great Washington State Birding Trail. The Puget Loop features 42 main sites to spot bald eagles, pileated woodpeckers, Pacific wrens, Anna's hummingbirds, chestnut-backed chickadees, and more. 

Avoid conflicts with wildlife

When camping and cooking outside this summer, remember to secure food and garbage to prevent attracting wild animals of all kinds. To reduce the chance of problem encounters with wildlife both big and small:

  • Keep a clean camp and clean grills and put garbage in wildlife-resistant trash containers where available.
  • Secure food and other scented items in wildlife-resistant food lockers when possible. Or hang food in backpacks or other containers from a tree branch at least 10 feet above the ground and four feet out from the tree trunk. Never store food in tents.
  • When camping, sleep at least 100 yards, preferably up wind, from the cooking area and food storage site.
  • When fishing, clean fish away from camp and dispose of entrails properly.
  • When hiking, make noise by singing or talking. Keep small children close and on trails.
  • Leave family pets at home or confine or restrain them in camp and on trails to avoid drawing wildlife.
  • Always carry bear spray and know how to use it. It is effective on bears and many other wildlife species.

For more information about avoiding conflicts with wild animals, see WDFW’s Living with Wildlife webpage.

Leave wild babies wild

June can a busy month for the birth of baby animals. A reminder that if you run into fawns, baby birds, or other young animals, please leave them be, even if they appear to be orphaned or abandoned. Most animals have a parent foraging or hunting nearby. Read our blog to learn about when not to rescue wildlife.

Educational activities for families

Looking for fun ways to engage your kids and have fun together as a family? Check out our educational resources for themed lessons and activities you can enjoy together. Recommended activities for June include:

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

  • Key date
  • Public meeting
  • Community event

Meet your Regional Director - Brendan Brokes

Brendon Brokes, Region Four Director

Brendan Brokes, North Puget Sound Region Director (Region 4), holds a master's degree in fisheries science from Oregon State University and has lived in the Pacific Northwest since 1987. He served as the Habitat Program Manager in this region since 2015, after filling a decade-long role as the Assistant Regional Habitat Program Manager.

Before arriving at WDFW in 2001, Brokes worked at Mount Rainier National Park as a researcher and biological technician in aquatic ecology. He also worked with the National Marine Fisheries Service monitoring foreign commercial fisheries compliance.