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

Enjoy last days of crabbing season

Two young children with life jackets stand next to full crab pot on a boat.
Most Puget Sound marine areas will close to recreational crab fishing at sunset on Labor Day, Sep. 6. David Whitmer

Most areas of Puget Sound will close to recreational crab fishing at sunset on Labor Day, Sep. 6. The only two areas of the Sound that will remain open to crab fishing after Labor Day are marine areas 7-South (San Juan Islands/Bellingham) and 7-North (Gulf of Georgia). Crabbing in those areas is open through Sep. 30, Thursdays through Mondays only (Tuesdays and Wednesdays are closed). Information on crab limits and rules, including how to properly record and catch information, is available on the crab seasons and areas webpage

Reel in salmon

Several marine areas in Puget Sound and Juan de Fuca Strait are open for salmon fishing. Areas may close as quotas are reached, so make sure to check the 2021-22 fishing regulations and emergency rule changes before heading out. You can also download the Fish Washington mobile app, which provides up-to-date fishing regulations on your phone. 

Fish your local lake

A variety of lowland lakes provide good opportunities for warmwater fishing throughout the region in September. Notable hot spots to catch smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, yellow perch, panfish, or catfish include larger waters such as Lake Washington (King County), Lake Goodwin (Snohomish County), and Lake Whatcom (Whatcom County).

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!

Find ADA-accessible outdoor recreation

At the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, we're committed to providing opportunities for everyone to enjoy a Life Outdoors. We actively manage more than 1 million acres of publicly owned land and 500+ water access areas across the state that offer a variety of facilities that are accessible for people with disabilities. Whether you're looking for fishing, hunting, or wildlife viewing opportunities, our website offers many tools to find ADA-accessible facilities. For more details, read our latest blog, "Making the outdoors accessible to all". 

Hunting tips and news

Plan your hunt

Archery hunter looks out on mountainous landscape
Early archery-only hunting seasons open in September for deer and elk. Ryan Driver

Hunting seasons for several species start in September, including elk, deer, cougar, assorted small game, upland game birds and waterfowl. Check out the following resources to prepare. 

Early archery 

Early archery-only hunting seasons open in September for deer and elk. Plan ahead and familiarize yourself with local conditions in advance of your hunt. Review this year's hunting prospects for information on deer and elk hunting in North Puget Sound. 

  • Deer early archery: Sep. 1 - 24
  • Elk early archery: Sep. 11 - 23

High buck hunts

Select wilderness areas are open for high-elevation black-tailed deer hunting Sep. 15 - 25. Review the big-game hunting regulations for more details. 

Cougar

The early hunting season for cougar begins Sep. 1. Game Management Units (GMUs) in Puget Sound that have cougar hunting opportunities include 448 (Stillaguamish), 450 (Cascade), 460 (Snoqualmie), and 466 (Stampede).

If you harvest a cougar you must:

  • Report it to the Cougar Hotline at 1-866-363-3868 within 72 hours.
  • Contact us (425-775-1311 or TeamMillCreek@dfw.wa.gov) to set up an appointment to have the pelt sealed within five days of notification. 

Black bear

The fall black bear season continues though Nov. 15. Bear hunters going to Game Management Units (GMUs) 418 and 426 in the North Cascades, as well as several GMUs in Eastern Washington could encounter protected grizzly bears, so species identification is critical. An annual black bear identification test is required for hunting bear in GMUs 101, 105, 108, 111, 113, 117, 203, 204, 209, 215, 418, and 426. 

Forest grouse

Forest grouse season starts on Sep. 15, two weeks later than in previous years, to give chicks more time to grow and have protection. The season will go two weeks longer than in the past, until Jan. 15, 2021. This change is aimed at increasing grouse populations. Review the migratory waterfowl and upland game regulations for more details. 

Pheasant

Youth, seniors, and hunters with disabilities can participate in early hunts, and the regular season in Western Washington starts later in September. Learn about the Western Washington Pheasant Release Program

  • Youth-only: Sep. 18 - 19
  • Seniors (65+) & hunters with disabilities: Sep. 20 - 24
  • Regular season: Sep. 25 - Nov. 30; 
    • Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Take a Hunter Education course

All hunters born after Jan. 1, 1972 must complete a hunter education course to purchase a hunting license. 

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.

Find ADA-accessible outdoor recreation

At the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, we're committed to providing opportunities for everyone to enjoy a Life Outdoors. We actively manage more than 1 million acres of publicly owned land and 500+ water access areas across the state that offer a variety of facilities that are accessible for people with disabilities. Whether you're looking for fishing, hunting, or wildlife viewing opportunities, our website offers many tools to find ADA-accessible facilities. For more details, read our latest blog, "Making the outdoors accessible to all". 

Wildlife watching

#LifeOutdoors photo contest

Share your outdoor adventures for a chance to win outdoor gear!

Woman and young child sit outside tent at campsite in mountains with lake and trees behind them
August winners of #LifeOutdoors photo contest. Jonathan Dykes

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 now through December 2021 for a chance to win a Cabela’s gift card! Each month has a new theme and a new winner with September’s photo themes highlighting ADA-accessible outdoor recreation and/or National Public Lands Day.

Participating is simple:

  1. Visit WDFW’s Life Outdoors webpage from now through December 2021 to find out the outdoor recreation themes for the current month.
  2. Submit pictures of you, your friends, or family participating in the month’s featured outdoor recreation themes 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.

Find ADA-accessible outdoor recreation

At the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, we're committed to providing opportunities for everyone to enjoy a Life Outdoors. We actively manage more than 1 million acres of publicly owned land and 500+ water access areas across the state that offer a variety of facilities that are accessible for people with disabilities. Whether you're looking for fishing, hunting, or wildlife viewing opportunities, our website offers many tools to find ADA-accessible facilities. For more details, read our latest blog, "Making the outdoors accessible to all". 

Plan a trip to go tidepooling

September is a great time to explore low tides in coastal Washington and Puget Sound. As tides roll back on rocky shores, they reveal a treasure trove of Washington's marine biodiversity. Explore rainbows of bright green, orange, purple, pink, blue, and red. Celebrate your #LifeOutdoors and take advantage of a rare opportunity to observe and learn about life under the sea. Read the blog. 

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. 

Puget Sound Bird Fest 

This year's Puget Sound Bird Fest in Edmonds (Sep. 11 - 12) offers online and in-person opportunities appropriate for birders of all levels. Pre-registration is required for all in-person activities, and no walk-ins will be allowed. Online activities available all weekend include a kids corner, online photo contest, and a video tour of birding hotspots around Edmonds.  

Protect your property and Puget Sound

Protecting your property and Puget Sound is easier than you might think! You can help protect Puget Sound by making informed decisions when considering how to manage your marine waterfront.

Shore Friendly Programs help restore the connection between land and water. Most shorelines erode naturally, and we often forget that erosion is part of the processes that are creating our beaches. Our well-intentioned efforts to prevent erosion can have negative effects on the ecology and geology of the beach. 

Learn about free workshops, property assessments, matching grants, and other resources to help you manage your waterfront on the Shore Friendly website

Explore the Puget Sound shoreline and learn how bulkheads or other "hard armor" impacts the ecosystem in this Shore Friendly video series from our friends at Northwest Straits Foundation.

Habitat at Home

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

  • Community event
  • Key date

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.