Discover North Puget Sound

Starfish on lichen-covered rocks on beach

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

Director: Brendan Brokes

16018 Mill Creek Boulevard
Mill Creek, WA 98012-1541

Telephone: 425-775-1311

Fax: 425-338-1066

TeamMillCreek@dfw.wa.gov

Fish Washington this November

Enjoy fall views at lowland lakes

Angler holds up trout he caught on a fall day at Green Lake
  • Lake Cavanaugh: Ten miles northeast of Arlington, fishing opportunities include stocked coastal cutthroat trout, kokanee, and rainbow trout and resident largemouth bass.
  • Lake Samish: About 6.5 miles southeast of Bellingham, fishing opportunities include stocked kokanee and resident coastal cutthroat trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, and yellow perch.
  • Lake Goodwin: Seven miles northwest of Marysville, Lake Goodwin anglers can pursue stocked rainbow and coastal cutthroat trout, along with resident largemouth and smallmouth bass and yellow perch. Access through Wenberg County Park leads to a concrete boat ramp with limited shoreline access.
  • Chain Lake: Three miles north of Monroe, anglers can expect good fishing opportunities for stocked rainbow trout and resident largemouth bass in October.
  • Lake Sammamish: Public access is through Lake Sammamish State Park which surrounds the lake’s south shore. Anglers can fish from the shoreline year-round for coastal cutthroat trout, smallmouth bass, and yellow perch.

Late-season recreational crab fishing open through Dec. 31

Put on some warm clothes and harvest your own crab this fall! Crabbing areas that are open include Marine Area 6 (eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca), Marine Area 7 (San Juan Islands), and Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet), except for waters south of a line from Olele Point to Foulweather Bluff.

Recreational winter crab seasons closed in marine areas 8-1 and 8-2 in October. 

Setting or pulling traps from a vessel is only allowed from one hour before official sunrise through one hour after official sunset. 

The daily limit in Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6 1/4 inches. Crabbers may also catch six red rock crab of either sex per day with a minimum carapace width of 5 inches, and six Tanner crab of either sex with a minimum carapace of 4 1/2 inches. Additional information is available on our crab fishing webpage

November hunting tips and news

November is prime time for waterfowl and upland bird hunting

A hunter and dog wait for waterfowl in a blind
Photo by Richard Eltrich

As wet and windy weather starts to pick up, so does good waterfowl hunting. If you're new to duck and goose hunting, read our recent blog posts,5 tips to get started waterfowling in WAand From field to plate.  

Meanwhile, general seasons for California quail, northern bobwhite, mountain quail, and pheasant continue through Nov. 30. Finally, the forest grouse hunting season continues through Dec. 31. For more details on hunting seasons and regulations, see the migratory waterfowl and upland game hunting pamphlet.

Deer and elk seasons are underway

Modern firearm western Washington elk season opens Nov. 2 with late modern firearm deer season opening a week later, on Nov. 9. Some game management units (GMUs) will see a late archery deer season open Nov. 10 and late muzzleloader deer season on Nov. 20. Late western archery elk and late western muzzleloader elk season opens Nov. 27.

Check out our recent blog post with staff tips on how to get the most out of your black-tailed deer season. 

Black bear general hunting season continues through Nov. 15

Hunters are permitted two bears during the general season, only one of which may be taken in eastern Washington. All hunters are urged to avoid shooting sows with cubs. Successful hunters are required to submit a bear tooth to WDFW to determine the animal’s age. Tooth envelopes are available at all WDFW offices.

Early cougar hunting season continues through Dec. 31

Some GMUs in North Puget Sound that provide cougar hunting opportunities include 448 (Stillaguamish), 450 (Cascade), 460 (Snoqualmie), and 466 (Stampede). For details on harvest guidelines, visit WDFW’s hunting prospects webpage.

November wildlife viewing

A flock of snow geese come in for a landing in a farm field

Snow geese make their way to the region

About 80,000 snow geese winter in western Washington each year, and many will make their way to the area this month. Most snow geese congregate in the Skagit Valley, and can be found in the area from mid-October through early May. A great place to view the birds is at the Fir Island Farm Reserve Unit of the Skagit Wildlife Area.

Celebrate the return of salmon 

The Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA) will host three salmon sighting events to celebrate the return of Pacific salmon to local streams. The events are family-friendly, open house style, and free of cost. Restrooms, hot beverages, activities, and prizes will be provided. For more information, visit the NSEA website

Recreation and habitat projects

Managing land for fish, wildlife, and people at the Snoqualmie Wildlife Area

The Snoqualmie Wildlife Area consists of six units along the banks of the Snoqualmie and Snohomish rivers. The population density of King and Snohomish counties means there is an extensive need for spaces set aside for fish and wildlife habitat. This can create challenges when working to balance conservation efforts with recreation access. Explore how WDFW manages these challenges with this interactive story map

250 acres of tidal marsh habitat restored to benefit chinook salmon and other wildlife

The Leque Island Estuary Restoration Project removed over 2.4 miles of levee to restore 250 acres of tidal marsh habitat (estuary) in the Stillaguamish River watershed where 85% of historic tidal marsh has been displaced. The time lapse video below shows tidal water coming onto dry land for the first time in 140 years last month.  

Estuaries are important for juvenile chinook salmon as they transition from fresh to salt water, as well as shorebirds, waterfowl, and lots of other species in the area. The southern resident killer whales in Puget Sound rely on chinook salmon as their main food source, so this project also supports orca recovery.

People will benefit from this habitat restoration project, too! Crews will construct a 0.7-mile wave protection berm to protect the City of Stanwood from high tides and flooding. This berm will also be an elevated walking trail so people can continue to enjoy the scenic area. A new small boat launch will allow hand-carry boats to put in on the west side of the project area for paddling access in the new tidal channels. WDFW is also partnering with the City of Stanwood to build a larger boat launch for motorized boats slightly upriver near the Hamilton Smokestack in 2020.

Read our recent blog post to learn more about the project. 

Meet your Regional Director: Brendan Brokes

Brendon Brokes, Region Four Director
Brendan Brokes, North Puget Sound 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.

Event calendar

Types of events

  • Community event
  • Key date