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  More to do Outside!

March 2019
Region 4: North Puget Sound
(Island, King, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcomcounties)
Woman fishing with a fly rod from the shoreline.
Woman fishing with a fly rod from the shoreline. Photo by Laura Lothrop

Cutthroat trout: Catch-and-release fishing for sea-run cutthroat picks up in March. Shoreline anglers often have success with chum fry patterns and small spinners during tidal changes near rivers and on beaches.

Puget Sound Salmon: Marine areas 7 (San Juan Islands), 8-1 (Deception Pass, Hope Island, and Skagit Bay), 8-2 (Port Susan and Port Gamble), and 9 (Admiralty Inlet) are open to salmon fishing. Anglers should check the Puget Sound creel reports to see where people are having the most success.   

Steelhead: Anglers can chase wild steelhead during a catch-and-release fishery on the Skagit and Sauk rivers. The Skagit River is open from the Dalles Bridge in the town of Concrete to the Cascade River Road Bridge in Marblemount. The Sauk River is open from the mouth to the Sauk Prairie Road Bridge in Darrington.

Squid: There are still opportunities for people to jig for squid in Puget Sound. Squid fishing is a fun group activity that is easy to learn and doesn’t require a boat. Find out what equipment you need and where to go on our squid fishing webpage.

Lowland lakes: As spring approaches, lowland waters are warming and will provide good fishing for bass (smallmouth and largemouth), panfish (yellow perch, pumpkinseed, rock bass, bluegill), and catfish (channel and brown bullhead). Angle, Meridian, Stevens, Samish, and Cavanaugh lakes should be prime fishing spots for spring kokanee.

For more information on fishing in western Washington, anglers can visit Fish Washington. Anglers should also consult WDFW’s sportfishing regulations for details and the emergency rules site for any last-minute rule changes.

Prepare for the boating season: The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission Boating Program wants boaters to be prepared for the upcoming season by taking a safety education course. In Washington state, boaters who operate a vessel with a 15 horsepower engine or greater must be certified and carry a Boater Education Card to prove they passed an accredited boating safety education course.

Boaters have three options to get certified: an instructor-led course; an online self-study; or a home study and equivalency exam for boaters who already have a lot of boating experience. More information about courses and the boater education card can be found at

Hunter posing with one-point buck he successfully harvested.
Successful hunt for young buck. Photo by Les Tobias

Apply for a multiple-season tag: Deer and elk hunters have until March 31 to enter their names into the drawing for a 2018 multiple-season tag, which can greatly increase the opportunity for success in the field.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will hold the drawing in mid-April, randomly selecting names for 8,500 multiple-season deer tags and 1,000 multiple-season elk tags.

Winners of the drawing can purchase a special tag allowing them to participate in archery, muzzleloader, and modern firearm general hunting seasons for deer or elk in 2019. Winners who purchase the multiple season elk tag can participate in general elk hunting seasons in both eastern and western Washington.

The deadline to purchase the multiple-season tag is July 31.

Winners may also choose any weapon type when applying for a special hunt permit for deer or elk.

"With the multiple season tag, hunters have the opportunity to extend their seasons this fall," said Anis Aoude, WDFW game division manager. "Winners do not need to choose one hunting method over another, so they have more options and flexibility."

Aoude noted that the tags can be used only during general seasons and in game management units open during a modern firearm, muzzleloader, or archery general season. For example, winners may not hunt during the muzzleloader general season in an area not open for the muzzleloader general season.

Hunters can apply only once for each species and their bag limit remains one deer or elk.

A multiple season application can be purchased from authorized license dealers, online at, or by calling 866-246-9453. The application costs $7.10 for residents and $110.50 for nonresidents.

A 2019 hunting license is not required to submit an application, but winners of the drawing must purchase one before they can purchase a multiple season tag.
For more information, visit WDFW's website at, or call the Licensing Division at 360-902-2464.

Swans take flight from a pond
Swans take flight from a pond

Birding festival: Birdwatchers have an opportunity to take part in the "Wings Over Water" Northwest Birding Festival March 15 - 17 in Blaine, Semiahmoo, and Birch Bay. The festival features wildlife viewing field trips, speakers and family-friendly activities. For more information visit the festival website.

Gray whale migration: The annual gray whale migration is under way and whale watchers could have several opportunities in March to spot the large marine mammals. The whales are making their annual journey north from the coast of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean, where they spend the summer feeding before heading south again. While most continue on to Alaska, some gray whales linger in the waters of the Pacific Northwest during the spring and summer months, dipping into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and other areas of Puget Sound. The best way to spot a gray whale – from land or sea – is to look for "spouts" of water that can reach 10 to 12 feet in the air when the whales exhale.

Neighborhood bird walks: Join the Seattle Audubon, rain or shine, for a bird walk. No sign up required! There are nine scheduled bird walks around the Seattle area in March. Families and non-members are welcome to attend. To see a full list of upcoming bird walks, visit the Seattle Audubon website.

Region One: Eastern Washington Region Two: North Central Washington Region Four: North Puget Sound Region Six: South Sound/Olympic  Peninsula Region Five: Southwest Washington Region Three: South Central Washington