Reel in some salmon:Anglers will have plenty of options to fish for salmon in Puget Sound waters this summer. Most marine areas in Puget Sound and Juan de Fuca Strait are open for salmon fishing in July.
Marine Area 5 (Sekiu and Pillar Point): Open July 1 for hatchery chinook, hatchery coho, and sockeye salmon with a daily limit of two chinook or coho plus two additional sockeye.
East of the #2 buoy/Ediz Hook line: Open July 3 for hatchery coho and sockeye with a daily limit of two salmon plus two additional sockeye.
West of the #2 buoy/Ediz Hook line: Open July 3 for hatchery chinook, hatchery coho, and sockeye salmon with a daily limit of two fish plus two additional sockeye.
Marine Area 7 (San Juan Islands): Open July 1 for hatchery chinook, coho, and sockeye salmon with a daily limit of two fish plus two additional sockeye.
Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet): Open July 16 for hatchery chinook and hatchery coho with a daily limit of two fish (one of which can be a hatchery chinook).
Marine Area 10 (Seattle/Bremerton): Open June 1 through July 15 for coho salmon with a daily limit of two fish. Starting July 16, the marine area will be open for hatchery chinook and coho with a daily limit of two fish (one of which can be a hatchery chinook).
Marine Area 11(Tacoma/Vashon Island): Open for hatchery chinook and coho with a daily limit of two fish (one of which can be a hatchery chinook). Boat angling for salmon is limited to Fridays through Mondays, but salmon fishing will remain open daily in Marine Area 11 from fishing piers and shorelines. Anglers fishing area 11 are reminded Commencement Bay is closed to salmon fishing until Aug. 1.
Baker Lake in Whatcom County opens for salmon fishing July 7, giving anglers the chance to reel in a daily limit of three sockeye salmon.
Celebrate Bass Week (July 8-14): With more than 1,000 lakes containing bass statewide, and some outstanding river fishing opportunities, both smallmouth and largemouth bass are plentiful in Washington waters. And, you don’t have to own a boat to catch bass – some of the state’s best fishing can be done from docks or along the shoreline.
Our first-ever Bass Week will take place July 8-14, where we’ll highlight some of the best bass waters in Washington, provide bass fishing tips, and answer your questions on all things bass. Submit your best bass fishing photos to be featured on our Facebook and Instagram.
Catch fish, win big: The statewide trout fishing derby continues through Oct. 31 at a number of lakes in the Puget Sound area. Anglers who catch tagged trout in lowland lakes can claim prizes – ranging from fishing gear to gift cards – offered by license dealers around the state. For a list of lakes with prize fish and details on how to claim prizes, visit the derby webpage.
Go crabbing in Puget Sound: Several Puget Sound marine areas open for crabbing June 30, including Marine Areas 6 (eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca), 8-1 (Deception Pass to East Point), 8-2 (East Point to Possession Point), 9 (Admiralty Inlet), and 10 (Seattle/Bremerton). Marine Area 7 South (San Juan Islands/Bellingham) opens July 14 while Marine Area 7 North (Gulf of Georgia) opens Aug. 16. Recreational crabbing is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays in all areas of Puget Sound through Labor Day, Sept. 3.
The daily catch 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 catch six red rock crab of either sex, at least 5 inches across, per day. Information on crab limits and rules, including how to properly record and report catch information, is available on our recreational crab fishing webpage.
Always boat sober: Operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol and drugs is not only unsafe – it’s illegal. Washington state’s Boating Under the Influence (BUI) law applies to all boats including kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and inflatable fishing rafts. If you plan on drinking while on the water this summer, designate a skipper before heading out on the water! Boaters can learn more about BUI laws in Washington and about the risks of boating under the influence by visiting the Boat Sober website.
Sign up for hunter education: Avoid the autumn rush and sign up now for a hunter education class. All hunters born after January 1, 1972 must complete a hunter education course to purchase a hunting license. WDFW offers both traditional and online options to complete the hunter education training requirement.
The traditional classroom experience includes practical exercises and live-firing activities taught by certified volunteer instructors. The online class offers the same classroom content, but on the student’s schedule. An in-person field evaluation course is required with the online class so students can demonstrate what they have learned.
Enjoy a visit to the beach: Located about 20 miles northwest of Bellingham, Birch Bay State Park offers visitors a half-mile, self-guided walk through forest and marsh environments with opportunities to see songbirds and waterfowl. Visitors can also explore 1 1/2 miles of saltwater shoreline and see intertidal species and shorebirds. The park is equipped with an automated pay station for visitors to purchase a one-day or annual Discover Pass and boat launch permit. Visit the Washington State Parks website for more information.
Watch salmon passing at Ballard Locks: July is a good time to head to the Ballard Locks to check out salmon passing the fish ladder viewing windows. The Ballard Locks are located in northwest Seattle where the Lake Washington Ship Canal enters Shilshole Bay and Puget Sound. The Visitor Center is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call the Locks’ Visitor Center in Seattle at 206-783-7059.
Help prevent wildfires: With wildfire season already underway, it is important for outdoor recreationists to do their part to prevent wildfires. Fireworks are prohibited year-round on all 33 WDFW wildlife areas and 600-plus water access sites. In addition to complying with the year-round fireworks ban, recreationists can help prevent fires by following these practices:
Cook camp meals on small camp stoves and light your camp with battery-operated lanterns.
If you must have a campfire, keep it small, in the open away from trees, preferably within a metal or stone ring, and put it out cold with water rather than letting it slowly die out through the night.
Don’t toss cigarettes or other smoking materials outside.
Keep motor vehicles off vegetation and don’t travel off-road.
Avoid using chainsaws or other equipment that can emit sparks.