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November 2018
Region 4: North Puget Sound
(Island, King, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcomcounties)
A man holds up his trout catch at Green Lake
A man holds up his trout catch at Green Lake

Trout: The department is stocking at least 55 Washington lakes with catchable-size trout this fall. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of smaller fry and fingerling trout will have grown to catchable size since the department stocked them this past spring. The complete list of lakes to be stocked and the department’s recently updated stocking plan are available on our “Fall into Fishing” webpage.  

Salmon:

  • Marine Area 10 (Seattle/Bremerton): Open through Nov. 15 for chum and hatchery coho with a daily limit of two fish.
  • Nooksack River in Whatcom County is open for salmon fishing with a daily limit of two salmon plus two additional hatchery coho. All wild coho must be released.
  • Green/Duwamish River in King County is open to salmon fishing with a daily limit of six fish. Anglers must release chinook salmon in all river sections except from Tukwila International Boulevard/Old Highway 99 to I-405, where anglers can keep one chinook as part of the daily limit. No more than three adults may be any combination of coho and chum.

Always make sure to check the sportfishing rules pamphlet and emergency fishing rules webpage before heading out.

Crab: Several marine areas remain open seven days a week through Dec. 31 for recreational crab fishing, including: marine areas 4 (Neah Bay, east of the Tatoosh-Bonilla line), 5 (Sekiu), 6 (eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca), 7 (San Juan Islands), 8-1 (Deception Pass, Hope Island, and Skagit Bay), 8-2 (Port Susan and Port Gardner), and 9 (Admiralty Inlet), except for waters south of a line from Olele Point to Foulweather Bluff.
 
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 also catch six red rock crab of either sex per day with a minimum carapace width of 5 inches.

Sport crabbing will not reopen this year in marine areas 10 (Seattle/Bremerton), 11 (Vashon Island), 12 (Hood Canal), and 13 (South Puget Sound). Additional information is available on our recreational crab fishing webpage.

Young woman holds up her first harvested duck of the season
Young woman holds up her first harvested duck of the season
Photo by Bryan Lyyski

Migratory and upland game birds: November is prime time for waterfowl hunting in the region, where more birds are expected to arrive as the month progresses. Typically, opportunities for hunting migrating birds pick up along with wet and windy weather.  

The seasons for snow, Ross’, snow, blue, and white-fronted geese in Goose Management Area 1 (Island, Snohomish, and Skagit counties) are underway throughout November and run continuously through Jan. 29. For Canada geese in Goose Management Area 1 and all geese in Goose Management Area 3, hunting starts up Nov. 5 and runs through Jan. 29. Duck hunting also continues through Jan. 29.

Upland bird hunters have through Nov. 30 to hunt pheasants and quail in western Washington, while the forest grouse season runs through Dec. 31.

Visit our waterfowl spotlight webpage to learn about hunting techniques, waterfowl cleaning tips, places to hunt, how to be a minimalist waterfowler, and more! For more details on hunting seasons and regulations, see the Migratory Waterfowl & Upland Game Hunting Pamphlet.
    
Deer and elk: The modern firearm season for elk is open Nov. 3-14, and the late-season modern-firearm hunt for black-tailed deer is open Nov. 15-18. Archers and muzzleloaders also have late-season hunting opportunities in select game management units. Archery and muzzleloader hunts for deer and elk get started Nov. 21 in select Western Washington game management units.
 
Black bear: The general hunting season for black bear continues through Nov. 15 in the Puget Sound Zone as shown on page 70 of the Big Game Hunting Pamphlet. Hunters are allowed two bear during the general season, only one of which may be taken in Eastern Washington. 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.

Cougar: The early cougar hunting season continues through Dec. 31, and hunters may use any legal weapon. 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.

Flock of snow geese come in for a landing in a farm field.
Flock of snow geese come in for a landing in a farm field.

Snow geese: More and more birders are making their way to the region to view snow geese, which also continue to arrive in increasing numbers. Thousands of snow geese winter in western Washington each year. Most of those birds congregate in the Skagit Valley, and can be found in the area from mid-October through early May. A great place to view the snow geese on upcoming weekends is at the Fir Island Farms Reserve Unit of WDFW’s Skagit Wildlife Area.

Turkey Toss at the zoo: The Woodland Park Zoo is hosting a Turkey Toss event on Nov. 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The zoo’s carnivores will chow down on raw, store-bought turkeys. For more information, visit the zoo’s website.

Volunteer to improve salmon habitat: The Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA) will host several work parties in November to restore salmon habitat. The work groups will remove invasive vegetation and plant native trees and shrubs.

  • Nov. 3, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Squalicum Creek
  • Nov. 10, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Puget Sound Orca Recovery Day on Butler Creek
  • Nov. 17, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Willow Spring

For more information about volunteering, visit the NSEA website.

Prepare for Christmas bird count: Birders throughout the nation are making preparations for the 119th Christmas Bird Count scheduled Dec. 14, 2017 through Jan. 5, 2018. Sponsored by Audubon, the annual event enlists tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas to count and categorize the birds they see for science.

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