Washingtonians are reeling in chinook and coho salmon off the coast, pulling up pots full of crab in Puget Sound, and casting for trout in alpine lakes on both sides of the Cascades. Summer fisheries are in full swing, providing some of the best fishing opportunities of the year.
Rather catch shellfish? Crab fishing is open throughout the month in most areas of Puget Sound, the exception being Sub-Area 7 North which opens for crabbing Aug. 16. In all open areas, crab fishing is allowed Thursday through Monday each week. The daily catch limit is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6¼ inches.
For hunters, general seasons for black bear open Aug. 1 in some areas of the state and Aug. 15 in others. Hunters are allowed two bear during the general season, but only one bear can be taken in eastern Washington.
South Sound/Olympic Peninsula
Fishing: The Puget Sound crab fishery is underway in most marine areas. The exception is the northern portion (Gulf of Georgia) of Marine Area 7, which opens for crab on Aug. 16.
The crab fishery in all marine areas of Puget Sound is open Thursday through Monday of each week. The daily catch limit in Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6¼ inches. Fishers may catch six red rock crab of either sex per day, provided those crab measure at least 5 inches across. Most marine areas will close the evening of Sept. 3 for a catch assessment. However, Marine Area 7 will remain open through Sept. 30.
Hunting: The general hunting season for black bear opens Aug. 1 in most of the region. Hunters are allowed two bear during the general season, but only one bear can be taken in eastern Washington. Check the Big Game Hunting Seasons and Rules pamphlet for details.
Hunting opportunities on tap for next month include early archery seasons for elk, early archery and muzzleloader seasons for deer, and a new general hunting season for cougar with any weapon.
Wildlife viewing: A popular attraction in late-August and September is the return of hatchery chinook salmon to the Deschutes River near Olympia as they begin their annual spawning run. Onlookers can watch thousands of fish gather below the Fifth Avenue Bridge in downtown Olympia before they enter Capitol Lake and move up the fish ladders to the Tumwater Falls Hatchery.
Just south of Olympia, Wolf Haven International will be hosting a Howl-In on Aug. 18 from 6-9 p.m. Howl-Ins include sanctuary tours, environmentally friendly children’s activities, an eco-scavenger hunt, Wolf-TV and musical entertainment. For more information on the Howl-Ins, visit Wolf Haven’s website.
Washington Department of Fish & Widlife