Some of Washington’s most popular fishing opportunities are open to anglers this month, including chinook salmon in the Columbia River, crab in portions of Puget Sound and trout in rivers throughout the state.

Sound like fun? Prospective anglers who are interested in fishing but don’t have a fishing license can get in on the action during Free Fishing Weekend, scheduled June 11-12.

During those two days, no license will be required to fish or gather shellfish in any waters open to fishing in Washington. In addition, no vehicle access pass or Discover Pass will be required to park that weekend at any of the 700 water-access sites maintained by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). For more information, check the department’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/free/

Of course, outdoor adventures don’t begin and end with Free Fishing Weekend. Great opportunities over the next several weeks include:

  • Trout: Many rivers across the state open for trout fishing June 4. Meanwhile, the lowland lakes fishing season is underway and anglers have plenty of opportunities to reel in some nice-size fish over the next several months.
  • Columbia River salmon: The lower Columbia River will be open to fishing for spring chinook salmon on a daily basis June 3-15, or until the harvest guideline is met. The extended fishery is designed to dovetail with the summer salmon season, which gets underway June 16.
  • Puget Sound crab: Crab fishing opens in Marine Area 13 (south Puget Sound) June 2, while marine areas 4 (Neah Bay), 5 (Sekiu), 12 (Hood Canal) and the northern section of Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet) open June 16. Other areas of Puget Sound are scheduled to open in July and August.
  • Bird watching: June is a great month to view birds in Washington, particularly at WDFW wildlife areas east of the Cascades.

For more information about fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities available this month, see the Weekender Regional Reports posted on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/weekender/. These reports are updated throughout the month to provide up-to-date information about recreational opportunities around the state.