Fishing heats up in July for salmon, steelhead and crab

Summer fishing seasons are now in full swing, requiring anglers to make some tough decisions about how to spend their time on the water.

Scores of lakes and streams throughout the state are open for trout and other species, while salmon fisheries are underway in Washington’s ocean waters and several marine areas of Puget Sound.

Here’s a rundown of some of this month’s fishing opportunities:

  • Ocean salmon: Marine areas 1 (Ilwaco), 2 (Westport), 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay) are all open for salmon fishing in July.
  • Puget Sound salmon: Several areas of Puget Sound open for salmon fishing July 1, including marine areas 5 (Sekiu), 7 (San Juan Islands), and a portion of 12 (Hood Canal). Marine Area 6 (East Juan de Fuca Strait) opens July 3.
  • Columbia River salmon and steelhead: Summer chinook fishing closes July 1 below Bonneville Dam, but a sockeye fishery opens the same day upriver to Chief Joseph Dam. Summer steelhead are also moving into fishing areas.
  • Puget Sound crab: Many Puget Sound marine areas are open for crab fishing as of July 1. The exceptions include Marine Area 7, where the crab fishery opens July 14 in the area’s southern portion (San Juan Islands/Bellingham) and Aug. 16 in the northern portion (Gulf of Georgia). Marine areas 11 (Tacoma/Vashon Island) and 13 (south Sound) will not open this season. 

Anglers should note that regulations for fisheries throughout Washington are described in the 2018-19 sportfishing rules pamphlet, which took effect on July 1. The pamphlet is available from sporting goods stores and is posted online at

For more information about fishing and wildlife viewing available this month, see the Weekender Regional Reports posted on WDFW’s website at

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