Camano Island Cutthroats

I live in Stanwood and I have been going to some spots on Camano Island trying to catch sea-run cutthroats. I have fished at a friends house who lives on Rocky Point beach on the north part of camano, and just the other day I fished at a public beach way down at the south end, I even saw a cuttie jump out of the water right where I was fishing but I could not catch a fish.

So has anybody fished on any beaches on Camano with success?? Any advice?? It would be extremely appreciated.

Fish Hunter

Too many people, not enough fish
You’re probably not doing anything wrong - time and persistence HogWrangler that's all it is. As the year moves on you'll see more and more of them flinging themselves about, you'll get em'. I’m sorry to be so simplistic but you just have to get out there like you’re already doing – “It ain’t rocket surgery.” as someone once said.

Good luck, keep at it.



Active Member
HW -
Because of differences in behavior between the cutts of the large rivers of North Puget Sound and those of the small streams in South Sound the beach cutthroat fishery on North Sound tends to be more seasonal.

The Skagit Bay/Port Susan fishery typically begins building in March however the peak of the fishery is in early July. Expect to see continued improvement in the fishery with much more consistent fishing from May through August.

Tight lines

My brother-in-law lives on Camano and has been catching dollies off the beach on the Port Susan side for the last few weeks. I assumed that this coincided with the chum smolt out migration. Do dolies follow a similar feeding pattern as SRC?



Active Member
Dan -
First your brother-in-law may wish to take a look at the following -

While the bull trout/Dolly Varden will certainly take advantage of the chum/pink fry they tend to target larger fish when ever they are available. I typically seen the most aggressive feeding of the bull trout in the salt when they find smelt, herring, sand lance, shiner perch, etc pinned on the beach. In those situations they completely ignore the small salmon fry.

One needs to remember that the biology of the coastal cutthroat and bull trout are very different. The adult cutts are currently right in the middle of their spawning thus the majority of the fish are still in freshwater. The bull trout on the other hand are fall spawners and the post spawn adults are more actively seeking foraging opportunities including some in the salt.

The smolts of the both species leave the rivers in the spring with peak migration for both being in May. So those juvenile fish (5 to 8 inches at the time of leaving the river) will not be out in the salt for another 6 or more weeks.

Tight lines
Hey Curt,

Thanks for the information. Just for my own edification, I just spent about 30 minutes trying to decipher the regs regarding dolly/bull trout. I'm feeling confused, as usual. Could you recap the rules regarding dolly/bull trout in marine areas? Thanks.