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Hunting & Fishing

Registration Process: Individuals must complete the online course with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) webpage under Hunter Education: Online Class Sign-Up Registration. Be sure to read all information and criteria. Once completed, register and complete the online Washington Field Skills Evaluation Class. Everyone who hunts must have a Washington state hunter's license.

Hunters must register each year at the Northwest Adventure Center, 8050 NCO Beach Road at Lewis North. Call +1(253)967-7744 for details. Training Area Maps     Email us

JBLM Public Works Environmental Division Hunting & Fishing information 

Service fees are: 

  • $2.50 per type of hunting or $15 for everything for ages 16 years & younger.
  • $5 per type of hunting or $25 for everything for active duty/retirees/DOD civilians.
  • $10 per type of hunting or $50 for everything for all other patrons. 
  • $3 for duplicate replacement permit.

Signing In and Out

General Information

Gas motors are not allowed on JBLM lakes

  1. Individuals wanting to hunt on JBLM Lewis must initially register in person at the Northwest Adventure Center. Individuals must have in possession the following current items: Washington hunting license, current gun registration, registration of the vehicle to be used for hunting, license plate number and drivers license. Individuals will then be allowed to view the informational video highlighting concerns and points of interest for the conduct of hunters while hunting on JBLM property.
  2. There is no consumption of alcohol allowed by hunters and non-hunting guests.
  3. All hunters must have a valid state hunting license, appropriate tags/punch cards and will cooperate fully with military police and federal/state agents. Individuals younger than 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
  4. All hunters are required to wear blaze orange (minimum of 400 sq. inches) above the waist and visible at all times. Archery hunters are not required to wear blaze orange while hunting in non-rifled areas. Waterfowl hunters are not required to wear blaze orange while hunting waterfowl. All archers hunting in areas designated for rifle must meet the blaze orange requirements.
  5. There will be no indiscriminate firing (target practice) in the hunting areas.
  6. There will be no hunting within the 100-foot buffer zone of all active training areas or major roads.
  7. All hunters and non-hunting guests must possess a hunting permit issued by the Northwest Adventure Center, must display the permit on the dash of their vehicle while in hunting areas, and have their personal permit in their possession. Hunters will also carry a copy of their gun registration.
  8. All hunters must sign in and sign out from reserved area by Huntrac. Areas may be reserved at designated time, the day prior to the hunt. Hunters may not enter their assigned hunting areas prior to two hours before official state hunting hours. All hunters will be out of their areas no later than one hour after conclusion of official hunting hours.
  9. Hunt in designated and assigned areas only. Do not move to a new area without first requesting authorization from the Northwest Adventure Center.
  10. No ATVs are allowed on JBLM (except in the ORV Park).
  11. Overnight camping and open fires are not permitted.
  12. Carry individual wallet registration card while hunting on JBLM. Have gun registration available in hunting vehicle while hunting on JBLM.
  13. Pistols may be used for hunting in hunting areas designated for rifle hunting and in accordance with state game rules. As of 2017, pistols may not be carried in addition with the use of another hunting method as registered for hunting.
  14. Trail cameras are prohibited on JBLM training areas per security guidance.
  15. Official lawful hunting hours for game animals and forest grouse in all areas are in accordance with current state hunting regulation. Do not confuse this rule (shooting time) with Rule 8 in this pamphlet accessing JBLM training area for hunting. Hunting hours for pheasant and quail are 8 a.m.–4 p.m. 
  16. Tree blinds: Personal tree blinds may be left within the training area during the months of August through December unattended. Accessing is in accordance with the signing in and out of the training areas providing the training area is allocated as open. The owner assumes the risk of loss or damage to their personal tree stand.
  17. Crossbows: Use of crossbows will be in accordance with state hunting regulation currently allowed only during the modern firearm season. Crossbows are only authorized on JBLM for hunting in training areas designated for Rifle Hunting (R/W, and selected H codes).
  18. No trapping allowed at JBLM.


Endangered Species Act and Protected Land Areas
Certain species of animals on JBLM have been classified as endangered or threatened and afforded protection under the Endangered Species Act. Endangered species management plans have been developed for these species addressing specific actions to be taken on JBLM to protect populations and maintain suitable habitat. As a result, land use and availability may be affected and could also change the way some activities of the past are conducted. This change could also rescind some activities conducted and allowed in past years. All land users are responsible for contacting Range Control regarding “Area Access” or the Northwest Adventure Center for “Hunting.” Information will also be available on the JBLM webpage.

Protected Land Areas
Certain areas within various training areas have been identified as critical or protected habitat areas. Seibert stakes mark no-go zones, which are off-limits because of physical hazards, excess erosion or to protect environmentally or culturally sensitive areas. Red or yellow reflective stakes are placed along the perimeter no-go zones so that they are readily visible. Signs may also be posted with information of restricted areas and land use.


Migratory Birds (Waterfowl)
Gas motors are not allowed on JBLM Lakes/Ponds/Waters.
All lakes and ponds may be hunted every day but only when the training area is open for hunting as referenced by the hunting codes listed in conjunction with the range control weekly allocation sheet (link is available on the Outdoor Recreation Community webpage under hunting). Waterfowl hunting is no longer allowed in any training area that is closed. Closed means closed to all hunting.
The primary areas hunted for waterfowl are as listed:

  • TA 2 – (Entire Area) Sequalitchew Lake, McKay Marsh and any other bodies of water
  • TA 6 – Brandenberg Marsh
  • TA 9 – Spanaway Marsh
  • TA 10 – Johnson and Vietnam Village Marsh
  • TA 12 – Chambers Lake
  • TA 15 – Wetlands South and Muck Creek, potholes to the Southwest (affected by Endangered Species Act)
  • TA 16 – Lewis Lake
  • TA 19 – Cat Lake
  • TA 20 – Fiander Lake

Sign into the above areas utilizing telephone system (#7 for Waterfowl); all other areas open for hunting and targeting waterfowl will sign in utilizing telephone system (#4 for Bird Shot).
Do not block the road on areas that have limited access in and out routes.
State regulations require approved nontoxic shot to be used for hunting waterfowl on JBLM Lewis. (See current Game Pamphlet.) Duck blinds of a portable nature may be used for waterfowl hunting. Portable blinds shall be defined as a structure that will be erected, disassembled, and removed the day of the hunt. NOTE: For safety and quality of hunting, no blinds may be set up within the north and south side of the gravel center (known as the Hour Glass) (Sequalitchew Lake).
Upland Birds
Pheasant release site hunting will consist of a morning hunt (8–11 a.m.) and an afternoon hunt (1–4 p.m.). Wednesday, federal holiday, Thanksgiving day through the following weekend, P/R areas are a single release all-day hunt. Reservations for pheasant hunts will start in the morning on the day before the hunt on a first-come, first-served basis. Pheasant hunters are reminded to wear minimum of 400 sq in of blaze orange visible front and back.
Parking – All individuals MUST park by designated sign-in board. Parking in any other areas is prohibited. On residual non-release days, you may park anywhere, but ensure that parking doesn’t impede safety or conflict with other hunters.
Pheasant release sites with GPS board locations are listed on the ODR webpage under HUNTING.

Special Pheasant Hunt
Youth Hunt (Under 16 years old); Senior Hunt (65 years & older)
Check Washington state regulations for September dates for junior and senior hunts. A state hunting license will be required, and successful completion of the Washington Hunters Education Program is required. Youth must be accompanied by an adult (at least 18 years or older). Volunteers will be assigned to assist all youth and hunting dogs will be available. Normal sign-up/reservations are required as well as a JBLM Lewis registration permit.
A special pheasant area will be set aside for senior hunters, 65 years and older, in 
accordance with state regulations. This senior area will be made available only if enough sites are available to the general public.
Youth pheasant hunt dates will be identified in accordance with state regulation. All youth who qualify must also register as all other hunters with Outdoor Recreation. Youth hunters may sign up for the hunt 14 days before the scheduled event. Youth hunters will not use the hunt trac phone system but may sign up in person or call the NAC. A special folder will be available for this special event at the registration desk.
Pheasant hunters must sign in next to their name and out when finished at the release site board. If your name does not appear on the sign-in sheets, do not hunt. Contact the Skeet & Trap Range immediately if you feel this is an error. Pheasant hunters are not allowed to enter their hunting area prior to one hour before start time of a.m. or p.m. hunt. Pheasant hunters must sign in and out by the posted official time.

Closed Hunting Areas & Restrictions

The following areas are closed to all types of hunting:
A. CTA-F, Artillery Impact Area, Buffer Zone, South Small Arms Impact Area, Lynn Lake, American Lake, American Lake Pond, Sears Lake, Hodge Lake, Golf Course Pond, and Murray Creek.
B. Central Small Arms Impact Area: Closed except during deer/bear season when it is determined available by Range Control.
C. All areas where active logging or other engineer activities are in actual progress.
D. The northern section of Spanaway Marsh will be closed December 1 through August 31 (above the East/West grid line 15.0).
E. Use of rifle and black powder are prohibited in training areas 2, 7N and 7S.
F. Training Area 3 South (south of the fish hatchery): All hunting is prohibited.
G. Trotter Woods (Portion of TA3N) off Mounts Road is CLOSED to all hunting.

Understanding appropriate hunting method use

C – Closed to All; (except scheduled approved group permits)
O – Open to Trainers, Recreation and Compatible Hunting; (shotgun shot size 2 through 9 only); archery waterfowl. Must have an area access pass from Range Control.

  • No shotgun (w/slug; buckshot; #1 and larger shot)
  • No rifle
  • No black powder

H – Closed to all, except "Hunters only" and managed by the Northwest Adventure Center. May include one or all methods of hunting with the exception: no rifle and black powder. Call the NAC to identify as well as the Area Access telephone call-in system.

  • Archery
  • Shotgun (all shot sizes)
  • Waterfowl

R/W – Closed to all, except “Hunters Only” for annual bear, elk and deer season (Managed by the Northwest Adventure Center)

  • Rifle
  • Black powder

P/R – Closed to all, except Pheasant Hunters Release Site and Waterfowl (except 21E & 21W, pheasant release only).

  • Shotgun (birdshot only)
  • Morning and afternoon established hunts

F – Open to authorized Fishing Areas (TA2 - Squalitchew Lake, TA3 - Trotter Woods, TA12 - Chambers Lake, TA16 - Lewis Lake, and TA18 - Nisqually Bridge)

Definition – Compatible Hunting is: (Areas open to all users)

  • Shotgun size 2 thru 9
  • Archery during the appropriate season
  • Seasons are in accordance with state regulation

Safety Note
If you encounter a drug area, leave it alone and report it to the authorities. Leave unexploded ordinance alone!

How to use Hunt-Trac Check-In/Out

All hunter check-ins and check-outs must be performed online here:

Click here for the step-by-step how to.

Fishing Rules

This regulation outlines policies and procedures for fishing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (hereinafter referred to as JBLM).
This regulation is applicable to all personnel engaged in fishing at JBLM. IAW JBLM regulation 215-1 and IAW JBLM regulation 350-30.
A. Fishing at JBLM is a privilege and not a right!
B. All personnel engaged in fishing on JBLM will comply with applicable regulations to include the Federal Migratory Treaty Act, Revised Code of Washington, the Game and Fisheries Codes of the State of Washington, as well as all JBLM Regulations. This includes taking and possession limits. Federal laws prevail in all cases.
C. All personnel engaged in fishing at JBLM must have valid Washington state fishing license and must cooperate fully with the Military Police, Federal Game Wardens and Washington Game Agents.
D. Military personnel in violation of the provisions of this regulation are subject to disciplinary action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Those military personnel who are subject to prosecution in Magistrate Court and all civilians will be prosecuted by the Magistrate Court System or the District Court.
E. All personnel are subject to suspension or revocation of their fishing privileges for violations of this regulation. Civilian personnel may be permanently barred from re-entering the installation for serious infractions of federal, state or installation regulations.
A.  DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD) -  Personnel and their family members may fish all the lakes and streams at JBLM unless the area is otherwise posted, closed by a Daily Bulletin announcement or as written in AR 215-1, the current State WDFW Fishing Pamphlet or the JBLM Fishing Rules Pamphlet guide.
1)  In accordance with AR 215-1 Area Access Recreational Use Permits for fishing are not required for active duty military, retired military, appropriated and non-appropriated fund employees, their immediate family members or the accompanied guests of these valid identification (ID) card holders in the following waters:  American Lake, Cat Lake, Lewis Lake, Chambers Lake, Sequalitchew Lake, Vietnam Village Marsh, Johnson Marsh, Shannon Marsh, Wright Marsh, Solo Point and the Nisqually River e.g.,  (Tank Bridge)(Trotter Woods).  
2)  Area Access permit is required by all individuals desiring to utilize JBLM training areas for other activities such as but not limited to:  hiking, horseback riding, dog training, wildlife and vegetation observation, orienteering, photography, model boating, service group camping activities (Boy Scouts, etc).  Individuals must check in with Range Control Area Access Section.
2)  Two non-DoD guests are authorized per ID card holder.
3)  The vehicle used will have a valid DoD sticker.
B.  NON-DOD PERSONNEL – Require an Area Access Recreational Use Permit and are restricted to American Lake, Chambers Lake and the Nisqually River (Trotter Woods)(Tank Bridge) only.  
1)  Area Access Recreational Use Permits for fishing may be obtained at the Range Control Area Access Section, Bldg 4074, Kaufman Ave, phone (253) 967-6277.   Guidance for permit application is outlined in JBLM Regulation 350-30 and installation web page.  Area Access permits are also required by all non- DoD personnel wishing to participate in activities that include but are not limited to hiking, horseback riding, dog training, wildlife and vegetation observation orienteering, photography, model boating, service group camping activities (Boy Scouts, etc).  Individuals must check in with Range Control Area Access Section.
2)  The Area Access Recreational Use Permit will be displayed on the dashboard of the vehicle at all times while the vehicle is on JBLM property.
3)  Non-DoD personnel must check in daily with Range Control Area Access Section IAW JBLM Regulation 350-30.
4)  The following access restrictions apply to all vehicles that do not have a valid DoD sticker:
a.  Access to and the use of Solo Point on Puget Sound, the boat launch adjacent to the Family Beach on American Lake and the Community Recreation Division (CRD) Beach Boat Launch on American Lake is prohibited.
b.  Access to American and Chambers Lake or the Nisqually River is restricted to a direct route on paved roads only.  These are the only freshwaters civilians are authorized to fish.

C.  GENERAL INFORMATION – The following fishing and boating restrictions are in effect at JBLM.
a.  Fishing License age requirements and exemptions will be in accordance with current Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
b.  Nisqually Lake located in the Central Impact Area is closed and off limits to all personnel.
c.  Sears Lake is open year round only for juveniles that are family members or guests of DoD personnel as outlined in WDFW regulation.
d.  American Lake, Fiander Lake, Cat Lake, Chambers Lake, Sequalitchew Lake, Vietnam Marsh, Johnson Marsh, Spanaway Marsh and Shannon Marfsh are open on a year-round basis, except when closed for training.
The following fishing rules apply at JBLM-McChord Field, as noted in the State of Washington Fish and Wildlife Statewide General Definitions and Special Rules for Westside Rivers and Westside Lakes. Refer to the afore-mentioned JBLM Policy for all other rules.
A. General Base Fishing Policies:
1) Fishing hours are dawn to dusk daily. Fishing sites are subject to closure at base discretion.
2) Fishing is limited to one rod per person, which must be attended when the line is in the water.
3) Catch and release fishing is not permitted, except as provided in paragraph B below.
4) Only Finfish harvesting is permitted. Crustacean and shellfish harvesting are not allowed.
5) No boating, swimming or wading are allowed in any waters on McChord.
6) Pets are not allowed in any waters at McChord.
B. Clover Creek and Morey Creek: Selective Fishery Regulations are in effect. Fishing season is open from the first Wednesday in May through Oct. 31. All anglers are required to:
1) Use only barbless hooks. A barbless hook is a single-pointed hook from which all barbs have been filed off, pinched down, removed, or deleted when manufactured.
2) Use no bait; use artificial flies and lures only.
3) Keep only trout that are 12” or more in length, with a daily catch limit of two trout. Releasing smaller trout means fishing is protected for next year. Salmon fishing is not permitted.
C. Morey Pond: Fishing season is open from the first Wednesday in May through Oct. 31. Daily catch limit is five fish total (trout and bass), any size. Salmon fishing is not permitted. Fishing will be done using only one single hook. Treble hooks are specifically prohibited. Anglers 12 years of age or younger must be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years old. Fishing is not permitted in the dam bypass channel between Morey Pond (exit) and Clover Creek. 
D. Carter Lake: Fishing is restricted to youths 14 years of age and younger on the date of the annual youth fishing derby (normally the third Saturday in April). During the fishing derby, anglers 12 years of age and younger must be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years old. From the Sunday after the fishing derby through Oct. 31, any properly licensed angler and unlicensed youth 14 years and younger may fish in Carter Lake. Daily catch limit is five trout, any size. Fishing will be done using only one single hook. Treble hooks are specifically prohibited.
Individuals violating the above policies are trespassing on a controlled access federal reservation and they are subject to citation by the Military Police. Trespassers may be barred from subsequent authorized access to the installation.
A. Chambers Lake (within JBLM) — Trout catch-and-release only. Selective Fishing Regulations as outlined in the Washington Fishing Regulation apply, except electric motors are allowed. Only artificial flies or lures with a barbless single pointed hook are allowed. Live bait is prohibited. These rules apply to all species of fish in Chambers Lake. Note: Non-trout species may be kept.
B. Muck Creek and tributaries within the JBLM Military Reservation (tributaries include: Lacomus Creek, Johnson Creek, South Creek and South Creek Potholes, as well as, Halverson Marsh) — Trout catch-and-release only. Selective Fishery Regulations as outlined in the Washington Fishing Regulation Guide apply.
C. A freshwater license is required to fish for any species in freshwater, including *salmon, *sturgeon, trout and bass. A saltwater license is required to fish for any species in saltwater, including *salmon, *steelhead, *sturgeon, *halibut, rockfish, and others. A shellfish/seaweed license is required to harvest the following shellfish: crab, oysters, shrimp, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, cockles, mussels, hard and soft shell clams, geoduck, crawfish, goose barnacles, scallops, squid, octopus, razor clams and Hood Canal shrimp. The Washington Fishing Regulation Guide is the official source of information on fishing and food fish water. *Must have a valid catch record card for this species.
D. Night fishing, when authorized by state law — Fishing by DoD personnel at night will be allowed in all lakes except in the South Rainier Training Area (e.g., No Name, Fiander and Cat Lakes).
JBLM Fishing Opportunities
Many lakes at Joint Base Lewis-McChord are available for fishing. These lakes provide opportunities to catch a variety of fish, including trout, salmon and many warm-water species. The following information is provided as a service to JBLM anglers.
American Lake is 1,123 acres, 347 acres of which are at JBLM-Lewis North, and the maximum depth is 90 feet. Fish Population Status: Rainbow Trout and Rock Bass are abundant, including the occasional trout over 16 inches. Cutthroat Trout, a native fish, and Kokanee average 13–14 inches and are common catch. Largemouth Bass and Brown Bullhead (catfish) are present as well as an occasional Smallmouth. Outlook: Outdoor Recreation will release 60,000 Rainbows. Bill’s Boathouse is scheduled to release approximately 20,000 Rainbows. Best Bet: Rainbow Trout should be very good once the water warms. Kokanee fishing is best in June to early July. Pumpkinseed, Rock Bass and Yellow Perch should provide excellent summer fishing.
Cat Lake is 4 acres with maximum depth of 25 feet. Fish Population Status: Largemouth Bass, Black Crappie and Brown Bullhead (catfish) are present. Outlook: Rainbow carry-over is poor. Best Bet: None 
Chambers Lake is 100 acres with maximum depth of 10 feet. Fish Population Status: Selective fishing regulations as outlined in the Washington Game Fish Regulations. Trout catch-and-release only. Electric motors are allowed. Only artificial flies or lures with a barbless single-point hook are allowed, live bait is prohibited. Non-trout species may be kept. Other species that are common include bass, Bullhead, catfish and Pumpkinseed Sunfish. Good for frog gigging in late summer. Outlook: Fair Cutthroat in upper reaches for catch-and-release only. Best Bet: Float tube and a fly rod for Spiny-rays.
Fiander Lake is 30 acres with maximum depth of 8 feet. Fish Population Status: Black Crappie and Largemouth Bass are common. Brown Bullhead (catfish) and very large carp are present. Outlook: Spiny-ray population should provide for fair fishing.
Johnson’s Marsh is 125 acres with a maximum depth of 10 feet. Fish Population Status: Black Crappie, Cutthroat Trout and Coho Salmon are uncommon, native fish from Johnson and Muck Creeks. Largemouth Bass, Pumpkinseed Sunfish and Brown Bullhead (catfish) are common. Outlook: Fair for trout and bass. Best Bet: None. Area managed for water-fowl protection. Note: Wild Cutthroat release. There must be a healed scar in the location of the missing fin. Catch-and-release only on Johnson and Muck creeks.
Lewis Lake - TA 16 is 54 acres with a maximum depth of 8 feet. Fish Population Status: Largemouth Bass and Pumpkinseed Sunfish are common. Outlook: No stocking scheduled. Best Bet: Good early bass season. Coho planted in 1997.
Sequalitchew Lake - TA 2 is 60 acres with a maximum depth of 10 feet. Fish Population Status: Largemouth Bass are common. Coho Salmon are present in the lake and provide good angling. Pumpkinseed Sunfish are abundant and Black Crappie are present. Blue Gill Sunfish, Rock Bass, Yellow Perch and Brown Bullhead (catfish) are uncommon but large size if you do catch one. Outlook: Rainbow carry-overs are scarce. This lake can be very weedy once the weather warms up. Best Bet: Bass should be fair. Coho planted in 1997.
Spanaway Marsh - TA 9 is 360 acres with a maximum depth of 10 feet. This newly developed wetland has a small, but growing Spiny-ray population. This population will continue to improve in the future years due to natural reproduction. The northern section of the marsh is closed from Dec. 1–Aug. 31 of each year. This section will be marked by Public Works (EW grid 15.0).
Vietnam Village Marsh - TA 10 is 69 acres with a maximum depth of 10 feet. Fish Population Status: Largemouth Bass and some large Pumpkinseed Sunfish are common but Black Crappie are uncommon. Outlook: Spiny-ray population. Best Bet: Your choice. Early spring bass fishing can be good but watch for pot holes when wading. Coho planted in 1997.

Note: Morey Pond, Carter Lake, Clover Creek and Morey Creek at JBLM-McChord Field descriptions are listed in section 5 under McChord. For more information, call the Department of Public Works, Environmental Division at 
253-966-6450 or 967-3474.

Free fishing weekend
Every June, Washington state offers a weekend where no fishing license is required on any lake. Contact the Northwest Adventure Center or Russell Landing for dates. Come to Russell Landing at Lewis North or Adventures Unlimited at McChord Field and rent one of our fishing boats. No fishing is allowed on boat ramps at Russell Landing.


More Outdoor Recreation


Fishing Derby

Free fishing derby!

Jun 10 7 am - 10 am

Fishing Derby

Free fishing derby!

Jun 10 7 am - 10 am

Outdoor Rec Expo & Fishing Derby

Jun 10 9 am - 2 pm

Whitewater Rafting

Jun 11

MWR Job Fair

No base access required. Bring your resume and transcripts or applicable certifications. On-the-spot interviews! Selections made the same day!

Jun 13 8 am - 2 pm

Eagle's Pride Bird Walk

Jun 15 8 am - 12 pm

DONSA hours

Jun 16

Holiday Hours

Jun 19

Summit Mount Baker

Jun 23

Sporting Clays

Jun 24

JBLM Airshow & Warrior Expo

Free and open to the general public!

Jul 15

JBLM Airshow & Warrior Expo

Free and open to the general public!

Jul 15

CYS Job Fair

No base access required. Bring your resume and transcripts or applicable certifications. On-the-spot interviews! Selections made the same day!

Jul 18 8 am - 2 pm

Summit Mount Rainier


Jul 30