Blue Creek open 2 weeks early

Action: Open Blue Creek to fishing for hatchery trout and hatchery steelhead.

Effective Dates: Nov. 14 through Jan. 31, 2013.

Species affected: Hatchery cutthroat trout and hatchery steelhead.

Location: From mouth upstream to posted sign just above rearing pond outlet. Read More...

Summer Chinook mark selective fishery to open in the Wenatchee River

Action: Anglers will be able to fish for and retain adipose fin clipped adult and jack summer chinook salmon in the lower mainstem Wenatchee River.

Rule: Daily limit of two adipose fin clipped summer chinook (adult or jack). All other fish must be released. Selective gear rules (single barbless lures or flies, no bait allowed). In addition, no boats with motors (Chelan Co. ordinance 7.20.190 Motorboat restrictions), knotless nets, and night closure are in effect.

Effective dates and locations:

(1) Aug. 4, 2012-Oct. 15, 2012, Wenatchee River from the mouth (confluence with the Columbia River) to 400 feet below Dryden Dam.

(2) Sept. 1, 2012-Oct. 15, 2012, Wenatchee River from the confluence of Peshastin Creek to a line perpendicular to the river at a marker on the opposite shore (approximately 1,000 feet above Dryden Dam) to the Icicle Creek Road bridge on the west end of Leavenworth.

Species affected: Summer run chinook salmon.

Reason for action: Hatchery summer chinook returns to the Wenatchee River are predicted to be in excess of spawning escapement needs. The population is not listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The majority of spring chinook and bull trout will have migrated to the upper Wenatchee River, and few steelhead will remain in the mainstem.

Other information: Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license as well as a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement (CRSSE). Revenue from the CRSSE supports salmon or steelhead seasons on many rivers in the Columbia River system, including enforcing fishery regulations and monitoring the upper Columbia River steelhead fisheries. The endorsement has generated more than $1 million annually for WDFW to maintain and increase fishing opportunities throughout the Columbia River basin.

Important angler note: All chinook with a floy (anchor) tag attached and/or one or more round ¼ inch in diameter holes punched in the caudal (tail) fin must be released. These fish are essential to ongoing studies being conducted by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license in addition to a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement Stamp.

Information contact: Travis Maitland, District 7 fish biologist, Wenatchee, (509) 665-3337; Jeff Korth, Region 2 Fish Program manager, Ephrata, (509) 754-4624.

Mark-selective fall chinook fishery on lower Columbia River

Action: Sets a mark-selective fishery for hatchery fall chinook in the mainstem Columbia from the Lewis River downstream to the Tongue Point/Rocky Point line.

Effective dates: Monday, Sept. 10, through Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012

Species affected: Hatchery fall chinook salmon

Location: The mainstem Columbia River from the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line upstream to a line projected from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse, through Red Buoy #4 to the orange marker atop the dolphin on the Washington shore.

Daily limit: 6 salmonids of which no more than 2 may be adult salmon or steelhead, or 1 of each. Only 1 may be an adult chinook. Release all salmon other than hatchery chinook and hatchery coho. The minimum length for salmon is 12 inches.

Reason for action: Allows retention of hatchery chinook for a one-week period in the area downstream of the Lewis River in lieu of a complete closure to chinook retention after Sept. 9.

Additional information: This 7-day mark-selective fishery for hatchery chinook will occur only if the Endangered Species Act (ESA) impacts set aside for this retention period remain available and are not used in prior fisheries.

Information contact: (360) 696-6211. For latest information press *1010.

5 SW Washington Lakes close 11/21-25

Action: Five lakes in Southwest Washington to close Nov. 21, and reopen Nov. 25 for a jumbo rainbow trout fishery.

Species affected: Rainbow trout.

Effective dates: Closure starts 12:01 a.m., Monday, Nov. 21, and reopens Friday, Nov. 25, 2011.

Location: Fort Borst Park Pond, near Centrailia in Lewis County. South Lewis County Park Pond, near Toledo in Lewis County. Kress Lake, near Kalama in Cowlitz County. Battleground Lake, located at Battleground State Park in Clark County. Rowland Lake, east of Bingen in Klickitat County.

Daily limits: Limits in the lakes will not change from listing in the Fishing in Washington rules pamphlet.

Other information: Lakes will close to provide time for fish to be planted and acclimated. Lakes will open the day after Thanksgiving. Lakes are being planted with rainbow trout, which should average over a pound each. Fish at Fort Borst is restricted to juvenile anglers only. Fort Borst and South Lewis County Park Pond will each be planted with 1,200 trout. Kress Lake will receive 1,000 trout, Battleground 2,500, and Rowland 1,700.

Reason for action: These fish were grown to provide quality family trout fishing during the Thanksgiving weekend. The opener allows anglers to plan their trip to these lakes and equal access to these fish on the day of the opener.

Information contact: (360) 696-6211. For latest information press *1010.

Daily limit of trout increased on Scanewa Lake

Action: Increase trout daily limit to 10 in Scanewa Lake

Effective dates: Oct. 1, 2011 until further notice

Species affected: Trout

Location: Scanewa Lake (Cowlitz Falls Reservoir)

Reasons for action: Increase bag limit on stocked rainbow trout to encourage late season fishing effort to increase the overall harvest rate.

Other information: Rainbow trout (with clipped adipose fins) are stocked annually in Lake Scanewa as part of Lewis County PUD’s federal license to operate Cowlitz Falls Dam. Many of these fish remain available for harvest, and these regulations increase the opportunity for the angling public to harvest these fish this fall. The increased daily catch limit is intended to increase participation in this fishery and allow increased harvest of these fish.

An 8-inch minimum size limit remains in effect. In addition, anglers must release all cutthroat, and release rainbow trout except those having a clipped adipose fin and a healed scar at the location of the adipose clipped fin.

Information contact: Wolf Dammers (360) 696-6211

Release wild Chinook in Tilton River

Action: Release wild chinook salmon

Effective Dates: Sept. 12, 2011 until further notice

Species affected: Fall chinook

Location: Tilton River from mouth to West Fork Read More...

Retention of unclipped Chinook okay on North Fork Lewis River

Action: Open North Fork Lewis River to the retention of unclipped chinook salmon.

Species affected: Chinook salmon.

Effective dates: Sept. 10 through Sept. 30, 2011.

Location: Clark/Cowlitz Counties, from mouth to Merwin Dam. Read More...

Hatchery adult coho daily limit increased on Cowlitz River

Action: Anglers may keep up to 6 hatchery adult coho as part of their salmon daily limit on the lower Cowlitz River.

Species affected: Coho salmon

Effective dates: Aug. 1, 2011, until further notice.

Location: Cowlitz River from boundary markers at mouth to 400 feet below Mayfield Dam Powerhouse.
Read More...

Washington Discover Pass Required

Attention fishers, hunters, wildlife viewers and other outdoor recreationists:

Beginning July 1, 2011 Washington's new "Discover Pass" is required for vehicle entry to nearly 7 million acres of lands managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, (Parks) and Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Those who purchase most kinds of fishing or hunting licenses continue to have free access to WDFW lands, but the Discover Pass is required for access to state parks and DNR lands. For other exemptions, see
http://discoverpass.wa.gov/exemptions/ .

The annual pass costs $35, including transaction and dealer fees, or $11.50 for a daily pass. It can be purchased online at
https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/ , in person from any of nearly 600 recreational license vendors where state fishing and hunting licenses are sold, (for vendors by county, see http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/ ) , by phone (866) 320-9933, or at State Parks headquarters and region offices, and at state parks when staff is available.

This new pass is necessary because state budget dollars are no longer available to cover the costs to keep these lands open. If you have questions about the Discover Pass, please call (866)320-9933, or e-mail Licensing@dfw.wa.gov or see
http://discoverpass.wa.gov/ .

Thank you for supporting Washington state recreation lands.

Spring Chinook must be released on Lewis and Kalama rivers beginning May 28

Action: Lewis River and Kalama River anglers must release all spring chinook beginning May 28.

Species affected: Chinook salmon

Effective dates by location: Effective May 28 through July 31, all chinook must be released on the:
  • Mainstem Lewis from mouth to mouth of East Fork;
  • North Fork Lewis from mouth of East Fork to overhead powerlines below Merwin Dam;
  • Boundary markers at the mouth of the Kalama to the upper salmon hatchery.

Reason for action: Less than one hundred adult spring chinook have entered the traps on the Lewis River, well below the hatchery escapement goal of 1,300 fish. The pre-season forecast anticipated a return of 3,400 adult spring chinook to the river system.

Through May 20, only 11 adult spring chinook salmon (including 3 unmarked fish) had returned to Kalama Falls Hatchery, well below the hatchery broodstock goal of 400 fish. Only 600 adult spring chinook were forecasted to return to the Kalama River this year.

Other information: Creel sampling surveys have shown light catches and no evidence of large numbers of fish holding in the river. In addition, recent checks at the traps show low recruitment. Hatchery returns will continue to be closely monitored.

Both the mainstem and North Fork Lewis and the lower Kalama remain open to retention of hatchery steelhead.

Information contact: (360) 696-6211. For latest information press *1010.

Two Toutle tributaries open early for hatchery steelhead

Action: Lower portions of the South Fork Toutle and Green rivers will open two weeks early to fishing for hatchery steelhead.

Species affected: Steelhead

Effective dates: May 21, 2011 to June 3, 2011

Locations:
  • South Fork Toutle River from the mouth to the 4700 Road Bridge.
  • Green River from the mouth to 400’ below the water intake at the upper end of the hatchery.

Special rules and daily limit: Selective gear rules will be in effect through June 3 to minimize handling mortality of smolts and wild steelhead that may be present. Daily limit is two hatchery steelhead. Hatchery steelhead are defined as steelhead with a clipped adipose or ventral fin and a healed scar at the location of the clipped fin. Wild steelhead and all other game fish (including trout) must be released.

Other information: The entire South Fork Toutle River and the Green River from the mouth to the 2800 Road Bridge will open to fishing for hatchery steelhead beginning the first Saturday in June (June 4) as outlined in the 2011/2012 Sportfishing Rules Pamphlet.

All tributaries to the South Fork Toutle and Green rivers will remain closed to all fishing.

Reason for action: Harvestable adult hatchery summer run steelhead are returning to the South Fork Toutle and Green rivers.

Opening the lower portions of the South Fork Toutle and Green rivers early allows additional recreational opportunity to harvest hatchery steelhead that are returning to Columbia River tributaries in strong numbers.

Information contact: (360) 696-6211. For latest information press *1010.

2011 Columbia River Spring Chinook regulations

[Note: These fishing rules were outlined in a news release sent Feb. 8, 2011.]

Action: Sets fishing regulations for spring chinook on the mainstem Columbia River

Species affected: Spring chinook, steelhead and shad.

Location #1: The mainstem Columbia River from Buoy 10 upstream to Rooster Rock - bank and boat angling allowed.

Location #2: The mainstem Columbia River from Rooster Rock upstream to Bonneville Dam - bank angling only. Rooster Rock boundary description: A true North/South line projected from Rooster Rock on the Oregon shore to the Washington shoreline

Effective date: March 1 - April 4, 2011: fishing for salmonids and shad is allowed
Read More...

Tilton River open for night fishing

Action: Reopen Tilton River to all night fishing

Effective Dates: Nov. 11 through Dec. 31, 2010

Species affected: All species

Location: Tilton River from mouth to West Fork

Reason for action: Recent heavy rains have contributed to higher river flows and rapidly distributing salmon, helping to promote and maintain an orderly fishery and no longer requiring a night fishery closure.

Other information: Release wild coho

Information contacts: Wolf Dammers (360) 696-6211

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.

Nisqually River closes for coho

Action: Close Nisqually River for coho retention.

Effective dates: Nov. 1, 2010 until further notice.

Species affected: Coho salmon.

Location: Nisqually River from the mouth to military tank crossing bridge (located one mile upstream of mouth of Muck Creek). Pierce/Thurston counties.

Reasons for action: As of Oct. 22, only 75 hatchery coho have returned to the Clear Creek salmon hatchery. Approximately 700 adults are needed to meet the program goal.

Other information: Anglers should refer to the Sport Fishing Rules 2010/2011 pamphlet edition, FISHING IN WASHINGTON for other ongoing fishing opportunities.

Information Contact: Larry Phillips, (360) 902-2721.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.

Tilton River closed to all night fishing

Action: Close Tilton River to all night fishing.

Effective Dates: Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2010.

Species affected: All species.

Location: Tilton River from mouth to West Fork.
Read More...

Lower Kalama River closing to Chinook retention

Action: Close lower Kalama River to all chinook retention.

Effective Dates: Effective Sept. 20 through Dec. 31, 2010.

Species affected: Chinook salmon.

Location: Kalama River from boundary markers at the mouth to 1000’ below the fishway at upper salmon hatchery.
Read More...

Adult chinook with intact adipose fins may be retained on the Cowlitz River

Action: Anglers may keep one adult chinook with an intact adipose fin as part of the two adult chinook daily limit on the Cowlitz River.

Effective date: Sept. 18 through Dec. 31, 2010.

Location: Cowlitz River from boundary markers at the mouth to 400 feet below Mayfield Dam Powerhouse.

Species affected: Chinook salmon. Read More...

Nisqually River & tributaries open for fishing June 5-Sept. 30, 2010

Action: Open fishing on Alder Lake tributary streams and other tributaries to the upper Nisqually River.

Location: All streams above of Alder Dam on the Nisqually River and all tributaries to Alder Lake will open to fishing.

Effective dates: June 5, through Sept. 30, 2010.

Species affected: All gamefish.

Daily limits: The trout daily limit will be two (2) fish over 14". Selective Gear Rules Apply. Statewide minimum size and daily limits apply for other gamefish.

Reason for action: Fishing regulations for the Nisqually River (and all tributaries) above Alder Lake and all tributary streams of Alder Lake were not included in the newly developed stream strategy for Puget Sound tributaries. The intent is to provide trout fishing opportunity in this area consistent with the stream strategy.

Other information: Mineral Creek and Little Nisqually River are scheduled to open June 5, 2010. Anglers should refer to the Sport Fishing Rules 2010/2011 pamphlet edition, Fishing in Washington for other ongoing fishing opportunities.

Information Contact: For further information contact Larry Phillips (360) 902-2721 or Hal Michael at (360) 902-2659, Hal.Michael@dfw.wa.gov .

Cowlitz hatchery steelhead limit increased

Action: Cowlitz River anglers may retain up to three hatchery steelhead.

Species affected: Steelhead

Effective dates: Effective May 22 through Oct. 31, 2010.

Location: From the Hwy. 4 bridge at Kelso upstream to Mayfield Dam.

Reason for action: There has been strong showing of hatchery summer run steelhead on the Cowlitz to date. Through May 15, a total of 165 hatchery summer run steelhead had returned to the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery.

Other information: Under a previously adopted emergency action, steelhead with a clipped right ventral fin and a healed scar at the location of the clipped fin may be retained. Release wild steelhead.

Through June 4 all game fish, except hatchery steelhead, must be released.

Beginning June 5 the trout (including hatchery steelhead) daily limit will be five fish of which up to three may be hatchery steelhead. Minimum size 12 inches. Release wild cutthroat.

Information contact: (360) 696-6211. For latest information press *1010.

Lake Scanewa opens for hatchery spring chinook

Action: Open Lake Scanewa (Cowlitz Falls Reservoir) to fishing for hatchery spring chinook.

Effective dates: May 8 through May 31, 2010.

Species affected: Hatchery chinook salmon

Location: Lake Scanewa (Cowlitz Falls Reservoir) from Cowlitz Falls Dam to listed boundaries in the Cispus and Cowlitz rivers arms (see sport fishing rules pamphlet).

Reasons for action: Through April 30 over 500 spring chinook have been trucked to Lake Scanewa for sport fishing opportunity and reintroduction efforts.

Other information: The daily limit is six hatchery salmon, no more than two may be adults. Wild chinook must be released. Minimum size is eight inches. Lake Scanewa will revert to permanent fishing regulations beginning June 1, 2010. The permanent regulations continue the fishery for hatchery chinook through July 31 and the seasons for trout and other gamefish open June 1.

Information contact: Wolf Dammers (360) 696-6211

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.

Riffe Lake fishing rule change

Action: Remove Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement requirement from Riffe Lake.
Read More...

Columbia River Spring Chinook seasons

Action: Sets fishing regulations for spring chinook salmon in the mainstem Columbia River.
Read More...

Cowlitz steelhead rule change

Action:   Allow retention of steelhead with a clipped right ventral fin and a healed scar at the location of the clipped fin.
Read More...

WDFW 2009-2010 Fishing Rules

Click Here to download the 2009-2010 Fishing Regulation Pamphlet.

Release Chinook upstream of Blue Creek

Action:   Anglers must release adult chinook on the Cowlitz River from Blue Creek upstream to Mill Creek.
Read More...

Anit-snagging rule clarified

Action: The anti-snagging rule has been further clarified to read:
Except when fishing with a buoyant lure (with no weights added to the line or lure), or trolling from a floating device, terminal fishing gear is restricted to a lure or bait with one single point hook. Only single point hooks measuring not more than 3/4 inch from point to shank may be used, and all hooks must be attached to or below the lure or bait. Weights may not be attached below or less than 12 inches above the lure or bait.

A "buoyant lure" is a lure that floats on the surface of freshwater when no additional weight is applied to the line or lure, and when not being retrieved by a line.

"Trolling" means fishing from a vessel that is underway and under power. Read More...

2-pole fishing option starts 8/15/09

Effective Aug. 15, the two-pole endorsement option will apply to the majority of the 8,000 fishing lakes, ponds and reservoirs in Washington state. Endorsements will be available Aug. 13 from authorized license dealers, listed at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lic/vendors/vendors.htm , or from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/ . Read More...

S. Fork Toutle opens for hatchery steelhead

Action: Lower portions of the South Fork Toutle and Green rivers will open early to fishing for hatchery steelhead.
Read More...

Lake Scanewa Chinook fishing opens

Action: Lake Scanewa will open two weeks early.
Read More...

Lewis River spring chinook must be released

Action: Lewis River anglers must release all spring chinook beginning May 11.
Read More...

Chehalis River Basin fishing closure

Action:   A portion of the Chehalis River and its tributaries will be closed to ALL FISHING for the remainder of the winter season.
     Read More...

Kalama River rule changes

Action: Kalama River anglers may keep only one adult spring chinook as part of their daily salmon limit. In addition, boat anglers will be allowed to use electric motors upstream from the Modrow Bridge.
Read More...

Chinook daily limit reduced on Lewis River

Action:   Lewis River anglers may keep only one adult spring chinook as part of their daily salmon limit.
Read More...

2009 smelt season set for SW Washington

Species affected:  Smelt

Effective dates:  Jan. 1 through March 31, 2009

Action (1):  Open seven days a week, 24 hours a day
Read More...

Non-buoyant lure restriction/night closure extended

Action:   The non-buoyant lure restriction/night closure in the area from the barrier dam to Mill Creek on the Cowlitz River will be extended one month.
  Read More...

Make no mistake, wild steelhead rules haven't changed

State fishery managers are again reminding anglers they must release any wild steelhead they catch on all but 11 Washington rivers - most of them on the Olympic Peninsula.  The annual limit is one wild steelhead per year.
Read More...

Adult chinook may be retained on the Cowlitz River

Action:   Anglers may keep one adult Chinook as part of the six adult salmon daily limit on the lower Cowlitz River.           
Read More...

Buoy 10 fishery closed to all salmon fishing

Starting Sunday (Aug. 31), the Buoy 10 area near the mouth of the Columbia River will be closed to all salmon and steelhead fishing.
Read More...

WDFW to enforce law requiring removal of aquatic plants of aquatic plants

OLYMPIA - With summer in full swing, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is reminding recreational boaters that they are legally required to remove all aquatic plants from their boats and trailers before driving away from the launch ramp. Those that fail to do so could face a $378 fine.
Read More...

Chinook seasons get under way Aug. 1, 08

OLYMPIA - Columbia River anglers will be able to catch chinook salmon throughout August during this year's "Buoy 10" fishery, but will be required to release any chinook they intercept upriver to Bonneville Dam until Sept. 1.
Read More...

Chehalis River closed for spring chinook fishery

Action:   Closure of recreational spring chinook fishery in Chehalis River.
Read More...

Adult coho limit increase on the Cispus River

Action: Increase adult hatchery-origin coho bag limit from the present two adults to six adults
Read More...

Anglers allowed to retain whitefish and other game fish

Action: Allow anglers to retain game fish other than trout in the upper Cowlitz River.
Read More...

Lower Columbia tributaries to close for Chinook retention

Action: All Chinook must be released from the Elochoman, Cowlitz, Green, Toutle, Kalama. Lewis, and Washougal rivers.
Read More...