NEWS FLASH  Razor Clam tides have been listed thought the end of December.  Evening digs only. Tides

Fishing News and Updates

Related fishing news and updates is for a quick reference for the latest news available for your fishing trip. Below is a map with all the marine areas. 

Salmon Rules & News

2019 Salmon Season

Salmon will open from June 22nd-September 30th, 7 days a week.  Limit per day is 2 Salmon, 1 of which may be a Chinook.  Coho must be hatchery.

WDFW FISHING RULE CHANGE   
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
http://wdfw.wa.gov

August 7, 2019

Westport anglers may retain two Chinook as part of salmon daily limit beginning Saturday, Aug. 10

Action:  Anglers may retain up to two Chinook as part of their two-salmon daily limit.

Effective date:  August 10, 2019.

Species affected:  Chinook salmon.

Location:  Marine Area 2.

Reason for action:  Sufficient quota remains for Chinook in Marine Area 2 to allow retention of more than one Chinook salmon in the daily limit. 

Additional information:  Chinook min. size 24", coho min. size 16", other salmon no min. size. Daily limit of two salmon, release wild coho.

The Grays Harbor control zone and Marine Area 2-2 west of buoy 13 are closed to salmon angling beginning August 12.

Anglers are reminded to always check for emergency rule changes prior to fishing. Rule changes can be found on the website at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/ or by calling the fishing hotline at 360-902-2500.

Information contact: Region 6 office, 360-249-4628

WDFW NEWS RELEASE 
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091 

http://wdfw.wa.gov/

April 15, 2019
Contacts:
 Kyle Adicks, 360-902-2664;
Michelle Dunlop, 360-790-6151

Washington's salmon fisheries set for 2019-20

ROHNERT PARK, Calif. – Washington anglers can expect a mixed bag of salmon fisheries this year with increased coho opportunities in the ocean and the Columbia River, but additional necessary restrictions to protect chinook in Puget Sound.

The state's 2019 salmon fishing seasons, developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and treaty tribal co-managers, were finalized today during the Pacific Fishery Management Council's (PFMC) meeting in Rohnert Park, Calif.

This year's fisheries were designed to take advantage of a higher number of coho salmon forecast to return to Washington's waters as compared to recent years, said Kyle Adicks, salmon policy lead for WDFW. However, projected low returns of key chinook stocks in Puget Sound prompted fishery managers to restrict fisheries in Puget Sound.

"We're able to provide more opportunities to fish for coho in some areas, particularly in the ocean and Columbia River, than we have been able to do for several years," Adicks said. "But continued poor returns of some chinook stocks forced us to make difficult decisions for fisheries in Puget Sound this year."

Washington's ocean waters

"We expect some good opportunities for fishing in the ocean this summer," Adicks said.

For 2019, PFMC adopted a significantly higher quota for coho, and a similar quota for chinook compared to last year. All four of Washington's marine areas will open daily beginning June 22.

Puget Sound

Again in 2019, fishery managers projected another low return of Stillaguamish, Nooksack and mid-Hood Canal chinook and took steps to protect those stocks. Notable closures of popular fisheries include: the San Juan Islands (Marine Area 7) in August; Deception Pass and Port Gardner (areas 8-1 and 8-2) in December and January; and Admiralty Inlet (Marine Area 9) in January.

WDFW Director Kelly Susewind acknowledged the reductions in Puget Sound salmon fisheries are difficult for both anglers and the local communities that depend on those fisheries.

"Reducing fisheries is not a long-term solution to the declining number of chinook salmon," Susewind said. "The department will continue working with the co-managers, our constituents, and others to address habitat loss. Without improved habitat, our chinook populations will likely continue to decline."

Limiting fisheries to meet conservation objectives for wild salmon indirectly benefits southern resident killer whales. The fishery adjustments will aid in minimizing boat presence and noise, and decrease competition for chinook and other salmon in these areas critical to the declining whales.

Anglers will also have limited opportunities to fish for pink salmon in Puget Sound due to projected low returns this year. There are no "bonus bag" limits for pink salmon in 2019.

Columbia River

The summer salmon fishery will be closed to summer chinook (including jacks) and sockeye retention due to low expected returns this year.

Fall salmon fisheries will be open under various regulations. Waters from Buoy 10 upstream to the Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco will open to fall salmon fishing beginning Aug. 1.

"While we anticipate a robust coho fishery in the Columbia River this year, we're taking steps to protect depleted runs of chinook and steelhead," Adicks said.

Steelhead fisheries in the Columbia and Snake rivers this season will be similar to those in 2017, when a similarly low run was projected, he said.

More information

Notable changes to this year's Puget Sound sport salmon fisheries can be found on WDFW's website athttps://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/management/north-falcon, where information on recreational salmon fisheries in ocean waters and the Columbia River also is available.

For information on tribal fisheries, contact the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission (http://nwifc.org/).

WDFW NEWS RELEASE 
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091 

http://wdfw.wa.gov/

March 12, 2019
Contact: Kyle Adicks, 360-902-2664

Public input sought on proposals for Washington's ocean salmon fisheries

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Fish managers have developed options for Washington's ocean salmon fisheries that reflect concerns over chinook stocks and optimism about improved returns of coho projected this year.

The three options for ocean salmon fisheries were approved Tuesday for public review by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), which establishes fishing seasons in ocean waters three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast.

The three alternatives are designed to protect the low numbers of chinook expected to return to the Columbia River and Washington's ocean waters this year, said Kyle Adicks, salmon fisheries policy lead for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

"With these alternatives in hand, we will work with stakeholders to develop a final fishing package for Washington's coastal and inside waters that meets our conservation objectives for wild salmon," Adicks said. "Anglers can expect improved opportunities to fish for coho salmon compared to recent years while fishing opportunities for chinook likely will be similar to last year."

Similar to 2018, this year's forecast for Columbia River fall chinook is down roughly 50 percent from the 10-year average. About 100,500 hatchery chinook are expected to return to the lower Columbia River. Those fish – known as "tules" – are the backbone of the recreational ocean fishery.

Meanwhile, fishery managers estimate 905,800 coho will return to the Columbia River this year, up 619,600 fish from the 2018 forecast. A significant portion of the Columbia River run of coho contributes to the ocean fishery.

State fishery managers are working with tribal co-managers and NOAA Fisheries to take into account the dietary needs of southern resident orcas while developing salmon fishing seasons. The declining availability of salmon – southern resident orcas' main source of prey – and disruptions from boating traffic have been linked to a downturn in the region's orca population over the past 30 years.

"We will continue to assess the effects of fisheries on southern resident killer whales as we move towards setting our final fishing seasons in April," Adicks said.

The options include the following quotas for recreational fisheries off the Washington coast:

Option 1: 32,500 chinook and 172,200 coho. Marine areas 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay) would open June 15 while marine areas 1 (Ilwaco) and 2 (Westport) would open June 22. All four areas would be open daily and La Push would have a late-season fishery under this option.

Option 2: 27,500 chinook and 159,600 coho. Marine areas 1, 3, and 4 would open daily beginning June 22 while Marine Area 2 would open daily beginning June 29. There would be no late-season fishery in Marine Area 3.

Option 3: 22,500 chinook and 94,400 coho. Marine areas 1, 3, and 4 would open daily beginning June 29 while Marine Area 2 would be open five days per week (Sunday through Thursday) beginning June 16. There would be no late-season fishery in Marine Area 3.

Fisheries may close early if quotas have been met. For more details about the options, visit PFMC's webpage at https://www.pcouncil.org/blog/, where information can be found about a March 25 public meeting in Westport on the three alternatives for ocean salmon fisheries.

Last year, the PFMC adopted recreational ocean fishing quotas of 27,500 chinook and 42,000 coho.

Chinook and coho quotas approved by the PFMC will be part of a comprehensive 2019 salmon-fishing package, which includes marine and freshwater fisheries throughout Puget Sound, the Columbia River and Washington's coastal areas. State and tribal co-managers are currently developing those other fisheries.

State and tribal co-managers will complete the final 2019 salmon fisheries package in conjunction with PFMC during its April meeting in Rohnert Park, Calif.

Several additional public meetings are scheduled in March and April to discuss regional fisheries issues. The public will also soon be able to comment on proposed salmon fisheries through WDFW's website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/northfalcon/, where a list of scheduled public meetings can be found.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish and wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.

WDFW NEWS RELEASE 
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091 

http://wdfw.wa.gov/

February 27, 2019
Contact: Kyle Adicks, 360-902-2664

Forecast indicates improved coho salmon numbers
as managers begin to develop this year’s fishing seasons

OLYMPIA – Fishery managers estimate higher numbers of coho salmon will return to Washington’s waters in 2019 compared to last year, but expect low returns of wild chinook will again make setting fishing seasons a challenge. 

Forecasts for chinook, coho, sockeye, chum, and pink salmon – developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and treaty Indian tribes – were released today during a public meeting in Olympia.

The forecast meeting marks the starting point for crafting 2019 salmon-fishing seasons in Puget Sound, the Columbia River and Washington coastal areas. The annual process for setting salmon fisheries is known as "North of Falcon." Fishery managers have scheduled a series of public meetings through early April before finalizing seasons later that month.

Kelly Susewind, WDFW director, said fishery managers will look to design fishing seasons that not only meet conservation goals for salmon but also minimize impacts on the region’s struggling southern resident killer whale population.

“In the coming weeks, we’ll be working with tribal co-managers and constituents to make sure that we meet our conservation objectives while providing fishing opportunities where possible,” Susewind said. “It’s complicated, but important work.”

The forecasts are based on varying environmental indicators, such as ocean conditions, as well as surveys of spawning salmon, and the number of juvenile salmon migrating to marine waters.

As in past years, salmon-fishing prospects in 2019 vary by area:

Columbia River:  About 218,200 “upriver brights” are expected to return to areas of the Columbia River above Bonneville Dam. That’s similar to the return in 2018 but down more than 50 percent from the most recent 10-year average.

An estimated 905,800 coho are projected to return to the Columbia River this year, an increase of 619,600 fish from the 2018 forecast. About 147,000 coho actually returned to the Columbia River last year.

Salmon fisheries in the Columbia River will likely be designed to harvest abundant coho stocks while protecting depleted chinook and “B-run” steelhead, which return to the Columbia and Snake river basins.

Washington’s ocean waters: Anglers should have more coho fishing opportunities in Washington’s ocean waters this summer compared to 2018, given higher numbers of coho projected to return to the Columbia River and to Washington’s coastal streams.

This year’s forecast of about 100,500 hatchery chinook to the lower Columbia River is down 12,000 fish from last year’s projected return. Those hatchery chinook – known as “tules” – are the backbone of the recreational ocean fishery.

Puget Sound: Increased returns of coho salmon should provide anglers with some good fishing opportunities including in areas in mid and south Sound, said Kyle Adicks, salmon fisheries policy lead for WDFW.

Roughly 670,200 wild and hatchery coho are expected to return to Puget Sound this year, up 15 percent of the 10-year average. However, the total forecast for wild and hatchery chinook is down slightly from 2018.

“We’re again expecting extremely low returns in key stocks such as Stillaguamish and mid-Hood Canal chinook, which will again limit salmon fishing opportunities,” Adicks said.

Meanwhile, this year's run of pink salmon, which mostly return to Washington's waters only in odd-numbered years, is expected to be 608,400 fish. That’s roughly 10 percent of the 10-year average of 5.7 million fish.

Southern resident killer whales

While developing fishing proposals, the department will consider the dietary needs of southern resident killer whales as well as ways to protect orcas from disruptions from fishing vessel traffic, Adicks said.

The declining availability of salmon – southern resident orcas’ primary prey – and disruptions from boating traffic have been linked to a downturn in the region's orca population over the past 30 years.

WDFW is working with the National Marine Fisheries Service to develop tools to assess the effects of fisheries on available prey for orcas.

Public meetings and comment opportunities

A meeting schedule, salmon forecasts, and information about the salmon season-setting process are available on WDFW's website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/northfalcon/.

WDFW intends to livestream several public meetings, including those scheduled on March 19 and April 3. The department will provide links to those upcoming livestreams,  as well as to the archived video from Wednesday’s forecast meeting, on the website listed above.

Upcoming meetings include:

  • Ocean options: State, tribal and federal fishery managers will meet March 7-12 in Vancouver, Wash., with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) to develop options for this year's commercial and recreational ocean chinook and coho salmon fisheries. The PFMC establishes fishing seasons in ocean waters three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast.
  • Regional discussions: Additional public meetings have been scheduled into April to discuss regional fishery issues. Input from these regional discussions will be considered as the season-setting process moves into the "North of Falcon" and PFMC meetings, which will determine the final 2019 salmon seasons.
  • Final PFMC: The PFMC is expected to adopt final ocean fishing seasons and harvest levels at its April 11-15 meeting in Rohnert Park, Calif. The 2018 salmon fisheries package for Washington's inside waters is scheduled to be completed by the state and tribal co-managers during the PFMC's April meeting.

Beginning in mid-March, fishery proposals will be posted on WDFW's website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/northfalcon/, where the public can submit comments electronically.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish and wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.    

Halibut Rules & News

2019 Halibut Days Set:

South Coast (Marine Area 2): 

  • Thursday, May 2 
  • Sunday May 5
  • Thursday, May 9
  • Sunday, May 12
  •  Friday, May 24
  • Thursday June 6th
  • Thursday June 20th
  • Friday June 28th
  • Saturday June 29th

WDFW FISHING RULE CHANGE   
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
http://wdfw.wa.gov

June 24, 2019

Marine areas 1-10 to open for halibut fishing Friday, June 28

Action:  In addition to days that are already scheduled, opens recreational halibut fishing on Friday, June 28 in coastal marine areas 1 through 4 and Puget Sound areas 5 through 10.   

Effective date: June 28, 2019.

Species affected:  Pacific halibut.

Location:  Marine areas 1 through 10.

Reason for action:  Adding an additional fishing day for all coastal areas will provide Washington sport halibut anglers with the opportunity to catch the remaining 2019 sport quota.

The 2019 sport halibut season dates were established prior to the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) making their final decision on the 2019 quota, which was significantly higher than anticipated. 

WDFW has added several fishing days to the season this year in response to the higher quota and several poor weather days. The Washington sport quota that the IPHC adopted for 2019 was also approved for the next three years. WDFW staff looks forward to working with stakeholders to identify changes to the season structure for 2020 and beyond that is more in line with the higher quota that will be in place through the 2022 season.

Additional information: Summary of open sport halibut days for all marine areas.

Marine Area 1
All-depth: Open Friday, June 28. 
Nearshore: Open seven days per week until further notice.

Marine Area 2:  Open Friday, June 28 and Saturday, June 29.

Marine areas 3 and 4: Open Thursday, June 27; Friday, June 28; and Saturday, June 29.

Puget Sound (MA 5-10): Open Thursday, June 27; Friday, June 28; and Saturday, June 29.

Marine area 5: It is permissible for halibut anglers to retain Pacific cod caught while fishing for halibut in waters deeper than 120 feet on days that halibut fishing is open. The lingcod season is closed in this area for the remainder of the year.

Retention of lingcod and Pacific cod seaward of 120 feet is not permitted on halibut days in marine areas 6-10.

Marine areas 1-10: Daily limit of 1 halibut per angler, with no minimum size limit.  Annual limit of 4. All catch must be recorded on WDFW catch record card.  Possession limits remain the same.

Marine areas 11-13: are closed.

Information contact: Heather Hall, Coastal Policy Coordinator, 360-902-2487.

WDFW FISHING RULE CHANGE   
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
http://wdfw.wa.gov

June 21, 2019

Recreational halibut fishing to open for additional day in Marine Area 2

Action: Opens recreational halibut fishing on Saturday, June 29 in Marine Area 2 (Westport).

Effective date: Immediately.

Species affected: Pacific halibut.

Location: Marine Area 2 (Westport).

Reason for action: There is sufficient quota to open recreational halibut fishing for an additional all depth fishing day in Marine Area 2. Poor weather continues to contribute to low catch in Marine Area 2 and opening another day will provide anglers additional time to catch the remaining sport quota.

Additional information: The following is a summary of open sport halibut days for all marine areas.

Marine Area 1: Nearshore: Open seven days per week.

Marine Area 2: Open Saturday, June 29.

Marine Areas 3 and 4: Open Saturday, June 22; Thursday, June 27; and Saturday, June 29.

Puget Sound (Marine Areas 5-10): Open Saturday, June 22; Thursday, June 27; and Saturday, June 29.

Marine Area 5: It is permissible for halibut anglers to retain Pacific cod caught while fishing for halibut in waters deeper than 120 feet on days that halibut fishing is open.

Retention of lingcod and Pacific cod seaward of 120 feet is not permitted on halibut days in Marine Areas 6-10.

Marine Areas 1-10: Daily limit of 1 halibut per angler, with no minimum size limit. Annual limit of 4. All catch must be recorded on WDFW catch record card. Possession limits remain the same.

Marine Areas 11-13 are closed.

Information contact: Heather Hall, Coastal Policy Coordinator, 360-902-2487

May 20, 2019 

Sport halibut season dates added for 2019

Action: In addition to dates already announced, recreational halibut fishing will be open Thursday, June 6 in Marine Area 2. Recreational halibut fishing will be allowed on six additional fishing days in Marine Areas 5 through 10, those dates are; Thursday, May 30; Saturday June 1; Thursday, June 13; Saturday, June 15; Thursday, June 27; and, Saturday, June 29.

Effective date: Immediately

Species affected: Pacific halibut

Location: Marine Area 2 and Marine Areas 5 through 10

Reason for action: The 2019 sport halibut quota approved by the International Pacific Halibut Commission in January 2019 is approximately 25 percent higher than 2018. The higher quota, combined with lower catch in Marine Areas 5-10 during the early season, allows for more sport halibut fishing days than were anticipated when the season dates were set last fall. To maximize sport fishing opportunity in this area, six additional fishing days will be added following the Thursday, Saturday season structure proposed by stakeholders.

In addition, another fishing day on Thursday, June 6, will be opened for recreational halibut fishing in Marine Area 2.

The all depth recreational halibut fishery in Marine Area 1 will continue on May 24 and 26. The nearshore area will remain open Mondays through Wednesdays until further notice. No changes are proposed to the recreational season dates in Marine Areas 3 and 4 at this time.

The sport halibut fishery is managed to a federal quota. WDFW will continue to track catch as the season progresses and make adjustments as needed to provide opportunity while keeping catch within the quota.

Additional information: 2019 sport halibut season dates:

Marine Area 1: All-depth: Open Thursday, May 2; Sunday, May 5; Thursday, May 9; Sunday, May 12; Friday, May 24; Sunday, May 26.

Nearshore: Open Monday?s through Wednesday beginning May 6.

It is permissible to retain lingcod when halibut is on board north of the Washington-Oregon border on days open to the recreational halibut season.

Marine Area 2: Open Thursday, May 2; Sunday, May 5; Thursday, May 9; Sunday, May 12; Friday, May 24; and Thursday, June 6.

Marine Areas 3 and 4: Open Thursday, May 2; Saturday, May 4; Thursday, May 9; Saturday, May 11; Saturday, May 18; Friday, May 24; Sunday, May 26; Thursday, June 6; Saturday, June 8; Thursday, June 20; Saturday, June 22

Puget Sound (MA 5-10): Open Thursday, May 2; Saturday, May 4; Thursday, May 9; Saturday, May 11; Saturday, May 18; Friday, May 24; Sunday, May 26; Thursday, May 30; Saturday, June 1; Thursday, June 6; Saturday, June 8; Thursday, June 13; Saturday, June 15; Thursday, June 20; Saturday, June 22; Thursday, June 27; and, Saturday, June 29

Marine Area 5: It is permissible for halibut anglers to retain lingcod and Pacific cod caught while fishing for halibut in waters deeper than 120 feet on days that halibut fishing is open and when the lingcod season is open.

It is not lawful to retain lingcod or Pacific cod seaward of 120 feet on halibut days in MA 6-10.

Marine Areas 11-13 are closed

Marine Areas 1-10: Daily bag limit of 1 halibut per angler, with no minimum size limit. Annual limit of 4. All catch must be recorded on WDFW catch record card. Possession limits remain the same.

PRELIMINARY HALIBUT SEASONS 2019

  • South Coast (Marine Area 2): Thursday, May 2; Sunday May 5; Thursday, May 9; Sunday, May 12; Friday, May 24
  • These halibut season dates are preliminary until adopted into federal regulation by the National Marine Fisheries Service but can be used for planning purposes, as they are unlikely to change.  Please note, Pacific halibut are managed to a quota and openings are dependent on available quota.
  • If sufficient quota remains after the all-depth fishery has closed, the northern nearshore area will open on the following Saturday.  When quota is available, the nearshore area will be open 7-days per week until the remaining quota is taken.
  • The northern nearshore area includes the waters from 47° 31.70’ N. latitude south to 46° 58.00’ N. latitude and east of a line approximating 30 fathoms as described by the following coordinates:

47°31.70’ N.  124°37.03’W.
47°25.67’ N.  124°34.79’W.
47°12.82’ N.  124°29.12’W.
46°58.00’ N.  124°24.24’W.

  • In all marine areas open to halibut fishing, there is a one-fish daily catch limit and no minimum size restriction.  There is a four fish annual bag limit.  Anglers must record their catch on a WDFW catch record card.
  • Check for additional information as the season progresses in the Emergency Rules website.

Bottom Fishing Rules & News

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Record Fish

Record Black Rockfish 

Rochester angler breaks black rockfish sport fish record

OLYMPIA – Steven Charles Orr of Rochester, Washington, has set a new state record for the largest black rockfish caught in Washington state waters, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) confirmed today.  

The 10.72 pound fish measured 26.15 inches and was caught May 15 in Marine Area 1 near Ilwaco, Pacific County, while Orr was bait fishing with herring. 

"I thought I had a ling cod," Orr said. "It was like fighting a big king salmon, and when I got it up to the boat, it absolutely dwarfed a 6 to 7 pound sea bass we had onboard. It was definitely a fighter."

The new record exceeded the previous black rockfish record by almost half a pound. That record was held by Joseph Eberling for a fish he caught in the Tacoma Narrows area of Puget Sound in 1980.

Rivers & Fresh Water Fishing

WDFW WEEKENDER REPORT 
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
http://wdfw.wa.gov

June 2017
Contact: 
(Fish) 360-902-2700
(Wildlife) 360-902-2515

Trout, salmon fishing opportunities abound in June

Some of Washington's most popular fishing opportunities are open to anglers this month, including chinook salmon in the Columbia River 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 10-11.

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 3. 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 summer salmon season begins June 16 as hefty upriver summer chinook salmon and sockeye salmon begin moving in increasing numbers into the Columbia River.
  • Lake Roosevelt sturgeon:  For the first time in about 30 years, Lake Roosevelt is open for white sturgeon fishing. Check the Eastern Washington (Region 1) report for details. 
  • Puget Sound salmon: Salmon fishing seasons are open in southern Puget Sound (marine areas 11 and 13).
  • Bird watching: June is a great month to view birds in Washington, particularly at WDFW wildlife areas east of the Cascades.
  • Puget Sound crab: State shellfish managers are working to finalize this year's Puget Sound crab fisheries and hope to announce season information soon. Check the department's recreational crab fishing webpage (http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/crab/) for updates.

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.

WDFW NEWS RELEASE 
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091 

http://wdfw.wa.gov/

June 1, 2017
Contact:
 Steve Thiesfeld, 360-902-2662

Anglers can fish for free June 10-11

OLYMPIA – Each year, thousands of Washingtonians go fishing – legally – without a license on "Free Fishing Weekend," scheduled for June 10-11.

During those two days, no license will be required to fish or gather shellfish in any waters open to fishing in Washington state.

Anglers will also not need a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement, otherwise required to fish for salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River and its tributaries.  Nor will they need a Two Pole Endorsement to fish with two poles in selected waters where two-pole fishing is permitted.

Also, no vehicle access pass or Discover Pass will be required during Free Fishing Weekend to park at any of the nearly 700 water-access sites maintained by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).  A Discover Pass is required in state parks on Sunday, June 11 and on DNR lands throughout the weekend however.

"If you haven't fished in Washington, or want to introduce fishing to someone new to the sport, this is the weekend to get out there," said Steve Thiesfeld, WDFW inland fish program manager.

Anglers have been catching daily limits of trout at lakes for the past month, and many rivers will open to trout fishing June 3 throughout the state. Other options available on Free Fishing Weekend include:

  • Lingcod on the coast.
  • Bass, crappie, perch and other warmwater fish biting in lakes throughout Washington.
  • Hatchery spring chinook on the lower Yakima River
  • Shad on the Columbia River.
  • Hatchery steelhead on rivers on the Olympic Peninsula.

For tips, new anglers should check online for the "Fish Washington" feature at the department's homepage (http://wdfw.wa.gov). The site provides details on lowland lake fishing, high lake fishing and marine area opportunities.

For those planning fishing vacations, Great Washington Getaways (http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/vacation) showcases some of the state's best family travel and fishing opportunities. 

And, for those who want even more fishing advice, the Fish Washington video page (http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington/videos) provides "how to" fishing videos designed to introduce techniques to both new and seasoned anglers.

Anglers who take part in free fishing weekend can also participate in the department's 2017 Trout Fishing Derby and redeem tags from fish caught over the weekend. Interested anglers should check for details online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/derby.

Before heading out, anglers should also check the current fishing regulations valid through June ahttp://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations.  

While no licenses are required on Free Fishing Weekend, other rules such as size limits, bag limits and area closures will still be in effect. Anglers will also be required to complete a catch record card for any salmon, steelhead, sturgeon or halibut they catch.

Catch record cards are available free at hundreds of sporting goods stores and other license dealers throughout the state. See http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors on the WDFW website to locate a license dealer.

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