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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

Halibut Rules & News

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

September 21, 2018
Heather Reed, 360-902-2487

WDFW to host meeting on options for 2019 halibut season

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will host a public meeting in Montesano in early October to discuss management options and select proposed dates for the 2019 statewide halibut season.

The meeting will be held Oct. 9 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Montesano City Hall, 112 N. Main St. 

State halibut managers will provide an overview of specific options under consideration by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) for recreational fisheries in Marine Areas 1 (Columbia River) and 2 (Westport) for 2019. WDFW will consider public comments received on those options in developing recommendations to the PFMC before the federally established council meets in November.

"The options reflect suggestions made by anglers to improve the state's halibut fishery," said Heather Reed, coastal policy coordinator for WDFW. "The halibut fishery is very popular and this meeting is a good opportunity to provide input."

In addition to status quo, options under consideration include:

  • Revising the season opening date in Marine Area 1 (Columbia River) so that it aligns more closely with the openings in other marine areas.
  • Changing the number of days of the week the Marine Area 1 (Columbia River) all-depth fishery is open from three days per week to two.
  • Clarifying that the nearshore fishery in Marine Area 2 (Westport) will open if sufficient quota remains after the all-depth fishery closes.

At the Oct. 9 meeting, WDFW will also solicit input from the public and facilitate a discussion on the proposed season dates for the statewide season in Marine Areas 2-10. As part of those discussions, WDFW staff will review the tide calendars for next May and June and work to balance the needs across various fishing communities and charter and private fishing interests.

During the discussion, factors considered will include maximizing opportunity, extending the season length, and accommodating traditions relative to opening dates and planned fishing derbies.

More information about the specific options described above can be found online at

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

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

June 2017
(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

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 ( 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 These reports are updated throughout the month to provide up-to-date information about recreational opportunities around the state.

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

June 1, 2017
 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 ( The site provides details on lowland lake fishing, high lake fishing and marine area opportunities.

For those planning fishing vacations, Great Washington Getaways ( 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 ( 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

Before heading out, anglers should also check the current fishing regulations valid through June a  

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 on the WDFW website to locate a license dealer.

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