NEWS FLASH :  WDFW  Announces cancellation of Oct 31 - Nov 3  due to increased levels of marine toxins.  More 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

2020 Salmon Season

WDFW FISHING RULE CHANGE  
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
1111 Washington St. SE, Olympia, WA 98501
https://wdfw.wa.gov/

September 2, 2020

Westport to open for salmon fishing 7 days per week, Chinook limit increasing

Action: Opens salmon fishery seven days per week; anglers may retain up to two Chinook as part of their two-salmon daily limit.

Effective date: Sept. 4, 2020 through Sept. 30, 2020.

Species affected: Salmon.

Location: Marine Area 2.

Reason for action: Sufficient quota remains for Chinook and coho in Marine Area 2 to allow fishing seven days per week and to allow retention of more than one Chinook salmon in the daily limit.

Additional information: Chinook min. size 22", coho min. size 16". Daily limit of two salmon, release wild coho.

The Grays Harbor control zone remains closed.

Marine Areas 1 and 4 remain closed.

Marine Area 3 remains open daily through September 30, daily limit of two salmon, release chum and wild coho.

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

Salmon Season

The regulations for individual coastal marine areas are as follows:

Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco)

  • June 20-28: Daily limit 1. Chinook - minimum size 22". Other salmon species - no minimum size. Release all coho.
  • June 29-Sept. 30: Daily limit 2, of which up to 1 may be a Chinook. Chinook - minimum size 22". Coho - minimum size 16". Release wild coho.

Marine Area 2 (Westport)

  • June 20-28: Daily limit 1. Chinook minimum size 22". Other salmon species - no minimum size. Release all coho.
  • June 29-Sept. 30: Daily limit 2, of which up to 1 may be a Chinook. Chinook - minimum size 22". Coho - minimum size 16". Release wild coho. Open Sundays through Thursdays only.
  • Willapa Bay (Area 2-1) and the portion of Grays Harbor (Area 2-2) west of the Buoy 13 line also opened June 20 under the same rules as Area 2. Regulations for Areas 2-1 and 2-2 change in August.

Marine Area 3 (LaPush)

  • June 20-28: Daily limit 1. Chinook - minimum size 24". Other salmon species - no minimum size. Release all coho.
  • June 29-Sept. 30: Daily limit 2. Chinook - minimum size 24". Coho - minimum size 16". Release wild coho.
  • La Push, located on the Quileute Reservation, remains closed to the public. Anglers fishing in Marine Area 3 will need to access the area from elsewhere, but must follow all rules and regulations for the marine area where they're fishing.

Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay)

  • June 20-28: Daily limit 1. Chinook - minimum size 24". Other salmon species - no minimum size. Release all coho.
  • June 29-Sept. 30: Daily limit 2. Chinook - minimum size 24". Coho - minimum size 16". Release wild coho.
  • Neah Bay, located on the Makah Reservation, remains closed to the public. Anglers fishing in Marine Area 4 will need to access the area from elsewhere, but must follow all rules and regulations for the marine area where they're fishing.
  • In Marine Area 4, the waters east of a true north-south line through Sail Rock are closed to salmon fishing through July 31.

Potential coastal halibut fishing:

North Coast (Marine Areas 3 and 4): Opens Thursday, Aug. 6. The fishery in this area will be open three days per week, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Aug. 6 through Sept. 30 or until the quota is taken.

South Coast (Marine Areas 1 and 2): Open Thursday, Aug. 6. Then, beginning Aug. 13, open two days per week, Thursdays and Sundays, through Sept. 30 or until the quota is taken. If catch and effort is tracking slower than anticipated, additional days may be added. Proposed additional dates are Friday, Aug. 28; Friday, Sept. 4; and Friday, Sept. 11.

WDFW NEWS RELEASE
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

1111 Washington St. SE, Olympia, WA 98501
http://wdfw.wa.gov/

June 22, 2020
Contact: 
Region 6, 360-249-4628
Public Affairs contact: Ben Anderson, 360-902-0045

WDFW clarifies ocean summer salmon fishing regulations

OLYMPIA – With recreational salmon fishing now open in Washington's ocean waters, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is clarifying the rules for individual marine areas, as well as asking anglers to help ensure accurate catch estimates by cooperating with fish checkers at landing sites.

"We had a great, busy first weekend on the water," said Wendy Beeghley, a fishery manager with WDFW. "But any time there's a busy opener like this, anglers often ask us for some clarification of the rules, and we wanted to reiterate these regulations to help clear up any potential confusion."

Coastwide, anglers cannot fish in an area if they have a catch on board that is not legal to retain in that area. For example, it is illegal to have salmon aboard while fishing in an area closed to salmon fishing, even if you caught the salmon elsewhere. Single-point barbless hooks are required in all marine areas while fishing for salmon.

The regulations for individual coastal marine areas are as follows:

Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco)

  • June 20-28: Daily limit 1. Chinook - minimum size 22". Other salmon species - no minimum size. Release all coho.
  • June 29-Sept. 30: Daily limit 2, of which up to 1 may be a Chinook. Chinook - minimum size 22". Coho - minimum size 16". Release wild coho.

Marine Area 2 (Westport)

  • June 20-28: Daily limit 1. Chinook minimum size 22". Other salmon species - no minimum size. Release all coho.
  • June 29-Sept. 30: Daily limit 2, of which up to 1 may be a Chinook. Chinook - minimum size 22". Coho - minimum size 16". Release wild coho. Open Sundays through Thursdays only.
  • Willapa Bay (Area 2-1) and the portion of Grays Harbor (Area 2-2) west of the Buoy 13 line also opened June 20 under the same rules as Area 2. Regulations for Areas 2-1 and 2-2 change in August.

Marine Area 3 (LaPush)

  • June 20-28: Daily limit 1. Chinook - minimum size 24". Other salmon species - no minimum size. Release all coho.
  • June 29-Sept. 30: Daily limit 2. Chinook - minimum size 24". Coho - minimum size 16". Release wild coho.
  • La Push, located on the Quileute Reservation, remains closed to the public. Anglers fishing in Marine Area 3 will need to access the area from elsewhere, but must follow all rules and regulations for the marine area where they're fishing.

Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay)

  • June 20-28: Daily limit 1. Chinook - minimum size 24". Other salmon species - no minimum size. Release all coho.
  • June 29-Sept. 30: Daily limit 2. Chinook - minimum size 24". Coho - minimum size 16". Release wild coho.
  • Neah Bay, located on the Makah Reservation, remains closed to the public. Anglers fishing in Marine Area 4 will need to access the area from elsewhere, but must follow all rules and regulations for the marine area where they're fishing.
  • In Marine Area 4, the waters east of a true north-south line through Sail Rock are closed to salmon fishing through July 31.

Ports are likely to be busy with more sunny days in the forecast, and Beeghley noted that port samplers in areas such as Sekiu are collecting data as anglers exit the docks. Anglers can help conservation efforts by bringing their full salmon or salmon carcasses off the boat and stopping at the marked sampling site atop the docks.

"Basically, we're asking people to bring their whole salmon or at least the carcasses with heads intact to the checkers," Beeghley said. "We need to scan salmon snouts as folks exit the dock area, and samplers will ask anglers a couple of questions, even if they didn't catch fish."

Samplers are also following protocol to help prevent the spread of COVID-19; please provide adequate physical distancing for everyone's protection.

Anglers can always find the latest emergency regulations at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/, or download the Fish Washington app for their smartphone at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/app. The 2020-21 edition of the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, which covers regulations from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, will be available later this month.

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

WDFW NEWS RELEASE
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

1111 Washington St. SE, Olympia, WA 98501
http://wdfw.wa.gov/

June 12, 2020

Contact: Region 6, 360-249-4628
Public Affairs contact: Ben Anderson

Saltwater recreational fishing to reopen in Marine Area 4; ocean salmon fishing dates and proposed halibut seasons announced

OLYMPIA – The waters where the Pacific Ocean meets the Strait of Juan de Fuca will reopen to saltwater fishing June 20, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today. The announcement follows similar reopenings last month along the rest of Washington's Pacific coastline.

The Department also announced this year's summer ocean salmon fishing seasons, which will kick off June 20 in all four coastal marine areas, and proposed dates for ocean halibut fishing beginning in August.

Marine Area 4 reopens

Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay), which includes the waters from Cape Alava on the Olympic Peninsula north to the mouth of the Sekiu River along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, will reopen to bottomfish and shellfish – including mussels, clams, and oysters – beginning  Saturday, June 20. Crabbing also reopens west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line, which runs from the Tatoosh Island Lighthouse north to Bonilla Point on Vancouver Island, but remains closed east of the line.  There are a number of additional restrictions that anglers also need to be aware of before heading out.

The Makah Reservation, including marinas and all services, remains closed to visitors. Neah Bay on the Makah Reservation represents the primary direct boat access in Marine Area 4, and as a result, those fishing in this area will have to launch from and land in other areas. Anglers fishing in Marine Area 4 will still have to follow all rules and regulations for that area, regardless of where they return with their catch.

"Anglers fishing in Marine Area 4 but returning to other coastal ports will need to make sure that they're sticking to limits and following the rules for that area," said Larry Phillips, coastal region director with WDFW. "That means they can't get their limit in Marine Area 4, then head over to Marine Area 5 and continue fishing. These rules are necessary to respect local communities' wishes and help keep people safe, while also supporting conservation and management objectives."

La Push, located on the Quileute Reservation to the south, also remains closed to the public.

Anglers will need to continue following other state guidelines by staying close to home, traveling only with family or other members of their immediate household, and practicing physical distancing by keeping 6 feet apart. Anglers should also be sure to check ahead of time if their preferred fishing destination or launch area is open; many launches and beaches are managed under local, tribal, or federal jurisdiction, and may not be operating normally.

Summer salmon seasons

With Marine Area 4 reopening, sport anglers will also have the opportunity to reel in salmon off Washington's coast starting Saturday, June 20.

That's when all four marine areas open daily to fishing for Chinook salmon, said Wendy Beeghley, a fishery manager with WDFW.

The season will begin with a Chinook-only fishery with a one-salmon daily limit for all areas June 20-28. Coho may not be retained during this period. Beginning June 29, daily limits increase to two salmon per angler in all areas, and unmarked coho must be released. In areas 1 and 2, only one of those two salmon may be a Chinook. Also beginning June 29, Marine Area 2 will be open Sundays through Thursdays, and closed Fridays and Saturdays. Areas 1, 3 and 4 will remain open 7 days per week.

Willapa Bay (Area 2-1) and the portion of Grays Harbor (Area 2-2) west of the Buoy 13 line also open June 20 under the same rules as Area 2. Regulations for Areas 2-1 and 2-2 change in August, and details are listed in the Sport Fishing Rules Pamphlet. The 2020-21 edition of the pamphlet will be available in late June.

The recreational catch quotas for 2020 are 26,360 Chinook and 26,500 marked coho. The Chinook quota is up slightly from 2019, but the coho quota is substantially lower than 2019.

All four marine areas are scheduled to close Sept. 30, but Beeghley noted that areas could close earlier if the quota is met.

Throughout the summer, anglers can check WDFW's webpage at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/reports/creel/ocean for updates.

Potential coastal halibut fishing

Coastal halibut fishing remains closed for now, but WDFW has been working with stakeholders this spring to discuss options for re-opening ocean halibut fishing in August.

"While we realize August is still a ways out, we also want to be open with anglers who we know are eager to plan halibut trips this summer," said Heather Hall, WDFW's intergovernmental ocean policy coordinator. "We've worked hard to develop an approach that will help maximize anglers' time on the water, bring that economic value back, and continue to keep everyone safe."

Hall added that the delayed fishery may benefit halibut anglers and their families since ocean conditions should be better in August than when the fishery usually opens in May.

These dates are tentative and subject to change due to impacts from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

WDFW is proposing coastal halibut fishing for the following dates and areas:

North Coast (Marine Areas 3 and 4): Opens Thursday, Aug. 6. The fishery in this area will be open three days per week, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Aug. 6 through Sept. 30 or until the quota is taken.

South Coast (Marine Areas 1 and 2): Open Thursday, Aug. 6. Then, beginning Aug. 13, open two days per week, Thursdays and Sundays, through Sept. 30 or until the quota is taken. If catch and effort is tracking slower than anticipated, additional days may be added. Proposed additional dates are Friday, Aug. 28; Friday, Sept. 4; and Friday, Sept. 11.

Anglers should check the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations and WDFW's emergency rules page at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/ before heading out, and download the Fish Washington mobile app for up-to-date regulations at their destination.

Charter services

The Governor's Office authorized guide and charter fishing services to reopen on May 14, though they are subject to a number of new requirements, including a limit on the number of passengers depending on their home county's phase of reopening. More information about those requirements can be found at https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/COVID19Phase1and2OutdoorRecreationGuidancePart2.pdf.

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

WDFW NEWS RELEASE
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

1111 Washington St. SE, Olympia, WA 98501
http://wdfw.wa.gov/

May 22, 2020
Contact: 
Region 6, 360-249-4628

Some recreational fishing to reopen in Washington's coastal waters
Columbia River crabbing will also open; Marine Area 4 remains closed

OLYMPIA – After two months of closures due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic in Washington, many of the state's coastal waters are set to reopen for fishing on May 26, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.

Marine areas 1-3, including Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor, will open for bottomfish, shellfish, mussels, clams, oysters, and other species as described in the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet. Crabbing on the Columbia River is also set to resume under normal regulations on May 26.

Halibut and razor clam harvest will remain closed in these areas for now due to continued port closures and concerns about the spread of coronavirus in local communities.

Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay) also remains closed to all recreational fishing and shellfish harvesting.

WDFW continues to communicate with public health experts, port commissioners, and tribal co-managers regarding these opportunities in the future.

"We've continually said we will only open fisheries when local communities feel it is safe to do so, and with the full cooperation of public health officials," said Larry Phillips, director of WDFW's coastal region. "While not everything is reopening right away, this is a huge step toward returning to typical fishing seasons along the coast. Some of Washington's best fishing takes place in the ocean, and we're excited to see people getting back out there, even if the experience is somewhat different."

The open marine areas include waters off Washington's Pacific coast from the mouth of the Columbia River on the Washington-Oregon border north to Cape Alava on the Olympic Peninsula, as well as Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor.

Anglers should check ahead of time if their preferred destination or launch is open. Some local marinas or facilities – including tribal lands – remain closed, and anglers should be prepared to change plans if their first choice is closed or too congested.

Notably, the Makah and Quileute reservations, including marinas and all services, remain closed to visitors. Anglers should not attempt to access the ocean from these areas.

Additional fishery closures may be implemented if anglers attempt to launch from closed access sites.

Anglers will also need to follow state guidelines by continuing to recreate in their local communities, traveling only with family or other members of their immediate household, and practicing physical distancing by keeping 6 feet apart.

"We're reopening in consultation with local public health officials, and consistent with the governor's phased approach," Phillips said. "It's extremely important that we all continue to do our part to keep ourselves and our communities safe and healthy."

Coastal razor clam digs will remain closed. The governor's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order prohibits large gatherings through May 31. Razor clam digs can draw thousands to congregate in small coastal communities and on public beaches.

Clam, mussel, and oyster harvest also remains closed on Puget Sound beaches (marine areas 5-13) at this time.

The Governor's Office authorized guide and charter fishing services to reopen on May 14, though they are subject to a number of new requirements, including a limit on the number of passengers depending on their home county's phase of reopening.  More information about those requirements can be found at http://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/COVID19Phase1and2OutdoorRecreationGuidance.pdf.             

Anglers interested in booking a trip with a charter or guide should check in with the operator regarding their availability. WDFW and charter/guiding industry representatives continue to work with the Governor's Office to reopen operations under the phased approach to outdoor recreation. Many of these businesses, which are critical to the economic stability of coastal communities, are currently restricted or not operating at full capacity.   

As always, anglers should check the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations and WDFW's emergency rules page at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/ before heading out, and download the Fish Washington mobile app for up-to-date regulations at their destination.

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

WDFW NEWS RELEASE
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

1111 Washington St. SE, Olympia, WA 98501
http://wdfw.wa.gov/

May 22, 2020
Contact: 
Kyle Adicks, 360-902-2664

WDFW invites public comment on proposed rules to set salmon fishing seasons
Public comments open through June 8, public hearing June 9

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public comments on proposed rules for this year's recreational and commercial salmon fishing seasons.

These fishing rules are the culmination of a multi-month effort as part of the annual North of Falcon process, which gathers state, federal and tribal fishery managers to plan the Northwest's recreational and commercial salmon fisheries, with input from the public. This year's process included more than a dozen public meetings, originally scheduled throughout the state, that occurred virtually to support public health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We realize that this year's salmon season-setting process looked a little different for everyone involved," said Kyle Adicks, WDFW salmon fisheries policy lead. "We're so appreciative of the time everyone shared with us to dial or tune in virtually, and want to give those interested another opportunity to participate in this process as we move to finalize these rules."

To see the full rule-making package, visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/regulations/development#pending

The public can submit comments online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/management/north-falcon/public-input. WDFW is also accepting comments by email to Rules.Coordinator@dfw.wa.gov or by mail to WDFW Rules Coordinator: P.O. Box 43200, Olympia, WA 98504-3200.

WDFW will also take public comment at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 9, during a public hearing. To support continuing COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, the hearing will be available to the public through webinar or conference call.

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

Halibut Rules & News

Opens Thurday Aug 6th, then begining Aug 13 open Thursdays and Sundays through Sept 30th or until quota is taken. Read below for which areas are open and their dates.

WDFW FISHING RULE CHANGE  
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
1111 Washington St. SE, Olympia, WA 98501
https://wdfw.wa.gov/

September 22, 2020

Recreational halibut dates added for remainder of season

Action: 

Opens Marine Areas 1 (Ilwaco/Chinook) and  Marine Area 2 (Westport) on Sept. 28 and 29

Marine Area 3 (La Push), Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay), and Marine Areas 5-10 (Puget Sound) on Sept. 27, 28 and 29.

These openings are in addition to days already proposed to be open.  

Effective date: Sept. 27, 2020

Species affected: Pacific Halibut

Location: Marine Areas 1 through 10

Reason for action: Recreational halibut fishing is scheduled to close at the end of this week; however, only 60 percent of the Washington sport quota has been taken based on catch data through Sept. 13. Reduced fishing effort due to poor weather in recent weeks has been a factor and has resulted in lower catch than expected. The Pacific Fishery Management Council's Pacific Halibut Catch Sharing Plan and federal regulations allow the recreational halibut season to be open three days per week. Allowing additional fishing days will provide anglers the opportunity to take more of the remaining quota before the recreational halibut season closes at the end of September. 

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

WDFW FISHING RULE CHANGE  
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
1111 Washington St. SE, Olympia, WA 98501
https://wdfw.wa.gov/

September 3, 2020

Westport to open for additional all-depth halibut day

Action: Opens Marine Area 2 (Westport) on Friday, Sept. 11. This opening is in addition to days already proposed to be open. 

Effective date: Sept. 11, 2020.

Species affected: Pacific Halibut.

Location: Marine Area 2.

Reason for action: Prior to the start of the recreational halibut season, additional days were identified that could be opened if recreational halibut catch was tracking slower than expected in Marine Areas 1 (Ilwaco/Chinook) and 2 (Westport).  Those days were Aug. 28, Sept. 4, and Sept. 11.

Last week, after reviewing catch to date, it was clear that there was enough quota remaining to open both Marine Area 1 and Marine Area 2 on Friday, Sept. 4, and Marine Area 1 on Friday, Sept. 11. However, managers needed more catch information before ensuring Marine Area 2 could also open on Sept. 11 without risk of exceeding the quota. Weather has been poor in many areas during the last couple of weeks, resulting in fewer halibut trips and lower catch. Consequently, there is enough Washington sport quota remaining to add this additional all-depth fishing day in Marine Area 2. 

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

WDFW NEWS RELEASE
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

1111 Washington St. SE, Olympia, WA 98501
https://wdfw.wa.gov

Date: July 28, 2020
Contact: WDFW Fish Program, 360-902-2700

Coastal halibut fishing to open Aug. 6
Additional Puget Sound halibut fishing days also announced

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife today confirmed its Aug. 6 opening of coastal halibut recreational fishing, which was previously delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Puget Sound Marine Areas 5 – 10 will also re-open with additional fishing days.

“Although it looks a bit different from the typical halibut season that anglers might be used to, this approach continues to prioritize health and safety, economic investment into port communities, and time out on the water,” said Heather Hall, WDFW’s intergovernmental ocean policy coordinator. “We’re thrilled to see this season come together since envisioning it alongside stakeholders and public health officials earlier this summer.”

The department is asking anglers to continue to opt for trips close to home and practice physical distancing by keeping 6 feet apart. Anglers should also be sure to check ahead of time if their preferred fishing destination or launch area is open; many launches and beaches are managed under local, tribal, or federal jurisdiction, and may not be operating normally.

The Makah and Quileute Reservations, including marinas and all services, remain closed to visitors. Neah Bay on the Makah Reservation and La Push on the Quileute Reservation represent the primary direct boat access in Marine Areas 3 and 4. As a result, those fishing in these areas will have to launch from, and land in, other areas that are also open for halibut fishing. Anglers fishing in Marine Areas 3 and 4 must follow all rules and regulations for that area, regardless of where they return with their catch. 

Anglers should check the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations and WDFW’s emergency rules page at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/ before heading out, and download the Fish Washington mobile app for up-to-date regulations at their destination.

Coastal halibut season:  
Marine Areas 1 (Ilwaco/Chinook) and 2 (Westport) All-depth: Open Thursday August 6.  Then beginning August 13, open two days per week, Thursdays and Sundays, through September 30 or until the quota is taken.  If the number of anglers participating and the number of halibut caught is lower than expected, additional days may be added.  Proposed additional days are, Friday, August 28; Friday, September 4; and Friday, September 11. 
When fishing in the deepwater lingcod closed area in Marine Area 2, anglers can keep lingcod on days open to all depth halibut fishing.  

In Marine Area 1, during the all depth fishery, anglers can retain flatfish, sablefish, Pacific cod, and lingcod north of the Washington-Oregon border when halibut are on board.

 Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco/Chinook) Nearshore Area: Open Monday August 10. The nearshore fishery in Marine Area 1 will be open three days per week, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday until the nearshore quota has been taken. Bottomfish may be retained with halibut on board in the nearshore area only.

Marine Areas 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay): Open Thursday, August 6. The fishery in this area will be open three days per week, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, August 6 through September 30 or until the quota is taken.

Puget Sound halibut season:
Marine Areas 5 – 10 (Puget Sound):
 Open Thursday, August 6. The fishery in this area will be open three days per week, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, August 6 through September 30 or until the remaining quota is taken.

In all marine areas open to halibut fishing, there is a one-fish daily catch limit and no minimum size restriction. Anglers may possess a maximum of two halibut in any form while in the field and must record their catch on a WDFW halibut catch record card.

There is an annual limit of four halibut. Recreational fishery samplers will be available to collect catch information at fishing access sites throughout Puget Sound and the coast while practicing physical distancing guidelines.

Because halibut fisheries are managed to a quota, closures could happen quickly and anglers should check the WDFW website to ensure a specific area is open prior to fishing. Complete information on recreational halibut regulations and seasons is available online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/halibut.

WDFW is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreation opportunities. 

Bottom Fishing Rules & News

Top of page

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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