NEWS FLASH   Salmon Season has been set see Fishing Dates

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

Alright you salmon fans out there, the news everyone has been waiting for: The 2018 Salmon Season dates and quotas

For Area 2 Westport: 
This year we are starting on July 1 - September 3. 5 Days per week Sunday - Thursday.
Chinook guideline of: 13,100
Coho quota: 15,540
2 Salmon, 1 of which may be a Chinook.

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

http://wdfw.wa.gov/

January 10, 2018

Contact: Commission Office, 360-902-2267

Commission to receive briefing on proposed plan
for Puget Sound chinook salmon

OLYMPIA – State fish managers will update the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission during a conference call Jan. 12 on a proposed management plan for harvesting Puget Sound chinook salmon.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will convene the call at 2 p.m., Friday, Jan. 12.

The public can listen to the work session, but there will be no opportunity for public comment. To participate in the call, contact the Commission Office at 360-902-2267 or commission@dfw.wa.gov by 4 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 11.

Any materials that will be discussed during the call will be available on the commission's website ahttps://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings/2018/01/agenda_jan1218.html.

WDFW staff will brief commissioners on the Puget Sound Chinook Harvest Management Plan, which was developed in conjunction with treaty tribal co-managers. The state and tribes submitted the plan on Dec. 1, 2017, to NOAA Fisheries, which is currently reviewing the proposed plan.

The plan defines management goals for state and tribal fisheries that have an impact on wild Puget Sound chinook salmon, which are listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Under that law, no fisheries affecting Puget Sound chinook can occur without a conservation plan approved by NOAA.

The federal agency has already provided some feedback on the plan, noting that several key salmon stocks would not meet NOAA's new, more restrictive conservation objectives. NOAA is seeking more information from the state and tribes on the conservation objectives within the proposed plan.

The plan is available on WDFW's website ahttps://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/fisheries/chinook/.

Additional discussion about the harvest management plan will take place during the commission's regularly scheduled meeting, Jan. 18-20, at WDFW's regional office in Ridgefield. A meeting agenda can be found on the commission's website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings.html.

Halibut Rules & News

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

June 5, 2018

WDFW announces final 2018 recreational halibut season dates

Action: Sets the final season dates of recreational halibut fishing for marine areas 1-10.

Locations and effective dates: 

Marine Area 1 (Columbia River): The nearshore fishery, which has been open seven days a week, will close for the season at the end of the day on June 20.

The all-depth fishery, which has been closed, will reopen June 21 only.

Marine Area 2 (Westport): The nearshore fishery, which has been open seven days a week, will close at the end of the day on June 6.

Both the nearshore and all-depth fisheries will reopen for a single day on June 21, then close for the season at the end of the day on June 21.

Marine areas 3-10: Will open June 16, June 21, and June 23.

Species affected:  Pacific halibut

Reason for action: There is sufficient quota remaining to open recreational halibut fisheries in Marine Area 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay) and Marine Areas 5-10 (Puget Sound) on Saturday, June 16 and Saturday, June 23. 

In addition, in order to maximize all-depth fishing opportunity, the nearshore area in Marine Area 2 will close at the end of the day Wednesday, June 6, and recreational halibut fishing will re-open at all depths in coastal marine areas 1-4 (with the exception of the Marine Area 1 nearshore fishery) and Puget Sound marine areas 5-10 on Thursday, June 21. 

Additional information:  As previously announced, recreational halibut fishing is already scheduled to be open June 7 and June 9 in marine areas 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay) and marine areas 5-10 (Puget Sound)   

The nearshore fishery in Marine Area 1 (Columbia River) remains open seven days per week until the end of the day June 20. 

This rule conforms to federal action taken by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the International Pacific Halibut Commission.  

Information contact: Heather Reed, 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

May 22, 2018

Halibut fishing to open 7 days per week in nearshore fishery of Marine Area 1

Action: Opens the recreational halibut fishery in the nearshore area of Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco) seven days per week effective Thursday, May 24. The all-depth fishery in Marine Area 1 remains closed.

Effective date: May 24, 2018. 

Species affected: Pacific halibut.

Location:  Marine Area 1 nearshore area. Coordinates for the nearshore fishery are available online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/creel/halibut/.

Reason for action: There is sufficient quota remaining in the nearshore halibut fishery to increase the number of days per week it is open to seven days per week from three (Monday through Wednesday).

This rule conforms to federal action taken by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the International Pacific Halibut Commission. 

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

May 9, 2018

Pacific halibut fishing to close after May 11 in Marine Area 1

Action: Close recreational halibut fishing at the end of the day Friday, May 11 in Marine 1.

Effective dates: 11:59 p.m. Friday, May 11, 2018

Species affected: Pacific halibut.

Location:  Marine Area 1.

Reason for action: The all-depth recreational halibut fishery in Marine Area 1 opened Thursday, May 3 and continued Friday, May 4 and Sunday, May 6. During those three days, anglers caught 8,455 pounds of the 11,182-pound quota for the all-depth fishery in the Washington portion of the Columbia River area.

There is sufficient quota remaining to continue the all-depth recreational halibut fishery through Friday, May 11 but not enough to keep the fishery open Sunday, May 13 without risk of exceeding the quota. The nearshore halibut fishery in Marine Area 1 will remain open Mondays through Wednesdays until further notice.

These rules conform to management actions taken by the International Pacific Halibut Commission and the National Marine Fisheries Service. 

Information contact: Heather Reed, (360) 902-2487

Bottom Fishing Rules & News

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

http://wdfw.wa.gov/

February 16, 2017
Contact:
 Michele Culver, (360) 902-2182

WDFW announces changes to 2017 ocean bottomfish fishery

OLYMPIA – Anglers can expect changes to recreational bottomfish fisheries when ocean marine areas re-open March 11 to fishing for species such as lingcod and rockfish.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is making the changes to help ensure rockfish catches align with harvest limits adopted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council. The council is responsible for establishing conservation measures in ocean waters three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast.

Changes in effect beginning March 11 for the 2017-18 fishing season include:

  • Rockfish daily limit: Reduces the daily limit on rockfish to seven, from 10, in Marine Areas 1 (Ilwaco), 2 (Westport), 3 (La Push), and 4 (Neah Bay, west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line).
  • Canary rockfish daily limit: Anglers fishing in Marine Areas 1 and 2 can retain one canary rockfish as part of the seven rockfish daily limit.
  • Bottomfish daily limit: Reduces the overall daily limit on bottomfish to nine, from 12, in Marine Areas 1 through 3 and Marine Area 4, west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line. Rockfish count toward an angler's overall bottomfish daily limit. Anglers will be able to retain two bottomfish, such as lingcod or cabezon, in addition to their daily limit of seven rockfish.
  • Lingcod minimum size: Removes the 22-inch minimum size for lingcod in Marine Areas 1 through 3 and Marine Area 4, west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line.
  • Deepwater lingcod closure: Reduces the size of the deepwater lingcod closure in Marine Area 1 by moving the southern boundary five miles north (to 46° 28.00' N. Lat. from 46° 33.00' N. Lat.).

WDFW is implementing the changes to daily catch limits to help ensure the conservation objective for black rockfish is met, said Michele Culver, intergovernmental ocean policy manager for the department.

"The black rockfish population remains healthy in Washington's ocean waters," Culver said. "However, we've seen an increasing number of anglers fishing for rockfish in recent years, which means more fish are being harvested than what we had estimated."

Meanwhile, anglers fishing in Marine Areas 1 and 2 now will be able to retain one canary rockfish as part of the daily limit for rockfish. Retention of canary rockfish previously had been prohibited in these areas to protect the species.

"Fortunately, the population of canary rockfish has rebounded and is now sufficient to allow harvest in areas 1 and 2," said Culver. "Anglers are still prohibited from keeping canary rockfish in Marine Areas 3 and 4, but that may change in the future." 

In all four marine areas, anglers will now be able to retain lingcod regardless of fish size. Lingcod are abundant and removing the minimum size requirement is not expected to have any effect on the species' population, Culver said. The change also should benefit the yelloweye rockfish population, which is still rebuilding, by reducing encounters with the species while anglers are fishing for lingcod, she said.

Lastly, Culver said anglers should be aware that beginning July 1, they'll need to have a descending device onboard their fishing vessel in all marine areas, including the coast. Descending devices are used to release rockfish back to the depth of capture and significantly improve the survivability of fish that are released.  More information about these devices can be found on WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/bottomfish/rockfish/mortality.html

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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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