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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. 

Westport Charterboat Association has an annual fishing derby where they award over &60,000 in prizes each season:

  • $10,000 for the largest Chinook (King) 
  • $1,500 for the largest Coho
  • $1,000 for the largest Halibut
  • $1,500 for the largest Ling Cod
  • $1,000 for the largest Albacore Tuna

Plus the are daily and  Weekly prizes of up to $400.

Salmon Rules & News

2022 Salmon Season

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

1111 Washington St. SE, Olympia, WA 98501

wdfw.wa.gov

Aug. 25, 2022

Contact: Fish Program, 360-902-2700

Media contact: Mark Yuasa, 360-902-2262

Salmon fishing off Westport (Marine Area 2) will switch to coho non-select beginning Aug. 27

OLYMPIA – Salmon anglers at Westport (Marine Area 2) will be allowed to retain all coho beginning Aug. 27, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife fishery managers announced today.

The recreational fishery is open for coho only from Aug. 27 through Sept. 30 or until the quota is achieved, whichever comes first, from the Queets River to Leadbetter Point (Westport subarea). The adjusted non-mark-selective coho quota in Marine Area 2 is 14,000. Fishing is also open Aug. 25-26 for marked coho only.

“Converting the remaining coho quota from mark-selective to non-selective required a significant reduction in the Marine Area 2 quota number to ensure the change does not increase the fishery impact to any of our wild coho stocks,” said Kyle Adicks, the WDFW intergovernmental salmon manager. “This change should increase the quality of the fishery and allow anglers to attain their daily coho limits faster, while also decreasing the impact of releasing more Chinook and wild coho than anticipated.”

Coho fishing has been good most of the summer although WDFW noticed lower coho mark rates in Marine Area 2 compared to Neah Bay, La Push and Ilwaco (Marine Areas 4, 3 and 1), which will remain open as a marked selective fishery for coho.

This change for Marine Area 2 was developed with input from and support from the ocean fishery advisors and was adopted by National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA) for Federal waters concurrently with WDFW for state waters.

The daily limit is two salmon. Coho minimum size is 16”. Other salmon species no minimum size. Release all Chinook.

Anglers should check the emergency rules on the WDFW website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/emergency-rules. Several other marine areas are currently open for salmon fishing and can be found on the WDFW website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/management/north-falcon/summaries. Additional information about this year's sport salmon fisheries and the North of Falcon salmon season setting process can be found at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/management/north-falcon.

As of July 21, 2022

Westport (Marine Area 2) recreational salmon fishing season update

Action: Closes Chinook retention on Fridays and Saturdays

Effective date: July 22 through Sept. 30, 2022

Species affected: Chinook salmon

Location: Westport (Marine Area 2)

Rules: Chinook retention allowed Sundays through Thursdays: Daily limit 2, no more than 1 of which may be a Chinook. Chinook min. size 22". Coho min. size 16". Other salmon species no min. size. Release wild coho.

Chinook non-retention on Fridays and Saturdays: Daily limit 2. Hatchery coho min. 16". Other salmon species no min. size. Release Chinook and wild coho.

Reason for action: Through July 17, 34% of the Marine Area 2 Chinook guideline has been taken (4,145 of 12,070 fish).

Due to the high Chinook catch rates so far this season, this action is necessary to not exceed the modest Chinook guideline and preserve the length of the season while continuing to allow opportunity to access significant coho abundance and fish for salmon seven days per week.

Additional information: Willapa Bay (Marine Area 2-1) and the portion of Grays Harbor (Marine Area 2-2) west of the Buoy 13 line are also open under the same rules as Marine Area 2. Regulations for Marine Areas 2-1 and 2-2 change in August, and details will be listed in the Sport Fishing Rules Pamphlet. The 2022-2023 edition of the pamphlet will be available in late June.

Grays Harbor Control Zone is closed beginning Aug. 8.

The catch quotas for recreational fisheries North of Cape Falcon in 2022 are 27,000 Chinook and 168,000 hatchery-marked coho, with an Area 2 Chinook guideline of 12,070 and Area 2 coho quota of 62,160.

Marine Areas 1 through 4 are scheduled to close Sept. 30, but areas may close earlier if quotas are met.

Information contact: Fish Program 360-902-2700


Opening Dates of Salmon fishing are as follows:

June 18- LaPush (Marine Area 3) and Neah Bay (Marine Area 4)  

June 25 Ilwaco (Marine Area 1)

July 2 Westport-Ocean Shores (Marine Area 2)

All areas are scheduled to remain open until Sept. 30 or until quotas are met, with species and size restrictions dependent on the area.

Washington salmon seasons tentatively set for 2022-23

Ocean fisheries: 

Coho are expected to return in large numbers to the Washington coast in 2022, and in coastal marine areas coho quotas reflect those improved forecasts. Fishery managers agreed during this week’s PFMC meeting to recreational ocean quotas of 27,000 Chinook and 168,000 marked coho, more than double the 2021 coho quota.

LaPush (Marine Area 3) and Neah Bay (Marine Area 4) will open for salmon retention beginning June 18, followed by Ilwaco (Marine Area 1) on June 25 and Westport-Ocean Shores (Marine Area 2) on July 2. All areas are scheduled to remain open until Sept. 30 or until quotas are met, with species and size restrictions dependent on the area.

Washington salmon seasons tentatively set for 2022-23

OLYMPIA – Anglers in Washington can expect similar salmon fishing opportunities this year compared to 2021, with some improved opportunities in the ocean driven by strong expected coho returns, state fishery managers have announced.

The 2022-23 salmon fishing seasons, cooperatively developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and treaty tribal co-managers, were tentatively set Tuesday afternoon at a week-long Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) meeting held online and in-person in Seattle.

“We continue to see low returns of some stocks across Washington, especially Chinook stocks, and our first priority is to craft fisheries that conserve and aid recovery of those runs,” said WDFW Director Kelly Susewind. “At the same time, there are bright spots in this year’s forecast, and we developed what we believe are some novel ways to maximize opportunities in areas where healthy runs might mingle with those weaker stocks.”

Negotiations between WDFW and co-managers this year were guided in part by a new Puget Sound Harvest Management Plan that has been submitted to federal regulators and is expected to provide long-term fishery guidance for Puget Sound if approved.

"Now that we've met the challenge of providing harvest opportunities, the co-managers need to get back to the work of recovering salmon," said Shawn Yanity, vice chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. "Protecting treaty rights is not about fighting over the last fish. It’s about salmon recovery in the long term."

Season recommendations now move forward for approval by the National Marine Fisheries Service and final rulemaking, including additional opportunity for public comment and consideration of those comments.

Puget Sound

Low returns of Stillaguamish Chinook are expected to continue affecting fisheries across Puget Sound. Stillaguamish and Snohomish Chinook returns will especially impact fishing in the San Juan Islands (Marine Area 7) and Admiralty Inlet (Marine Area 9). Managers have proposed a three-day hatchery Chinook and coho fishery from July 14-16 in those areas, followed by a coho-directed fishery starting Aug. 16.

“Strong catch rates and fishing pressure led to some early closures in these areas last year, and we wanted to make sure we do not exceed our catch allocations in 2022,” said Kyle Adicks, intergovernmental salmon manager with WDFW. “We heard from many anglers that they wanted an opportunity to fish in July in these areas, and this offers some opportunity while still hopefully preserving the chance to fish on what’s expected to be a solid coho run later in the summer.”

Winter Chinook fisheries will again be limited in Puget Sound in 2022-23, with some Chinook retention opportunity available in November and December in Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island), February and March in Marine Area 10 (Seattle-Bremerton), and March and April in Marine Area 5 (Sekiu).

Most Puget Sound marine areas will once again open for the summer season beginning in July or August, with June openers currently planned for Marine Areas 10 and 11.

Columbia River

Summer fisheries on the Columbia River are expected to be reduced compared to last year, with fishing from the Astoria-Megler bridge to Highway 395 bridge in Pasco starting June 16. The fishery below Bonneville is scheduled to be open through June 22. Sockeye retention is not allowed.

Fall fisheries from Buoy 10 to the Highway 395 bridge in Pasco is planned for an Aug. 1 opener, with different dates by area for Chinook and coho, and includes steelhead restrictions throughout the river. Another strong coho run is expected and a similar Chinook run size compared to last year should provide for some good fishing opportunities.

Ocean fisheries

Coho are expected to return in large numbers to the Washington coast in 2022, and in coastal marine areas coho quotas reflect those improved forecasts. Fishery managers agreed during this week’s PFMC meeting to recreational ocean quotas of 27,000 Chinook and 168,000 marked coho, more than double the 2021 coho quota.

LaPush (Marine Area 3) and Neah Bay (Marine Area 4) will open for salmon retention beginning June 18, followed by Ilwaco (Marine Area 1) on June 25 and Westport-Ocean Shores (Marine Area 2) on July 2. All areas are scheduled to remain open until Sept. 30 or until quotas are met, with species and size restrictions dependent on the area.

Additional information

Additional information about this year's sport salmon fisheries and the North of Falcon process can be found on WDFW's website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/nof. Visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations to see statewide fishing regulations and download the latest fishing rules pamphlet, and https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/ for emergency rule changes that may impact fisheries.

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

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect, and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish, wildlife, and recreational and commercial opportunities.

Halibut Rules & News

WDFW announces additional halibut fishing days to round out 2022 season

OLYMPIA – Halibut anglers will have several extra days to reel in halibut this season as well as two upcoming opportunities to help shape the 2023 season, fishery managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.

Public invited to attend Aug. 9, Oct. 4 virtual public meetings for 2023 Halibut season

"Weather this spring was consistently poor so there's enough sport allocation to support this additional opportunity for anglers in all marine areas," said Lorna Wargo, WDFW intergovernmental fisheries policy coordinator.

Ilwaco (Marine Area 1) and Westport-Ocean Shores (Marine Area 2) areas will open to all-depth halibut fishing for three additional days in August and three days in September including the Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend.

Open dates are:

  • Friday, Aug. 19;
  • Thursday, Aug. 25;
  • Sunday, Aug. 28;
  • Saturday, Sept. 3;
  • Sunday, Sept. 4 and
  • Friday, Sept. 23.

The halibut season for the Neah Bay and La Push (Marine Areas 3 and 4) will open on Thursday, August 11, five days per week, Thursday through Monday. Starting Sept. 6, the Neah Bay and La Push will be open seven days per week.

Puget Sound (Marine Areas 5 - 10) will reopen on Thursday, Aug. 11, seven days per week. Halibut is quota-managed and the season runs through Sept. 30 or when the quota is taken


Additional sport halibut fishing to open

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today additional sport halibut fishing dates for June 2022.

Inclement weather during May significantly reduced angler effort and a substantial amount of quota remains for the Washington sport fishery, particularly in coastal marine areas (Marine Areas 1 – 4). The additional days in June were selected to provide more fishing opportunity without compromising already scheduled season dates. 

2022 Coast additional June dates:

  • Marine Area 1: June 13 and 20
  • Marine Area 2: June 28 and 30
  • Marine Area 3 and 4: June 10, 17 and 24

Weather has been an issue in the Puget Sound region (Marine Areas 5 – 10) this spring as well but projected quota attainment is more in line with where we expect to be this time of year and so no additional days are proposed for these areas at this time. 

WDFW will evaluate catch at the end of June and may propose additional fishing days in August and September if there is quota remaining. 

The season is based on statewide quota of 302,649 pounds. The annual catch quota is the result of a fixed annual allocation that the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) approved in January for fisheries in Washington, Oregon, and California. This approach, which has been in place since 2019, has allocated a total of 1.45 million pounds to halibut fisheries off the coast in 2022. The consistent annual allocation provides stability for recreational fisheries from year to year. 

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 fish in any form while in the field and must record their catch on a WDFW catch record card. There is an annual limit of four halibut.

Full season details are listed below. Anglers are reminded that because halibut fisheries are managed to a quota, areas will close when the quota is projected to be taken.

Anglers should check the WDFW website to ensure a specific area is open prior to fishing. Complete information on recreational halibut regulations and seasons at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/halibut.

2022 Puget Sound halibut seasons

  • Marine area 5 will open June 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 30.
  • Marine areas 6 -10 will open June 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 30, as long as there is sufficient quota.
  • Marine areas 11, 12, and 13 are closed to halibut fishing to protect threatened and endangered rockfish species.

Puget Sound will be managed to an overall quota of 83,210 pounds.

2022 Pacific Coast halibut seasons

  • Marine Area 1 (Columbia River) The all-depth fishery will open June 5, 9, 12, 13,16, 19, 20, 23, 26, 30, as long as there is sufficient quota.

    The nearshore area opens to fishing May 9 on a Monday-through-Wednesday schedule. Coordinates for the nearshore fishery are available at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/halibut/columbia-river.

    The all-depth fishery will be managed to 18,537 pounds; the nearshore quota is 500 pounds.
  • Marine Area 2 (Westport): The all-depth fishery will open June 16, 19, 23, 26, 28 and 30 depending on available quota.

    This area will be managed to an overall quota of 68,555 pounds.
  • Marine areas 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay) will open June 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 30, as long as there is sufficient quota.

    The combined quota for both areas is 133,847 pounds.

Fishing regulations include depth restrictions and area closures designed to reduce encounters with yelloweye rockfish, which must be released under state and federal law. Anglers are reminded that a descending device must be on board vessels and rigged for immediate use when fishing for or possessing bottomfish and halibut.

Information about descending devices can be found on WDFW’s webpage at wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/at-risk/species-recovery/rockfish

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish, wildlife, and recreational and commercial opportunities.

 

2022 Halibut Season

Bag Limit: 1

  • Thursday May 5th
  • Sunday May 8th
  • Thursday May 12th
  • Sunday May 15th
  • Thursday May 19th
  • Sunday May 22nd
  • Thursday May 26th
  • Thursday June 16th
  • Sunday June 19th
  • Thursday June 23rd
  • Sunday June 26th


Bottom Fishing Rules & News

2022 Bottom Fishing Dates

Rockfish: Charters begin Saturday March 12th with a bag limit of 7

Ling Cod: Opens Saturday March 12th through October 15th with a bag limit of 2

The bottom fishing is open 7 days per week.

Tuna Fishing

2022 Tuna Fishing Dates:

Tuna fishing starts in early July and runs into mid October and is open 7 days per week.

For Albacore and Mackerel there is no possession limit or daily limit. 

Yellowfin, Skipjack and Northern Bluefin there is no possession limit but a daily limit of 2 each.

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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 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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