Columbia River salmon policy updated

VANCOUVER, Wash. – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to implement the next phase of the state's reform policy on Columbia River salmon management, including updates to provisions for fall chinook salmon.

The updated policy builds on a joint strategy by Washington and Oregon to restructure recreational and commercial salmon fisheries on the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam.
Read More. . .

New WDFW hunting & fishing license system is up & running

OLYMPIA – The state's new recreational license sales system became operational this week, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officials say the switch from the old system went as smoothly as possible.
Read More. . .

WDFW prepares to launch new recreational licensing system

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will launch a new system later this month to sell fishing and hunting licenses and the Discover Pass.

"We are very excited to launch the new system," said Peter Vernie, WDFW's licensing division manager. "It will be more user-friendly than the current system and will provide a better experience for our customers and the many retailers who sell state recreation licenses."
Read More. . .

WDFW December Weekender Report for SW Washington

Winter steelhead: The winter steelhead fishery is up and running after drawing a cadre of stalwart anglers for the traditional Thanksgiving opening. River conditions have been up and down since then, so it's always a good idea to check the Northwest River Forecast or other sources before heading out.
Read More. . .

Fish Black Friday for big rainbow trout

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is offering anglers opportunities for tight lines rather than long lines on the day after Thanksgiving.

The "holiday specials" include thousands of large trout averaging 15 to 16 inches in length and weighing up to three pounds.
Read More. . .

Nisqually River to close to recreational fishing

Action: Close Nisqually River to recreational angling.

Effective dates: 12:01 a.m., Nov. 16, 2016.

Species affected: All species.
Read More. . .

WDFW November Weekender Report for SW Washington

Columbia River salmon/steelhead: While downsized projections of this year's chinook run brought an early end to fall salmon and steelhead fishing seasons on the mainstem Columbia River, other options remain in rivers and lakes throughout the region.
Read More. . .

WDFW October Weekender Report for SW Washington

Columbia River salmon/steelhead: The bulk of this year's Columbia River fall chinook run has now moved past Bonneville Dam, invigorating fisheries at Drano Lake, the Klickitat River and farther upstream. But there are still opportunities to catch some nice fish in the lower Columbia River, said Joe Hymer, a WDFW fish biologist based in Vancouver.
Read More. . .

Small sanctuary created around the fish release site on the Tilton River

Action: The Tilton River (Lewis County) will be closed to all fishing from posted markers 25 feet downstream to 25 feet upstream of the fish release site ramp at Gus Backstrom Park.

Effective dates: Sept. 3, 2016, until further notice.

Species affected: All species including salmon.
Read More. . .

WDFW September Weekender Report for SW Washington

Fall chinook season: The fall season shifts to a new phase in September as anglers pursue salmon and steelhead further up the Columbia River and its tributaries. Joe Hymer, a WDFW fish biologist, described fishing in August as "challenging – good one day and slow the next." Even so, more fall chinook salmon passed Bonneville Dam by the end of last month than almost any other year since at least 1938.
Read More. . .

Elwha, Nisqually rivers designated gene banks to protect wild steelhead

OLYMPIA –The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) today designated the Nisqually and Elwha rivers as wild steelhead gene banks to help conserve wild steelhead populations.
Read More. . .

Commission approves new combination licenses for anglers

OLYMPIA – Washington sport anglers soon will have two new options for fishing licenses after action taken by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission at its August meeting.
Read More. . .

WDFW offers mid-season upgrades to fishing licenses

Olympia – From now through September, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is offering current freshwater or saltwater fishing license holders the opportunity to upgrade to a combination license for under $28.
Read More. . .

July WDFW Weekender Report for SW Washington

Summer salmon fishing: The fishery for summer chinook salmon, sockeye salmon and steelhead continues through July 31 on the mainstem Columbia River from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to the Hwy. 395 Bridge in Pasco. Anglers can keep any sockeye they catch, but only hatchery-raised chinook and steelhead with a clipped adipose fin may be retained.
Read More. . .

Ocean sports fishery opens July 1

OLYMPIA – Anglers can reel in salmon off the Washington coast beginning July 1, when the ocean sport fishery gets underway daily in all four marine areas.
Read More. . .

Anglers can fish for free June 11-12

OLYMPIA – Each year, thousands of Washingtonians go fishing – legally – without a license on "Free Fishing Weekend," scheduled for June 11-12.

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

July 9 Merwin hatchery event for kids with special needs

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Children with disabilities will have a chance to reel in some big trout during a special fishing event July 9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Merwin Fish Hatchery, east of Woodland.
Read More. . .

June WDFW Weekender Report for SW Washington

Free fishing weekend: Would-be anglers who don't have a fishing license but would like to give it a try will get their chance June 11-12 during Free Fishing Weekend. No license is required to fish state waters open to fishing those days. On other days, anglers age 15 and older must have a valid 2016-17 fishing license to participate in any of the following fisheries.
Read More. . .

May WDFW Weekender Report for SW Washington

Columbia River salmon: The spring chinook fishery is closed below Bonneville Dam, where the count of fish up the fish ladders will determine whether or not the season will be extended this month. The closure includes fishing for salmon, steelhead and shad in the 145-mile section of the Columbia River downstream from the dam.
Read More. . .

Chehalis River spring chinook fishery opens

Chehalis River spring chinook fishery opens April 16

Action: Opens Chehalis River to spring chinook fishing.

Effective dates: 12:01 a.m. April 16 through 11:59 p.m. June 30, 2016.
Read More. . .

Small sanctuary created on upper Cowlitz River

Action: The upper Cowlitz River from the Skate Creek (Franklin) Bridge in Packwood downstream 50 feet will be closed to all fishing.

Effective dates: April 9, 2016, until further notice.
Read More. . .

Spring chinook fishery closes on lower Columbia

OLYMPIA – The first phase of the popular sport fishery for spring chinook salmon on the lower Columbia River will close at the end of the day Friday, April 8, one day earlier than previously expected.
Read More. . .

Hundreds of lowland lakes open April 23

OLYMPIA–Trout fishing in Washington reaches full speed April 23, when several hundred lowland lakes – stocked with millions of fish – open for a six-month season.

That date also marks the start of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) first lowland lake fishing derby, which runs through Sept. 6.
Read More. . .

Chehalis Basin restoration projects support migrating fish

OLYMPIA -- Public and non-profit organizations in Grays Harbor, Lewis, and Thurston counties are receiving about $6 million in state grants this spring for 28 habitat restoration projects in the Chehalis River Basin.
Read More. . .

April WDFW Weekender Report for SW Washington

Columbia River spring chinook: Catch rates are picking up right on schedule as thousands of spring chinook continue to move into the big river. Boat anglers fared best in March, but the bank fishery is expected to pick up this month – especially near Bonneville Dam – as more springers move upriver.

"The size of the fish has been impressive with several springers in the mid-20 to 30-pound range observed in the creel," said Joe Hymer, a WDFW fish biologist.
Read More. . .

Steelhead license plates coming

OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee has signed legislation that will help fund efforts to conserve wild steelhead populations in Washington through the sale of license plates featuring an image of the state’s iconic fish in the background.

Senate Bill 6200, requested by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), was supported by conservationists and fishing enthusiasts.
Read More. . .

Fishery managers consider closing ocean salmon seasons

OLYMPIA – Poor forecasts for returning coho salmon are prompting state and tribal fishery managers to consider closing all salmon fisheries in Washington’s ocean waters this year as part of a federal season-setting process for the west coast.
Read More. . .

WDFW March Weekender Report of SW Washington

Columbia River spring chinook: A boat angler fishing the lower Columbia River caught the first spring chinook salmon of the season in early February. Plenty more will be caught in the weeks ahead as the region's first major salmon fishery of the year picks up speed.

Anglers fishing downriver from Bonneville Dam may retain one marked, hatchery-reared adult spring chinook as part of their daily catch limit through April 9. The fishery will be open to both boat and bank anglers upriver to Beacon Rock and – for bank anglers only – from there upriver to the fishing boundary just below the dam.
Read More. . .

Low returns of coho may hamper salmon fisheries

OLYMPIA – Another decent return of hatchery chinook salmon to the Columbia River is forecast this year, but expected low returns of coho could put a damper on salmon fisheries in the river, along the coast and in Puget Sound.

Forecasts for chinook, coho, sockeye and chum salmon, which were developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and treaty tribes, were released today at a public meeting in Olympia.
Read More. . .

Spring Chinook must be released on Lewis River

Action: Anglers must release all chinook salmon.

Species affected: Chinook salmon.

Effective date: March 10, 2016 until further notice.
Read More. . .

Daily spring Chinook salmon limit increased on Kalama River

Action: Kalama River anglers may keep up to 2 hatchery adult spring chinook beginning Saturday, March 10.

Effective date: March 10, 2016 until further notice.
Read More. . .

Public meeting on salmon forecast set for March 1

OLYMPIA – Anglers, commercial fishers and others interested in Washington state salmon fisheries can get a preview of this year's salmon returns and potential fishing seasons during a public meeting March 1 in Olympia.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will present initial forecasts – compiled by state and tribal biologists – of 2016 salmon returns.

The department has scheduled the meeting from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the auditorium of General Administration Building, 210 11th St. SW, in Olympia.

Parking is available in the visitor lot of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. SE, which is a short walk to the General Administration Building.
Read More. . .

February Southwest Washington Weekender Report

Winter steelhead: Anglers are still reeling in hatchery steelhead from area tributaries, notably the Cowlitz and Kalama rivers. The daily limit for adult steelhead on most area rivers is three marked, hatchery-reared fish. Barbless hooks are required, and any steelhead with an intact adipose fin must be released. In addition, anglers must keep the first three hatchery steelhead they catch.
Read More. . .

Seasons set for Spring Chinook, sturgeon, smelt in Columbia River Basin

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Anticipating a return of 299,200 adult spring chinook salmon, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon today set this year’s initial fishing season to run through April 9 on the lower Columbia River.

In addition, representatives from the two states agreed to close the winter sturgeon retention fishery in the Bonneville Pool effective Feb. 8 and approved a six-hour recreational smelt season Feb. 6 on the Cowlitz River.
Read More. . .

Comment invited on lower Columbia salmon, sturgeon management

OLYMPIA – The public will have an opportunity to comment on salmon and sturgeon management on the lower Columbia River during a meeting of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission scheduled Jan. 22-23 in Vancouver, Wash.
Read More. . .

January Southwest Washington Weekender Report

Winter steelhead: High-water conditions put a damper on the fishery in December, but things could pick up this month as winter steelhead continue to move into the lower Columbia River and its tributaries. The Cowlitz and Lewis rivers are usually the star performers at this time of year, but anglers may want to try the smaller rivers and creeks where water levels drop the quickest.
Read More. . .

Commission adopts new sportfishing regulations

OLYMPIA — The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission on Friday adopted nearly 50 new sportfishing rules, including a requirement that anglers release all wild steelhead they catch on several streams on the Olympic Peninsula.

Read More. . .

Kalama River hatchery loses 2.4 million salmon fry in flood

OLYMPIA – All 2.4 million fall chinook salmon fry at the Fallert Creek Hatchery on the lower Kalama River were lost when floodwaters inundated the facility last week, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
Read More. . .

Fish Black Friday for big rainbow trout

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is offering anglers opportunities for tight lines rather than long lines on the day after Thanksgiving.

The “holiday specials” include thousands of large trout averaging 15 to 16 inches in length and weighing 1-1/4 pounds.

The Department is currently preparing to stock lakes in southwest and western Washington in time for Black Friday, Nov. 27. In eastern Washington, thousands of smaller trout stocked in lakes last year should have grown to catchable size.
Read More. . .

WDFW seeks support for steelhead license plate

OLYMPIA – A special license plate featuring a steelhead – the official state fish of Washington – could be an option for vehicle owners if a proposal for the new plate is approved by the state Legislature.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is proposing the plate to generate revenue that would be used to help support activities critical to conserving populations of native steelhead.
Read More. . .

November WDFW Weekendrer Report for SW Washington

Fishing: As this year’s banner fall chinook season winds down, area anglers are turning their attention to winter steelhead fishing. Thanksgiving Day traditionally marks the start of the popular fishery, but some anglers start working their favorite rivers well ahead of time.

Catch totals usually start to ramp up as area rivers swell with rainwater, said Joe Hymer, a fish biologist at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “Steelhead move upriver on pulses of water,” he said. “Once the sky opens up, we’ll see more fish on the move.”
Read More. . .

Daily coho limit reduced to 1 adult fish on lower-Columbia tributaries

OLYMPIA – Starting Nov. 1, anglers will be restricted to one hatchery-reared adult coho salmon per day as part of their catch limit on several tributaries to the lower Columbia River.

Poor returns of coho salmon prompted state fishery managers to reduce the daily limit to one hatchery adult coho – down from six – to preserve fish for state hatchery propagation and restoration programs.

Waters affected by the new limit include the Cowlitz, Deep, Grays, Elochoman, Toutle, Green, Tilton, Cispus, Kalama, Lewis and Washougal rivers, plus Mayfield Lake and Lake Scanewa.Read More. . .

Over 125,000 trout destined for western Washington lakes

OLYMPIA – With some 125,000 trout scheduled for stocking in western Washington lakes, area anglers should have an excellent chance at phenomenal fishing this fall and through the holiday season.
Read More. . .

October WDFW Weekender Report for SW Washington

Fishing: The bulk of this year’s big fall chinook run to the Columbia River has now moved past Bonneville Dam, pushing into fisheries upstream to the Hanford Reach and beyond. Hotspots above the dam include the mouths of the White Salmon River, Drano Lake and the Klickitat River.

But that doesn’t mean salmon fishing below Bonneville is over for the year. State fishery managers expect that anglers will catch a lot more fall chinook this month as well as coho salmon, which should move into the Columbia River in larger numbers.
Read More. . .

August WDFW Weekender Report for SW Washington

Drought-related fishing closures: For more information on the 2015 Washington Drought, click here.

Fishing: Nearly a million fall chinook salmon are expected to start moving up the Columbia River this month, following strong returns of spring and summer runs that sent thousands of anglers home with chinook salmon in recent months. Other prospects in August include coho salmon, summer steelhead, bass, walleye and trout.
Read More. . .

WDFW reducing drought effects on hatcheries

OLYMPIA – State fishery managers are working to minimize the effects of drought on fish at hatcheries across Washington state.

More than a dozen of the 83 fish hatcheries operated by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) are experiencing low water levels or high water temperatures as a result of this year’s drought. Those conditions increase the likelihood of disease and can be fatal for fish.
Read More. . .

Coho salmon caught in lower Columbia must be released

OLYMPIA – The early arrival of coho salmon in the lower Columbia River has prompted state fishery managers to clarify a fishing regulation issued earlier this month.

A new rule issued today specifically states that anglers must release any coho caught in waters currently open to salmon fishing from the Astoria-Megler Bridge to a point nearly 300 miles upstream on the Columbia River.
Read More. . .

Meeting to discuss options for Fall fisheries on Kalama, Washougal rivers

VANCOUVER, Wash. – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will host a public meeting July 30 to discuss salmon-management policies on the Kalama and Washougal rivers.

The meeting is scheduled 6-8 p.m. at WDFW’s Region 5 Office, 2108 Grand Blvd., in Vancouver.
Read More. . .

Drought conditions prompt fishing closures, restrictions

OLYMPIA – State fishery managers are closing or restricting fishing on more than 30 rivers throughout Washington to help protect fish in areas where drought conditions have reduced flows and increased water temperatures.
Read More. . .

Drought conditions disrupting some fisheries

OLYMPIA - State fishery managers are taking steps to protect fish that are affected by drought conditions, and are asking anglers to do their part as well.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has restricted some fishing opportunities and will need to restrict others. In addition, the department will likely release some hatchery fish early and transport salmon and steelhead that are unable to make it upstream to spawning grounds.
Read More. . .

July WDFW Weekender Report for SW Washington

Fishing: July offers anglers more time to catch chinook and sockeye salmon on the Columbia River, three-adult daily limits for hatchery steelhead on several area tributaries, and the last chance to catch and keep white sturgeon in the Bonneville Pool this year. Bass and walleye are also biting there and elsewhere, and trout are still swatting hooks in high mountain lakes.
Read More. . .

Columbia River salmon season extended with new catch limit

OLYMPIA - Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon have extended the summer salmon fishery on the lower Columbia River by three weeks, and approved a new daily catch limit for waters above and below Bonneville Dam.

Under the new agreement, anglers can continue to catch summer chinook and sockeye salmon through July 31 from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upriver to Bonneville Dam, where the season was previously scheduled to end July 7.
Read More. . .

Women's workshop offers instruction on fishing, hunting, outdoor skills

OLYMPIA - Women can learn the basics of fishing, hunting and other outdoor skills at a September weekend workshop that includes sessions led by several Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) experts.
Read More. . .

Boundary for using barbed hooks modified on lower Cowlitz River

Action: Anglers may use barbed hooks for hatchery salmon and hatchery trout.

Effective dates: July 1 through July 31, 2015

Species affected: Hatchery salmon, hatchery steelhead, and hatchery sea run cutthroats

Location: From Lexington Drive Bridge (Sparks Road Bridge) upstream to 400 feet or posted markers below the barrier dam.
Read More. . .

WDFW public meeting to discuss Kalama River steelhead management

VANCOUVER, Wash. - State fishery managers have scheduled a public meeting Thursday (June 25) in Vancouver to discuss changes in the way the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is managing this year's return of hatchery steelhead to the Kalama River.

The meeting will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at WDFW's Region 5 office at 2108 Grand Blvd.
Read More. . .

Bigger trout await anglers for Father's Day weekend

OLYMPIA - Fish hatchery crews with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will be stocking 10,000 large rainbow trout in 20 lakes just before Father's Day weekend, June 20 and 21.
Read More. . .

June WDFW Weekender Report for SW Washington

Fishing: The Columbia River will be open for salmon fishing from the estuary more than 300 miles upstream all month. The spring chinook fishery runs through June 15, followed immediately by the start of the summer salmon season the next day.

Other options this month include plunking for white sturgeon on various dates in the Bonneville Pool, casting for trout at Swift Reservoir, and fishing for bass and walleye.
Read More. . .

Merwin fishing event set for special kinds

VANCOUVER - Children with disabilities will have a chance to reel in some big trout during a special fishing event July 11 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Merwin Fish Hatchery, east of Woodland.

More than 100 young people and their families are expected to turn out for the 17th annual Merwin Special Kids Day, sponsored by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Pacific Power and GoPAW.
Read More. . .

Catch limit for spring chinook on Columbia rising to 2 per day

OLYMPIA – Starting Wednesday (June 3), the catch limit for spring chinook salmon will increase to two adult fish per day for Columbia River anglers fishing from the estuary to a point 300 miles upstream.

With two weeks remaining in the popular fishery, resource managers from Washington and Oregon today agreed to increase the daily catch limit for hatchery adult spring chinook from one to two.
Read More. . .

Anglers can fish for free June 6-7

OLYMPIA - Each year, thousands of Washingtonians go fishing - legally - without a license. How? By taking advantage of 'Free Fishing Weekend,' scheduled for June 6-7.

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

Summer chinook & sockeye sport fishery set below Bonneville Dam

Action: Hatchery adult summer chinook and steelhead may be retained on the lower mainstem Columbia below Bonneville Dam.

Species affected: Hatchery chinook and sockeye

Effective dates: June 16 through July 6, 2015
Read More. . .

Selective gear rules to be in effect on MIll Creek

Action: Selective gear rules will be in effect on this Cowlitz River tributary.

Species affected: Trout

Effective dates: June 6, 2015, until further notice
Read More. . .

Nearby rivers to open early for hatchery steelhead fishing

Action: Lower Green and South Fork Toutle rivers will open two weeks early to fishing for hatchery steelhead.

Species affected: Steelhead

Effective dates: May 23 through June 5, 2015
Read More. . .

Spring Chinook limite & 2-pole area increased on lower Cowlitz River

Action: Cowlitz River anglers may retain up to 3 hatchery adult spring chinook. In addition, anglers may fish with two poles up to the barrier dam.

Effective dates: May 17 until further notice

Species affected: Chinook

Location: Daily limit increase from boundary markers at the mouth to 400 feet or posted markers below the barrier dam. Read More. . .

Spring Chinook daily catch limit increased on lower Kalama River

Action: Kalama River anglers may retain up to 2 hatchery adult spring Chinook.

Effective dates: May 17 until further notice

Species affected: Chinook salmon

Location: From boundary markers at the mouth to 1,000 feet below the upper salmon hatchery.
Read More. . .

Strong sring chinook run extends fishing above & below Bonneville Dam

OLYMPIA - With spring chinook salmon passing Bonneville Dam in higher numbers than expected, fish managers from Washington and Oregon today agreed to extend the fishing season on the Columbia River for miles below and above the dam.
Read More. . .

May WDFW Weekender Report for SW Washington

Fishing: The month begins with a two-day opening of the spring chinook sport fishery on the lower Columbia River on Saturday, May 2, and Sunday, May 3. High counts of spring chinook passing Bonneville Dam the previous week allowed the two states to reopen the fishery for at least two more days, said Ron Roler, Columbia River policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
Read More. . .

Spring Chinook fishery opens this weekend on lower Columbia

OLYMPIA – The popular spring chinook sport fishery on the lower Columbia River will reopen for two days – Saturday, May 2, and Sunday, May 3 – under an agreement reached today by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon.
Read More. . .

Fishing for hatchery spring chinook remains open on Kalama River

Action: Kalama River anglers may continue to fish for hatchery spring chinook until further notice.

Effective date: Effective immediately
Read More. . .

South Lewis County Park Pond fishing closure May 16 for kids event

Action: Closes South Lewis County Park Pond to all fishing except children, 14 years old and younger, registered for the Kids Fishing event from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 16.
Read More. . .

Washington salmon fisheries set for 2015

ROHNERT PARK, CALIF. – State and tribal co-managers today agreed on a package of salmon fisheries that meets conservation goals for wild salmon populations and provides fishing opportunities on healthy stocks.
Read More. . .

100s of lakes open April 25

OLYMPIA -Trout fishing in Washington hits full speed April 25, when several hundred lowland lakes - stocked with millions of fish - open for a six-month season.

Anglers have already been taking advantage of good spring fishing opportunities on year-round lakes, but the fourth Saturday in April marks the traditional start of the lowland lakes fishing season.
Read More. . .

Anglers get 2 more days to catch chinook on lower Columbia

OLYMPIA - Columbia River anglers will get at least two more days to catch hatchery spring chinook salmon below Bonneville Dam under a decision announced today by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon.

Under that decision, the highly popular sport fishing will remain open through Saturday, April 11, then reopen for an additional day of fishing Thursday, April 16.
Read More. . .

Klineline Pond in Vancouver closes to public for Kids Fish-In

Action: Closes Klineline Pond to fishing by the public one day prior to the fishing event on April 9 as well as the two days of the event . The pond will reopen on April 12, 2015.

Effective dates:
April 09 - 12:01 a.m., entire pond closed to public fishing
April 10 - pond closed except to registered participants
April 11 - pond closed except to registered participants
April 12 - pond reopens to the public

Location: Klineline Pond is located at Salmon Creek Park, Vancouver Washington.

Species affected: Trout and other game fish.

Reason for action: This rule change is necessary to assure a safe and successful Kids Fish-In event. The fish will be planted one day prior to the event to better acclimate them before the event. Several thousand fish will be placed into netted areas along the shoreline of the pond. On the days of the event, pre-registered kids will be allowed to fish within these netted areas. The pond will reopen to the public on April 12.

The pond will remainedclosed after the event is to ensure the safety of the public as well as the event participants while the event is shutting down and equipment and nets are being removed. We will have several hundred feet of nets that will be pulled from the shoreline area.

Other Information: The event this year will bring in over 2500 registered kids as well as their families, friends and general members of the public.

Information Contact: Jana Gillotte (360) 906-6705

April Weekender Report for SW Washington

Fishing: The spring chinook fishery got off to a fast start this year, drawing a strong showing of anglers to the lower Columbia River by late March. As of March 22, anglers had made twice as many fishing trips to the area and caught nine times as many spring chinook as they did during the same period last year.
Read More. . .

Daily limit for hatchery steelhead will increase on lower Cowlitz River

Action: Cowlitz River anglers may retain up to 3 hatchery steelhead.

Effective date: April 1, 2015, until further notice.
Read More. . .

Strong runs of Columbia River chinook projected

OLYMPIA – Fishing prospects look promising for chinook in Washington’s ocean waters and the Columbia River, as well as for coho and pink salmon in areas of Puget Sound, according to state fisheries managers.

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

March 2015 Weekender Report for Southwest Washington

Fishing: Steelhead fishing is heating up on the Cowlitz and Kalama rivers, kokanee are biting at Merwin Reservoir, and five area lakes are set to receive thousands of rainbow trout this month. Starting March 2, sturgeon fishing is limited to catch-and-release in the Bonneville Pool, but anglers can keep one legal-size fish per day in The Dalles and John Day pools until annual harvest guidelines have been met.
Read More. . .

Public meeting on salmon forecast kicks off season-setting process

OLYMPIA - Anglers, commercial fishers and others interested in Washington state salmon fisheries can get a preview of this year's salmon returns and potential fishing seasons during a public meeting March 2 in Olympia.

Kicking off the annual salmon season-setting process, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will present initial forecasts - compiled by state and tribal biologists - of 2015 salmon returns.

The meeting is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington Street S.E., in Olympia.
Read More. . .

Chinook salmon must be released on the Lewis River

Action: Mainstem Lewis and North Fork Lewis River anglers must release all spring chinook.

Species affected: Chinook salmon

Effective date and locations: March 1, 2015, until further notice.
Read More. . .

Daily catch limit for hatchery steelhead increased on Kalama River

Action: Anglers fishing the lower Kalama River may retain up to 3 hatchery steelhead.

Effective date: March 1, 2015, until further notice.
Read More. . .

WDFW seeks nominations to Cowlitz River advisory group

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking nominations through Feb. 27 for membership on its Cowlitz River Advisory Group.

The ad hoc group generally meets about four times a year to develop recommendations designed to support sustainable fishing opportunities on the Cowlitz River, while conserving wild native runs.
Read More. . .

Smelt fisheries to open on Cowlitz, Columbia Rivers

VANCOUVER, Wash. - State fishery managers approved limited fisheries for smelt on the Cowlitz and Columbia rivers on specific dates in February during a joint meeting between Washington and Oregon today.

Their action marks the second year that the two states have allowed smelt fishing since 2010, when the species - also known as eulachon - was listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) along the Pacific Coast.
Read More. . .

Another strong return of Columbia River Spring Chinook expected

VANCOUVER, Wash. - Anticipating another strong return of spring chinook salmon, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon today set the initial 2015 fishing season to run through April 10 on the lower Columbia River.

Under guidelines approved for this year's season, anglers fishing below Bonneville Dam will be allowed to catch an estimated 11,500 spring chinook before an updated run forecast is available in early May.
Read More. . .

February 2015 Weekender Report for SW Washington

Fishing: While February is generally a slow time of the year for fishing, dedicated anglers can still find ways to reel in dinner from area waters. Hatchery steelhead are still striking lures on the Cowlitz and Kalama rivers, and the bite is picking up for walleye preparing to spawn in The Dalles and John Day pools.
Read More. . .

Nisqually River fishing closed for January

Action: Close the Nisqually River to all fishing.

Effective Date: 12:01 a.m. January 6, 2015 through January 31, 2015.

Species affected: All species.
Read More. . .

January 2015 Weekender Report for SW Washington

Fishing: Winter steelhead are still the name of the game for many anglers in the lower Columbia River Basin, although several other fisheries are beginning to compete for their attention. Starting Jan. 1, sturgeon retention is allowed seven days a week from Bonneville Dam upstream to McNary Dam, and 45,000 freshly planted rainbow trout will be available this month in 14 lakes around the region.
Read More. . .

December WDFW Weekender Report for SW Washington

Fishing: This year's winter steelhead season got off to a promising start just before Thanksgiving, when the first wave of fish started snapping up anglers' lures in several Columbia River tributaries. With decent river conditions, catch rates should continue to improve in the weeks ahead.
Read More. . .

Fish Black Friday for rainbows stocked in SW Washington lakes

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is offering prospective anglers opportunities for tight lines rather than long lines on the day after Thanksgiving.
Read More. . .

Nominations open for steelhead work group

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will host a public meeting Nov. 20 in Cathlamet, Wash., to begin the process of developing steelhead management plans for several tributaries to the Columbia River.

The department is also seeking nominations for a citizens work group to assist in that effort.
Read More. . .

Trout stocked in SW Washington lakes

OLYMPIA – For the third year in a row, the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife is stocking lakes with thousands of extra-large fish averaging 15 to 16 inches and 1-1/4 pounds each in southwest Washington for the Nov. 28 Black Friday opener.
Read More. . .

November WDFW Weekender Report for SW Washington

Fishing: After a banner fall chinook season, area anglers are turning their attention to winter steelhead fishing. Thanksgiving Day traditionally marks the start of the popular fishery, but some anglers start working their favorite rivers well ahead of time. Catch totals usually start to ramp up as area rivers swell from the falling rain.
Read More. . .

WDFW seeks nominations for steelhead & cutthroat policy advisory group

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking nominations to a citizen advisory group that advises the department on steelhead and anadromous cutthroat management issues.
Read More. . .

Federal funding cuts lead to reductions in lower Columbia hatcheries

OLYMPIA – Federal budget cuts and higher operating costs have forced the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to reduce salmon and steelhead production at three of its lower Columbia River fish hatchery facilities and plant juvenile coho into a regional lake this fall.
Read More. . .

States seek nominations for Columbia River fishery advisory groups

OLYMPIA - Fishery managers in Washington and Oregon are seeking candidates to fill positions on advisory committees that provide guidance on sport and commercial fishing issues on the Columbia and Snake rivers.

The two states’ fish and wildlife departments will accept nominations to their joint advisory groups on Columbia River sport and commercial fisheries through Friday, Nov. 14. The two groups meet three to four times per year to develop recommendations for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon and smelt fisheries.
Read More. . .

Nisqually River reopens to retention of hatchery chinook salmon

Action: Retention of hatchery chinook salmon is permitted. Salmon fishing is open at the mouth of Kalama and Clear creeks.

Effective dates: Oct. 15, 2014, through Jan. 31, 2015.
Read More. . .

Fishing rules public comment deadline extended

OLYMPIA – The public will have more time to review proposed changes to fishing rules for the Columbia River Basin under an extended comment period announced today by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
Read More. . .

October WDFW Weekender Report for Southwest Washington

Fishing: The bulk of this year’s big fall chinook run to the Columbia River has now moved past Bonneville Dam, pushing into fisheries upstream to the Hanford Reach and beyond. Hotspots above the dam include the mouths of the White Salmon River, Drano Lake and the Klickitat River.
Read More. . .

Cowlitz Trout Hatchery ADA fishing site will close for construction project

OLYMPIA - The wheelchair-accessible fishing platforms next to the boat launch at the Cowlitz Trout Hatchery will be closed during a construction project Sept. 8-16.

Crews with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will be enlarging the fishing platforms and paving the path and parking lot.

Funding for the project was provided by a grant from the Washington Recreation and Conservation Office.

WDFW expands "Fish Washington" website

OLYMPIA - With millions of visits since its launch in 2012, Fish Washington webpages have been providing the "when's, where's and how-to's" of fishing in Washington to anglers of all ages and skill levels.

Now, after developing new content for nearly a year, The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has expanded the site to provide additional details about fishing Washington's outer coast, Grays Harbor, Willapa Bay, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the San Juan Islands, Hood Canal, and Puget Sound.
Read More. . .

September WDFW Weekender Report for Soutwest Washington

Fishing: September is prime time for salmon fishing in the Columbia River Basin, where large numbers of fish are moving upriver and into tributaries on both sides of Bonneville Dam. Chinook fishing at Buoy 10 near the mouth of the river closes Sept. 1 at the end of the day, but anglers will still have plenty of opportunity to catch chinook salmon, coho and steelhead in the weeks ahead.
Read More. . .

Hatchery steelhead daily limit increased on lower Cowlitz River

Action: Cowlitz River anglers may retain up to three hatchery steelhead.
Species affected: Steelhead
Effective dates: Aug. 22 through Oct. 31, 2014
Location: From the Hwy. 4 Bridge at Kelso upstream to Mayfield Dam.
Read More. . .

WDFW seeks comments, schedules meetings on proposed Columbia River Basin fishing rules

OLYMPIA - State fisheries managers are seeking public comments on proposed sportfishing rules they're recommending for the Columbia River Basin.

As part of that effort, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has scheduled five meetings through September to discuss the proposed rules with the public.

The rules are specific to the mainstem Columbia River, its tributaries or lakes within the basin. The proposals cover fishing seasons, daily limits and other rules for the Columbia River Basin.Read More. . .

August WDFW Weekender Report for Southwest Washington

Fishing: This year’s fall chinook fishery opens Aug. 1 on the Columbia River amid huge expectations. Based on current projections, 1.5 million fall chinook salmon will return to the river in the next few months – the highest number since at least 1938. Coho salmon are also expected to return in numbers well above the 10-year average.
Read More. . .

Lower Columbia summer Chinook fishery will run through July 31

OLYMPIA - Starting July 11, anglers fishing the lower Columbia River can catch and keep summer chinook - along with sockeye salmon - through the end of the month.
Read More. . .

Steelhead "recycling" to begin on Cowlitz River

OLYMPIA - Anglers will get a second chance to catch up to 1,600 hatchery-reared summer steelhead moving through the Cowlitz River, thanks to a partnership between Tacoma Power and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
Read More. . .

Fishing seasons extended for Chinook, sockeye, sturgeon on Columbia River

OLYMPIA - Starting July 3, anglers will get four extra days to fish for summer chinook salmon and the rest of July to fish for sockeye salmon on Columbia River below Bonneville Dam.
Read More. . .

July WDFW Weekender Report for Southwest Washington

Fishing: Anglers who fish the lower Columbia River are gearing up for hatchery steelhead now that most salmon-fishing opportunities are moving upstream. Summer steelhead are arriving to pick up the slack after the close of the fishery for adult chinook and sockeye salmon below Bonneville Dam.
Read More. . .

Kalama River re-opens to fishing for hatchery spring Chinook

Action: Kalama River anglers may again retain hatchery spring chinook.

Effective date: June 28 through July 31, 2014.Read More. . .

June WDFW Weekender Report of Southwest Washington

Fishing: State fishery managers reopened the spring chinook fishery above Bonneville Dam on the last day of May, creating a seamless transition between spring and summer salmon fisheries stretching more than 300 miles up the Columbia River. Anglers can now fish for chinook salmon, steelhead and shad every day in June, with new fishing opportunities for summer chinook and sockeye salmon starting at mid-month.
Read More. . .

Spring Chinook fishery reopens above Bonneville Dam

OLYMPIA - Starting Saturday, May 31, anglers will get two more weeks to catch hatchery-reared spring chinook salmon and steelhead in waters of the Columbia River stretching more than 160 miles upriver from Bonneville Dam.
Read More. . .

Anglers can fish for free June 7-8

OLYMPIA - Each year, thousands of Washingtonians go fishing - legally - without a license. How? By taking advantage of 'Free Fishing Weekend,' scheduled for June 7-8.

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

Merwin fishing event lures special kids

VANCOUVER – Children with disabilities will have a chance to reel in some big trout during a special fishing event July 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Merwin Fish Hatchery, east of Woodland.
Read More. . .

WDFW offers mid-season upgrades to fishing licenses

OLYMPIA - From now through July 20, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is offering current freshwater or saltwater fishing license holders the opportunity to upgrade to a combination license for under $27.
Read More. . .

Fishing continues to June 15 for Lower Columbia spring Chinook

OLYMPIA - Starting Thursday, May 15, anglers will have another full month to catch hatchery-reared spring chinook salmon and steelhead on the lower Columbia River under an agreement reached today by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon.
Read More. . .

Fishing open for lower Columbia Spring Chinook May 9 & 10

OLYMPIA – The sportfishing season for spring chinook salmon on the lower Columbia River will reopen for two days this week under an agreement reached today by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon.

Under that agreement, anglers can catch and keep one marked, hatchery chinook salmon Friday, May 9, and Saturday, May 10, as part of their daily catch limit from the Tongue Point/Rocky Point line upriver to Rooster Rock.
Read More. . .

May WDFW Weekender Report for Southwest Washington

Fishing: The spring chinook fishery is currently closed on the mainstem lower Columbia River, but is ramping up quickly above Bonneville Dam where thousands of fish per day are now pushing up the fish ladders.

As April came to a close, the count at the dam topped 7,000 springers per day, many bound for such hotspots as the Wind River, Drano Lake and the Klickitat River.
Read More. . .

Hundreds of lakes open April 26 to fishing

OLYMPIA -Trout fishing in Washington hits full throttle April 26, when several hundred lowland lakes - stocked with millions of fish - open for a six-month season.

Although many waterways are open year-round, the fourth Saturday in April marks the traditional start of the lowland lakes fishing season. Hundreds of thousands of anglers are expected to turn out for the big day.
Read More. . .

WDFW stocking trout and kokanee for April 26 lowland lakes opener

OLYMPIA - Washington's biggest fishing day of the year - the lowland lakes trout opener - is Saturday, April 26, and state fish hatchery crews are getting ready by releasing millions of catchable fish in lakes across the state.
Read More. . .

April WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington section of the WDFW Weekender Report for April. To read the entire Weekender Report go to WDFW’s Web site.

Fishing: April begins as catch rates for spring chinook salmon are picking up on the lower Columbia River and ends with the opening of some of the region's most popular trout-fishing lakes. The Dalles and John Day pools are also open for catch-and-keep sturgeon fishing this month until the catch reaches annual quotas for those waters.
Read More. . .

3 Columbia River tributaries designated wild steelhead gene banks

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) today designated three tributaries of the lower Columbia River as "wild steelhead gene banks," where it will no longer release steelhead raised in fish hatcheries.

Starting this year, WDFW will no longer plant hatchery steelhead in the East Fork Lewis River or the North Fork Toutle/Green River. The Wind River, which has not been stocked with steelhead since 1997, will also be off-limits to any future releases.
Read More. . .

Cowlitz River smelt fishery opens for 6 more hours Saturday, March 8

OLYMPIA - Recreational dip-netters will have one more day - Saturday (March 8) - to catch eulachon smelt on the Cowlitz River.

Fishing with dip nets will be allowed from the riverbank from 6 a.m. until noon, under a new rule approved by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). Each dip-netter may retain 10 pounds of smelt for the day.
Read More. . .

Big runs of Columbia River Chinook, coho forecast for 2014

OLYMPIA - Salmon fishing in the ocean and the Columbia River this summer could be great thanks to an abundant run of hatchery coho and a potentially historic return of chinook, according to state fishery managers.
Read More. . .

March WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for March.

Fishing: Steelhead fishing is heating up on the Cowlitz and Kalama rivers, kokanee are biting at Merwin Reservoir, and five area lakes are set to receive thousands of rainbow trout this month. White sturgeon are also available for harvest through March 9 in the Bonneville Pool, and until further notice in The Dalles and John Day pools.
Read More. . .

Smelt dippings opens Feb. 8 on Cowlitz for first time in 3 years

OLYMPIA - The first recreational fishery for eulachon smelt in three years will get under way Saturday (Feb. 8) on the Cowlitz River under a new rule approved by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
Read More. . .

Seasons set for Columbia River spring chinook, white sturgeon

VANCOUVER, Wash. - Anticipating a strong return of spring chinook salmon, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon today set the initial 2014 fishing season to run through April 7 on the lower Columbia River.

Starting March 1, anglers fishing downriver from Bonneville Dam may retain one marked, hatchery-reared adult spring chinook per day. The sport fishery will close in that area on two Tuesdays - March 25 and April 1 - to accommodate potential commercial fisheries.
Read More. . .

February WDFW Weekender Report for Southwest Washington

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for February.

Fishing: While February is generally a slow time of the year for fishing, dedicated anglers can still find ways to reel in dinner from area waters. Hatchery steelhead are still striking lures on the Cowlitz and Kalama rivers, while the bite picks up for walleye preparing to spawn in The Dalles and John Day pools.
Read More. . .

WDFW issues fishing restrictions on Lewis & Kalama rivers

Action: Lewis & Kalama River anglers must release all spring chinook; North Fork Lewis River from Johnson Creek upstream to close to all fishing.

Species affected: Chinook salmon

Effective date and locations: Feb. 17, 2014
Read More. . .

WDFW launches Fish Washington family getaway planning website

The Washington Department of Fish (WDFW) has some great ideas for people planning family vacations this year - and all of them involve fishing.

Great Getaways, a new feature on the department's website, showcases some of the state's best family travel and fishing opportunities, from the Pacific Coast and the Columbia River to the trout lakes of the Selkirk Mountains. Visit it here.
Read More. . .

WDFW seeks fishing gear manufacturers, retailers to serve on new advisory group

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking applications through Feb. 14 for membership on a new advisory group that will provide guidance on increasing angler participation in Washington’s inland fisheries.
Read More. . .

January 2014 WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for January 2014.

Fishing: Winter steelhead are still the name of the game for many anglers in the lower Columbia River Basin, although several other fisheries are beginning to compete for anglers’ attention. Sturgeon retention is allowed Jan. 1-19 in the Bonneville Pool, and 30,000 freshly planted rainbow trout will be available in 13 lakes around the region.
Read More. . .

Comment period extended on gene banks for wild steelhead

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has extended the public comment period by one week on a proposal to create wild steelhead gene banks in three tributaries of the lower Columbia River.
Read More. . .

December WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for December.

Fishing: This year's winter steelhead season got off to a promising start just before Thanksgiving, when the first wave of fish started taking anglers' lures in several tributaries to the lower Columbia River. With decent river conditions, catch rates should continue to improve in the weeks ahead.

“The first jag of winter steelhead was definitely on the bite,” said Joe Hymer, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “So long as the rivers don't rise too high or fall too low, we could be looking at a darn good fishery this year.”
Read More. . .

8 lakes stocked with rainbow trout

OLYMPIA - Rather spend the day after Thanksgiving fishing for big rainbow trout than shopping for holiday discounts?

Starting Friday, Nov. 29, anglers will find thousands of "holiday specials" during a seasonal Black Friday trout fishing opportunity at eight lakes in western Washington.
Read More. . .

Rainbow trout stocked for WDFW's "Fall into Fishing"

OLYMPIA - With tens of thousands of large rainbow trout recently stocked and more on the way, Puget Sound and Southwest Washington anglers can cross an early item off holiday wish lists.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has now stocked most of 33 Western Washington lakes scheduled to receive a total of 75,000 large rainbow trout by Thanksgiving.
Read More. . .

November WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for November.

Fishing: Thanksgiving Day traditionally marks the start of the popular winter steelhead fishery, although some anglers start working their favorite rivers well ahead of time. Catch totals will ramp up as area rivers swell from the falling rain, said Joe Hymer, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

“Steelhead move upriver on pulses of water,” Hymer said. “Once the sky opens up, we’ll see more fish on the move.”
Read More. . .

New advisory board to discuss developing seine fishery on Columbia River

OLYMPIA - A new advisory board formed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to provide recommendations for developing a new commercial seine fishery on the lower Columbia River will hold its first meeting Oct. 17 in Vancouver, Wash.
Read More. . .

October WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for October.

Fishing: The bulk of this year’s record-setting fall chinook run to the Columbia River has now moved above Bonneville Dam, energizing fisheries upstream to the Hanford Reach and beyond. Hotspots in this region include the mouths of the Wind River, Drano Lake and the Klickitat River.
Read More. . .

New fishing rules reflect record-breaking upriver Chinook return to Columbia River

OLYMPIA - More upriver fall chinook salmon are returning to the Columbia River than any time in the past 75 years, so Washington and Oregon fishery managers are expanding sport fishing options below Bonneville Dam beginning Sept. 13.

Scrapping a previous rule that would have closed the chinook fishery that day in a portion of the lower river, both states adopted new regulations that:

  • Allow anglers to continue fishing for chinook salmon through the end of the year in all areas of the mainstem Columbia River below Bonneville Dam open to salmon fishing.
  • Expand the area open to chinook retention by moving the lower boundary from Rocky Point 16 miles downstream to Buoy 10 near the mouth of the Columbia.
  • Allow anglers to catch and keep up to two adult chinook salmon per day as part of their catch limit below Bonneville Dam. Through Sept. 30, only hatchery chinook with a clipped adipose fin and healed scar may be retained downstream from the Lewis River.
  • Allow anglers aboard a vessel in the Columbia River from Buoy 10 to the Highway 395 bridge in Pasco to continue fishing until the daily limit of salmon/steelhead for all anglers aboard is achieved.
Read More. . .

Group to meet about Columbia River Chinook salmon harvest, allocation

A seven-member citizen working group organized by Washington and Oregon departments of fish and wildlife will meet to review spring chinook harvest and allocation at a public meeting in The Dalles, Ore., on Monday, Sept. 16.
Read More. . .

September WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for September.

Fishing: September is prime time for salmon fishing in the Columbia River Basin, as large numbers of fish move upriver and into tributaries on both sides of Bonneville Dam. Chinook fishing at Buoy 10 near the mouth of the river closes Sept. 1 at the end of the day, but anglers will still have plenty of options to catch chinook salmon, coho and steelhead throughout the Columbia River Basin. This is also a great time to hook some trout in the high wilderness lakes.
Read More. . .

August WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for August.

Fishing: This year’s fall chinook fishery opens Aug. 1 on the Columbia River, where a strong run of upriver brights is expected to exceed both the 10-year average and last year’s return. Of the 678,000 “falls” included in the pre-season forecast, about 434,000 are projected to be upriver brights, which are expected to return in the largest numbers since record keeping began in 1964.
Read More. . .

Kalama River reopens to fishing for hatchery spring Chinook

Action: Kalama River anglers may retain hatchery spring chinook.

Effective date: July 16 through July 31, 2013
Read More. . .

Washington governor makes 2 WDFW commission appointments

OLYMPIA - Gov. Jay Inslee has reappointed the chair of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to a six-year term and has appointed the executive director of the Purse Seine Vessel Owners Association to a vacant position.
Read More. . .

July WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for July.

Fishing: Anglers who fish the lower Columbia River are gearing up for hatchery steelhead now that most salmon-fishing opportunities are moving upstream. Summer steelhead are arriving to take up the slack after the close of the fishery for adult chinook and sockeye salmon below Bonneville Dam.
Read More. . .

Lewis River re-opens for hatchery spring Chinook

Action: Anglers may again keep hatchery spring chinook on the Lewis River including the North Fork.

Effective date: June 7 through July 31, 2013
Read More. . .

June WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for June.

Fishing: Anglers can fish for salmon, steelhead and shad every day in June on the lower Columbia River, with new fishing opportunities for salmon starting at mid-month. A number of area tributaries are also open for salmon, steelhead or both, and retention fisheries for white sturgeon will be open on various days above and below Bonneville Dam. Read More. . .

Register special needs kids for annual Merwin fishing event

VANCOUVER - Children with disabilities will have a chance to reel in some trout during a special kids' fishing event July 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Merwin Fish Hatchery east of Woodland.

Young anglers can be registered for the 15th annual Merwin Special Needs Kids Day through June 30 by calling 1-800-899-4421.
Read More. . .

Tests show no signs of ISA virus in Washington's salmon

OLYMPIA - Recent tests of salmon from Washington's waters show no signs of a fish virus that can be deadly to farm-raised Atlantic salmon, state, tribal and federal resource managers announced today.

Infectious Salmon Anemia Virus (ISAV) was not detected in tissue samples taken from more than 900 wild and hatchery-produced Pacific chinook, coho, sockeye, chum and steelhead, as well as farm-raised Atlantic salmon.

ISAV is not harmful to people.
Read More. . .

Steelhead planning on four rivers begins

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will host a public meeting June 4 in Vancouver, Wash., to begin the process of developing steelhead management plans for four tributaries to the Columbia River.

The department is also seeking nominations for a citizens work group to assist in that effort.

The plans will address steelhead management in the North Fork Lewis, East Fork Lewis and Washougal rivers and Salmon Creek - together known in the planning process as the Cascade Stratum.
Read More. . .

Spring Chinook, steelhead fishing to reopen on lower Columbia River

Spring chinook, steelhead fishing
to reopen on lower Columbia River

OLYMPIA - The sport fishery for hatchery spring chinook salmon and hatchery steelhead will reopen Saturday (May 25) on the lower Columbia River under an agreement reached today by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon.
Read More. . .

Early hatchery steelhead on 2 Toutle River tributaries open through May 31

Action: The early hatchery steelhead season on the lower portions of the Green and South Fork Toutle rivers (Cowlitz County) is open from the last Saturday in May through May 31.

Species affected: All game fish, including steelhead.

Effective dates: May 25 through May 31, 2013.
Read More. . .

Anglers enjoy lowland lakes opener

OLYMPIA - Despite cool and windy weather in many parts of the state, anglers had a lot of success reeling in large trout on opening day of this year's lowland lakes fishing season.

Based on creel checks conducted at 98 lakes around the state, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) estimates that anglers caught an average of 4.6 trout on opening day, April 27.
Read More. . .

May WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for May.

Fishing: Thousands of spring chinook salmon are moving up the fish ladders at Bonneville Dam each day, setting the stage for a succession of upriver fisheries on the mainstem Columbia River and its tributaries.
Read More. . .

Ban on barbed hooks expands; includes Cowlitz

OLYMPIA - Starting May 1, anglers fishing for salmon or steelhead on the Columbia River and most of its tributaries downstream from Chief Joseph Dam will be required to use barbless hooks.

The new regulations, adopted today by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), expand on a similar rule currently in effect on the stretch of the Columbia River that constitutes the border between Washington and Oregon.

The new rules extend the ban on barbed hooks another 250 miles upriver on the Columbia River and to dozens of its tributaries, including the Cowlitz, White Salmon, Klickitat, Snake, Yakima and Okanogan rivers.
Read More. . .

Hundres of lakes open April 27 for biggest fishing day of the year

OLYMPIA - Great trout fishing throughout Washington gets under way April 27, when several hundred lowland lakes - stocked with millions of fish - open for a six-month season.

Hundreds of thousands of anglers are expected to turn out for the big day. Although many waterways are open year-round, the last Saturday in April marks the traditional start of the lowland lakes fishing season.
Read More. . .

Washington's salmon fishing seasons set for 2013

PORTLAND, Ore. - State and tribal co-managers yesterday agreed on a package of salmon fisheries that meets conservation goals for wild salmon populations and provides fishing opportunities on healthy stocks.

Washington's 2013 salmon fishing seasons, developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and treaty tribal co-managers, were finalized yesterday during the Pacific Fishery Management Council's (PFMC) meeting in Portland. The regulations cover salmon fisheries in Puget Sound, Washington's ocean and coastal areas and the Columbia River.
Read More. . .

April WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for April.

Fishing: With the catch of spring chinook salmon running well below expectations, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon will meet April 3 to decide whether to extend the initial fishing season below Bonneville Dam.
Read More. . .

WDFW approves new sportfishing rules

MOSES LAKE - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted numerous changes to sportfishing rules and approved three land transactions during a public meeting March 1 in Moses Lake.

Nearly 70 sportfishing rules were adopted by the commission, a nine-member citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
Read More. . .

March WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for March.

Fishing: Despite modest run-size forecasts, this year’s spring chinook fishery got off to an early start on the lower Columbia River, where anglers were reeling in ocean-fresh “springers” by mid-February. Fishing will continue to ramp up through March, as the bulk of the run moves in from the ocean, said Joe Hymer, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
Read More. . .

Public meeting on salmon forecast kicks off season-setting process

OLYMPIA – Anglers, commercial fishers and others interested in Washington state salmon fisheries can get a preview of this year’s salmon returns and potential fishing seasons during a public meeting here March 1. [WDFW sent this news release four times with meeting dates of Feb. 28, March 1 and March 2, so check with them to confirm the correct date].
Read More. . .

Spring Chinook must be released on Kalama & Lewis Rivers

Actions: Kalama and Lewis River anglers must release all spring chinook, and the North Fork Lewis will close to all fishing upstream from Johnson Creek.
Read More. . .

WDFW seeks nominations for Enforcement Advisory Group

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking applications through Feb. 28 for five positions on its enforcement advisory group.
Read More. . .

February WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for February.

Fishing: Ocean bright spring chinook salmon are beginning to move into the Columbia River, setting the stage for one of the state’s most popular fisheries. Anglers typically start landing early-returning “springers” in early February, but the fishery usually doesn’t catch fire until March.Read More. . .

WDFW to hold hearing on proposed sportfishing rules

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will take public comment on proposed changes to the state’s sportfishing rules during a public meeting Feb. 8-9 in Olympia.

The commission, a nine-member citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will convene at 8:30 a.m. both days in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E.
Read More. . .

Smaller run expected for Columbia River spring Chinook season

PORTLAND - Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon today set 2013 fishing seasons for the lower Columbia River that anticipate a smaller return of spring chinook salmon and reflect continuing concerns about the river’s white sturgeon population.
Read More. . .

Updated state hatchery genetic management plans available for review

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will accept public comments through Feb. 15 on several updated draft management plans designed to guide state hatchery operations in portions of Puget Sound.
Read More. . .

WDFW approves policy to revamp Columbia River fisheries

OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission today unanimously adopted a policy that establishes a new management framework for salmon fisheries on the lower Columbia River.

The commission, a nine-member citizen panel that sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), took action after completing a series of public meetings that began in October 2012. In all, the commission received about 1,000 public comments on the broad-based proposal.
Read More. . .

January WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for January.

Fishing: Winter steelhead are still the name of the game for many anglers in the lower Columbia River Basin, although several other fisheries are beginning to compete for anglers’ attention. Sturgeon fishing reopens Jan. 1 from the mouth of the Columbia to McNary Dam, and more than 30,000 catchable-size rainbow trout will be planted along with any excess broodstock in lakes and ponds around the region by the end of the month.Read More. . .

Vote scheduled on new Columbia River fishery policy

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission heard public testimony on a set of recommendations to restructure salmon and sturgeon fisheries on the lower Columbia River during its meeting Dec. 14-15 in Tumwater.
Read More. . .

Recommendations to restructure lower Columbia River fisheries available for review

OLYMPIA - A proposed plan to restructure salmon and sturgeon fisheries on the lower Columbia River is now available for review on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) website.

The recommendations, available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/fisheries/lower_columbia/ , were developed by a work group made up of representatives from Washington and Oregon. The group finalized the recommendations Nov. 15 during a meeting in Seaside, Ore.
Read More. . .

December WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for December.

Fishing: This year's winter steelhead season got off to a promising start just before Thanksgiving, when the first wave of fish started taking anglers' lures in several tributaries to the lower Columbia River. With decent river conditions, catch rates should continue to improve in the weeks ahead, said Joe Hymer, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
Read More. . .

Discover Pass: Great gift idea

OLYMPIA - A new feature of the Discover Pass allows purchasers to choose the start date for the annual pass. The new feature makes the Discover Pass an excellent gift idea for family and friends who love the great outdoors.
Read More. . .

November WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for November.

Fishing: Thanksgiving Day traditionally marks the start of the popular winter steelhead fishery, although some anglers start working their favorite rivers well ahead of time. Catch totals will ramp up as area rivers swell from the falling rain, said Joe Hymer, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Read More. . .

WDFW seeks nominations for steelhead/cutthroat advisory group

WDFW seeks nominations for steelhead/cutthroat advisory group

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking nominations through Nov. 15 for membership on the Steelhead/Cutthroat Policy Advisory Group.
Read More. . .

Comment period extended on lower Columbia hatchery genetic management plan

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has extended the public comment period on updated draft management plans that will be used by the agency to operate several hatchery programs in the lower Columbia River.
Read More. . .

October WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for October.

Fishing: Starting Oct. 1, the lower Columbia River will be open for retention of chinook salmon from Buoy 10 near the river’s mouth to Bonneville Dam. The addition of chinook fishing below Warrior Rock, together with the continuing influx of coho entering the river, will give anglers more reasons to return to the mainstem Columbia in the weeks to come.
Read More. . .

WDFW issues fire restrictions

OLYMPIA - With unusually dry conditions and wildfires burning in parts of the state, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is prohibiting campfires and other activities on all agency-managed lands.
Read More. . .

Updated lower Columbia hatchery genetic management plans available for review

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will accept public comments through Oct. 5 on updated draft management plans that will be used by the agency to operate several hatchery programs in the lower Columbia River.
Read More. . .

Weeklong hatchery-Chinook fishery opens on the Columbia River

OLYMPIA - Anglers will be allowed to retain adult hatchery chinook salmon along the 70-mile stretch of the lower Columbia River during a weeklong pilot fishery that starts Monday (Sept. 10).
Read More. . .

September WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for September.

Fishing: September is prime time for salmon fishing in the Columbia River Basin, as large numbers of fish move upriver and into tributaries on both sides of Bonneville Dam. At the Buoy 10 fishery near the mouth of the river, the catch of chinook salmon is expected to be the highest in more than two decades. Although that chinook fishery ends there Sept. 3 at the end of the day, anglers still have a lot of options to catch both chinook and coho salmon upriver from the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line.
Read More. . .

August WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for August. To read the entire Weekender Report go to WDFW’s Web site.

Fishing: This year’s fall chinook fishery opens Aug. 1 on the Columbia River, where a strong run of upriver brights is expected to exceed both the 10-year average and last year’s return. Of the 655,000 “falls” included in the pre-season forecast, about 350,000 are projected to be upriver brights – the fourth largest return since record keeping began in 1964.
Read More. . .

Westport opens daily for salmon fishing Aug. 3

OLYMPIA - Beginning Aug. 3, marine waters off of Westport (Marine Area 2) will be open to salmon fishing seven days a week, joining the three other ocean areas already open on a daily basis, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
Read More. . .

New WDFW website details salmon conservation efforts

OLYMPIA - Finding current information about the state's salmon runs and tracking ongoing efforts to recover at-risk stocks on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's (WDFW) website has never been easier.

A new online tool called the Salmon Conservation Reporting Engine (SCoRE) consolidates current information about state salmon populations, hatchery production, conservation guidelines and other aspects of salmon management in a single website.
Read More. . .

July WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for July.

Fishing: Anglers who fish the lower Columbia River are gearing up for hatchery steelhead now that most salmon-fishing opportunities are moving upstream. Steelhead fishing is expected to heat up in the weeks ahead after the summer salmon fishery below Bonneville Dam closes at the end of the day July 1.
Read More. . .

Help keep invasive species out of Washington waters

OLYMPIA - As state waters warm with the approach of summer, aquatic plants and animals flourish - including aquatic invasive species.

Boaters can help protect the waters they enjoy - and avoid potential fines - by following a few simple precautions, said Allen Pleus, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) aquatic invasive-species coordinator.
Read More. . .

Merwin fishing event lures special kids

VANCOUVER - Children with disabilities will have a chance to reel in a lunker during a special fishing event July 14 at Merwin Fish Hatchery east of Woodland.
Read More. . .

June WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for June.

Fishing: Anglers may still get a few days in early June to catch spring chinook salmon, but many are shifting their attention to the next big opener on the lower Columbia River. That begins June 16, when fishing opens for summer chinook and fishing for hatchery steelhead and sockeye expands upriver from the Interstate 5 Bridge.
Read More. . .

WDFW Commission to be briefed on Columbia River fisheries

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will receive briefings on Columbia River fisheries and consider proposed land transactions during meetings May 31-June 2 in Olympia.
Read More. . .

Two Toutle River tributaries open early for hatchery steelhead

Action: Open the South Fork Toutle River and Green River to fishing for hatchery summer steelhead early.

Effective Dates: May 25 through June 1, 2012.
Read More. . .

Spring Chinook fishery will be open this weekend on lower Columbia River

OLYMPIA - Sport fishing for spring chinook salmon will reopen this Saturday and Sunday (May 26-27) on the lower Columbia River below Bonneville Dam.

Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon agreed to reopen the fishery for those two days to boat and bank anglers from Buoy 10 to Beacon Rock. Bank anglers will also be allowed to fish from Beacon Rock upriver to the deadline at Bonneville Dam.
Read More. . .

Threatened chum salmon run on Lewis River gets new recruits

VANCOUVER, Wash. - The future of chum salmon in the Lewis River Basin may depend on 105,000 juvenile fish released into the east fork last week by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

The chum fry, each about two inches long, are part of a coordinated effort to restore a salmon species that once returned to the Columbia River by the millions, but is now at risk of extinction.
Read More. . .

Anglers enjoy big trout lowland lakes opening day

OLYMPIA - Good weather and big trout helped to boost catch rates on opening day of this year’s lowland lakes fishing season.

Based on creel checks conducted at 112 lakes around the state, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) estimates that anglers caught an average of 3.99 trout on opening day Saturday, April 28.
Read More. . .

Spring Chinook fishery above Bonneville Dam extended to May 6

OLYMPIA - Anglers will have at least four more days to fish for hatchery-reared spring chinook salmon on a section of the Columbia River stretching 163 miles upstream from Bonneville Dam.

Citing the late timing of this year’s run, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon today agreed to extend the fishery through May 6.
Read More. . .

May WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for May.

Fishing: The spring chinook fishery is currently closed below Bonneville Dam, but has been extended through May 6 upriver from the dam to the Washington/Oregon state line above McNary Dam. Meanwhile, anglers are increasingly turning to area tributaries for salmon and steelhead and to lakes and reservoirs that opened for trout April 28.
Read More. . .

Public invited to propose changes to recreational fisheries

OLYMPIA - People with ideas about how to improve state sportfishing rules can submit their proposals to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) through June 15.

Only those proposals that are necessary for resource conservation or provide a significant recreational benefit should be submitted to WDFW, due to a moratorium issued by the Governor’s office on non-critical rule making.
Read More. . .

Washington's 2012 salmon fisheries approved

SEATTLE - State and tribal co-managers agreed April 5 on a package of salmon fisheries that meets conservation goals for wild salmon populations, while providing fishing opportunities on healthy stocks.

Washington’s 2012 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 Seattle. The fishing package defines regulations for salmon fisheries in Puget Sound, Washington’s ocean and coastal areas and the Columbia River.
Read More. . .

Bigger trout awaits anglers on State's biggest opening day

OLYMPIA - Anglers preparing for opening day of the 2012 lowland lakes season on April 28 can expect to reel in trout that are one-third bigger this year.

With opening day fast approaching, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is releasing 3 million hatchery-reared trout averaging 11-13 inches - two to three inches longer than last year.
Read More. . .

Candidate sought for WDFW disabilities advisory committee

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is seeking an applicant to fill a vacancy on its advisory committee for persons with disabilities.

The seven-member committee advises the commission on issues of concern for hunters and fishers with disabilities, including special hunts, modified sporting equipment, access to public land and recreational opportunities.
Read More. . .

April WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for April.

Fishing: After a couple of months of slow fishing for spring chinook salmon, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon are set to decide whether to extend the initial season on the lower Columbia River beyond April 6.

Their decision, scheduled April 5, will be reported on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) website and on the department’s Fishing Hotline (360-902-2500).
Read More. . .

Fish and wildlife enthusiasts invited to share photos

OLYMPIA - Washingtonians have a new way to share their outdoor adventures with others who enjoy hunting, fishing and observing the natural world.
Read More. . .

March WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for March.

Fishing: Spring chinook fever is starting to take hold on the Columbia River. More than 100 boats were counted on the lower river one day in late February when only a single adult fish had passed Bonneville Dam. By late March – when the bulk of the run is expected to arrive – that number is expected to grow to more than 2,000 boats per day.
Read More. . .

Strong returns of Columbia River Chinook, coastal coho predicted

OLYMPIA - Fishing opportunities look promising for chinook in Washington’s ocean waters and the Columbia River, as well as for coho in coastal bays and rivers, according to preseason salmon forecasts released today at a public meeting in Olympia.
Read More. . .

WDFW adopts new sportfishing rules

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted a variety of new sportfishing rules and increased the number of multiple-season hunting permits for deer and elk issued each year during a public meeting here Feb. 3-4.
Read More. . .

Columbia River fishing seasons set for spring chinook, sturgeon

PORTLAND - Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon today set fishing seasons for 2012 on the lower Columbia River that anticipate a strong run of spring chinook salmon but a further decline in the number of white sturgeon available for harvest.

Most new fishing regulations adopted today will take effect March 1, when fishing for spring chinook and sturgeon starts to heat up on the lower Columbia. Until then, both fisheries are open on various sections of the river under rules approved last year.
Read More. . .

February WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for February.

Fishing: Ocean bright spring chinook salmon are beginning to move into the Columbia River, setting the stage for one of the state’s most popular fisheries. Anglers typically start landing early-returning “springers” in early February, but the fishery usually doesn’t catch fire until March.
Read More. . .

January WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for January.

Fishing: Winter steelhead are still the name of the game in the Columbia River Basin, although several other fisheries are beginning to compete for anglers’ attention.
Sturgeon fishing reopens Jan. 1 from the mouth of the Columbia to McNary Dam, and more than a dozen lakes and ponds are scheduled to receive an infusion of 38,000 catchable-size rainbow trout by the end of the month.
Read More. . .

December WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for December.

Fishing: This year's winter steelhead season got off to a promising start just before Thanksgiving, when the first wave of fish started taking anglers' lures in several tributaries to the lower Columbia River. With decent river conditions, catch rates should continue to improve in the weeks ahead, said Joe Hymer, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

“Despite recent high water and cold weather, that first jag of winter steelhead was definitely on the bite,” Hymer said. “So long as the rivers don't rise too high or fall too low, we could be looking at a darn good fishery this year.”
Read More. . .

November WDFW Weekender Report for Southwest Washington

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for November. To read the entire Weekender Report go to WDFW’s Web site.

Fishing: Thanksgiving Day traditionally marks the start of the popular winter steelhead fishery, although some anglers will undoubtedly start working their favorite rivers well ahead of time. The first two steelies of the season arrived at the Cowlitz Hatchery during the third week of October and lots more are right on their tails.

Catch totals will take off once the first big storm of the season has soaked the region with heavy rains, said Joe Hymer, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

“Steelhead move upriver on pulses of water,” Hymer said. “Once the sky opens up and the rivers start to swell, we’ll see more fish on the move.”
Read More. . .

WDFW seeks comment on sportfishing rules

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will accept written public comments through Dec. 30 on rule proposals for the 2012-13 sportfishing season in Washington.

As part of that effort, WDFW has scheduled four public meetings in October to discuss its rule proposals with the public.
Read More. . .

Nominations sought for fish advisory committees

OLYMPIA - Fishery managers in Washington and Oregon are seeking nominations for candidates to advisory committees that focus on sport and commercial fishing issues on the Columbia River. Nominations are due Nov. 15.
Read More. . .

Daily limit of trout increased on Scanewa Lake

Action: Increase trout daily limit to 10 in Scanewa Lake

Effective dates: Oct. 1, 2011 until further notice

Species affected: Trout

Location: Scanewa Lake (Cowlitz Falls Reservoir)
Read more...

October WDFW Weekender Report for Southwest Washington

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for October.

Fishing: Coho salmon are moving up the Columbia River and into area tributaries, where bright chinook are also still striking at lures and bait on some rivers.

But starting Oct. 1, anglers have another option to consider: Sturgeon fishing in the mainstem Columbia River from the Wauna powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam. The fishery was originally scheduled to open Oct. 8, but fishery managers added three additional days – Oct. 1, Oct. 6 and Oct. 7 – to help reach the area harvest guideline.
Read More. . .

Positions open on Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Recreational Anglers Board

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking nominations for two vacant positions on the Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Recreational Anglers Board, a citizen advisory group responsible for reviewing plans to improve sport fishing opportunities for salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River Basin.

Individuals may nominate themselves or others to the board, which is composed of nine people affiliated with recreational fishing organizations in the region.

The board currently has one vacant position in northcentral Washington (Region 2) and another in southwest Washington (Region 5).
Read More. . .

September WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for September.

Fishing: September is prime time for salmon fishing in the Columbia River Basin, as large numbers of fish move upriver and into tributaries on both sides of Bonneville Dam. Anglers fishing the lower river from Buoy 10 to the dam this season are expected to reel in nearly 32,000 fall chinook and 8,000 hatchery coho – most of them, this month.

“Prospects are good for salmon fishing this month, but it's important to remember these fish are on the move,” said Joe Hymer, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “As the month goes on, successful anglers will follow the fish upriver and into the tributaries.”
Read More. . .

August WDFW Weekender report

Here is the Southwest Washington fishing section of the WDFW Weekender Report for August.

Fishing:
This year’s fall chinook fishery opens Aug. 1 on the Columbia River, where a strong run of upriver brights is expected to push the total return well above the 10-year average. Of the 776,300 “falls” included in the pre-season forecast, nearly 400,000 are projected to be upriver brights – the highest number since 1987.

Those fish, together with hatchery coho and summer steelhead, should make August a very good time to fish the lower Columbia River, said Joe Hymer, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
Read More. . .

Hatchery adult coho daily limit increased on Cowlitz River

Action: Anglers may keep up to 6 hatchery adult coho as part of their salmon daily limit on the lower Cowlitz River.

Species affected: Coho salmon

Effective dates: Aug. 1, 2011, until further notice.

Location:Cowlitz River from boundary markers at mouth to 400 feet below Mayfield Dam Powerhouse.
Read more...

WDFW conducting boat checks to stop invasive species

OLYMPIA - People hauling boats to and from Washington waterways this summer may be stopped by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) enforcement officers conducting mandatory checks of boats, trailers and gear for aquatic invasive species.

The annual check stations and emphasis-patrol program has begun in several parts of the state and will continue through the boating season. The aim is to keep tiny zebra mussels, quagga mussels and other non-native species out of Washington to protect native fish, wildlife and water systems.
Read More. . .

July WDFW Weekender report

Salmon fishing kicks into high gear at this time of year, when the Washington coast, several areas of Puget Sound and many rivers around the state are open for business. Most areas of Puget Sound also open for recreational crabbing July 1, setting the stage for a great Independence Day weekend.

Also starting July 1, many anglers and others planning outdoor adventures will need to purchase a Discover Pass for vehicle access to state parks, campgrounds, boat launches and wildlife areas. The new requirement, approved this year by the state Legislature, is designed to help keep 7 million acres of state recreational lands open after steep budget cuts.
Read More. . .

Washington State "Discover Pass" now available

OLYMPIA-The state's new Discover Pass for vehicle access to state parks and recreation lands is available for sale at recreational license dealers and online.

The Discover Pass-providing access to 7 million acres of state park and recreation lands-will generate funding to keep those lands open following steep state budget cuts.
Read More. . .

Spring Chinook fishery extended until June 15 above Bonneville Dam

OLYMPIA - The sport fishery for hatchery-reared spring Chinook salmon has been extended through June 15 on a section of the Columbia River stretching 163.5 miles above Bonneville Dam.

Previously set to close June 3, the spring chinook fishery was extended by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon, who today agreed that enough fish are still available under the catch limit to allow anglers to keep fishing until the summer Chinook salmon season starts June 16.
Read More. . .

June WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington portion of the WDFW Weekender Report. The report for all state areas is at http://wdfw.wa.gov/weekender/.

Fishing: The spring Chinook fishery runs through June 15, followed the next day by a promising six-week summer Chinook season. Meanwhile, increasing numbers of sockeye salmon and hatchery summer steelhead are moving into the lower Columbia River Basin, where anglers can also catch and keep white sturgeon in most areas.Read More. . .

Spring Chinook must be released on Lewis and Kalama rivers beginning May 28

Action: Lewis River and Kalama River anglers must release all spring chinook beginning May 28.

Species affected: Chinook salmon
Read more...

More time to catch Spring Chinook on Columbia & Snake rivers

OLYMPIA - Several new fishing opportunities for hatchery-reared spring chinook salmon are opening up on the Columbia and Snake rivers as the season enters its final leg.

With approximately 2,700 upriver chinook still available for harvest, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon today agreed to expand or reopen fisheries in the several areas.

  • Below Bonneville Dam: Starting Friday (May 27), boat anglers will be allowed to fish for spring chinook from Beacon Rock upstream to Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River. This four-mile area, previously open for bank fishing only, will remain open for both kinds of fishing on the lower river through June 15.
Read More. . .

Two Toutle tributaries open early for hatchery steelhead

Action: Lower portions of the South Fork Toutle and Green rivers will open two weeks early to fishing for hatchery steelhead.

Species affected: Steelhead

Effective dates: May 21, 2011 to June 3, 2011

Locations:
  • South Fork Toutle River from the mouth to the 4700 Road Bridge.
  • Green River from the mouth to 400’ below the water intake at the upper end of the hatchery.
Read more...

Columbia River Spring Chinook fishery reopens

OLYMPIA - With thousands of spring chinook salmon now moving up fish ladders at Bonneville Dam, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon have agreed to reopen the popular salmon fishery on the lower Columbia River through June 15.

Starting Sunday, May 15, boat and bank anglers can fish for hatchery-reared spring chinook salmon from Rocky Point/Tongue Point upriver to Beacon Rock. Bank fishing will also be allowed four miles farther upriver to the fishing boundary below Bonneville Dam.
Read More. . .

Good fishing during lowland lakes opener

OLYMPIA - Washington's lowland lakes fishing season opener last Saturday provided anglers a slightly better-than-average catch rate of trout.

Based on Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) staff and volunteer creel checks of 4,305 anglers with 10,372 trout at 111 lakes statewide, the average catch rate was 2.4 trout per angler, with many more trout caught and released during the day.
Read More. . .

May WDFW Weekender Report

Southwest Washington

Fishing: Spring chinook and summer steelhead are moving into area rivers in increasing numbers, sturgeon retention is allowed on portions of the Columbia River and several popular trout lakes will open for fishing April 30.

As part of that lineup, anglers can catch and keep hatchery-reared spring chinook through May 1 on a section of the Columbia River stretching 163.5 miles above Bonneville Dam. But it remains to be seen whether that fishery – or the one that closed April 19 below the dam – will reopen later in the season.
Read More. . .

Spring Chinook season extended again on lower Columbia

OLYMPIA - Columbia River anglers will have four more days to catch hatchery-reared spring chinook salmon below Bonneville Dam, where tough fishing conditions have held this year's catch below expected levels since late last month.

Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon agreed Thursday to extend the season through April 19 to give anglers more time to reach the initial harvest guideline set at the beginning of the season.

The additional four days of fishing will follow on the heels of an eight-day extension previously approved through April 15.
Read More. . .

Washington's salmon fisheries set for 2011

SAN MATEO, Calif. - State and tribal co-managers today agreed on a package of salmon fisheries that meets conservation goals for wild salmon populations, while providing a variety of fishing opportunities on abundant stocks.

Washington's 2011 salmon fishing seasons, developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and treaty Indian co-managers, were finalized today during the Pacific Fishery Management Council's (PFMC) meeting in San Mateo, Calif. The fishing package defines regulations for salmon fisheries in Puget Sound, Washington's ocean and coastal areas and the Columbia River.
Read More. . .

Lakes stocked for April 30 season opener

OLYMPIA - This month Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) fish hatchery crews will finish stocking more than 20 million fish in Washington waterways before the state's single biggest fishing season opener on April 30.

At least 300,000 anglers are expected to turn out for the big day. Although many waterways are open year-round, the last Saturday in April marks the traditional start of the four- to five-month lowland lake fishing season.
Read More. . .

Columbia spring Chinook fishery open for additional week

OLYMPIA - Columbia River anglers will get at least eight more days to catch hatchery-reared spring chinook salmon below Bonneville Dam under a decision announced today by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon.

The popular fishery, which closed for a catch assessment April 4, will reopen to fishing Friday, April 8, through Friday, April 15. Fishery managers will meet again April 14 to determine whether to allow additional fishing time.
Read More. . .

April WDFW Weekender Report

Here is the Southwest Washington portion of WDFW’s Weekender Report:

Fishing: Anglers have at least through April 4 to catch and keep marked, hatchery-reared spring chinook salmon on the lower Columbia River. Fisheries for shad and hatchery-reared steelhead – which run concurrently with the spring chinook season – are also scheduled to close at the end of the day April 4 on the lower river.
Read More. . .

Federal panel adopts options for ocean salmon sport fisheries

VANCOUVER, Wash. - Anglers fishing along the Washington coast will see a lower catch quota for chinook salmon this year even though the total number of fish expected to return is higher.

Three ocean salmon-fishing options approved today by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) establish a lower harvest range for chinook to protect weak salmon stocks - particularly those returning to the lower Columbia River. The PFMC establishes fishing seasons in ocean waters three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast.
Read More. . .

Strong salmon runs predicted

OLYMPIA - Fishing prospects look bright this year for chinook in Washington’s ocean waters and the Columbia River, according to preseason salmon forecasts released today at a public meeting in Olympia.

Opportunities for anglers also look good in Puget Sound, where coho and pink salmon runs are expected to be strong this year.

Forecasts for chinook, coho, sockeye, pink and chum salmon mark the starting point for developing 2011 salmon-fishing seasons in Puget Sound, the Columbia River and Washington coastal areas. The forecasts were developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and treaty Indian tribes.
Read More. . .

WDFW Weekender Report for March

Southwest Washington

Fishing: Spring chinook fever is beginning to take hold on the Columbia River. More than 50 boats were counted on the lower river one day in mid February when only a few fish had been counted at Bonneville Dam. By late March – when the bulk of the run is expected to arrive – that number is expected to grow to nearly 2,000 per day.
Read More. . .

WDFW sets public meeting on salmon forecast

OLYMPIA - Anglers, commercial fishers and others interested in Washington state salmon fisheries can get a preview of this year’s salmon returns and proposed fishing seasons during a public meeting here March 1.

Kicking off the annual salmon season-setting process, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will present initial forecasts compiled by state and tribal biologists of 2011 salmon returns.
Read More. . .

2011 Columbia River Spring Chinook rules set

[Note: These fishing rules were outlined in a news release sent Feb. 8, 2011.]

Action: Sets fishing regulations for spring chinook on the mainstem Columbia River

Species affected: Spring chinook, steelhead and shad.

Location #1: The mainstem Columbia River from Buoy 10 upstream to Rooster Rock - bank and boat angling allowed.

Location #2: The mainstem Columbia River from Rooster Rock upstream to Bonneville Dam - bank angling only. Rooster Rock boundary description: A true North/South line projected from Rooster Rock on the Oregon shore to the Washington shoreline

Effective date: March 1 - April 4, 2011: fishing for salmonids and shad is allowed
Read more...

Columbia River seasons set for Spring Chinook & Sturgeon

OREGON CITY, Ore. - Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon today set fishing seasons for Columbia River spring chinook salmon and white sturgeon that are expected to draw nearly two hundred thousand anglers to the big river this year.

Most of the new rules will take effect March 1, when fishing for spring chinook and sturgeon starts to heat up on the Columbia River. Sport fishing is currently open for both species on various sections of the river under rules adopted last year.
Read More. . .

WDFW Weekender Report for January 2011

Southwest Washington

Fishing: Winter steelhead are still the name of the game in the Columbia River Basin, although several other fisheries are beginning to compete for anglers’ attention. Sturgeon fishing reopens Jan. 1 from the mouth of the Columbia to McNary Dam, and state hatchery workers have begun planting dozens of regional lakes with thousands of rainbow trout.
Read More. . .

Inland Fish Policy Advisory Group nominations open

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking nominations through Dec. 31 for membership on the Inland Fish Policy Advisory Group.

Up to 20 qualified individuals will be chosen to serve on the advisory group for 2011 and 2012. Those selected will provide guidance to WDFW on statewide issues related to management of inland fish species, such as rainbow trout, bass and kokanee. They also serve as an important communication link between WDFW and its constituents.
Read More. . .

Gift ideas from WDFW

Holiday shoppers looking for the perfect gift for the fish and wildlife enthusiast on their list can choose from a variety of products and privileges offered by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Wildlife-themed license plates are always a popular gift, and fishing and hunting licenses are now on sale for the new licensing period that begins April 1. These and other options – from wildlife area vehicle-access permits to wildlife-related books – are featured at
http://wdfw.wa.gov/gifts/ on WDFW’s website.
Read More. . .

Sports Advisory Group nominations open

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking nominations through Dec. 31 for membership on its sport fishing advisory group.

Up to 20 qualified individuals will be chosen to serve on the Anadromous and Marine Resources Sport Fishing Advisory Group for 2011 and 2012. Those selected will provide guidance to WDFW on issues affecting recreational fisheries for salmon, rockfish and other marine fish species.
Read More. . .

WDFW December Weekender Report

Southwest Washington

Fishing: This year's winter steelhead season got off to a promising start around Thanksgiving, when the first wave of fish started taking anglers' lures in several tributaries to the lower Columbia River. With decent river conditions, catch rates should continue to improve in the weeks ahead, said Joe Hymer, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

"Despite cold weather, that first jag of winter steelhead was definitely on the bite," Hymer said. "So long as the rivers don't rise too high or fall too low, we could be looking at a darn good fishery this year."
Read More. . .

Tilton River opens for night fishing

Action: Reopen Tilton River to all night fishing

Effective Dates: Nov. 11 through Dec. 31, 2010

Species affected: All species

Location: Tilton River from mouth to West Fork
Read more...

WDFW posts survey of enforcement program

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is conducting a public survey to help assess the agency’s Enforcement Program.

The survey, available
HERE on WDFW’s website, consists of about 20 questions concerning the program’s priorities and performance in the field. It will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.Read More. . .

Nominations sought for steelhead/cutthroat advisory group

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking nominations through Dec. 1 for membership on the Steelhead/Cutthroat Policy Advisory Group.

Up to 20 qualified individuals will be chosen to serve on the advisory group for 2011 and 2012. Those selected will provide guidance to WDFW on statewide issues related to management of steelhead and cutthroat. They also serve as an important communication link between WDFW and its constituents.
Read More. . .

Tilton River closed to all night fishing

Action: Close Tilton River to all night fishing.
Effective Dates: Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2010.
Read more...

WDFW Weekender Report for October

Fishing: Coho salmon are moving up the Columbia River and into area tributaries, where anglers can still reel in bright chinook on some rivers. But starting Oct. 1, anglers have another option to consider: Sturgeon fishing in the mainstem Columbia River from the Wauna powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam.

"This is a great fishing opportunity for fall, especially for anglers who don’t have boats," said Brad James, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). "Bank anglers have done very well, historically, fishing for sturgeon just below Bonneville Dam."
Read More. . .

Lower Kalama River closing to Chinook retention

Action: Close lower Kalama River to all Chinook retention.

Effective Dates: Effective Sept. 20 through Dec. 31, 2010.

Species affected: Chinook salmon.

Location: Kalama River from boundary markers at the mouth to 1000’ below the fishway at upper salmon hatchery.
Read More. . .

Adipose fin Cowlitz Chinook can be retained

Action: Anglers may keep one adult chinook with an intact adipose fin as part of the two adult chinook daily limit on the Cowlitz River.

Effective date: Sept. 18 through Dec. 31, 2010.

Location: Cowlitz River from boundary markers at the mouth to 400 feet below Mayfield Dam Powerhouse.

Species affected: Chinook salmon.
Read More. . .

Comment open on sportfishing rules

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is accepting public comments through Oct. 2 on state sportfishing rules proposed for 2011-12.

The 17 rule proposals, which would affect various recreational fisheries around the state, are available on WDFW’s website at
http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals/ . Printed copies of the proposals are available by contacting WDFW’s Fish Program at (360) 902-2700.
Read More. . .

WDFW offices closed Sept. 7

OLYMPIA-Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) offices will close Tuesday, Sept. 7, for the third of 10 statewide, unpaid employee-layoff days.

During the closure, WDFW wildlife areas and water-access sites will remain open for public use, but WDFW hatcheries will not be open to the public. Fishing and hunting licenses may be purchased online at
https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/ and at retail vendors.Read More. . .

WDF&W Weekender Report

Southwest Washington

Fishing:
For Columbia River anglers, this month provides a great opportunity for a triple play. Fishing seasons for fall Chinook salmon and hatchery coho open Aug. 1, while summer steelhead are expected to continue providing good fishing well into September.
Read More. . .

WDFW seeks volunteers regarding elk hunt

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking volunteers to participate in a cooperative arrangement that has given hunters access to approximately 250,000 acres of private timberlands near Mount St. Helens in the last three years.

For the fourth year, the Weyerhaeuser Company is prepared to give hunters holding special elk permits additional motorized access to miles of private logging roads on the St. Helens Tree Farm, provided that enough volunteers can be found to assure a safe and orderly hunt.
Read More. . .

Upcoming meetings set for Cowlitz River Ad-hoc Advisory Group

The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife’s recently formed Cowlitz River Ad-hoc Advisory Group is meeting twice a month at the Lewis County PUD’s office in Chehalis, Washington. The next meeting is set for 1-4 p.m. on Thursday, July 22. The meetings are open for the public to attend.

Meetings are also set for August 5 and August 26 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Here is a list of advisory group members and here is the WDFW news release announcing formation of the group.

Text a tip on fish and wildlife violations

OLYMPIA - Reporting poaching and other fish and wildlife violations to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) just got easier.

WDFW has added a new text-messaging option for reporting activity that threatens fish, wildlife and critical habitat. Tip411 allows users to send a text message to WDFW’s communications dispatch center.
Read More. . .

WDFW seeks strategic plan comments

To Interested Parties:

WDFW is developing our 2011-2017 Strategic Plan and we are asking for your review and input to the draft plan. We’re particularly interested in your views on priority strategies, initiatives and projects the agency should focus on in the coming biennium, July 2011-June 2013. Specifically, we’d like to hear your concerns and proposed solutions to help protect and manage the state’s fish, wildlife and their habitats.
Read More. . .

WDFW offices closed July 12 for unpaid day

OLYMPIA - Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) offices, like those of most other state agencies, will be closed July 12 for the first of 10 unpaid, temporary employee layoff days.
Read More. . .

WDFW forms Cowlitz River Ad-hoc Advisory Group

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife appointed 12 people to the new Cowlitz River Ad-hoc Advisory Group. The group meets “to develop recommendations for improving conservation and sustainable fishing opportunities on the river,” according to a WDF&W news release.

Members:
Sean Orr
Bob Reid
Don Glaser
Carl Burke
Dale Scott
Dave Becker
Lonnie Gobel
Jerry Schroeder
Anthony Crocco
Terry Turner
Shannon Wills
Stan Bartle

WDFW conducting boat checks

OLYMPIA - People hauling boats to and from Washington waterways this summer may be stopped by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officers conducting mandatory checks of boats, trailers and gear for aquatic invasive species.

The annual check stations and emphasis-patrol program has begun in several parts of the state and will continue through the boating season. The aim is to keep tiny zebra mussels, quagga mussels and other non-native species out of Washington to protect native fish, wildlife and water systems.
Read More. . .

Fish for free June 12-13

OLYMPIA - Each year, thousands of Washingtonians go fishing - legally - without a license. How? By taking advantage of Free Fishing Weekend, scheduled June 12-13.

During those two days, no license will be required to fish or gather shellfish in any waters open to fishing in Washington state. Also, no vehicle use permit will be required during Free Fishing Weekend to park at any of the 600 water-access sites maintained by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
Read More. . .

Cowlitz hatchery steelhead limit increased

Action: Cowlitz River anglers may retain up to three hatchery steelhead.

Species affected: Steelhead

Effective dates: Effective May 22 through Oct. 31, 2010.

Location: From the Hwy. 4 bridge at Kelso upstream to Mayfield Dam.
Read more...

Lake Scanewa opens for hatchery spring chinook

Action: Open Lake Scanewa (Cowlitz Falls Reservoir) to fishing for hatchery spring chinook.

Effective dates: May 8 through May 31, 2010.

Species affected: Hatchery chinook salmon

Location: Lake Scanewa (Cowlitz Falls Reservoir) from Cowlitz Falls Dam to listed boundaries in the Cispus and Cowlitz rivers arms (see sport fishing rules pamphlet).
Read more...

WDFW forming Cowlitz advisory group

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking nominations through May 21 for membership on its new Cowlitz River advisory group.

Up to 12 qualified individuals will be chosen to serve on the ad hoc group, which will meet monthly for about a year to develop recommendations for improving conservation and sustainable fishing opportunities on the river.
Read More. . .

New fishing rules effective May 1

OLYMPIA - Anglers planning to fish in Washington past the end of the month should be aware that nearly a hundred new fishing rules will take effect starting May 1.

The new regulations, affecting everything from catch limits to fishing tackle, are included in the new Fishing in Washington rules pamphlet, published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) for the 2010-11 season.
Read More. . .

2010 Washington salmon fisheries set

PORTLAND - Salmon anglers will have improved fishing opportunities for chinook on the coast and in the Columbia River, while most recreational fisheries in Puget Sound will be similar to seasons adopted last year, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
Read More. . .

Lowland lakes fishing opens April 24

OLYMPIA - The state’s single biggest fishing season opens April 24, with lakes throughout the state stocked with millions of hatchery-reared fish by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Although many lakes are open year round, the last Saturday in April marks the traditional start of a four-to five-month-long lowland-lakes fishing season.
Read More. . .

Riffe Lake fishing rule change

Action: Remove Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement requirement from Riffe Lake.
Effective date: April 1, 2010.
Species affected: Landlocked salmon and steelhead.
Location: Riffe Lake.   
Reason for action: Salmon and steelhead in Riffe Lake are landlocked. 
Other information: The Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement will take effect April 1. The Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement still applies to Mayfield Lake.
Information contact: Wolf Dammers, (360) 906-6709.  

Spring Chinook highlight 2010 salmon forecasts

OLYMPIA - Forecasts for strong chinook salmon returns to the Columbia River this summer could lead to improved fishing in the river and Washington’s ocean waters. Fishing prospects also are looking up for some rivers in Puget Sound, where coho salmon are expected to return in increased numbers.
Read More. . .

Promising Columbia River Spring Chinook season

OLYMPIA - Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon today adopted fishing seasons for this year’s spring chinook fishery on the Columbia River, where the prized salmon are projected to return in the largest numbers since at least 1938.
Read More. . .

Cowlitz River steelhead fishing rule change

Action:   Allow retention of steelhead with a clipped right ventral fin and a healed scar at the location of the clipped fin.
Read more...

Sportfishing rules adopted

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission tightened conservation guidelines for Columbia River sturgeon and approved a new two-year package of sportfishing rules during its Feb. 4-6 meeting in Olympia. Read More. . .

Fishing Seasons Topic of Public Meeting

OLYMPIA - Anglers, commercial fishers and others interested in Washington state salmon fisheries can get a preview of this year’s salmon returns and proposed fishing seasons during a public meeting here March 2.
Read More. . .

Sportfishing rules under review

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider adopting a new package of sportfishing rules for 2010-12, as well as updates to the Columbia River sturgeon management policy, during a public meeting Feb. 4-6 in Olympia.
Read More. . .

Public meeting in Kelso on smelt fishing

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has scheduled a public meeting Wednesday, Jan. 6 in Kelso to discuss prospects for smelt fisheries on the Cowlitz River and other tributaries to the Columbia River in 2010. Read More. . .

WDFW accepting grant applications

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will begin accepting grant applications Dec. 1 from individuals and groups seeking financial support for volunteer projects that benefit fish and wildlife.
Read More. . .

Comment now on proposed sportfishing rules

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will accept final public input on new state sportfishing rules proposed for 2010-12 during its Dec. 4-5 meeting in Olympia. The sportfishing rules hearing is scheduled to begin at noon on Saturday, Dec. 5.Read More. . .

Salmon, steelhead "endorsement" required in April 2010

OLYMPIA - Starting April 1, anglers who fish for salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River and its tributaries will be required to purchase a new endorsement that will help maintain and improve fishing opportunities throughout the basin.Read More. . .

Winter issue of Fish & Wildlife Planner available

The Winter 2009 issue of the Fish and Wildlife Planner is now available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hab/fw_planner .   This newsletter addresses issues relevant to fish and wildlife planning and is specifically meant to assist Washington's planning professionals.  Read More. . .

New hatchery & fisheries policy adopted

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission today voted to adopt a new state hatchery and fishery reform policy designed to accelerate recovery of wild salmon and steelhead while also supporting sustainable fisheries.
Read More. . .

WDFW accepting comments through Dec. 1 on 2010-12 sportfishing rule proposals

OLYMPIA - There's still time for people to provide comments to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) on state sportfishing rules proposed for 2010-12. WDFW will accept written comments on the proposals through Dec. 1. The proposed rules include several measures designed to protect fish and shellfish.
Read More. . .

Release Chinook upstream of Blue Creek

Anglers must release adult chinook on the Cowlitz River from Blue Creek upstream to Mill Creek. Read more...

I-5 Boat Inspections Sept. 25

OLYMPIA - As part of an ongoing effort to keep aquatic invasive species out of Washington waters, all northbound vehicles transporting watercraft past the Ridgefield weigh station on Interstate 5 will be required to stop for an inspection Friday, Sept. 25.Read More. . .

Phil Anderson new WDFW director

OLYMPIA - Phil Anderson, who has served as interim director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) for more than nine months, was chosen today as the department's permanent director.
Read More. . .

2-pole fishing option starts 8/15

OLYMPIA - Recreational anglers will soon have the option of using two poles while fishing in most Washington lakes under a new law passed by the state Legislature.

Effective Aug. 15, the two-pole endorsement option will apply to the majority of the 8,000 fishing lakes, ponds and reservoirs in Washington state. Endorsements will be available Aug. 13 from authorized license dealers, listed at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lic/vendors/vendors.htm , or from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/ .

Read more...

WDFW sets new licensing fees

OLYMPIA - Washington fishers and hunters will soon see several changes in recreational license fees, approved by the 2009 Legislature to help maintain state fishing and hunting opportunities.

Those changes, which include a temporary surcharge on fishing and hunting licenses, will help offset a $30 million cutback in state funding for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said Joe Stohr, the department’s deputy director.Read More. . .

Lwr. Columbia hatchery steelhead fishing OK

OLYMPIA - After a delay of nearly a month, the sport fishery for hatchery-reared steelhead on the lower Columbia River will open Friday, June 12 under an agreement reached Wednesday by fishery managers in Washington and Oregon.
Read More. . .

WDFW starts mandatory boat checks

OLYMPIA - Starting Memorial Day weekend, boaters heading to Washington waterways may encounter new mandatory stops by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to check for aquatic invasive species.
Read More. . .

S. Fork Toutle opens for hatchery steelhead

Lower portions of the South Fork Toutle and Green rivers open May 23 to fishing for hatchery steelhead.

Click here to read more.

Comment on hatchery/fishery reform

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will take final public input on a proposed hatchery and fishery reform policy during its June 5-6 meeting in Olympia.
Read More. . .

Lake Scanewa Chinook fishing opens

WDF&W opened Lake Scanewa Chinook fishing today. Here is their rules posting.

Fishing closures protect upriver stocks

OLYMPIA - Fishing is now closed for salmon and steelhead on the Columbia River, but anglers are catching an increasing number of both species on tributaries flowing into the big river from Longview to Yakima.

Those fisheries remain open because they have no measurable impact on wild upriver spring chinook salmon, say state fishery managers, who have recently cut short fisheries on the Columbia and Snake rivers to further protect wild stocks listed under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).Read More. . .

WDF&W cuts staff, services

OLYMPIA - A $21-million reduction in state and other funding over the next two years will require the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to lay off 76 employees and curtail some public services.Read More. . .

Hatchery & fishery reform comments asked

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public input on a proposed policy that would guide modifications to state hatchery operations as well as recreational and commercial fishery management.Read More. . .

Lower Columbia steelhead fishery delayed

OLYMPIA - The lower Columbia River will remain closed to steelhead fishing until further notice to avoid the incidental catch of protected upriver spring chinook salmon, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon announced May 13.Read More. . .

All Lewis River Spring Chinook must be released

Click here for info about the WDFW rule change effective May 11, 2009.

Public invited to propose fisheries' rules changes

OLYMPIA - People with ideas on how to improve the state’s sportfishing rules can submit their proposals to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) through June 1.
Read More. . .

Chehalis River Basin fishing closure

A portion of the Chehalis River Basin is closed to all fishing for the remainder of the winter season.

Read more...

Strong Columbia coho run expected

OLYMPIA - A return of more than one million Columbia River coho salmon - the largest run since 2001 - is expected to brighten fishing prospects this year from the Washington coast to the Upper Columbia River.

Salmon forecasts also show strong coho runs to many of Washington's other coastal rivers this year, a flood of pink salmon to Puget Sound and improved hatchery fall chinook returns to the Columbia River.Read More. . .

Chinook limit reduced on Lewis, Kalama Rivers

Effective March 1, 2009 Lewis and Kalama River anglers may keep only one adult spring chinook as part of their daily salmon limit. Also, boat anglers will be allowed to use electric motors upstream from the Modrow Bridge on the Kalama River.

Click here for more info.

WDFW advises of likely job cuts

OLYMPIA-Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) managers this week are advising more than 100 employees their jobs may be eliminated to meet an expected multi-million-dollar budget shortfall.
Read More. . .

Columbia River Spring Chinook Update

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has released an informational brochure outlining its efforts to reach agreement with Oregon on a joint catch-sharing policy for spring chinook salmon on the lower Columbia River.  Fisheries managers for both states recently set fishing seasons for March and April , but the final allocation of spring chinook between sport and commercial fisheries remains unresolved. 

See the brochure here.

March 3 meeting on 2009 salmon forecast

OLYMPIA - Anglers, commercial fishers and others interested in Washington state salmon fisheries can get a preview of this year's salmon returns and proposed fishing seasons during a public meeting here March 3.Read More. . .

Way cleared to set initial spring Chinook seasons

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is altering its approach in its two-month stalemate with Oregon over allocating spring chinook salmon between sport and commercial fisheries on the Columbia River.Read More. . .

New sportfishing rules proposed

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider adopting a proposed package of sportfishing rule changes for the 2009-10 season during its Feb. 6-7 meeting in Olympia.
Read More. . .

New Washington policy for Columbia Spring Chinook

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife commission today approved a new management policy for Columbia River spring chinook salmon designed to promote conservation of wild fish while providing stability for sport and commercial fisheries.
Read More. . .

Floods damaging some hatcheries

OLYMPIA - Flooding, heavy rainfall and high winds prompted evacuation of staff from one hatchery and have damaged other Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) facilities throughout the state.
Read More. . .

WDF&W Fish and Wildlife Planner

The Winter issue of the Fish and Wildlife Planner is now available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hab/fw_planner/index.htm .   This newsletter addresses issues relevant to fish and wildlife planning and is specifically meant to assist Washington's planning professionals. 
 Read More. . .

Phil Anderson named interim WDF&W director

OLYMPIA-In a special meeting today, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to accept the resignation of Jeffrey P. Koenings, Ph.D., from his position as director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), effective Dec. 11, and appointed Phil Anderson as interim department director.
Read More. . .

WDF&W Director Koenings Resigns

OLYMPIA- After a decade of leadership in fostering scientific and collaborative management of state natural resources, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director Jeff Koenings, Ph.D., has announced his resignation, effective Dec. 11.
Read More. . .

Project Grants Available

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will begin accepting grant applications Dec. 1 from individuals and groups seeking financial support for volunteer projects that benefit fish and wildlife.
Read More. . .

Dec. 9 workshop about how salmon seasons are set

An additional public workshop has been scheduled Dec. 9 to discuss how annual seasons are set for recreational salmon fisheries, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
Read More. . .

Non-buoyant lure restriction/night closure extended on Cowlitz River

Click Here for WDF&W rule extension.

WDFW seeks nominations for advisory group

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking nominations through Dec. 1 for membership on the Steelhead/Cutthroat Policy Advisory Group.
Read More. . .

Cowlitz River opens Sunday for chinook salmon fishing

VANCOUVER, Wash. - Starting Sunday (Sept. 14), anglers fishing the lower Cowlitz River may keep one adult chinook salmon as part of their daily catch limit.
Read More. . .

10-year Agreement Forged for Columbia River Salmon Harvest

Portland, Oregon - A new 10-year agreement guiding salmon harvest and production on the Columbia River, approved yesterday by a federal judge, provides a long-term framework for rebuilding weak fish populations and conducting sustainable fisheries, state and tribal leaders said today.
Read More. . .

Public meetings outline Columbia River hatchery changes

OLYMPIA - Modifications to salmon and steelhead hatchery operations on the lower Columbia River will be discussed at four public meetings this month in southwest Washington. 
Read More. . .

Chinook fishery reopens on Cowlitz, Kalama & Lewis rivers

Starting today (June 25), anglers may once again keep hatchery-reared chinook salmon they catch while fishing on the Cowlitz, Kalama, and Lewis rivers in southwest Washington.
Read More. . .

Fishing seasons for summer chinook, steelhead

VANCOUVER, Wash. - Anglers will once again have a chance to catch chinook salmon and hatchery steelhead on large areas of the Columbia River, some of which have been closed to fishing for both species for the past month.

Starting Monday (June 16), the sport fishery for summer chinook salmon will open from Bonneville Dam to Priest Rapids Dam and run through July 31.  Below Bonneville Dam, anglers can retain adult chinook salmon June 21-28.

Read More. . .

Ocean salmon fishery opens June 1

The sport fishery for salmon begins June 1 off the southern coast of Washington, where the first anglers of the season will cast off from Westport and Ilwaco a full month earlier than usual.
Read More. . .

Spring chinook fishing to close Monday April 21

OLYMPIA - After weeks of exceptional salmon fishing, fishery managers for Washington and Oregon agreed to close the spring chinook fishery on the lower Columbia River beginning Monday (April 21), when anglers are expected to reach their pre-season catch target.
Read More. . .

Chehalis River closed for spring chinook fishery

April 15 WDF&W emergency rule. Read more...

Increased salmon fishing restrictions reflect conservation

SEATAC - With low returns of coho and wild chinook salmon expected back to several rivers in Washington, salmon fisheries approved today include increased restrictions this year for anglers in the ocean, Puget Sound, and the Columbia River.
Read More. . .

WDFW drawing offers lifetime hunting and fishing privileges

A small investment now could earn a lifetime of savings for the lucky winners of a unique drawing offered by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

The drawings, which are held four times a year, reward winners with a lifetime of hunting and fishing privileges in Washington state. The cost to enter is $6.50 for Washington residents and $12.50 for non-residents. Those who win will never have to buy another license to hunt or fish in the state. 
Read More. . .

Outlook for ocean salmon fisheries reflects poor coho forecasts

SACRAMENTO - Washington salmon fishers face a lean fishing season in the ocean this year following the lowest Columbia River coho forecast in a decade, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.

Read More. . .

Anglers sought to catch steelhead for genetics study in Cowlitz Basin

Anglers are invited to put their skills to work in a steelhead-genetics study in the Cowlitz River Basin.
Read More. . .

Commission approves state plan to rebuild wild steelhead

A new steelhead management plan designed to protect and rebuild wild stocks throughout the state won approval by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission at a public meeting here March 8.
Read More. . .

Columbia spring chinook fishery opens March 16

The popular spring chinook salmon fishery opens Sunday, March 16, on portions of the Columbia River with high expectations and several significant changes from previous years.
Read More. . .

Low returns of coho, wild chinook

OLYMPIA - Hatchery chinook salmon returns to the Columbia River and portions of Puget Sound are expected to be up from last year, but low returns of coho and wild chinook could put a damper on upcoming salmon fisheries around the state.
Read More. . .

Focus of this year’s spring chinook fishery will shift

OLYMPIA - Columbia River anglers will find more opportunities to catch spring chinook salmon higher upstream this year under fishing seasons adopted today by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon.
Read More. . .

New spring chinook guidelines adopted for Columbia

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission today approved new allocation guidelines for this year's spring chinook salmon season on the lower Columbia River that favor recreational fisheries.
Read More. . .

Report on Columbia River chinook allocations hearing

VANCOUVER, Wash. - Recreational and commercial fishers testified for more than three-and-a-half hours before the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission here Jan. 12 on ways to apportion the annual catch of Columbia River chinook salmon.
Previous allocation guidelines expired Dec. 31, raising the possibility that catch ratios governing sport and commercial chinook fisheries on the Columbia River could change.
Read More. . .

Area opens for wheelchair anglers on Cowlitz River

Action: Open a special wheelchair bound angler fishery.

Effective dates:
July 07, 2007 until further notice.

Species affected:
All species which are legal to retain in lower Cowlitz River.

Location:
At the mouth of the new hatchery outfall at the Cowlitz Trout hatchery within the 100" radius of the outfall within the special wheelchair accessible site which has been developed. (This area is currently closed by emergency rule to all citizen fishing).

Reasons for action: Wheelchair bound anglers have limited options for sport fishing opportunity. This site, developed by Tacoma Power, will provide much needed access.

Other information:
Fishers and designated harvesters must be present and participating in the fishery. Regulations will be posted on site.

Information contact: Wolf Dammers 696-6211