Southwest Washington (Region 5) Fishing Hotline

The following is a brief summary of emergency and permanent sport fishing regulations for salmon and steelhead on the mainstem Columbia River and its tributaries plus fall razor clam seasons on the Washington coast.

Complete information contained in this hotline message can be found in the Fishing in Washington pamphlet.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Anglers should be aware the permanent regulations in the Fishing in Washington pamphlet remain in effect through June 30. Newly adopted permanent regulations will take effect July 1.

RAZOR CLAMS

Razor clam diggers can return to coastal beaches starting Friday April 17.  The digs were approved after marine toxin tests showed the clams on those beaches are safe to eat. All of the digs are scheduled on morning tides. No digging will be allowed on any beach after noon.

The upcoming digs are scheduled on the following dates, beaches, and low tides:

  • April 17, Friday, 6:03 a.m.; -0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • April 18, Saturday, 6:52 a.m.; -0.9 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • April 19, Sunday, 7:39 a.m.; -1.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • April 20, Monday, 8:25 a.m.; -1.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • April 21, Tuesday, 9:11 a.m.; -1.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • April 22, Wednesday, 9:57 a.m.; -0.9 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • April 23, Thursday, 10:46 a.m.; -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • April 24, Friday, 11:38 a.m.; 0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors

WDFW has also proposed additional digs in May, pending the results of future marine toxin tests. Tentative dates for those digs are:

  • May 2, Saturday, 6:23 a.m., 0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • May 3, Sunday, 6:59 a.m., -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors

  • May 7, Thursday, 9:30 a.m., -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • May 8, Friday, 10:14 a.m., -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • May 9, Saturday, 11:03 a.m., -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • May 10, Sunday, 11:58 a.m., -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors

  • May 15, Friday, 4:58 a.m., -0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • May 16, Saturday, 5:50 a.m., -0.9 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • May 17, Sunday, 6:38 a.m., -1.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors

Under state law, diggers are required to keep the first 15 clams they dig. Each digger's clams must be kept in a separate container.

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2015-16 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW's website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.

State wildlife managers are urging clam diggers to avoid disturbing snowy plovers and streaked horned larks. Both species nest in the soft, dry sand at Leadbetter Point on the Long Beach Peninsula and on a section of Twin Harbors beach. To protect these birds, the department asks that clam diggers avoid the dunes and areas of the beach with soft, dry sand. When driving to a clam-digging area, diggers should enter the beach only at designated access points and stay on the hard-packed sand near or below the high tide line.

STURGEON

Bonneville Dam to The Dalles Dam including adjoining tributaries Currently closed for sturgeon retention.  Catch-and-release angling is allowed.

2015 Bonneville Pool Recreational White Sturgeon Summer Fishery
Season: Friday June 19 through Sunday June 21
Friday June 26 through Sunday June 28
Friday July 3 through Sunday July 5
Allowable Catch: White sturgeon between 38-inches and 54-inches fork length.
Sanctuary: Angling for sturgeon prohibited during May through July from The Dalles Dam downstream 1.8 miles to a line from the east (upstream) dock at the Port of The Dalles boat ramp straight across to a marker on the Washington shore.

The Dalles Dam to McNary Dam including adjoining tributaries Until respective harvest guidelines for each reservoir are reached, the daily limit is 1 fish min. size 43” fork length and max. size 54” fork length.

 SALMON/STEELHEAD

Mainstem Columbia from Buoy 10 upstream to the Bonneville Dam  – Open to fishing for hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead on Thursday April 16. No boats (bank only) from Beacon Rock upstream. The salmonid limit is 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adults and only 1 may be an adult Chinook.  Release wild Chinook and wild steelhead.

Through May 15, the mainstem Columbia River from Buoy 10 upstream to the Washington/Oregon state line will be open for retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead and shad ONLY during days and in areas open for retention of adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook.

Bonneville Dam to Washington/Oregon Border – Through May 6, open to fishing for hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead.  Bank fishing only from Bonneville Dam to Tower Island power lines located about 6 miles below The Dalles Dam.  The salmonid limit is 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adults and only 1 may be an adult Chinook. Release wild Chinook and wild steelhead.

Through June 15, when the mainstem Columbia River from Bonneville Dam upstream to the Tower Island power lines (located approximately 6 miles below The Dalles Dam) is open to fishing from the Washington bank for hatchery spring Chinook, only hand-casted lines may be used. It is unlawful to use a floating device to set lines for salmon and steelhead.

Through June 15, when the mainstem Columbia River from The Dalles Dam upstream to the Washington/Oregon state line is open to fishing for hatchery spring Chinook, the possession limit allows up to four adult Chinook salmon in fresh form.  Anglers aboard a boat may only possess one daily limit of salmon in fresh form.

Deep River – Through June 15, on days when the mainstem Columbia River recreational fishery below Bonneville Dam is open to retention of Chinook, the salmonid daily limit in Deep River will be the same as mainstem Columbia River daily limits.  On days when the mainstem Columbia River fishery is closed to Chinook retention, the permanent salmonid daily limit regulations for Deep River apply. 

Cowlitz River from mouth to Mayfield Dam – Anglers may retain up to 6 hatchery Chinook or hatchery coho of which no more than 2 may be adults.  Release wild Chinook and wild coho.

Until further notice, the hatchery steelhead daily limit is 3 fish. Release wild steelhead.

As with the mainstem Columbia and its tributaries, barbless hooks are required on the Cowlitz.

Kalama River from the mouth to 1,000 feet below the upper salmon hatchery – Open for hatchery spring Chinook through April 30.  Daily limit is 6 fish of which no more than 1 may be an adult. Release wild Chinook.

Until further notice, the hatchery steelhead daily limit is 3 fish. Release wild steelhead.

Lewis River (including North Fork) – Until further notice, closed to fishing for spring Chinook. Fishing for hatchery steelhead remains open. 

North Fork Lewis River from Johnson Creek (downstream from the salmon hatchery) upstream to Merwin Dam Will be closed to all fishing during the month of May.


State fishing and hunting licenses:

2015 Licenses available now!

State fishing and hunting licenses are available for the new season (begins April 1, 2015) by phone (866-246-9453), online https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/), and from licensing dealers around the state (http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/). A Vehicle Access Pass to lands owned by WDFW is free with most types of fishing and hunting licenses.

Two-Pole Endorsement:
This endorsement allows you to use two fishing poles on most freshwater lakes, ponds, a few sections of certain rivers, and a few marine areas. You must have a fishing license in addition to the two pole endorsement.

Discover Pass:
At $35, an annual pass provides access to nearly seven million acres of state-managed recreation lands, including state parks, water-access points, heritage sites, wildlife and natural areas, trails and trailheads.

New this year is the option to choose the activation date for an annual Discover Pass purchased online or from an authorized WILD licensing dealer. Those who buy an annual Discover Pass through the WILD system can now activate the pass immediately or anytime within one year of the purchase date. On-line gift buyers can select a future start date so long as they allow 10 days to receive their Discover Pass by mail.

For details on purchasing a Discover Pass, see http://discoverpass.wa.gov/