The following is a brief summary of emergency and permanent sport fishing regulations for smelt, salmon, steelhead, sturgeon and shad on the mainstem Columbia River and its tributaries plus razor clam digging at Long Beach. For additional permanent rules, see the 2015-16 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.
Long Beach remains closed to razor clam digging. Tests there indicate domoic acid levels still exceed the amount deemed safe under state public health standards.
Columbia River Mainstem
Mainstem Columbia from Buoy 10 upstream to the I-5 Bridge (except Lewis River sanctuary) – Open to fishing for hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead through April 6. The salmonid daily limit is 6 fish. Up to 2 may be hatchery steelhead or 1 hatchery adult Chinook and 1 hatchery steelhead.
Lewis River sanctuary: No angling is allowed. This closed area is defined as a line from a marker on the lower end of Bachelor Island through USCG buoy Red #4 to the Oregon shore, downstream to a line from the lower (north) end of Sauvie Island across the Columbia River to the downstream range marker (0.7 miles downstream of the Lewis River) and continuing along the wing jetty to the Washington shore.
Mainstem Columbia from the I-5 Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam – Through April 6, open to fishing for hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead. No boats (bank only) from Beacon Rock upstream. The salmonid daily limit is 6 fish. Up to 2 may be hatchery steelhead or 1 hatchery adult Chinook and 1 hatchery steelhead.
Mainstem Columbia from Bonneville Dam upstream to Washington/Oregon Border – Through May 5, open to fishing for hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead. Bank fishing only using hand-casted lines (no floating device to set lines) from Bonneville Dam to Tower Island power lines located about 6 miles below The Dalles Dam. The salmonid daily limit is 6 fish. Up to 2 may be hatchery steelhead or 1 hatchery adult Chinook and 1 hatchery steelhead.
Mainstem Columbia from Buoy 10 upstream to the Hwy. 395 Bridge – Through May 15, the mainstem Columbia River is open for retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead ONLY during days and in areas open for retention of adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook.
Mainstem Columbia from The Dalles Dam upstream to McNary Dam – When open for spring Chinook through June 15, anglers may possess up to 4 hatchery 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, the salmonid daily limit in Deep River is the same as mainstem Columbia River when the mainstem Columbia below Bonneville Dam is open for hatchery Chinook retention. On days when the mainstem Columbia River is closed to Chinook retention, permanent salmonid daily limits for Deep River apply.
Lower Cowlitz and Kalama rivers – The hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho daily limit is 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adults.
Lewis River (including North Fork) – Until further notice, closed to fishing for spring Chinook. Fishing for hatchery steelhead remains open.
Klickitat River from mouth (Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge) to upstream Fisher Hill Bridge – Effective April 1 through May 31, the salmon and steelhead daily limit will be 2 fish of which no more than 1 may be a hatchery Chinook. Will be open to fishing on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays only.
The daily white sturgeon limit is 1 fish and the annual limit is 2 fish even if the angler holds both a Washington and Oregon license.
Lower Columbia mainstem and its tributaries below Bonneville Dam – Catch-and-release fishing only.
Bonneville Dam upstream to John Day Dam including adjacent tributaries – Effective Saturday March 25, the retention of sturgeon is prohibited in the mainstem Columbia River from Bonneville Dam upstream to John Day Dam, including adjacent tributaries. Catch and release remains open.
John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam including adjacent tributaries – Until further notice, retention fishing for sturgeon is open seven days a week until harvest guidelines are reached. The daily limit is one sturgeon per person. Minimum size is 43 inches fork length; maximum size 54 inches fork length
Mainstem Columbia from Buoy 10 upstream to Bonneville Dam – Through May 15, the mainstem Columbia River is open for retention of shad ONLY during days and in areas open for retention of adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook.
State fishing and hunting licenses are available for the new season (begins April 1, 2016) 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.
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. Youth and adult anglers must have a fishing license in addition to the two pole endorsement.
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.