Southwest Washington (Region 5) Fishing Hotline

The following is a brief summary of emergency and permanent sport fishing regulations for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, shad, bass, walleye, and catfish on the mainstem Columbia River and its tributaries plus adopted and proposed razor clam seasons on the Washington coast.   For additional permanent rules, see the 2015-16 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet. 

Thursday September 22, 2016

RAZOR CLAMS

Rising marine toxin levels have prompted the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to delay upcoming razor clam digs at Long Beach and to review openings at other ocean beaches. The department continues to monitor toxin levels to determine whether razor clam digging can proceed at Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks beaches.

WDFW previously announced a tentative schedule of digs for Oct. 14 through Dec. 31 at the four ocean beaches. However, digs at Long Beach are on hold until tests indicate toxin levels have dropped and the clams are safe to eat

Test results on razor clams dug recently at Long Beach indicate levels of domoic acid exceed the threshold (20 parts per million) set by state public health officials. Domoic acid, a natural toxin produced by certain types of marine algae, can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities. Toxin levels also have increased over the past week at Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks but remain below the threshold set by public health officials.

The department will provide updates in the upcoming weeks on planned openings on WDFW's razor clam webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html.

SALMON/STEELHEAD

Columbia River mainstem:

North Jetty – Open 7 days per week when Marine Area 1 or Buoy 10 areas are open for salmon.  The daily limit and minimum size restrictions follow the most liberal regulations of either of these areas. Single point barbless hooks required for salmon and steelhead. A saltwater or combination license is required to fish from the North Jetty.   

From Buoy 10 upstream to the Hwy. 395 Br. at Pasco – Through December 31, only one hatchery steelhead may be kept per day.

From Buoy 10 upstream to the Oregon/Washington border – Through December 31, each angler aboard a vessel may deploy recreational salmon/steelhead gear until the daily salmonid limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. 

From the Buoy 10 line upstream to the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line – Open for adipose or left ventral fin clipped Chinook through September 30.  Anglers have a two salmonid daily limit, only one of which may be a Chinook and/or hatchery steelhead.  Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho.  Chinook minimum length is 24 inches; coho 16 inches.  Barbless hooks required. 

From the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line upstream to the Warrior Rock line – Through September 30, Chinook must have an adipose or left ventral fin clip to be retained.  Salmonid daily limit is 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adults but only 1 may be a hatchery Chinook and/or hatchery steelhead.  Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho.  Barbless hooks required

From the Warrior Rock light line upstream to McNary Dam – Through December 31, the salmonid daily limit is 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adults but only one may be a hatchery steelhead. Any Chinook (marked or unmarked) may be retained.  Wild coho must be released from the Hood River Bridge downstream.  Barbless hooks required. 

Effective November 1 through December 31, closed to fishing for salmon and steelhead from Beacon Rock upstream to the dam. 

From Bonneville Dam upstream to McNary Dam – Anti-snagging rule is in effect for salmon and steelhead through mid-October.  When the anti-snagging rule is in effect, fish must be hooked inside the mouth to be retained.  From Bonneville Dam to The Dalles Dam, night closure is in effect. 

Columbia River Tributaries

Tilton River – Until further notice, closed to all fishing from posted markers 25 feet downstream to 25 feet upstream of the fish release site ramp at Gus Backstrom Park.

Grays and Elochoman river – The salmon daily limit is 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adults. Only hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho may be retained.  Barbless hooks required.

Night closure, anti-snagging rule, and stationary gear restriction are in effect. When the anti-snagging rule is in effect, only fish hooked inside the mouth may be retained. On the Grays River (including East, West, and South forks), all Chinook must be adipose and/or ventral fin clipped to be retained. 

Green and Toutle (including North and South Fork) river – Through November 30, the salmon daily limit is 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adults. Only hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho may be retained. Barbless hooks required.

Cowlitz River from the boundary markers at the mouth upstream to 400 feet or posted markers below the barrier dam The salmon daily limit is 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adults. Only hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho may be retained. Barbless hooks required for salmon, steelhead, and cutthroats.

Kalama River from boundary markers at the mouth upstream to 1,000 feet below the upper salmon hatchery fishway The salmon daily limit is 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adults.  Only hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho may be retained. Barbless hooks required.

Mainstem Lewis River (including North Fork up to the overhead powerlines below Merwin Dam) –Through December 31, the salmon daily limit is 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adults. Release all salmon except Chinook and hatchery coho.  Through September 23, all Chinook must be adipose fin clipped to be retained.  Beginning September 24, wild Chinook may be kept.  Barbless hooks required.

Washougal River from mouth to Salmon Falls Bridge – Through December 31, the salmon daily limit is 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adults.  Only hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho may be retained. Barbless hooks required. 

Wind River from mouth (boundary line/ markers) upstream to 400 feet below Shipherd Falls – Through October 31, the salmonid daily is 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adult salmon or hatchery steelhead or one of each. Release wild coho. Release wild Chinook from the Hwy. 14 Bridge upstream. Release all other salmon. Barbless hooks required.

Drano Lake – Through December 31, the salmonid daily limit is 6 fish of which no more than 3 adults may be retained of which only 2 may be hatchery steelhead. Any Chinook or coho, adipose fin clipped or not, may be retained.

Anti-snagging rule is in effect. When the anti-snagging rule is in effect, only fish hooked inside the mouth may be retained. Barbless hooks required through September 30.

Effective October 1, anglers may fish for SALMON and STEELHEAD with two poles with a Two-Pole Endorsement and each angler aboard a vessel may deploy SALMON and STEELHEAD angling gear until the daily limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. Barbed hooks will be allowed October 1 through December 31.

The lake will be closed to all fishing from 6 pm Tuesdays to 6 pm Wednesdays in October.

White Salmon River from the mouth (Burlington-Northern Railroad Bridge) upstream to the county road bridge below the location of the former powerhouse – Through December 31, the salmonid daily is 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adult hatchery salmon or hatchery steelhead or one of each. For salmon, only hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho may be retained.

White Salmon River from the county road bridge upstream to 400 feet below Big Brother Falls – Through December 31, the salmonid daily is 6 fish of which no more than 3 may be hatchery salmon or hatchery steelhead of which only 2 may be salmon. For salmon, only hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho may be retained.  Selective gear rule is in effect. 

Klickitat River from the mouth (Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge) upstream to the Fisher Hill Bridge – Through January 31, the salmon daily limit is 6 fish. Up to 3 adults may be retained of which only 2 may be coho.  Any Chinook or coho, adipose fin clipped or not, may be retained. Barbless hooks are not required in this section of the river.

Klickitat River from 400 feet upstream from #5 upstream to boundary markers below the Klickitat Salmon Hatchery – Through December 31, the salmon daily limit is 6 fish. Up to 3 adults may be retained of which only 2 may be coho.  Any Chinook or coho, adipose fin clipped or not, may be retained.  Barbless hooks required. 

STURGEON

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam upstream to Priest Rapids and all tributaries – Closed for sturgeon retention.  Catch-and-release angling is allowed.


State fishing and hunting licenses:

2016 Licenses available now!

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.

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.

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/