The following is a brief summary of emergency and permanent sport fishing regulations for the mainstem Columbia River and its tributaries plus possible upcoming razor clam seasons.
Complete information contained in this hotline message can be found in the Fishing in Washington pamphlet.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
State fishery managers have approved an evening razor-clam dig on ocean beaches starting Saturday, December 14 and running for five days. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the dig after marine toxin tests showed the clams on those beaches are safe to eat.
Digging is not allowed at any beach before noon. Under state law, diggers can take 15 razor clams per day and are required to keep the first 15 they dig. Each digger's clams must be kept in a separate container.
The upcoming dig is scheduled on the following dates, beaches, and low tides:
- Dec.14,Saturday, 4:45 pm; -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, and Mocrocks
- Dec.15, Sunday, 5:26 pm; -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbor, and Mocrocks
- Dec.16, Monday, 6:03 pm; -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, and Mocrocks
- Dec. 17, Tuesday, 6:38 pm; -0.4 feet; Twin Harbors
- Dec. 18, Wednesday, 7:12 pm; -0.3 feet; Twin Harbors
WDFW has also tentatively scheduled razor clam digs for a three-day New Year’s Eve dig at four coastal razor clam beaches. Final word on those digs will be announced after marine-toxin test results confirm clams are safe to eat prior to each dig.
Dates, beaches, and evening low tides for the proposed end-of-the-year digs are as follows:
- Dec.29,Sunday, 4:05 pm; -0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, and Mocrocks
- Dec. 30,Monday, 4:55 pm; -0.9 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, and Mocrocks
- Dec. 31, Tuesday, 5:42 pm; -1.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, and Mocrocks
Mainstem Columbia River and most Washington tributaries – Barbless hooks are required to fish for salmon and steelhead. Check the new 2013-2014 Washington Sport Fishing Rules for more information.
Rocky Point/Tongue Point line upstream to the Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco – Through December 31, each angler aboard a vessel may continue to deploy angling gear until the daily limit of salmon/steelhead for all licensed anglers and juveniles aboard has been achieved.
Buoy 10 line upstream to the Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco – Through December 31, the daily limit is 6 salmonids of which no more than 2 may be adult salmon or hatchery steelhead or one of each. Any Chinook, adipose fin clipped or not, may be retained. Release all salmon other than Chinook and coho. Release wild coho from Buoy 10 upstream to the Hood River Bridge.
Under permanent rules, Beacon Rock to Bonneville Dam is closed to fishing for salmon through the end of the year.
Mainstem Lewis from mouth to mouth of East Fork – Through December 31, the salmon daily limit is 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adult Chinook. Any Chinook, adipose fin clipped or not, may be retained. Release all salmon other than Chinook and hatchery coho.
North Fork Lewis from mouth to Colvin Creek – Through December 31, the salmon daily limit is 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adult Chinook. Any Chinook, adipose fin clipped or not, may be retained. Release all salmon other than Chinook and hatchery coho.
North Fork Lewis from Colvin Creek to overhead powerline below Merwin Dam – Closed to all fishing through December 15. Reopens December 16 for salmon and hatchery steelhead.
Drano Lake – Through December 31, the salmon daily limit is six fish. Up to 4 may be adult salmon of which no more than 2 may be coho. Any salmon, adipose fin clipped or not, may be retained. Under existing permanent rules, anglers may fish with two poles with a Two Pole Endorsement through the end of the year. In addition, the anti-snagging rule will remain in effect.
Annual limit – The annual catch limit for white sturgeon is two fish per year in Washington’s waters. Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, retention of white sturgeon will not be allowed by anglers fishing in the lower Columbia River below Bonneville Dam, the Washington coast, and Puget Sound and their tributaries. Catch-and-release fishing for the species will be allowed in those areas.
Mainstem Columbia and its tributaries from Buoy 10 upstream to Bonneville Dam and all adjacent Washington tributaries – Until further notice, catch-and-release fishing is permitted; all sturgeon must be released. The previously adopted white sturgeon retention season scheduled in the area from Wauna powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam through December 31 has been rescinded.
Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam including adjoining tributaries – Catch-and-release fishing is permitted through the end of the year; all sturgeon must be released.
EULACHON (COLUMBIA RIVER) SMELT
CLOSED STATEWIDE (including all marine and freshwater areas).
State fishing and hunting licenses are available for the new season (begins April 1, 2013) 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.
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/.