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 razor clam seasons on the Washington coast For additional permanent rules, see the 2015-16 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.
Mainstem Columbia from the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line upstream to Bonneville Dam (no boats from Beacon Rock upstream to Bonneville Dam) – From May 20-22, open to fishing for hatchery spring Chinook and hatchery steelhead. 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 the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line upstream to the I-5 Bridge – Effective May 23 through June 15, will be open to fishing for hatchery steelhead and hatchery Chinook jacks. Release adult Chinook and sockeye.
Mainstem Columbia from I-5 Bridge upstream to the Hwy. 395 Bridge in Pasco – Effective May 23 through June 15, will be closed to fishing for salmon and steelhead.
Lower Cowlitz River - The hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho daily limit is 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adults.
Anglers should note the south side of the river from Mill Creek to the Barrier Dam is closed to all fishing through June 15 per permanent regulations.
Upper Cowlitz River from the Skate Creek (Franklin) Bridge downstream 50 feet – Until further notice, closed to all angling.
Kalama River from the boundary markers at the mouth upstream to 1,000 feet below the upper salmon hatchery – Until further notice, the hatchery Chinook daily is 6 fish of which 2 may be adults.
Lewis River including North Fork upstream to Johnson Creek (located downstream from the salmon hatchery) – Until further notice, closed to fishing for salmon. Fishing for hatchery steelhead remains open.
Lewis River (North Fork) from Johnson Creek upstream to Merwin Dam - Closed to all fishing during the month of May.
Wind River (mouth to Hwy. 14 Bridge) and Drano Lake - Through June 30, barbed hooks may be used and each angler aboard a vessel may deploy SALMON/STEELHEAD angling gear until the daily SALMON/STEELHEAD limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. In addition, anglers with a Two-Pole Endorsement may fish for salmon and steelhead with two poles during the same period.
Wind River from the Hwy. 14 Bridge upstream – The anti-snagging rule is in effect. When the anti-snagging rule is in effect, only fish hooked inside the mouth may be retained.
Wind River from 100 feet above Shipherd Falls upstream to boundary markers approximately 800 yards downstream from Carson National Fish Hatchery (except closed 400 feet below to 100 feet above the Coffer Dam) –Through June 30, the salmon and steelhead daily limit is a total of 2 Chinook or hatchery steelhead or one of each. Unmarked chinook may be retained in this section of the Wind. Night closure and anti-snagging rule is in effect. Only fish hooked inside the mouth may be retained.
Drano Lake – Through June 30, the hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead daily limit is 4 fish of which no more than 2 may be steelhead. Closed to all fishing on Wednesdays through June.
Klickitat River from mouth (Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge) upstream to the Fisher Hill Bridge – Through May 30, is open to fishing on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays only. The hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead daily limit is a total of 2 fish.
Effective June 1, on the lower and upper Klickitat the salmon daily limit will be 6 hatchery Chinook of which no more than two may be adults. Wild chinook must be released.
Mainstem Columbia - Fishing for shad is open. Boats may be used to fish for shad from Beacon Rock upstream to the boat angling deadline below Bonneville Dam.
Clam diggers have one last chance to dig razor clams this season during a final opening set to begin May 20.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved a last round of digs at Copalis and Mocrocks after marine toxin tests showed the clams on those beaches are safe to eat. No digging will be allowed at either beach after noon.
All other ocean beaches remain closed to digging.
The upcoming dig is scheduled on the following dates, beaches, and low tides:
- May 20, Friday, 6:37 a.m.; -0.3 feet; Mocrocks, Copalis
- May 21, Saturday, 7:12 a.m.; -0.6 feet; Mocrocks, Copalis
- May 22, Sunday, 7:47 a.m.; -0.8 feet; Mocrocks
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 2016-17 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.
BASS, WALLEYE, and CHANNEL CATFISH
Anglers can fish for bass, walleye, and channel catfish without daily catch or size limits from the mouth of the Columbia River 545 miles upstream to Chief Joseph Dam and nearly two-dozen adjacent tributaries.
Tributaries affected – all or in part when open – by that action include Camas Slough, Chinook River, Deep River, Grays River, Skamokawa Creek, Elochoman River, Mill Creek (Cowlitz Co.), Abernathy Creek, Germany Creek, Coal Creek, Fall Creek, Cowlitz River, Kalama River, Lewis River, Salmon Creek (Clark Co.), Washougal River, Hamilton Creek, Rock Creek (Skamania Co.), Wind River, Drano Lake, White Salmon River, Klickitat River, and Rock Creek (Klickitat Co.).
Boundaries for the lower portion of the streams affected by the rule change are described on WDFW's website at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/.
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.
Fishing for sturgeon is closed in the spawning sanctuary from Bonneville Dam downstream 9 miles to a line crossing the Columbia River from navigation Marker 82 on the Oregon shore westerly to the boundary marker on the Washington shore upstream of Fir Point through Aug. 31.
Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam including adjacent tributaries – Catch-and-release fishing only except for Saturday June 18 and Friday July 1. On those 2 days, the daily limit is one white sturgeon per person. Minimum size is 38 inches fork length; maximum size is 54 inches fork length.
Fishing for sturgeon is closed in the spawning sanctuary between 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 through July 31.
The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam including adjacent tributaries– Catch-and release only. Fishing for sturgeon is closed in the spawning sanctuary from John Day Dam downstream 2.4 miles to the west end of the grain silo at Rufus Oregon through July 31.
John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam including adjacent tributaries - Retention fishing for sturgeon is open seven days a week until harvest guidelines are reached. The daily limit is one white sturgeon per person. Minimum size is 43 inches fork length; maximum size is 54 inches fork length.
Fishing for sturgeon is closed in the spawning sanctuary from McNary Dam downstream 1.5 miles to the Hwy. 82 (Hwy. 395) Bridge through July 31.
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. 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.
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/