Sportfishing Rule Changes for 2015-2016

WDFW seeks comments, schedules meetings
on proposed Columbia River Basin fishing rules

State fisheries managers are seeking public comments on proposed sportfishing rules they’re recommending for the Columbia River Basin.

The public will have more time to review proposed changes to fishing rules for the Columbia River Basin under an extended comment period announced today by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Under the new timeline, WDFW will accept written comments through Dec. 1st on the proposed rules – about a month longer than previously announced.

In addition, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has postponed a public hearing on the proposals until its Dec. 12-13 meeting in Olympia. Written testimony can also be submitted during that time.

The commission, which sets policy for WDFW, is scheduled to take action on the proposed rule changes in a January meeting.

Fisheries managers have recommended 32 of the proposals submitted by the public in May move forward for additional review.

WDFW is recommending proposals that would:  

  • Close all rivers, streams and beaver ponds in the Columbia River Basin to fishing unless otherwise stated in the rules pamphlet, and implement additional conservation measures to provide greater protection for juvenile anadromous fish.
  • Change open dates for most year-round lakes to March 1 through Oct. 31 for lakes in Asotin, Franklin, Kittitas, Yakima and Walla Walla counties.
  • Eliminate the retention of sturgeon on the Snake River and its tributaries. Catch-and-release sturgeon fishing would be maintained.
  • Adjust size and daily catch limits for kokanee in Cle Elum Lake, while removing daily limits for eastern brook, brown and lake trout.
Timeline for 2015-2016 Sport Rule Adoption Process

May 1, 2014

Solicit proposals online for waters in the Columbia River Basin through an online process.

May 30

Deadline for submitting proposals.


Proposals placed on website for public

Late August
through September

Regional meetings to discuss proposals. Locations and dates will be posted in early August.

September 26-27

Washington State Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting: Staff will brief the commission on proposed regulation changes.

November 5

CR-102 filed with the Code Reviser opening public comments on the proposed rule amendments.

December 1

Deadline for the public to submit written comments on proposed sport rule changes

December 12-13

Washington State Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting: Public testimony will be received for sport proposals

January 2015

Washington State Fish and Wildlife Commission takes action on sport rule proposals

July 1

Rules take effect

Current 2014-15
Sportfishing Rules

2014-2015 Sportfishing Regulation Pamphlet

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Email address:

WDFW Fish Program
600 Capitol Way N
Olympia, WA 98501-1091