Sportfishing Rule Changes for 2016-2017

Public can propose changes
to freshwater Puget Sound and Coast fisheries

OLYMPIA – People with ideas about how to improve state sportfishing rules for freshwater areas of the Puget Sound and Washington coast can submit their proposals to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) through March 31.

Rule proposals no longer
accepted after March 31, 2015

State fish managers will consider proposed rules submitted by the public for any fish species except salmon, so long as they apply specifically to the freshwater areas of the Puget Sound and coast, including their rivers, streams or lakes.

This year’s focus on specific geographic areas – freshwaters of Puget Sound and the coast – marks the second year that WDFW has diverted from the past practice of considering fishing rules proposed for waters anywhere in the state each year.

“We expect to receive several proposals on freshwater fisheries in Puget Sound and the coast this year,” said Craig Burley, WDFW fish program manager. “Next year, we’ll look at proposals for saltwater fisheries in those same areas.”  

Sportfishing rule changes developed through this process will be available for public review and comment in July.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, a citizen panel that sets policy for WDFW, is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the proposed rule changes in November. The commission, which has the final word on which fishing rules are adopted, is expected to take final action on the 2016-17 sportfishing rule changes at a public meeting in December.

Timeline for 2016-2017 Sport Rule Adoption Process

End of February through March

Solicit proposals online for freshwaters of the Puget Sound and Coast through an online process.

March 31

Deadline for submitting proposals.

April through Mid-July

Agency review of proposals.

July through September

Regional meetings with public to discuss proposals.

Mid-July through October

Proposals placed on website for public

September 18-19

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

End of October

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

November 13-14

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

December 11-12

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

July 1, 2016

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