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.

As part of that effort, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has scheduled five meetings through September to discuss the proposed rules with the public.

The rules are specific to the mainstem Columbia River, its tributaries or lakes within the basin. The proposals cover fishing seasons, daily limits and other rules for the Columbia River Basin.

To review and comment on the proposed rules, use the link above. Comments will be accepted through Oct. 16.

Fisheries managers have recommended 32 of the proposals submitted by the public in May move forward for additional review. The webpage has more information about the proposals as well as those not recommended for further consideration.

The public meetings are scheduled for:

  • Clarkston: 6 to 7:30 p.m., Aug. 26, Walla Walla Community College, Clarkston Main Building Multipurpose Room, 1470 Bridge St.
  • Spokane Valley: 6 to 7:30 p.m., Aug. 27, WDFW Spokane Regional Office, 2315 N. Discovery Place
  • Vancouver: 6 to 8 p.m., Aug. 28, WDFW Vancouver Regional Office, 2108 Grand Boulevard
  • Wenatchee: 7 to 9 p.m., Sept. 10, Chelan PUD auditorium, 327 N. Wenatchee Ave.
  • Selah: 7 to 9 p.m., Sept. 11, Selah Police Dept., 617 S. 1st St., Selah, WA.

The public also will have the opportunity to provide testimony on the proposed rule changes during the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission’s meeting Nov. 7 and 8 in Olympia. Check the commission’s website for details on the meeting.

The commission, which sets policy for WDFW, is scheduled to vote on the proposals during a meeting in December.

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

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.

October 16

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

November 7-8

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

December 12-13

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

July 1, 2015

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