Numerous other resources are offered by public agencies that can be helpful to anglers. This page identifies many of those resources and how they can be used.
Fishing success in rivers is often dependent on how high the river is, and whether it has recently had a freshet or not. A very good resource for river levels is the U.S. Geological Service real time website. This site allows you to look at river levels throughout the state in real time. Many experienced anglers will check this site before leaving home in the morning, sometimes saving themselves a wasted trip.
The National Data Buoy Center has wave buoys throughout the northwest that can help you determine if it is safe enough for you to be on the water. You can look at the wind speed, wave height, and wave steepness.
Many dams have fish counting facilities on them. Determining when to fish is a lot easier if you have a real count of the number of fish that are available. For the Columbia River system, its hard to beat the Fish Passage Center or the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers site. Some folks also like the University of Washington DART site. For Lake Washington sockeye check here: Lake Washington Sockeye Counts. Check here for information on fish returns and movements on the Cowlitz River.
A selective salmon fishery in Washington is one where you are required to release wild fish, but may retain hatchery fish. An example of this is the selective coho fishery in Marine Areas 1 - 4. Many beginning anglers wonder how they should release the wild fish they catch. We have a page that shows how to use a dehooker to release fish without handling them. It even includes a video demonstration.
WDFW has put together a number of videos on salmon fishing techniques and locations to fish. These videos are each segments of a larger video that was produced by WDFW in the past. The links below will take you to the start of the YouTube video segment.
Columbia River Spring Chinook Fishing
Ocean Salmon Fishing
Pink Salmon Fishing
Coho Salmon Fishing
Puget Sound Shore Fishing
Puget Sound Summer Salmon Fishing
Chum Salmon Fishing