Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

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What is the difference between statewide rules and special rules for freshwater fishing?

  • Statewide rules apply to all freshwater bodies of water (lakes, streams, rivers, beaver ponds, or reservoirs) unless specifically listed under special rules.
  • The statewide freshwater rules and special freshwater rules, taken together, determine the seasons and general rules applying to the species for which you intend to fish.  Rivers, streams, and beaver ponds that do not drain into Puget Sound or the Strait of Juan de Fuca are open to fishing for game fish (except dolly varden/bull trout and grass carp) the first Saturday in June-October 31.
  • All rivers, streams, and beaver ponds draining into Puget Sound or the Strait of Juan de Fuca, are closed to fishing unless they are listed in the Puget Sound and Strait Rivers section of the Sportfishing Rules pamphlet.
  • All fishing regulations are subject to emergency rules, which can be found by calling the WDFW Fishing Hotline at (360) 902-2500, by contacting statewide customer service at (360) 902-2700, or by visiting WDFW’s Emergency Rule Change website


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Last Updated
1st of May, 2012

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