Fishing opportunities abound in May,
absent Puget Sound salmon, steelhead
Trout fishing is off and running at hundreds of lakes across the state, followed in the weeks ahead by new fishing opportunities for halibut, shrimp, razor clams and other species.
But in Puget Sound, traditional fisheries for salmon and steelhead are set to close May 1, due to an impasse in the season-setting process. Marine waters – as well as some lakes and rivers – will be affected by the closure.
Fishing closures set to take effect May 1 in the Puget Sound area are outlined on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/pugetsound_salmon_update.
Meanwhile, Washingtonians can still take advantage of other fisheries open this month, when more and more people head outside for outdoor adventures. Popular fishing opportunities include:
- Eastside salmon: Areas of the Snake and Yakima rivers will be open to fishing for spring chinook salmon in May.
- Trout fishing: The lowland lakes fishing season is officially under way and anglers will have plenty of opportunities to reel in some nice-size fish in May, and in the months to come.
- Shrimping: Sport fisheries for spot shrimp begin May 14 in Puget Sound. For details, check WDFW's website.
- Razor clam digging: WDFW has approved an opening to dig razor clams at Mocrocks and Long Beach beginning May 6.
- Halibut fishing: Several marine areas in Puget Sound and on the coast open to halibut fishing in early May.
For most people, a valid 2016-17 fishing license will be required to participate in those activities. The exception is young people under age 15, who can fish for free. Licenses and permits are available online, by phone (1-866-246-9453) and from sporting goods stores and other retail license dealers around the state.
More information about outdoor activities coming up this month is available in the Weekender Regional Reports at http://wdfw.wa.gov/weekender/. These reports are updated throughout the month to provide current information about recreational opportunities around the state.
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