Commercial fishing guide logbooks

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is currently beta-testing the mobile versions of its guide logbook app for mobile devices; you can join the beta test and provide feedback by downloading the app on Apple devices or Android devices.

In summer 2019, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted rules requiring commercial fishing guides to fill out logbooks to record data on their fishing activity. Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, guides will be required to report fishing activities to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) on a monthly basis, providing information such as the date and location of each guided fishing trip, the number of anglers onboard, and the number and type of fish species caught per trip.

Work on the concept of a logbook system began during the 2017 legislative session, when a bill was introduced that would have drastically changed how guides are regulated in the state of Washington.  While the bill did not pass, it sparked a formal process for the agency to begin engaging fishing guides throughout Washington in an evaluation of the industry: what's know about usage and trends, contribution to local economies, and alternative structures of regulation.

The agency held 14 meetings in the summer of 2018 that highlighted the diversity of perspectives on how to regulate the industry and the need for more data on the distribution of guides throughout Washington. The agency hosted another eight meetings in early 2019 to talk specifically with guides about the idea of a guide logbook system, and learn from Washington guides who fish in states like Alaska that already have a logbook system in place. The agency collected public comment during the Commission’s rulemaking process and established a Fishing Guide Advisory Group to help vet reporting tools.

This new logbook reporting system will allow the agency to collect additional biological data, but also data on industry trends, helping build a more accurate picture of the industry in Washington and the contribution guides have to local economies. It will also allow the department to improve its communications around the role the industry plays in promoting tourism, conservation, and recruiting new anglers into the sport.

To make reporting as easy as possible, the agency is developing three reporting tools for guides to choose from; a smartphone app, a web application and a paper logbook. All three of the reporting tools will ask for the same basic information, based on WAC 220-352-245 and will be effective statewide beginning Jan. 1, 2020. 

The agency and the Fishing Guide Advisory Group, which is comprised of 14 active guides from across the state, is interested in gathering broader feedback from guides as they beta test the new reporting application. If you are interested in helping with beta testing, you can download the beta version of the WDFW Guide Logbook app for Android devices and Apple devices.

WDFW sent a letter to fishing guides in late October 2019 informing them of the upcoming changes.

If you have further questions about the new requirement, the reporting tools or the work of the Fishing Guide Advisory Group, please contact Raquel Crosier at raquel.crosier@dfw.wa.gov or 360-789-9652.

App registration and mailing list signup

To verify your guide status, register for the app, and sign up for updates on the guide logbook system, please enter the following information below. (Note: It may take 1-2 business days to receive confirmation of your registration via email.)