Ilwaco - Marine Area 1

Marine Area 1 encompasses the area from the Columbia River north to Leadbetter Point at the north end of Long Beach.

Marine Area 1 is renowned for its exceptional salmon fishing during the summer.  Over half the salmon caught in the ocean fisheries are caught  in Marine Area 1. Ilwaco is the primary access point for Area 1, although anglers can also launch at Chinook and Warrington on the Oregon side.  Anglers fishing Area 1 can also fish the ocean south of the Columbia River to Cape Falcon in Oregon with their Washington license.

The Columbia River bar is one of the most dangerous in the country. Boaters and anglers should watch the weather and tides carefully. Only go out when you know the conditions will allow you to cross the bar safely, both going and coming back.  Experienced boaters plan their trips to avoid crossing the bar during peak outgoing tides.

Fishing from the Columbia River North Jetty and A Jetty near Cape Disappointment State Park is also a popular option accessible to anglers without boats. Fishing for lingcod, rockfish, seaperch and other species can be quite good, especially in spring and early summer. Learn more in this March 2022 WDFW blog post, and be sure to check current fishing regulations before heading out.

Legal description

Major fishing areas

30-50 miles

Albacore tuna are available during the late summer and early fall months. Ocean fishing can be extremely hazardous, especially for those without ocean and bar-crossing experience. Weather and bar conditions can change quickly and without warning. Hiring a local experienced guide is highly recommended for your initial trips.

Accessible by Boat

Clam, mussel, and oyster beaches

For bivalve season information, please see the Puget Sound clam, mussel, and oyster season guide or visit the shellfish beaches page. Current water quality information, beach locations and harvest seasons can be found on the Department of Health's shellfish safety interactive map.