Willapa Bay tributaries fishing rules update

November 30, 2023

Action: 

  • Implements Selective Gear Rules (Selective Gear Rules prohibit the use of bait including scents or scented materials) with only one single-point barbless hook allowed.
  • Requires release of wild rainbow trout.
  • Sets fishing closure dates.

Effective date:  Dec. 1, 2023, until further notice; except Palix River upstream of the Middle Fork is not open to fishing until Dec. 16, 2023.

Species affected:  All species.

Rules:

All species:  Selective Gear Rules in effect, except only one single-point barbless hook is allowed.

Rainbow trout:  Release all wild rainbow trout.

Locations (the following waters will follow the above rules and will close to ALL fishing until further notice beginning on the date listed next to the water):

  • Bear River (Pacific Co.): Closed beginning March 1, 2024.
  • Naselle River (Pacific Co.), from the Hwy. 101 Bridge to the North Fork:  Closed beginning April 1, 2024.
  • Naselle River, South (Pacific Co.), from the mouth to Bean Creek:  Closed beginning March 1, 2024.
  • Nemah River, Middle (Pacific Co.):  Closed beginning March 1, 2024.
  • Nemah River, North (Pacific Co.), from Hwy. 101 Bridge to Cruiser Creek:  Closed beginning  March 1, 2024.
  • Nemah River, South (Pacific Co.):  Closed beginning  March 1, 2024.
  • North River (Grays Harbor/Pacific Co.), from the Hwy. 105 bridge to Raimie Creek:  Closed beginning March 1, 2024.
  • Palix River (Pacific Co.): 

From Hwy. 101 Bridge to the mouth of the Middle Fork:  Closed beginning March 1, 2024.

From the confluence with the Middle Fork upstream and all forks (including South Fork Palix River and Canon River):  Opens Dec. 16, 2023. Closed Beginning March 1, 2024.

  • Salmon Creek (Pacific/Wahkiakum Co.):  Closed beginning March 1, 2024
  • Smith Creek (near North River) (Pacific Co.): Closed beginning March 1, 2024.
  • Willapa River (Pacific Co.):

From mouth (City of South Bend boat launch) to the WDFW access site at the mouth of Ward/Wilson creeks:  Closed beginning Feb. 1, 2024.

From WDFW access site at the mouth of Ward/Wilson creeks to Hwy. 6 Bridge (near the town of Lebam):  Closed beginning April 1, 2024.

  • Willapa River, South Fork (Pacific Co.):  Closed beginning March 1, 2024.

Information contact:  Region 6 – Montesano Office, 360-249-4628

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on definitions and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at 360-902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call toll free 866-880-5431.

Request this information in an alternative format or language at wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation, 833-855-1012, TTY (711), or CivilRightsTeam@dfw.wa.gov.