See proposed rule
language (CR-103)
2015 Recreational Fishing Rules Concise Explanatory Statement
Fish & Wildlife Commission
Meeting Jan. 8-10, 2015

2015 – 2016 Sportfishing Rule Proposals – Briefing and Public Hearing. Audio available.

Sportfishing Rule Changes for 2015-2016

View proposals and comments on proposals that were submitted by the public and WDFW staff.
There are two types of rules available for viewing.

for Public Comment
Not Recommended
for further consideration
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Recommended for Public Comment

Not region specific (7)

# 1. Technical changes   
Corrects Washington Administrative Code language to reflect rule adoptions made by the Commission (technical changes). Formats the language in a clear structure and corrects mistakes in spelling etc.
# 2. Remove internal combustion motors prohibition on small streams   
Remove internal combustion motor prohibition rule from small streams in the Columbia River basin.
# 3. Black Friday trout opener   
Provide targeted holiday fishing opportunities on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
# 4. Tenkara fly fishing gear   
Modify the definition of "Fly Fishing only" waters to include Tenkara fly fishing gear.
# 5. Stream Strategy for the Columbia Basin   
Closes all rivers, streams, and beaver ponds to fishing, except as listed in the Fishing in Washington Rules Pamphlet. Rivers, streams, and beaver ponds listed in the pamphlet as "open to fishing&...
# 6. Statewide General Walleye Rules   
Change the statewide walleye rules to a minimum size of 12 inches and a daily limit of 8 fish.
# 7. Modify some year round lakes to a March 1 opener   
Change from year round to a March 1 to October 31 open season with the exception of Powerline Lake. Powerline is a walk in lake, and has an end date of the first Sunday in October due to water fowl hu...

Region 1 (2)

# 8. Snake River Sturgeon   
Closes harvest while maintaining catch and release fishing for sturgeon in the lower Snake River reservoirs, from Ice Harbor Dam upstream to the Oregon State border, including all tributaries of the S...
# 9. Spring and Blue lakes year round season   
Change from March 1-October 31 season to year-round to provide additional late fall opportunity

Region 2 (10)

# 10. Extend fishing opportunity through the month of October   
Extend fishery through the month of October to provide additional fishing opportunity.
# 11. Eastern Brook trout limit removed   
Remove Eastern Brook Trout daily limit for specific lakes. Also allows the retention of two cutthroat trout for Big Tiffany Lake
# 12. Upper and Lower Green lakes season adjustment   
Opens the fishery one month earlier, from March 1 through November 30, instead of April 1 through November 30. Also reduces the second season to three months (December through the last day of February...
# 13. Molson Lake daily limit reduced   
Daily limit reduced from five to two fish for consistency with adjacent lake.
# 14. Implement year-round season and statewide general rules for selected lakes to manage for mixed species populations.   
Convert regulations to statewide general rules (year-round) to increase fishing opportunity on mixed species.
# 15. Big Beaver, Beth, and Little Beaver lakes fishery enhancement   
Adjust season from year-round to 4th Saturday in April – Oct. 31 season.
# 16. Rufus Woods Lake    
Eliminate chumming rules on Lake Rufus Woods.
# 17. Upper Wheeler Reservoir   
Open Upper Wheeler Reservoir to fly fishing only, Trout Catch and Release, motors prohibited 4th Sat. in Apr- Oct 31.
# 18. Wapato Lake    
This rule removes the selective gear rule. The seasons will be: Trout - 4th Sat. in April –July 31 – statewide minimum size/daily limit. All Other Gamefish – 4th Sat. in April to October 31 – state...
# 19. Washburn Lake Eastern Brook Trout Fishery   
This rule reduces the trout daily limit from 2 to 1, adds selective gear rules and prohibits internal combustion motors.

Region 3 (5)

# 20. 2 pole fishing opportunities   
Allow 2 pole fishing in waters where opportunities exist consistent with conservation objectives.
# 21. Cle Elum Lake adjust size limit and daily limits for Kokanee and remove daily limit for Lake trout, brown trout and eastern brook trout   
Reduces kokanee daily limit from 16 to 5 (i.e. kokanee included in statewide trout daily limit for lakes) and sets a slot limit (Min. size 9", Max. size 15"), and removes the daily limit for non-nativ...
# 22. McCabe Pond   
Allow non-motorized personal flotation devices to increase fishing opportunities and help protect sensitive riparian habitat.
# 23. Kachess and Keechelus Kokanee daily limit   
To be consistent with kokanee fisheries statewide and to conserve kokanee in these waters, reduce daily bag limit of kokanee to 10 fish.
# 24. Naches River: increase catch and release opportunity   
Additional recreation opportunity requiring catch and release for trout on the Naches River from Rattlesnake Creek upstream.

Region 5 (8)

# 25. Cowlitz 2 pole and barbed hooks fishery   
Allow the use of 2 poles and barbed hook June 1 – July 31 in Cowlitz River up to the boundary at the barrier dam.
# 26. Elochoman River opener   
Open the last Sat in May to Fri before the first Sat in June. Catch and release except 2 hatchery steelhead allowed.
# 27. Lake Scanewa   
Increases the season to start March 1 and go through August 31.
# 28. Little Klickitat River   
Adjust rules on river in city limits 4th Sat. in April- May 31 to allow Seniors (70+ years) to fish and to open June 1 – Oct. 31 to all anglers.
# 29. Open South Rowland Lake year round   
Open South Rowland Lake year-round.
# 30. Elochoman, South Fork Toutle and Green rivers – remove barbless hook requirements seasonally    
Allow the use of barbed hooks from the first Saturday in June through July 31 in these basins when only hatchery summer steelhead are available for harvest.
# 31. Salmon Creek – expand area available to fishing for hatchery steelhead from 72nd Avenue Bridge to 182 Avenue Bridge   
Extends the sportfishing boundary upstream by more than 2 miles, so that the fishery occurs from the mouth to 182nd Avenue Bridge.
# 32. Swift Reservoir    
Adjust maximum size limit for trout and landlocked salmon.