Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife


What is the management rationale for the new slot limit and minimum length requirements for lingcod spear fishing?

  • Currently about 25% of the lingcod harvested are smaller than the management objectives that have been adopted for the resource. Many of the smaller fish are being harvested by spearfishers.
  • 2010 was the first year spearfishers have not been exempted from the size requirements.  Such spear fishing regulations are working well in other areas, such as British Columbia, Oregon, and California.
  • Spearfishers are being asked to become an active part of the lingcod management solution.
  • WDFW understands that the issue is associated with magnification of objects under water.
  • The best way to gain confidence and ability to judge length underwater is to put black tape on your spear gun at various lengths apart (22 inches; 26 inches; 36 inches) corresponding to the regulations in your area.  Then, practice judging length on items like logs and rocks until your ability to estimate lengths has been honed.  This is no different than learning how to set and use the pins on a bow sight.

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Last Updated
5th of May, 2011