Washington fishing regulations now online for 2020-2021 season


Fish Program, 360-902-2700

OLYMPIA – With summer heating up, now’s a great time to get out on the water, and the 2020-2021 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet is your essential guide to fishing statewide.

The new-look pamphlet is effective July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, and features rules and regulations for hundreds of lakes, rivers, and marine areas around the state, as well as species including trout, salmon, shellfish, and many more.

The regulations are available online now at http://www.eregulations.com/washington/fishing/. This year’s pamphlet is being hosted on a new platform, allowing for easier browsing of the pamphlet online. An updated version of the pamphlet is expected to be available early next week.

Printed copies of the pamphlet should also be available at license dealers around the state by July 1. Find a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) license dealer near you at https://wdfw.wa.gov/licenses/dealers. With the spread of COVID-19 still a concern in Washington, be sure to call ahead to ensure your license dealer is open and has copies of the pamphlet before making the trip.

Among the changes to this year’s regulations that anglers should be aware of include:

  • Warmwater species: Daily limits for bass, channel catfish, and walleye have increased in select lakes, and daily limits for those species have been removed for all rivers, streams, and beaver ponds. Be sure to check specific rules for the water body where you plan to fish to see if it is managed under river or lake rules. These changes implement recommendations and legislation meant to help recovery of the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale population.
  • Sturgeon: Statewide night closure is in effect and sanctuary areas have been extended May 1 through Aug. 31. It is unlawful to remove sturgeon with a more than 55-inch fork length from the water.

WDFW issues updates and corrections to the pamphlet as needed. Anglers can stay up to date with regulations by downloading the Fish Washington mobile app on their smartphone; more information can be found at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/app. The department also issues emergency rules throughout the year, available at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.

Persons with disabilities who need to receive this information in an alternative format or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact Dolores Noyes by phone (360-902-2349), TTY (360-902-2207), or email (dolores.noyes@dfw.wa.gov). For more information, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation.