Humboldt squid (Dosidicus gigas)

Photo not available for this species
Category: Molluscs

Biologically, squid belong to the class of mollusks known as cephalopods, which also include octopus. Squid are decapods, having 10 tentacles, compared to the eight arms of octopuses. They also are free-swimming creatures and exhibit schooling behavior similar to many species of fish.

Most researchers believe Humboldt squid live for only one year, but there is some evidence they may live to age 4. During this time they may grow to a length of 7 feet and weigh 100 pounds.

Description and Range

Geographic range

The Humboldt species of squid is usually found off the coasts of central and South America but has extended its range to the north, mainly during the late summer and early fall months when the water temperatures are at their highest.


Licenses and permits

All squid anglers 15 years or older must carry a current Washington fishing license. Options range from an annual shellfish/seaweed license to combination fishing licenses, valid for a single day or up to a year. Information on options is located on the license fee website.

Rules and seasons

Area Species Season Additional Rules
All Waters All Species Year-round
  • No min. size.
  • Daily limit 5 qts. or 10 lbs., plus up to 5 HUMBOLDT SQUID.
  • Legal gear is a forage fish jig, a maximum of 4 squid lures, forage fish dip net, or a hand dip net.
  • Each harvester must have a separate container.


Humboldt squid seen off the Washington coast are often encountered by people fishing for tuna, but they have also have been found in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Hood Canal.