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  More to do Outside!

Photo banner: Young man holding with freshwater sturgeon, successful spring turkey hunter, group shot of fishermen with halibut and young girl with trout caught on opening weekend.
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May 2018

Fishing opportunities abound in May

Trout fishing is off and running at hundreds of lakes across the state, as a variety of other fishing opportunities open in the weeks ahead.

With all the new fisheries coming up over the next month, May is a great time to head outside for outdoor adventures.

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Popular outings this month include fishing for:

  • Eastside salmon: Areas of the Snake River are open to recreational fishing for spring chinook salmon.
  • Trout: The lowland lakes fishing season is officially underway and anglers will have plenty of opportunities to reel in some nice-size fish in May, as well as in the months to come.
  • Shrimp: Recreational fisheries for shrimp are scheduled to begin May 5 in Puget Sound.
  • Halibut: The coast and several marine areas of Puget Sound open to halibut fishing in early May.
  • Sturgeon: Anglers can catch and keep white sturgeon in the Columbia River estuary for eight days in May and two days in June. Anglers can also retain white sturgeon in fisheries currently open in southcentral Washington.

For most people, a valid 2018-19 fishing or hunting license will be required to participate in those activities after March 31, when all 2017-18 licenses expire. The exception is young people under age 15, who can fish for free. Licenses and permits are available online (, by phone (1-866-246-9453) and from sporting goods stores and other retail license dealers around the state.

More information about outdoor activities coming up this month is available in the Weekender Regional Reports at These reports are updated throughout the month to provide current information about recreational opportunities around the state.

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