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Washington

Fishing

Salmon, Trout, & Steelhead Handling Rules

Freshwater:

It is unlawful to totally remove salmon, steelhead, or Dolly Varden/bull trout from the water if it is unlawful to retain those fish, or if the angler subsequently releases the salmon, steelhead, Dolly Varden/bull trout.

Exceptions:

  • The Columbia River between the Buoy 10 line and the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line
  • The Columbia River from the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line upstream to Hwy. 730 OR/WA border the rules apply only when fishing from vessels less than 30 feet in length during Feb. 15-June 15.

Marine Areas 5 Through 13:

It is unlawful to bring wild salmon or a species of salmon aboard a vessel if it is unlawful to retain that salmon (aboard means inside the gunwale of a vessel).

Marine Area 2-2:

It is unlawful to totally remove salmon from the water if it is illegal to retain those fish, except anglers fishing from boats 30 feet or longer as listed on either their state or Coast Guard registration, are exempt.

Selective Fishing

Selective fisheries for hatchery-produced fish and catch-and-release fisheries are increasingly important to providing recreational fishing opportunities in Washington. To ensure these fisheries are successful, it is absolutely essential that participating anglers comply with all regulations and take great care in releasing unmarked fish to ensure the greatest chance for survival.

Washington