Southwest Washington (Region 5) Fishing Hotline

The following is a brief summary of emergency and permanent sport fishing regulations for salmon and steelhead on the mainstem Columbia River and its tributaries plus fall razor clam seasons on the Washington coast.

Complete information contained in this hotline message can be found in the Fishing in Washington pamphlet.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

SMELT

The mainstem Columbia and all Washington Columbia River tributaries are closed.

RAZOR CLAMS

State shellfish managers have approved a series of razor clam digs that starts Monday (March 16) on evening tides, then switches to morning tides Saturday (March 21) for four more days of digging. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the digs after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat.

The dig is scheduled for the following dates, beaches and low tides:

  • March 16, Monday, 4:15 p.m.; 0.3 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • March 17, Tuesday, 5:08 p.m.; -0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • March 18, Wednesday, 5:57 p.m.; -0.5 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • March 19, Thursday, 6:42 p.m.; -0.5 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • March 20, Friday, 7:26 p.m.; -0.4 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks

Seasonal switch to morning tides

  • March 21, Saturday, 7:55 a.m.; -0.5 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
  • March 22, Sunday, 8:42 a.m.; -0.7 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
  • March 23, Monday, 9:31 a.m.; -0.6 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • March 24, Tuesday, 10:21 a.m.; -0.3 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors

Under state law, diggers are required to keep the first 15 clams they dig. Each digger's clams must be kept in a separate container.

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2014-15 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW's website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.

This is the last chance for diggers to use their 2014-15 fishing licenses, which expire March 31. Beginning April 1, a 2015-16 combination, shellfish or razor clam license will be required. A list of proposed upcoming digs is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

STURGEON

Bonneville Dam to The Dalles Dam including adjoining tributaries Closed for sturgeon retention until further notice. Catch-and-release angling is allowed.

Fishery managers will meet in March or April to set dates for the summer retention season.

The Dalles Dam to McNary Dam including adjoining tributaries Until respective harvest guidelines for each reservoir are reached, the daily limit is 1 fish min. size 43” fork length and max. size 54” fork length.

SALMON/STEELHEAD

Mainstem Columbia from Buoy 10 upstream to the Bonneville Dam  – Open to fishing for hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead through April 10 (except closed Tuesdays March 24, March 31, and April 7). No boats (bank only) from Beacon Rock upstream. The salmonid limit is 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adults and only 1 may be an adult Chinook. Release wild Chinook and wild steelhead.

Bonneville Dam to Washington/Oregon Border – Effective March 16 through May 6, will be open to fishing for hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead. Bank fishing only from Bonneville Dam to Tower Island power lines located about 6 miles below The Dalles Dam. The salmonid limit will be 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adults and only 1 may be an adult Chinook. Release wild Chinook and wild steelhead.

Through May 15, the mainstem Columbia River will be open for retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead and shad ONLY during days and in areas open for retention of adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook.

Deep River – Through June 15, on days when the mainstem Columbia River recreational fishery below Bonneville Dam is open to retention of Chinook, the salmonid daily bag limit in Deep River will be the same as mainstem Columbia River bag limits. On days when the mainstem Columbia River fishery is closed to Chinook retention, the permanent salmonid bag limit regulations for Deep River apply.

Cowlitz River from mouth to Mayfield Dam – Anglers may retain up to 6 hatchery Chinook or hatchery coho of which no more than 2 may be adults. Release wild Chinook and wild coho.

Kalama River from the mouth to 1,000 feet below the upper salmon hatchery – Open for hatchery spring Chinook through April 30. Daily limit is 6 fish of which no more than 1 may be an adult. Release wild Chinook.

Until further notice, the hatchery steelhead daily limit is 3 fish. Release wild steelhead.

Lewis River (including North Fork) – Until further notice, closed to fishing for spring Chinook. Fishing for hatchery steelhead remains open.

North Fork Lewis River from Johnson Creek (downstream from the salmon hatchery) upstream to Merwin Dam Will be closed to all fishing during the month of May.

Rock Creek (Skamania County) from the mouth to the falls at approximately river mile 1 – Fishing for hatchery steelhead will remain open until further notice. Daily limit 2 hatchery steelhead. Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement and barbless hooks are required.


State fishing and hunting licenses:

2015 Licenses available now!

State fishing and hunting licenses are available for the new season (begins April 1, 2015) by phone (866-246-9453), online https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/), and from licensing dealers around the state (http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/). A Vehicle Access Pass to lands owned by WDFW is free with most types of fishing and hunting licenses.

Two-Pole Endorsement:
This endorsement allows you to use two fishing poles on most freshwater lakes, ponds, a few sections of certain rivers, and a few marine areas. You must have a fishing license in addition to the two pole endorsement.

Discover Pass:
At $35, an annual pass provides access to nearly seven million acres of state-managed recreation lands, including state parks, water-access points, heritage sites, wildlife and natural areas, trails and trailheads.

New this year is the option to choose the activation date for an annual Discover Pass purchased online or from an authorized WILD licensing dealer. Those who buy an annual Discover Pass through the WILD system can now activate the pass immediately or anytime within one year of the purchase date. On-line gift buyers can select a future start date so long as they allow 10 days to receive their Discover Pass by mail.

For details on purchasing a Discover Pass, see http://discoverpass.wa.gov/