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, January 29, 2015

SMELT

On the Cowlitz River, smelt fishing with dip nets will be allowed along the riverbank from 6 a.m. until noon Saturday, Feb. 7, and during the same hours Saturday, Feb. 14. Each dip-netter may retain 10 pounds of smelt (about ¼ of a five-gallon bucket) per day, with no more than one day’s limit in possession.

The mainstem Columbia and all other Washington Columbia River tributaries remain closed.

RAZOR CLAMS

Diggers will have a chance to spice up their Super Bowl parties with some fresh razor clams during a dig beginning Jan. 30 on several ocean beaches. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the opening, which runs through Feb. 6, after marine toxin test results showed the clams are safe to eat.

Under state law, diggers can take 15 razor clams per day and are required to keep the first 15 they dig. Razor clam diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2014-15 fishing license to harvest razor clams on state beaches. Each digger's clams must be kept in a separate container. Diggers may not harvest any part of another person's daily limit, unless they possess a designated harvester card. Digging is not allowed on any beach before noon.

Upcoming digs are scheduled on the following dates, beaches and low tides:

  • Jan. 30, Friday; 3:43 p.m., 0.5 feet Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Jan. 31, Saturday; 4:32 p.m., 0.2 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks and Copalis
  • Feb. 1, Sunday; 5:15 p.m., 0.0 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Feb. 2, Monday; 5:53 p.m., -0.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 3, Tuesday; 6:27 p.m., -0.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 4, Wednesday; 6:59 p.m., 0.0 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 5, Thursday; 7:30 p.m., 0.2 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 6, Friday; 8:00 p.m., 0.5 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors

WDFW also has proposed a dig set to begin Feb. 15, if marine toxin tests are favorable. That dig is tentatively scheduled on the following dates, beaches and low tides:

  • Feb. 15, Sunday; 3:47 p.m., 0.2 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 16, Monday; 4:37 p.m., -0.5 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 17, Tuesday; 5:24 p.m., -0.9 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 18, Wednesday; 6:08 p.m., -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 19, Thursday; 6:51 p.m., -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 20, Friday; 7:33 p.m., -0.7 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Feb. 21, Saturday; 8:16 p.m., -0.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks and Copalis
  • Feb. 22, Sunday; 9:00 p.m., 0.6 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks

STURGEON

Bonneville Dam to The Dalles Dam including adjoining tributaries –Through March 1, sturgeon may be retained 7 days per week. The daily limit is 1 fish, min. size 38” fork length and max. size 54” fork length.

Anglers should be aware that a sturgeon research program may still be ongoing in Bonneville Pool. Tribal fishers will be deploying gillnets in designated areas to collect and tag white sturgeon for multi-agency stock assessment work.

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

Anglers may retain up to two hatchery adult Chinook salmon per day on the lower Cowlitz and Deep rivers. On the Lewis and Kalama rivers, the daily limit is one hatchery adult Chinook per day.

Effective March 1 – 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.

Effective March 1-May 15, 2015, 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.

Mainstem Columbia from Buoy 10 upstream to the I-5 Bridge – Open to fishing for hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead through April 10 (except closed Tuesdays March 24, March 31, and April 7). Through February, anglers may retain up to two hatchery adult chinook salmon per day. Effective March 1, the adult salmonid limit will be 2 fish of which no more than one may be a hatchery Chinook.

Mainstem Columbia from the I-5 Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam – Effective March 1 through April 10 (except closed Tuesdays March 24, March 31, and April 7), open to fishing for hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead. No boats (bank only) from Beacon Rock upstream. The adult salmonid limit will be 2 fish of which no more than one may be a hatchery Chinook.

Bonneville Dam to Washington/Oregon Border – Effective March 16 through May 6, 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 adult salmonid limit will be 2 fish of which no more than one may be a hatchery Chinook.

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/