Washington Fishing

washington state flag







Number of Fish Species (fresh):  67

Number of Fish Species (salt):  248

State Sportfish (fresh):  Steelhead Trout

Notable Records:  a 4 lb 6oz. black crappie from Lake Washington, a 69 lb 4oz. chinook salmon from Elochoman River, a 288 lb pacific halibut from Swiftsure Bank,  a 19 lb 10oz. pacific cod from Ralph Bay.

Fishing Regs:  To view the regs click here or download (right click, save as) here (Washington Fishing Regs).

Fishing License Info:  

  Freshwater       Saltwater  
  Residents Non-Residents     Residents Non-Residents
Annual $8.00 $50.00   Annual $10.00 $30.00
1-day N/A $8.00   1-day N/A N/A
3-day N/A $15.00   3-day N/A $15.00

For more license info. click here.

Quickcast:  The “Evergreen State” is a good place for trees but if you’re not into tree watching then its also a great place to fish!  With over 160 rivers and streams in the state there should be plenty of fishing spots to choose from.  Additionally, offshore fishing is where you can find cold water and big fish.  Starting with the biggest river in Washington state, the Columbia River, fishermen can expect great things.  The Columbia is known for chinook, steelhead, sturgeon, walleye and kokanee salmon.  East of the Columbia is the Snake River.  This consistent river brings in fishermen for king salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, catfish species and bass species.  In the central-north part of the state is Lake Chelan where sportsmen should expect to find lake trout, kokanee and chinook salmon.  Heading south one will find the 214 mile long Yakima River.  This tributary of the Columbia produces blue ribbon rainbows and cutthroat trout as well as smallmouth and largemouth bass.  Northwest of the Yakima is a lake called Lake Washington that is primarily fished for cutthroat trout, rainbows, smallmouth, largemouth, yellow perch and crappie.  In the far western edge is the Quinault River that leads into the Pacific.  This river is regulated under tribal law which means 1) you can’t fish it unless you are with an authorized guide 2) no license is required and 3) state bag limits don’t apply here.  This river brings in 6 species of salmon including chinook and steelhead. 

Offshore waters bring in some big and tasty fish like ling cod, pacific halibut, king salmon, coho, chum salmon and pink salmon.