Who's fishing? WA regs are insane, here's a few rivers and regs to help you out!

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by formerguide, May 30, 2014.

  1. So, quite a few waters are already open, some which we didn't even know here at the shop until we waded through the regs.

    Thought you guys might like a little head's up as well, Joe was kind enough to do the lifting/research on this prior to his trip to Hawaii (he should have tales of 10lb bonefish by this time next week!)

    Anyway, hope that this helps if you were wondering where to wet a line in the upcoming days!


    Already open:
    Wallace, S. Prairie, Dechutes, Upper Nisqually, Quillayute, Sol Duc below the hatchery, Cispus, Cowlitz, E. Fork Lewis, Kalama, CLe Elum, Methow in various areas, Rocky Ford, and the Yakima.
    Opening on Sun:
    Queets, Hoh (in the park), Skagit, Cascade, Skykomish and the Klickitat.

    Pretty much everything else opens on Sat the 7th!

    FYI- of course, PLEASE double check the regs prior to any outing!
    Anil likes this.
  2. Thanks for the summary post!
  3. Actually, there are tons of streams that opened the Saturday before Memorial Day. For instance, in E WA alone, I think about 97 streams or sections of streams opened last weekend. To find this took just a few seconds and I didn't count them - I let the computer do it.

    Here's a trick to find them fast:
    • Open/download the Regs. online.
    • Look on the left margin for the Binoculars - this is the search icon.
    • Type in a search term: for instance, I typed in "Memorial". What I got was a list of every time Memorial shows up in the Regs, as in "Opens the Sat. before Memorial Day"
    • Clicking on each item returned takes you to the page with the term highlighted.
    It's not perfect and does miss some words. You also have to be careful to type the term as it appears in the Regs. For instance, typing "June 1" shows no results. However, typing "June 1-" shows everything. Why? Well in the Regs, "June 1-Oct. 31" is typed with no spaces between the 1 and -.

    You can also just download a section of the Regs at a time if you want to narrow your search say to just Coastal Rivers or E WA, etc. I like to fish for Brook Trout so you can also do searches on things like EBT as sometimes they show up. Anyway, play around with it and you'd be surprised how easy it is to look stuff up.
    Duane J, jwg, JesseC and 1 other person like this.
  4. On the Wallace being open. If you get a chance to fish it, be sure to wear your waders even in the summer time. I wet waded it one time in the summer time and liked to have froze my ass off. The river is the coldest one I have ever wet waded except for Sloan Creek. This one shrivels up your balls and doesn't let go until you get in a hot shower. LOL
  5. FYI -
    The list provided by FormerGuide is far from accurate. Before fishing a river be sure to check the whole river; it is common for varies sections of a river to open at different times due to complexities due to anadromous fish concerns. Not only the season on various sections may vary there also can different bag limits on different species and in some cases gear restrictions.

    A couple of examples -
    Skagit -
    the lower river (below Mt Vernon) has been open since the first of March.
    The majority of the river opens June first
    The upper most section does not open until the first Saturday of June

    Cascade -
    The lower most section opens June first and spring Chinook are legal
    The rest of the river does not open until the first Saturday of June and salmon are not legal

    Wallace -
    The upper section (above anadromous waters) opened the first Saturday before Memorial Day
    The lower piece opens the first Saturday of June
    A middle chunk opens Sept. 16
    the upper most anadromous piece opens Nov. first

    In short be sure to do your own homework (paper copies of the fishing Sport Fishing rules can be found at most sporting good stories and electronic on WDFW's site) otherwise you may have an unpleasant encounter with WDFW enforcement.

    Old Man and golfman44 like this.
  6. Also the north and south forks of the Skykomish don't open till June 7th. Have a copy of the regs with you at all times, an attorney to translate them is also a good idea...;)

    flyfool likes this.
  7. I know that some folks think the regs are overly complicated but I don't understand that. I for one would rather see regs that consider each individual body of water and its specific needs rather than have a blanket state-wide policy that ignores the unique nature of our fisheries. Frankly, if anyone seriously thinks the WA regulations are too hard to understand, they probably should spend more time in remedial English and less time fishing. It's really not that complicated.
  8. Hey Dan, get off that high horse buddy, my comment about getting an attorney to understand the reg's was a joke. Perhaps you didn't see the smiley face at the end?
    Frankly, I don't give a damn what you think, but I still recommend always having a copy of the reg's at hand. Just in case you can't afford a lawyer:p

  9. Sue, I tried this; downloaded and opened the fishing regs, and there wasn't any binocular icon anywhere on the page, either in the main page or in the PDF of 138 pages (which is complete idiocy by the way!).

    I can't believe these twits feel the need to write-every single year-a dissertation on fishing!
  10. But reading is hard! :(
  11. Must be using a different app/version of the reader. Apple maybe?
    In Windows 7 with Adobe Reader XI (current version) you can either go to the Edit menu, then Find, or hit Ctrl-F.
    I didn't have any problems doing a search of "June 1" with no trailing space except that it also found June 15.
    Alexander likes this.
  12. I don't understand the logic. What's the point of having three different opening dates within a week of the other? Sat before Memorial, June1st, and June7? Why not all on the Sat before Memorial, does a week or two really make that much of a difference?
    Jeff Sawyer likes this.
  13. I don't understand this either. I don't remember if this was new last year or this year. It was June 1 for the longest time, then they switched they switched to the "first Saturday of June" for whatever lame reason, and now they've included a May opener too. They could have just stuck to June 1 for all of it....
  14. It's too bad they don't expose the regs in sort sort of computer readable format. Someone enterprising could re organize things so it's clearer ...
  15. bingo, everytime you see a fishery opening date get changed and therefore more crowded (june opener, area 3/4 halibut) it is always some whiny bitches who want everyone to suffer because their schedules or their damn snotty nosed brats schedules don't work with the status quo. i've never understood the envy that creates the need to force others to suffer because you cannot get out and fish on opening day. maybe they like the gold rush like crowded conditions they have created. you can usually avoid the crowds with some work, but some fisheries have been destroyed by this line of thinking and wdfw was even warned before hand by those with the most knowledge of the fisheries.
  16. [​IMG]
  17. I agree that having three stream openers is insane; however a review of how we got there might be helpful.

    For decades up to the late 1960s the standard opening day for anadromous streams was July first; most of the non-anadromous streams as well as high lakes (above 2,000 feet) opened in late May. The July first opener was to assure that smolts and steelhead spawning had been completed. There was a strong push for more consistent stream opener which resulted in most waters opening on the Saturday before Memorial Day weekend. However by the early 1980s increasing concerns about wild steelhead and the fact the substantial numbers of smolts (steelhead, sea-run cutthroat, bull trout) were still in the various river systems. In addition on waters such as those of north Puget Sound steelhead were still actively spawning. For example on the Skagit the amount of wild steelhead spawning after the third week in May equals or exceeds the amount of spawning that occurs before the first of May each year. A compromise was developed to balance the need to protect wild steelhead and providing access to resident trout fishing on non-anadromous waters the standard opening day was moved to June first.

    Continued pressure for an earlier opener and consistent Saturday openers resulted in the move to Saturday before Memorial Day for non-anadromous waters and the first Saturday in June for the Anadromous waters. Of course there was immediate concern that anglers were being deprived of access to hatchery summer steelhead or spring Chinook with the move from June 1 to the first Saturday of June which resulted in the retention of the June first opener for those waters where hatchery steelhead or salmon were available - viola three openers.

    I would argue that returning to that July first (or maybe mid-June) opener for all streams would result in the most consistent and simplest regulation that would still protect the wild steelhead resource (especially in those areas where steelhead are ESA listed). I'm sure that we each would opt for different options for streamers openers as the managers attempt to balance protecting the resource while providing "reasonable" recreational opportunities. The reality in today's world of complex resources and intense angler interest in fishing opportunities that balancing act will require complex regulations or reduced resource protection or reduced opportunities. Where we each fall on that spectrum of potential regulations will depend on our individual priorities.

    Irafly, JayH, Old Man and 1 other person like this.
  18. the problem with planned weekend openers is that it screws everybody. the guys with time off midweek either don't fish it or join in with everyone else and the weekend guys have to deal with even more crowded conditions because those who would of fished earlier and avoided the weekend are "forced" to fish on the weekend.

    imo, an opening based on a set date versus a set weekend day is better for all anglers and spreads pressure out. wdfw is decreasing opportunity by up to one week for no particular reason since the first saturday can happen on june 1. i have no issue with pushing back dates for conservation, but the current first saturday crap has nothing to do with conservation. even sillier is on the coast where it is the first saturday except in the national park waters which retain the june 1 opener.
    sopflyfisher likes this.

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