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home Idaho Fishing News, Oregon Fishing News, Recent News, Washington Fishing News New Year! Spells new rules for Northwest Anglers

New Year! Spells new rules for Northwest Anglers

01/01/2016 – Robert Deen – Angers Club Magazine


New Year, New Rules – 

A new year means it’s time to buy a fishing license.  New licenses are required on January 1 in most states.

The New Year also means new regulations. Here is a round up of significant changes for California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington.

New Fishing Regulations Oregon

Oregon made a determined effort to simply its fishing regulations for the New Year. Changes for 2016 are the result of a yearlong effort by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) staff to streamline and simplify fishing rules. Overly complex rules were the most common complaint from Oregon fisherman, according to the ODFW.

The new regulations should be easier to navigate, with fewer special regulations creating different seasons, gear restrictions and bag limits for different waters.  Some of the changes for 2016 include:

  • Elimination of the April trout opener – most of those waters will now be open year-round.
  • Setting the May trout opener at May 22 each year, ensuring that trout fishing statewide will always be open Memorial Day weekend.
  • Removing the bag limit on non-native brown and brook trout in streams statewide (some exceptions still apply).
  • Simplifying language, including replacing the terms “adipose fin-clipped” and “non adipose fin-clipped” with “hatchery” and “wild.”
  • Removing bag limits for warm water fish in the Columbia, John Day and Umpqua rivers.

There will also will be a new format for the 2016 Oregon Sports Fishing Regulations designed to make it easier to read.

New Fishing Regulations Washington

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission on Friday adopted nearly 50 new sport-fishing rules at its December 14 meeting, including a requirement that anglers release all wild steelhead they catch on several streams on the Olympic Peninsula. Most rules will take effect on July 1.

One new rule prohibits the retention of wild steelhead on the Quillayute, Dickey, Bogachiel, Calawah, Sol Duc, Hoh, Clearwater and Quinault rivers – the only rivers in Washington where anglers are currently allowed to catch and keep a wild steelhead. The rule also prohibits the retention of wild rainbow trout on those eight rivers and their tributaries.

Size restrictions and daily limits will be eliminated for eastern brook trout in most western Washington streams and crappie in several western Washington lakes.

Rules have been removed limiting anglers to keeping only two trout that are larger than 14 inches in several western Washington lowland lakes. WDFW is stocking these lakes with larger trout, making the requirement unnecessary.

Download Washington’s 2016 Sports Fishing Regulations.

New Fishing Regulations Idaho

Idaho has a few rules changes in its new 2016-2018 fishing regulations.  Idaho anglers can now possess three times the daily bag limit while in the field or in transit after the second day of the season.  In the state’s southern region the minimum bass length is now 14”, with no minimum length limit in the Upper Snake Region except where exceptions are noted.  Download Idaho Fishing Regulations for 2016.

New Fishing Regulations California

Not surprisingly, California leads the way with the most radical potential change – but it has nothing to do with the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

As part of Governor Jerry Brown’s”Green Chemistry Initiative,” the Department of Toxic Substance Control’s (DTSC) has identified seven consumer product types that contain metals such as lead, zinc and copper – and proposed a ban on all manufacturing, distribution and sale of many types of fishing sinkers and gear.

“Recreational anglers fish in sensitive habitats like lakes, rivers, streams, bays and the ocean. More than 2 million Californians fish recreationally. Together, these anglers may lose hundreds of tons of fishing and angling equipment into the environment. The hazardous chemicals in the equipment they lose can expose and potentially harm birds and other wildlife.”

The outcome of that battle remains to be seen however and will probably not effect 2016.

On a more mundane note, rules changes from the California DFW include:

  • Revising the definition of snagging to hooking a fish “other than inside the mouth.” Previously a fish could be snagged from the outside if the hook penetrated into the mouth.
  • Creating a new definition for landlocked salmon that includes both Kokanee and landlocked Chinook salmon (Kokanee were previously listed under trout regulations). New bag and possession limits will be established.
  • Dropping restrictions on fishing from 500 feet upstream to 150 feet below the Red Bluff Diversion Dam on the Sacramento River. The dam is no longer being operated as an irrigation diversion so shore and boat angling above and below the dam will be allowed.
  • In the Sacramento area the Yolo Bypass, Toe Drain, and Tule Canal will be closed to sturgeon fishing.

California Sport Fishing Regulations may be downloaded now but the revised regs for 2016 -2017 will not be published until March 2016.




URLS used in article:


Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations


Washington Sport Fishing Regulations


Idaho Fish and Game Rules
California Fish and Game Sport Fishing Regulations




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