WDFW Seeks Public Comment on Liberalizing Limits for Bass, Walleye, and Channel Catfish

Bruce Baker

Active Member
A story about it by Northwest Sportsman - http://nwsportsmanmag.com/limits-at-popular-washington-bass-fisheries-could-be-scrubbed-for-orcas/

News release by WDFW:
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
September 17, 2019
Contact: Steve Caromile, 360-902-8315

WDFW seeks public comment on liberalizing limits for bass, walleye, and channel catfish, and updates to game fish rules

OLYMPIA – Earlier this year, the Washington Legislature passed Second Substitute House Bill 1579, which directed the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to “adopt rules to liberalize bag limits for bass, walleye, and channel catfish in all anadromous waters of the state in order to reduce the predation risk to salmon smolts.”

WDFW is now asking for public input on a proposal to eliminate harvest restrictions for bass, walleye, and channel catfish in certain waters statewide, as well as on proposed updates to freshwater game fish rules.

The language in HB1579 was passed in part to implement the Governor’s task force recommendations meant to increase abundance of Chinook salmon, benefiting the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale population. It would affect lakes, streams, and other waters throughout Washington.

Meetings on these proposals will be held at the following locations:

Mill Creek: 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 24, at WDFW’s Mill Creek office, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd.
Olympia: 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 26, at the Natural Resources Building, Room 175 A, 1111 Washington St. SE.
Ridgefield: 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, Sept. 30, at WDFW’s Ridgefield office, 5525 S 11th St.
Ephrata: 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 1, at the Grant County Public Works Department, public meeting room, 124 Enterprise St. SE.
Spokane: 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 2, at WDFW’s Spokane office, 2315 N. Discovery Pl., Spokane Valley.

To review and comment on the proposals, visit WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/season-setting/. The public can comment on the proposed rules at the meetings or online through Oct. 17.

The public is also invited to comment on several proposed updates and corrections to game fish rules around the state, including some that were previously updated during the rule simplification process in 2017.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission also will hear testimony on these proposals during its Oct. 18-19 meeting in Olympia. For the specific day and time, visit the commission’s website at

The commission, which sets policy for WDFW, is expected to take action on the proposals at its meeting in December. If the commission approves these changes, the rules will take effect in early 2020.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.

Persons with disabilities who need to receive this information in an alternative format or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact Dolores Noyes by phone (360-902-2349), TTY (360-902-2207), or email ([email protected]). For more information, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/reasonable_request.html.



Soap Lake Posse
WFF Moderator
Looks like most of the proposed changes are to lakes in Western WA. Soap Lake is not on the list :D

Like most of the Orca Task Force recommendations, this change isn’t likely to result in more orcas.
Thats because they already shortened a lot of our lakes on this side by 4 weeks. This was more "simple" according to them. Don't even get me started....

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
WFF Supporter
But what about bass week and walleye week?
If the outcome meets the goal to reduce "invasive" bass, walleye, etc. in anadromous waters the bucket bios will probably fan out to (more) trout lakes that anadromous fish cannot reach.

Dustin Bise

reformed hot-spotter
This just seems like a distraction from the real issues.

I mean does anyone really think liberal limits ontop of liberal limits are really going to change anything? You are not even suppose to eat the fish from the Columbia are you?
the problem is the culture of locals who release pike and throw trout on the bank. lake spokane, upper columbia, pnd system. its happening all over and if you dont belive me go browse some nw fishign groups on facebook.

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
I mean does anyone really think liberal limits ontop of liberal limits are really going to change anything?
Sure - it will reduce fishing opportunities for "other" species in some waters that anadromous fish never visit. Makes me wonder what the next step in the wrong direction might be . . . maybe stopping all recreational fishing in many areas? They could offset the lost revenue in decreased license sales by requiring a more expensive hang tag any time you leave the pavement or visit outdoor places . . .


Soap Lake Posse
WFF Moderator
But what about bass week and walleye week?
Tension amongst the different committee's and task forces including the "Basstastic Week Warriors" and the "Orca's 4 Life Crew" are all expected to be ironed out at this years winter Gala. The party planning committee for WDFW is well aware of the issues and is focused on team building activities for a overall better vibe heading into 2020...

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