WDFW just shut down fishing statewide


Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!
A lot of folks still going to fish this weekend I bet
I hope not! There was a story on the news of a lady being rescued from a fall during a local hike. She fell 150 feet and the image I recall, is three fire fighters or first responders around her, working a line with a helicopter, preparing to lift her out of there! In addition to those three, there were probably three in the helicopter, not to mention all of the staff at the hospital, assuming she was taken directly there and not transferred to an ambulance! Think before you go! Not you specifically, but anyone who is considering fishing or going out, even if you feel it's safe!


It would be interesting to see what happens to the returns if they did shut down the commercial and tribal fishing. Is this a missed opportunity?

Jack Devlin

Active Member
I was out driving around today. I was surprised at all the people out walking, riding bikes, on the beach, and hiking. At a local Kitsap County (small) hiking trail, I counted fifty cars probably representing at least one hundred hikers. I don't understand why we can't fish. Fisherman naturally "socially distance". Speaking for myself, I don't want to fish even within earshot of any of you. :)


Well-Known Member
WFF Supporter
It would be interesting to see what happens to the returns if they did shut down the commercial and tribal fishing. Is this a missed opportunity?
Counter-intuitive I suppose, but if all fishing in WA were shut down indefinitely, most salmon populations wouldn't change much, if at all. Intuitively it seems like if there were more salmon spawning, then productivity would increase and larger runsizes would materialize in a few years. However that would only happen in instances where fishing mortality is the "limiting factor," that variable that is restricting salmon population productivity. In most cases the limiting factors are freshwater habitat productivity and capacity and marine survival rates.

Now, if you could also shut down fishing in the marine waters of AK and BC, you would see very significant returns of salmon to WA and OR. However, given the salmon management mandates and prerogatives of WDFW, the state and tribes would just fish those larger returns down to escapement levels approximating what we typically see in recent years. So you would have to shut down marine water salmon fishing coastwide in AK, BC, WA, and OR to get the larger returns. However, the limiting factor of freshwater productivity and capacity would cause emigrating smolt populations to be about the same as they are now, producing about the same adult populations as are being produced now. While fishing may limit the adult returns that you can visually see, it is habitat that is limiting the total populations sizes of harvest and escapement combined.
Here in Colorado the rivers and lakes are open and I earlier stated I wasn't going fishing to help being a part of the solution. Now I see an article in the latest TU magazine where a retired ER doctor suggests going fishing isn't a big deal. He's a long time FF. https://www.tu.org/blog/to-fish-or-not-to-fish-during-the-outbreak/ Maybe its easier when the law tells you that it's not in the best interest of mankind. I don't know but it's supposed to be 70 degrees Monday!


Active Member
WFF Supporter
I definitely understand the need to blanket close activities to curb social interaction, especially with all the complexities of trying to allow the outlier cases that aren't harmful. Having said that, having a couple guaranteed see no one fishing spots up your sleeve and not acting on them is proving to be difficult.

Bruce Baker

Active Member
Fishing, shellfish harvesting, and some hunting postponed
Apr 6, 2020
Media information: [email protected]
Fishing information: [email protected]
Hunting information: [email protected]
WDFW acts to protect Washington communities from the spread of COVID-19
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) today announced that recreational fishing, shellfish harvesting and spring turkey and bear hunting seasons will be delayed in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19.
The decision follows a Friday announcement that all state land and boat ramp closures would extend to May 4, 2020 to coincide with Gov. Jay Inslee’s extension of the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order.
WDFW expects most recreation activities to remain closed through the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. The department will reevaluate specific hunting, fishing, shellfish harvesting, public land, and boat ramp closures as new information becomes available from public health officials.
“Local public health authorities have relayed to us their concerns regarding the risk that hunting, fishing and recreational travel poses to their communities right now,” said WDFW Director Kelly Susewind. “With the support of the Governor's office we’re asking people to put their recreation plans on pause while we work together to get this situation under control.”
Director Susewind noted that some individuals may be able to enjoy these activities without risky interactions, but many cannot and asks everyone to be patient for the health of all Washingtonians.
These newly extended closures include all recreational fishing and shellfish harvesting, whether on public or private lands, and the spring bear hunts that would have started on April 1 as well as the April 4 and 5 youth turkey hunt. In addition, the department will postpone the spring bear and turkey season opening days, which were previously scheduled to open on April 15. The department made the closure decisions after consulting with local health departments.

While some recreational fishing opportunities exist year-round, the lowland lakes trout season opener, previously scheduled for April 25, is one of the most celebrated angling days of the year. The recreational halibut seasons scheduled to open on April 16 in Marine Areas 6-10 and Areas 1-5 on April 30 will be delayed. Recreational harvesting of spot shrimp in Marine Areas 5-7 and 12 will also be delayed. When fishing seasons do open, anglers should be prepared to practice proper social distancing and avoid the gatherings that characteristically define opening day for so many.
A number of April razor clam digs are cancelled, though the department will assess the ability for razor clamming and other shellfish seasons to resume in May. According to Larry Phillips, WDFW Coastal Region Director, “We had an excellent season planned, with a great number of days available for razor clam digging. If we are not able to reopen, clam diggers can still look forward to larger clams next year."
If the department is able to open spring bear and turkey seasons on May 4, spring bear hunters would still have until May 31 or June 15, depending on the location, to use their permits before the intended season closure dates for those hunts. Likewise, spring turkey hunters would have 28 days of hunting during the spring season, plus, most likely, a robust fall season.
Hunting application deadlines for the rest of the year have not changed, yet the deadline for sealing bobcat and river otter pelts that were harvested during the 2019-2020 season has been extended to July 20.
Refunds for licenses and permits, if initiated before opening day, are available. Hunters can also get their points reinstated for spring bear season if requested prior to the start of the season.
The department does not regulate shed antler hunting, yet wants to remind the public that this activity is not allowed on state lands while the closures are in place.
For the latest updates on WDFW’s coronavirus response updates, visit wdfw.wa.gov/about/covid-19-updates.
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/requests-accommodation.

Support WFF | Remove the Ads

Support WFF by upgrading your account. Site supporters benefits include no ads and access to some additional features, few now, more in the works. Info

Latest posts