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State Wildlife Managers Looking To Simplify Fishing Rules And Regulations

The days of trying to figure out a ton of unique fishing seasons on state waters could be a thing of the past soon.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has released some changes they are considering.

According to WDFW state fishery managers, the state would like to enact a new package of simplified recreational fishing rules for Washington’s rivers, streams and lakes.

According to the proposals, the new rules are based upon general policies for freshwater species – such as trout, steelhead, bass, walleye, and panfish.

Instead of unique or custom seasons for each water body as it is now, WDFW has proposed assigning most lakes, ponds and reservoirs to one of six standard season dates.

As a fisherman, it gets rather confusing with the state setting a custom season for each water body. Especially when you’re just standing there with your smartphone and a crappy data signal to try and figure out the rules.

Also, the department has proposed allowing separate daily limits for trout and steelhead rather than one combined limit.

The proposed rules, listed by geographical area, are available on WDFW’s website at

Fish and Wildlife managers in Olympia are hoping next week to wrap up public comment. The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission are holding the hearing on the proposals to simplify recreational fishing rules for Washington rivers, streams and lakes during its public meeting December 7-9.

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