The state earlier this week announced two rule changes to stay in compliance with federal rules.
Recreational lingcod fishing in Marine areas 1-3 will open on March 12, a week earlier than originally listed in the state’s rules pamphlet. The season will run through Oct. 15.
The lingcod season remains unchanged in Marine Area 4, which runs from April 16-Oct. 15.
The department also announced the aggregate bottomfish limit off the coast has been reduced to 12 from 15.
Under the change, it is unlawful for any person to retain or possess more than 12 bottomfish species for personal use per day. The 12 fish in the aggregate limit of all species may include no more than two cabezon per person per day in addition to current daily sub-limits for rockfish (10) and lingcod (two).
The change takes effect immediately, covering all bottomfish species in Marine areas 1, 2, 3 and Marine Area 4 west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line.
Fly-fishing: The Purdy Spit has been producing good catches of sea-run cutthroat this week. Remember, they must be released. Olalla has been good for larger fish, while the Tacoma Narrows has slowed down, said Justin Tenzler at Gig Harbor Fly Shop. Try pink-and-white Clouser and sculpin patterns.
North Sound: The San Juan Islands are producing the most consistent catches in recent days, including a 21-pound blackmouth that was the biggest fish caught Friday, day one of the Roche Harbor Salmon Classic. Hat Island remains the hot spot in Marine Area 8.2.
Tacoma: Fishing has been slow since the area reopened, said Art Tachell at Point Defiance Boathouse Marina. Orcas in the area Wednesday might have chased the salmon away midweek. Try trolling with a flasher and hoochie, spoon or herring off Quartermaster Harbor, the clay banks or along the waterfront from Les Davis Pier to the grain elevators.
Cowlitz: A few more people giving it a try, even though the river is still kind of high, said Karen Glaser at Barrier Dam Campground. Flows are about 14,000 cfs with visibility is 11/2-2 feet. The best action has been at Blue Creek. Use lots of scent on your shrimp or jigs, she said.
Deschutes: An online report at Washingtonlakes.com indicates the water is in decent shape, and a few rainbow are being caught above Henderson Park.
Olympic Coast: Rivers are low and clear, but the fishing remains fair to good. The Sol Duc and Bogachiel would be good places to hit. The Hoh is still a bit high, but the water is a good color and visibility is good. Boaters need to be careful going through the Double Drop run on the Sol Duc. A boat got pinned to a rock earlier this week, Tenzler said. It happened in the same spot last year, he said.
Wynoochee: Steelhead fishing has been fair recently with a fair number of wild fish in the Satsop and Wynoochee, said Rob Sweem of R&K Guide Service.
Yakima: Flows were down to around 2,400 cfs Friday morning. The river is fishing well, said a Red’s Fly Shop staffer. Nymphing with stonefly and brassie patterns has been effective. Fish the slower water and deep bubble lines.
American: The action is just starting to pick up. When the conditions are right, bug hatches are drawing trout to the surface.
Spanaway: Brown and rainbow trout were hitting flies Thursday. Try chironomids fished on a floating line, especially when the water is calm, said Gary Luepton of Tacoma.
Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640