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Definitions

Adult Salmon

In freshwater and Marine Areas 2-1 and 2-2, Chinook measuring 24" or more, coho 20" or more, and pink, chum, and sockeye salmon 12" or more are classified as adults.

Angling (Hook & Line Fishing)

Fishing for personal use, not for sale, utilizing a line attached to a pole capable of being held by hand during fish landing, or a hand-operated line without a rod or reel.

Annual Limit

The maximum number of fish allowable statewide during the license year, from April 1 to March 31.

Anti-Snagging Rule

Except for buoyant lures or trolling from a vessel, fishing gear must consist of a lure or bait with a single-point hook measuring ¾" or less from point to shank, and weights must not be attached below or less than 12" above the lure or bait.

Bait

Any substance, including lures using scent or flavoring, that attracts fish by scent or flavor.

Bass

Encompasses largemouth and smallmouth bass.

Bottomfish

Includes various species like Pacific cod, lingcod, sablefish, and others listed.

Bow-and-Arrow Fishing

Using a bow to propel an arrow equipped with a barbed head and line attached to take fish.

Catch-and-Release Fishing

Releasing all caught fish back into the water immediately.

Char

Includes bull trout, Dolly Varden, Eastern brook trout, and lake trout.

Chumming

Broadcasting bait or substances into freshwater to attract fish.

Closed Waters

Areas prohibiting fishing or harvesting entirely.

Daily Limit

Maximum allowable fish, shellfish, or seaweed in a single day.

Descending Device

A device to rapidly return fish to their depth of capture.

Designated Harvester Companion

A helper for a disabled harvester, holding a companion card.

Emergency Rule

Immediate action rule filing by an agency.

Fathom Line

Restricts bottomfish or lingcod fishing seaward of a certain depth line.

Flatfish

Includes dabs, sole, and flounders, excluding Pacific halibut.

Fly

A lure with thread, feathers, or other materials covering at least half the hook shank.

Fly Fishing Only

Restricts gear to fly fishing equipment in specific waters.

Food Fish

Includes various edible species.

Forage Fish

Anchovy, sand lance, and other small fish species.

Forage Fish Cast Net

Used for harvesting anchovy and sardine in specific marine areas.

Forage Fish Dip Net

For harvesting forage fish or squid with specific size restrictions.

Forage Fish Jig Gear

For harvesting forage fish or squid with hook and size limitations.

Frozen

Fish or shellfish entirely frozen.

Fresh

Fish or shellfish refrigerated, iced, salted, or surface glazed.

Freshwater Area

Inland freshwater rivers, lakes, streams, and associated areas.

Gaffing

Impaling fish with a hook directly attached to a pole.

Game Fish

Includes various sport fish species.

Hatchery Salmon

Chinook or coho with clipped adipose fins and healed scar.

Hatchery Steelhead or Trout

Steelhead or trout with clipped fins and healed scars.

Head of a Fish

Forward of the gill plate rear margin.

Hook

Single-point, double, or treble hook with specific definitions.

In the Field or In Transit

Outside ordinary residence for harvesting.

Internal Combustion Motors Prohibited

Fishing with floating devices and internal combustion motors prohibited.

Jack Salmon

Younger Chinook or coho salmon with specific size restrictions.

Juvenile Only Waters

Open fishing areas for youth under 15 years.

Kokanee

Freshwater resident sockeye salmon.

Landlocked Salmon Rules

Specific rules where landlocked salmon regulations apply.

Length

Measured distance from tail tip to snout or jaw tip.

License Year

From April 1 to March 31 annually.

Lure

Manufactured fishing article attracting fish without scent or flavoring.

Marine Area

Waters within Washington boundaries including Puget Sound and Pacific Ocean.

Maximum Size

Maximum allowable size of fish or shellfish.

Minimum Size

Minimum allowable size of fish or shellfish.

Motors Prohibited

Fishing with floating devices and motors prohibited.

Mouth

Area upstream from river or stream mouth.

Night Closure

Fishing closure during nighttime hours.

Other Food Fish

Irregularly occurring coastal fish species.

Possession Limit

Maximum allowed retained in field or transit.

Processed

Fish or shellfish subjected to heating.

Puget Sound

Saltwater areas including various water bodies.

Relic Shell

Dead shell with no meat or soft parts.

Resident

Permanent state resident for at least 90 days.

Salmon

Various salmon species.

Salmon, Dolly Varden/bull trout, and Steelhead Handling Rules

Specific handling rules for certain salmon and trout species.

Seaweed

Marine aquatic plant species.

Selective Gear Rules

Gear restrictions allowing only barbless hooks and lures.

Shellfish

Various shellfish species.

Shoreline Fishing

Fishing from shore or structure or by wading.

Snagging

Attempting to catch fish not voluntarily taking the hook in mouth.

Spear Fishing

Using a spear to catch fish.

Stationary Gear Restriction

Requires moving fishing gear.

Steelhead

Sea-run rainbow trout over 20" in length.

Stretch Measure

Mesh stretching distance between knots.

Trolling

Fishing from a moving vessel.

Trout

Includes various trout species.

Unclassified Marine Invertebrates

Non-shellfish marine invertebrates.

Unclassified Marine Fish

Unspecified marine fish species.

WDFW

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Whitefish Gear Rules

Gear restrictions for whitefish fishing.

Wild Chinook and Coho

Chinook and coho with unclipped adipose fins.

Wild Steelhead and Trout

Steelhead and trout with unclipped fins.

Wild Advisor Pro

Disclaimer:

The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.