I have talked about fishing before, and those paying attention at home know that I like fly fishing. Over the years, I have done lots of different types of fishing. One that's still on my list is noodling, but we can go over that later. Another one I have not tried fishing for is crawfish. I love them crawdaddies, but other than being a kid and grabbing them out of the water back at Belview Park in Colorado, I've never had much live face-to-face interaction with them.

June 6

Starting Thursday, June 6, anglers in Washington will need a license to fish for freshwater smelt, crawfish, and carp. I have also never used a gill net, and I know that's how smelt are brought in. In a move that has made some anglers very mad, Governor Inslee signed the legislation, which passed the State Senate in February, removing the fishing license exemption for these species. According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), this change addresses the growing strain on natural resources due to the state's increasing population and recreational fishing activity.

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Fish Director

Kelly Cunningham, Fish Program Director with the WDFW, highlighted the need for regulation and monitoring, particularly for Columbia River Smelt, which are listed under the Endangered Species Act. The new requirements will also help enforce retention rules for crawfish. However, carp fishing at Moses Lake and Vancouver Lake remains exempt from the license requirements. For more information on fishing licenses, types, costs, and gear requirements, anglers can consult the WDFW.

LOOK: Washington State's 33 Endangered Species

There are endangered species everywhere in the world, but it can be hard to remember that some of them are close to home. Here are Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)'s list of endangered species in the state, as last revised in February 2022.

Gallery Credit: Jaime Skelton


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