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WDFW Officially Launches New Mobile Fishing Regs App Ahead Of Trout Opener


The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) debuted a new mobile app today that promises to make determining fishing regulations for Washington waters easier and more convenient.


The free “Fish Washington” app, available on Google Play, Apple’s App store and WDFW’s website (https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington/mobile_app.html), is designed to convey up-to-the-minute fishing regulations for every lake, river, stream and marine area in the state.

The exception, for now, is the app does not yet include information on shellfish and seaweed collection rules.

“The Fish Washington app is a step in our ongoing effort to make fishing simpler in Washington,” said Thiesfeld. The app release comes ahead of the season’s lowland lakes fishing opener Apr. 28, the state’s biggest fishing day of the year.

The application contains these features, among others:

  • Interactive map-based rules to help anglers find fishing near them.
  • Details on harvest limits and allowable gear for fishable species in each body of water.
  • Links to the Fish Washington website and instructional videos designed to convey when, where and how to fish in Washington.
  • Locations of boat launches and other fishing access points.
  • Ability to add waypoints on maps, and report poaching in progress.
  • Downloadable updates and offline capacity designed for those who may not have cell service in remote areas or on the water.

“The Fish Washington app is a planning and mapping tool that should be on every Washington angler’s smart phone,” said Thiesfeld.

Development of the “Fish Washington” app is part of a larger set of communication initiatives the department is working on in response to public feedback in recent years.

Other examples include ongoing efforts to simplify fishing rules and redesign of the department’s website.

The beta version of the app underwent testing by thousands of anglers in the state over recent months.

Future plans include electronic sportfishing catch record cards and a comparable mobile hunting application.

“We are grateful to the outdoorspeople that made suggestions, tested and helped support us as we have worked to develop this phone app,” said Thiesfeld. “They are a big part of our work to maintain and improve the fishing experience in Washington.”

Beta Testers Wanted To Try Out WDFW’s Mobile Fish Washington App

I had a chance to test out WDFW’s new Fish Washington app a couple weekends ago on the Skagit River, and now the agency is putting out word more widely that it’s looking for billions more beta testers ahead of the scheduled April 2018 official release.

The free app is meant to make it easy to see the fishing regulations for the water you’re on as well as spotlight angling opportunities across the Evergreen State and how to take advantage of them.

The early release appears to be revealing bugs and is helping to fine-tune how information on your device’s screen appears, if a WDFW post yesterday afternoon on Facebook is any indication.

It’s generated 197 likes and nine loves, as well as three cranky pants, plus 119 shares and tons and tons of comments as of 3 p.m. Tuesday morning.

Some of the feedback from anglers and responses from WDFW:

Jack Francis I keep getting alerts that merely have me open the app. Happened today at 3:16 pm.

Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife Jack Francis, Kurt Packard Rex Richards would you mind sending that image and the issue to MobileAppDev@dfw.wa.gov

Michael Bradford It would be nice if it was available on Windows Store also.

Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife Will pass on this comment. Thanks Michael.

Kurt Packard I installed it a few weeks ago. I really like it!

Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife Thank you Kurt Packard. A lot of folks are really liking the free app. It took a good deal of effort and work, and we appreciate you testing this and sharing it with your friends and family.

Jason Hudgins Worked fine until the “fix” then it kept telling me to download the regs everytime I tried to open it. I downloaded the regs at least 5 times and it still didn’t work.


And why would you require access to pics and camera? You don’t need that!

Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife Jason Hudgins A lot of people have asked about the photo feature. We are considering removing that feature. It was just meant as a means to share photos from within the app, nothing more. Jason, we are also taking your comments into account. This is a beta app, but your experience has not been the common experience. What kind of phone are you using if I may ask? — or you can drop that info into either the google play store or Apple App store, or send an email directly to: MobileAppDev@dfw.wa.gov

Scott Estes Still some errors. The update fixed the “no limits” on Smallmouth, Walleye and channel Catfish on the Columbia. But it now lumps Largemouth Bass into that group which is not accurate.

Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife Will share with the team. Testing the app is the point so we really appreciate your help Scott

Brayden Lee Then they will GPS track you and try to find anything to harass you over…..

Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife Nope, enforcement via tracking is not the point of the App. Its to help folks locate fishing near them.

Gabe Stotz How much do I have to pay ???

Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife The app is free. . .

Gabe Stotz ??? free for now.

Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife Hey, free is free. So try it out please.

Doing a little bit more testing myself today I realized that I couldn’t see recent emergency rule-change notices in effect, like the Bonneville Pool sturgeon retention closure, so I sent WDFW’s Jason Wettstein a note asking how to make them show up.

“We appreciate you giving us a heads up on this inconsistency in our app and rules,” he replied. “We are working through the app and our internal processes during this beta test phase to make sure all the rule changes will be integrated into the app on the same day consistently by the official app launch in April.  Thanks again for pointing this out.”

In the meanwhile, it would be best to not only check the pamphlet but also the e-regs page.

The Fish Washington app is available at the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. There, you can leave comments on bugs you’ve found.

Or you can also email them to MobileAppDev@dfw.wa.gov with information on what sort of device you’re running.