Olympic National Forest


The many lakes and streams on the Olympic Peninsula, as well as the surrounding bodies of salt water, offer outstanding fisheries. Lowland lake, stream fishing and high lakes fishing are popular recreation activities.

The general fishing season, established by the State Game Department, begins in April and extends through October. The high lakes, generally those above 4,000 feet, don't begin to thaw until mid-June. As a rule, July 1 really begins the high-country fishing. By this time a sufficient number of lakes have lost part or all of their ice cover and snowmelt will have made most trails passable and high-country travel easier.

Anadromous fish (fish that migrate to and from the ocean) include steelhead trout, Pacific salmon and searun cutthroat trout. Resident fish include cutthroat, eastern brook, Dolly Varden and rainbow trout.

The beaches and estuaries of Olympic Peninsula offer a large variety of shellfish. Oysters, razor and steamer clams, geoduck and crab are the most popular shellfish found in the tidelands surrounding the Peninsula.

Hood Canal is famous for its oysters and steamer clams, while razor clams are found on the ocean beaches.

With the exception of Lake Quinault, regulations governing salmon, shellfish, and other foodfish occurring within the National Forest are enforced by the State of Washington Department of Fisheries. No license is required to fish in Olympic National Park, which is administered by the National Park Service under federal laws not applying to National Forest or other lands.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 8 Nov 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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