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Guide To The Thrill Of Fishing For Salmon In Washington

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All about fishing for Atlantic, chinook, chum, coho, kokanee, pink and sockeye salmon in WA.

Salmon fishing in Washington

Washington is in the heart of the Pacific Northwest salmon fishing haven. Plenty of quality salmon abound in the coastal and inland waters of the state. The major rivers flowing into the Pacific are migration routes for salmon spawning. Many of the major lakes in the state have excellent populations of salmon. These major lakes include Alder Lake, American Lake, Baker Lake, Banks Lake, Cle Elum Lake, East Rapids Lake, Kachess Lake, Keechelus Lake, Lake Chelan, Lake Crescent, Lake Cushman, Lake Herbert G West, Lake Mayfield, Lake Merwin, Lake Sacajawea, Lake Sammamish, Lake Umatilla, Lake Washington, Lake Wenatchee, Lake Whatcom, Osoyoos Lake, Ozette Lake, Palmer Lake, Riffe Lake, Rimrock Lake, Rock Lake, Roosevelt Lake, Rufus Woods Lake, Silver Lake, Vancouver Lake, Wanapum Lake and Yale Lake.

Fishing Boats For Rent In WA

Fishing for salmon in Washington

Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic salmon

World record: 79 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 14.38 lbs

Chinook Salmon

Chinook salmon

World record: 97 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 68.26 lbs

Chum Salmon

Chum salmon

World record: 35 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 25.97 lbs

Coho Salmon

Coho salmon

World record: 33 lbs 7 oz

State Record: 25.27 lbs

Kokanee Salmon

Kokanee salmon

World record: 9 lbs 10 oz

State Record: 6.25 lbs

Pink Salmon

Pink salmon

World record: 14 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 15.40 lbs

Sockeye Salmon

Sockeye salmon

World record: 15 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 10.63 lbs

Click the images and links above for species details.

The state record Atlantic salmon was taken out of Green River.

The state record chinook salmon was caught in the Elochoman River.

The Satsop River produced the state record chum salmon.

The Quinault River produced the state record coho salmon.

Lake Roosevelt served up the state record kokanee salmon.

The state record pink salmon was taken from the Stillaguamish River.

The state record sockeye salmon was taken out of Lake Washington.

This 20-pound, silver salmon was caught in the Strait of San Juan by Mary Seaman - August 2007.

About The Pacific Salmon Family

Pacific Salmon are born in and remain in freshwater streams for the early years of life. The number varies by species. Afterward they migrate to the Pacific Ocean waters where they bulk up and prepare for their once in a lifetime spawning run up the freshwater stream where they were born. They will instinctively return to their birthplace, spawn and die. They are found in the streams which empty into the ocean, and adjoining ocean waters.

The preferred method for catching salmon is fly fishing. Depending on the activity level, salmon may be caught on wet or dry flies. For more details check here for articles about fly fishing.

Salmon Organizations

Atlantic Salmon Federation

Atlantic Salmon Trust

Atlantic Salmon Museum

Pacific Salmon Commission

Pacific Salmon Foundation

Washington Salmon Fishing

The preferred method for catching salmon is fly fishing. Depending on the activity level, salmon may be caught on wet or dry flies, as well as a variety of other lures and baits.


Salmon fishing waters and information, by state.

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Learn the life cycle of salmon

The more you know about the life cycle and seasonal migration of salmon, the more likely you are to be looking in the right area next time you visit Washington salmon fishing waters. Visit the salmon fishing page for more information about the life cycle of the different species of salmon.

Contribute WA Salmon Fishing Knowledge

If you have information, articles or photos relating to salmon fishing in Washington, which you would like to see published here, please submit them for consideration.

Best salmon fishing waters in Washington!