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.”